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Hello. I like to read sf and write, so hopefully I can contribute some stories.

Right now, I'm interested in getting some stats on singleships. The EG says that they're small, but not how small. Do we have any dimensions on these ships -- length, volume, etc?

"Being provolved means not peeling bananas with one's feet."
A. Ward Gibbon, author of "The Decline and Fall of the Commonwealth of Empires"
Hi there, Welcome to OASmile

OA singleships are basically a Valkyrie starship with some OA tech modifications such as conversion drives instead of matter-antimatter.

Here's some links for background info:



Hm. I should add some of these to the Design Notes for the singleship article. Back when it was created I don't think we were able to find much of anything online about them. <jots mental note>

Anyway, the Project Valkyrie ship is described as massing about 100 tons dry weigh, with a much larger amount of fuel of course (around 2100 tons per wikipedia). In an article by its inventors (I have a copyBig Grin), they describe it as carrying two people. We've tweaked that a bit to say such ships have crews ranging from 2-5 generally.

In terms of size, the overall singleship would be about 20km long if both drive/cable systems were fully extended (obviously the images on the singleship page are of the ship when the cables are not fully extendedWink). However, the cables themselves would likely only be cm in diameter and from a distance would likely be invisible or look like a distant cobweb in sunlight under some conditions.

The hab portion of the ship might be mostly inflatable in terms of space to move around in when the ship is in orbit somewhere. While in flight, the crew (in OA) would likely go into biostasis for the duration. If they decide to not do that for some reason or delay it/wake early while in flight, the inflatable hab sections would need to configure to provide support under acceleration. In terms of actual size, you could probably get away with something the size of a studio apartment in a pinch - although I wouldn't recommend staying awake for long - although with a good VR system that might not seem so cramped...

It's been quite some time since that article was written and we could certainly hash out some more numbers and do some updating on it if anyone is of a mind toSmile

Hope this helps and once again, Welcome to OA!!

Welcome to the OA forums! Hope you have a good time.
Welcome to OA! Singleships are likely to pretty cramped, as Todd says they only weigh 100 tonnes. If by magic the hab section was totally comprised of air it would still only be a cube ~46m on its side. Packing a VR room or sleeping away the journey may be desirable!
Singleships only carry a single sophont, or perhaps a very small number of sophonts (or a number of small sophonts, etcetera).

I'm not sure what purpose they perform in the grand scheme of things, (perhaps solitary explorer ships or fast messengers) but it seems likely that they are only a subset of all Valkyrie-type interstellar spacecraft.
Thanks, guys!

I didn't realize the ships were thatsmall! Whew!

For the project I'm working on I postulate a digital crew of 5 and space for 4 passengers who spend virtually the entire journey virtually. Cool

Terrible pun.

The singleship is taking a 15 light-year trip rather than go via the wormhole network (with a 2 or 3 light-year gap to the target star) in order to avoid a series of customs officials and a multitude of embarrassing questions. Two of the passengers are planning on conducting an espionage mission when they arrive at their target.

"Need a new formicary for your pets? Call for Oudh-Moravecs!"
(void where prohibited by transapient whim)
Just an additional thought or two:

a) The original Valkyrie ships aren't described in the level of detail that gets into specific materials (although there is mention of weaving their major structures out of multiple lines or threads and then heating those individually to combat the effects of relativistic impacts causing particle disruptions in the material), but OA ships probably use a lot of carbon structures (diamondloid and buckyfiber) and so may be a bit lighter than 100 tons dry weight.

b) OA starships also make use of magnetic sails for braking purposes. These weren't in the setting when the singleship article was written but have since been added. Using such sails a ship could slow down from relativistic speeds to interplanetary speeds in only a few years while expending zero reaction mass. This of course means they also don't need to carry along the fuel needed to slow down. And the fuel to accelerate that fuel. And the fuel to accelerate that fuel. And so on. Bottom line being that a magnetic braking system can significantly cut the amount of reaction mass a ship has to carry around with it, which would reduce the overall mass of the ship even more. Presumably such tech could be employed by singleships as well as other types of craft.