Common Ship Features
When space was a new territory for the human race, and as with most new things, lessons had to be learned before space travel could be mastered. The first spacecraft to reach the starts were rudimentary compared to the ships used today, posessing only the navigational systems and essentials needed to traverse space. As time progressed, more craft and people started experiencing unique troubles that helped refine the requirements of truly spaceworthy vehicles. The ships of today are a stark contrast from the pioneers of the space age, equipped to survive in deep space with enough comfort to prevent it’s operators from going mad with stress and worry.
Perhaps one of the most important is the gyroscopic artificial gravity generator. Within the hull of a ship, and around the companionways running along the inside, there is a specialized ring that – once engaged – begins a rapid rotation which stabilizes the ship’s movement, and produces a gravatic pull with a strength close to 1G, as long as it’s working properly. Many prefer to use this feature when a ship can afford to do so, since humans are simply accustomed to having gravity as a factor in the way they live. It also helps ships dock, or approach other ships for boarding, in those rare circumstances, since the gyroscopic force helps against dramatic shifts in direction or heading from interal or external factors. For these same reasons, in a combat situation, internal spin must be turned off in order to perform evasive maneuvers, since leaving it on while taking fire is near suicidal. In these situations, or if the internal spin must be off for any other reasons, there are specialized handrails and grips all throughout the ship.
In the companionways, some ships even feature grips that move automatically along the hallway, pulling one along without them having to aim a tug or a hop towards another grip themselves. Shipsuits also commonly have an industrial strength carabiner that attaches to their belt, allowing them to hook into specialised grips on all the seats throughout the ship, so one can comfortably remain seated in a zero-G environment.
Other advancements in technology have allowed for the consumption of regular food, as well, within reason. While eating noodles in zero-g is a dubious prospect to say the least, something like breadcrumbs from a sandwich are no longer a deadly concern thanks to Air Scrubbers. Air Scrubbers filter through the air, not only for carbon monoxide and other dangerous gasses and substances, but they purify the air of anything from food particles to cigarette ash. The filters on Air Scrubbers need to be replaced after roughly two-weeks of use in order to maintain a comfortable atmosphere, but after too much longer the scrubbers will not be able to maintain breathable air.
For injuries, G-sickness, or any human ailments, every ship has a sickbay in some capacity. These are now fully automated, since a doctor or medic cannot be assigned to every crew, and the advancements in machine diagnosis and treatment have been very impressive. New medical tech like tissue plasty and genetic stitching, lacerations, internal bleeding, and broken bones are quick to heal, and procedures for these treatments in a sickbay take a fraction of a time that it used to, even diagnosis is near instantaneous with advanced full body, uninvasive scans that take every bone, every joint, ligament, muscle fiber, or any other part of the body into account. With mechanical arms and a specialized surgical table the actual work can be done within one minute, to half an hour, as opposed to the hours or sometimes days, or weeks similar procedures would have taken just a century ago.
When it comes to seeing in the darkness of the abyss, different methods of scan are employed. Microwave scanners are some of the most common, with dishes or plates on the outer hull of the ships emitting powerful waves outward to detect proximity to external objects within about 500,000 kilometers, give or take, depending on particle interference or the quality of the ship’s scanners. Viewports are unused, instead external camera feeds are relayed to a main screen, or any series of screens a ship’s bridge may be equipped with, if visual confirmation of anything is needed. Emission sensors detect emissions from outside sources to help identify other ships or stations, as well as energy anomalies such as an ion storm, or gravatic abnormalities including singularities – black holes.
If a ship is able to get a positive identification on an emission signature, it is automatically saved in the ship’s database, a large computer which normally has a couple backups over an advanced RAID framework. Ships that are designed to collect this sort of information normally have many backup databases, helping them to protect their precious data from their exploration and observation. These databases are stored on an SOD-MOS chip, and are write-only, preventing the editing of data. It is inaccessable without special CSTP codes, which can be used to see what a ship has been doing and what it’s encountered, in the event that a crime is suspected, or in order to find out what happened to a ship when it’s crew is lost for any reason.
These databases are secured and protected similarly to the Black Box found in planes down on Earth – if a ship is completely destroyed, it is likely that the database will survive as well. In the event it’s wrested from the confines of the ship, the database will begin an all-channel broadcast so it can easily be spotted and retrieved. If someone on a ship has been implicated in a crime, the CSTP doesn’t have access to the database unless a warrant has been issued, otherwise the captain can deny them access to the database – though that doesn’t help the implicated person look innocent.
There are data terminals scattered about ships, at least one at every station one would take in combat-worthy ships, and intercoms located in the companionways and in every room of each ship. This allows for effective communication and relaying of data in every area of the ship, so everyone can keep informed of the ship’s status. Bedrooms are not often private unless you’re on a larger vessel, or the captain of a ship. Each living space comes equipped with any number of specialized bunks that have secure webbing to strap down in the event the ship turns off the internal spin or goes into hard G, designed to keep you in place for any possible maneuvers. Doors are sealable with electronic locks, which of course can be overridden by the captain’s priority code, or any Data officer that is knowledgable enough.
To power all of the features and functions of a ship, a significant amount of energy is required. All of this is provided through any number of means, but most smaller ships use large Quantum Batteries, large collections of miniscule tubes which take advantage of the strong electric field stored in the vaccuum between the electrons of the atoms of ionic gas trapped within. These batteries can last an average of two months before they need to be replaced or recharged, based on ship-size, features, and use, of course. Larger ships, the kind that require a crew of at least 50 or more, often have a fusion reactor, since it’s likely to be either a research vessel or a battleship or cruiser from the CSTP, which can be stationed in troublesome areas of space for sometimes 6 months at a time, possibly longer.
To protect against space debris such as ship remains, small rocks, etc., ships are commonly equipped with a strong electromagnetic outer field that repels most minerals. People commonly refer to this field as the ships shields, which is mostly accurate. It reduces the worry of small objects being able to puncture a spacecraft while it traverses the stars.