The Ad Astra Vehicle Design Sequence

Physics vs Technological Assumptions

The design sequence has been structured to clearly separate the parts which are determined solely by the laws of physics from those which are the product of our particular technological assumptions. The assumptions associate a set of physical characteristics (volume, mass, price, power consumption and complexity) with a set of functional characteristics. Once the functional characteristics of a component have been determined then all the rest is physics. This separation will enable the Ad Astra vehicle design sequence to be adaptable to any hard-sf setting, simply by changing the relations between physical and functional characteristics. In most cases this means simply altering the values in some of the tables (eventually we will list those parameters which may be modified). Of course, the extrema of these relationships are also determined by the laws of physics, but in many cases we simply do not know these limits. Changing the technological assumptions may greatly change the character of the setting, but for any reasonable values that setting will still be hard-sf. On the other hand, modifying the relations between functional characteristics and behaviour will almost always lead to a considerably less hard-sf background (the behaviour following from a set of functional characteristics is, however, only an approximation to the real physics, so some changes will lead towards harder sf!).

Design and Instantiation

The Hierarchy of Complexity

The future of Ad Astra

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