Monday, May 19, 2014

More Travel

I have been on a quest to finish my galactic gazetteer, quantifying hyperspace travel times between 48 different interesting locations in the Star Wars universe. This equates to 1128 separate measurements on the map! You can see my progress by clicking on the "Gazetteer" link along the top of the blog (only 325 measurements left-ugh).

I have been having a one-sided conversation with myself (Join in! See comments section of this post) regarding how long, exactly, hyperspace travel should take. As mentioned, my first cut at this is to simply have a set travel time per inch of map traveled. I am using a hand-waving argument to dismiss the Star Wars hand-waving argument that travel times vary greatly based on numeric density of stars.

My thought process goes like this: of course there are issues with travel times and distances and whatnot quoted in the myriad sources that make up the old levels of Star Wars canon (now called Legends). However, we do not need to further complicate the issue of a lack of carefully controlled coordination across disparate sources by adding in some hokey arguments and smokescreens. In my opinion, a gazetteer should be possible. And it shouldn't have much to do with how closely packed the stars are, otherwise travel times near the galactic core would be hundreds of times longer than in the Outer Rim. I will admit that there is something about making a gazetteer of cold, hard facts that eats away at some of the mystery and excitement of the unknown so important to Star Wars. Loosey-goosey traveling "at the speed of plot" seems more like space opera, of course, but a bit less like Science Fiction. I hope to bring a bit more balance to that scale.

As long as I am thinking about traveling from Tierfon to somewhere else, I thought I would share these ideas, too.

*On an earth-sized planet (~100 km thick atmosphere), an X-wing launching from the ground takes about 6 minutes to get to space (full throttle, straight up). This is using the conventionally quoted 1050 kph atmospheric speed for the X-wing. One strange thing is that an X-wing is much slower than an SR-71 Blackbird (at least 3540 kph).

*With an earth-sized planet (7918 km diameter), an X-wing takes about 14 minutes to get to the hyperspace jump point (6 planetary diameters away). This is a bit more interesting. It uses a WEG factoid (6 diameters), some calculated numbers for acceleration (based on some very careful film study of the Millenium Falcon in action), the published MGLT numbers for various craft (interpreted as acceleration values), and some kinematic equations.

*With an Jupiter-sized gas giant (521,286 km diameter), an X-wing takes about 47 minutes to get to the hyperspace jump point (6 planetary diameters away).

I am curious as to what people think of this. Too much information? Kills the free-spirited Star Wars vibe?

1 comment:

  1. As mentioned in my latest post on the main blog, I am backing away from subspace speed and acceleration calculations. That way lies madness!