Would a spherical form be optimal for a spaceship?

Olga Erdman asked a question: Would a spherical form be optimal for a spaceship?
Asked By: Olga Erdman
Date created: Sun, May 16, 2021 3:29 AM



Those who are looking for an answer to the question «Would a spherical form be optimal for a spaceship?» often ask the following questions:

❔ How big would a theoretical rolling on a spaceship form?

While the existence of wormholes has never been proven, you could defend theories that they could exist deep in the quantum realm. The problem is, even if they do exist, they are thought to be infinitesimal. Hypothetical wormholes would also take so long to get across that you’d basically be a space fossil by the time you got to the other end.

❔ What is the optimal shape for a spaceship?

8 Answers8. Baring constraints imposed by the spaceship parts the shape would be either a sphere or irregular. The sphere is optimal in the sense that it has the least surface area compared to volume. It also doesn't have any "corners" which is an advantage when it comes to maintaining a pressure difference.

❔ A textbook of spherical trigonometry and spherical astronomy?

This item: A Textbook of Spherical Trigonometry and Spherical Astronomy by Pandey & Dwivedi Dubey Hardcover $14.70 In stock. Ships from and sold by tabletopart.

9 other answers

For the most internal volume compared to the surface area, and hence the smallest possible mass, a sphere is the ideal shape for a spacecraft. The orbital module of the Soyuz spacecraft is approximately a sphere: Most construction techniques in use are based on metal plates. Therefore, spacecraft shaped like cubes or cylinders (a bent plate) are easy to manufacture.

Practical starships would be either spherical or cylindrical, and most likely a combination of the two shapes. Add in maneuvers, environmental changes, gravitational fluctuations, weight modifications, pressurization cycles at airlocks, etc., and it’s easy to see that spaceships undergo a lot of force.

Not all spaceships operate exclusively in space. Many are designed to land and take off. Taking off is easier if they're aerodynamic. Slowing down is more complicated since usually they want to lose speed, but I still don't think a sphere is optimal. When they are in space, a long cylinder with an engine at the bottom is most structurally stable.

This allows for more natural movements in space as well. Just look at ocean submersibles. They are most often spherical with various arms, etc, attached to the hull. This is to even out the exterior pressure on the ship. The same would be the effect for the internal pressure on spaceships.

The most efficient shape for maximizing this ratio is a sphere. However, a continuously curved shape is more expensive than welding flat plates together. An icosahedron is roughly spherical and can be welded from flat hull plates. The shipping company can find a sweet spot between internal volume and hull plate size. Defensive Systems

The skyscraper-size behemoth is comprised almost entirely of rows and clusters of spherical fuel tanks. But according to Millis, Icarus isn't a definitive, catch-all prediction of what an ...

This, I think, is the main reason that classical SF space forces were thought of as being analogous to naval, rather than air, forces. Your combat spacecraft is probably going to resemble a guided missile frigate more than a supersonic jet - unless you can tinker with your technology and engineering to get a result closer to your taste. And even the missile frigate is a poor analogy for orbital combat.

If you intend to go into space battles, with energy weapons and protective shields, then spherical is your best choice, as it has the smallest surface area for a given volume. And it has exactly the same profile in all directions.

So talking about form, prior to define all of that, is bad idea. Spherical form is good for space and space ship, not so good for landing on Earth or planets with atmosphere. Let assume we have plenty activities to do in space. Good. Less surface less craft mass; less surface repairs; less material for radiation protection. Spherical form

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