Worldbuilding – Deep Interplanetary Transport

The Caravan Transport carries several hundred people on long-duration, deep interplanetary missions. The transport is pushed by several (4-10) shuttle escorts. These ‘Dagger Skiffs‘ also provide defensive capabilities.

Dagger Skiff‘ Escort/Shuttle Characteristics:
  • Size : 32 m (length) x ~ 14 m (width) x ~ 4m (height)
  • Mass:
    • unfueled: 6,000 kg
    • fully fueled: 17,000 kg
  • Powerplant: h-torch ignited fusion
  • Atmospheric propulsion: Magneto Hydro Dynamic Ionisation Boundary Flow
  • Vacuum propulsion: direct fusion
  • Max acceleration: ~15g (max permissible acceleration with human crew 6g sustained)
  • Defensive systems:
    • Precision Standoff and Point Defense, Directed Energy Weapons
    • Adaptive Directional Magnetic Confinement Plasma Shielding
    • Zeno-cognition active Information Warfare and exploit database


‘Caravan Transport’  Characteristics:
  • Size : 200 m (length) x ~ 12 m (width) x ~ 12m (height)Mass:
    • unfueled: 190,000 kg
    • fully fueled: 2,200,000 kg
  • Powerplant: h-torch ignited fusion plant.
  • Propulsion: high specific impulse vacuum ion thruster or coupled with ‘Dagger Skiffs’ for extended and high delta-v mission profiles.
  • Max acceleration:
    • using onboard ion-drive: 0.2 milligees
    • fully fueled and loaded with constellation of 4 ‘dagger-skiffs’: 0.7g
    • typical mission profile: 0.1g
  • Defensive systems:
    • Point Defense Directed Energy Weapons
    • Adaptive Directional Magnetic Confinement Plasma Shielding
    • Zeno-cognition active Information Warfare and exploit database
    • Primary defensive capabilities supplied by ‘dagger-skiff’ escorts


The ‘Caravan Transport‘ switches between a thrust-phase and coast-phase configuration. In the thrust-phase, the habitation modules are aligned with the axis of thrust. Acceleration in the range 0f 0.1 – 0.4g provides inertial gravity. In the coast-phase configuration, the habitation modules are deployed in a classic rotating hoop configuration generating spin-gravity for passengers and crew.


Tech from Singularity’s Children: Printing Organs in Space

I was talking to a friend recently. He pointed out that people will read my books and find them quite topical, noting perhaps that many of the fictional events and technologies parallel developments in the ‘Real‘… and not checking the dates when I wrote about the topics!!

Here’s one: “Astronauts growing new organs on International Space Station”

“The experiment uses ‘weightlessness as a tool’, according to Cara Thiel, one of the two researchers from the University of Zurich who are conducting the research.”

My next book is going to be written either in the far-future, or distant past! 😉

Betelgeuse about to go Supernova?

Betelgeuse is still dimming, possibly a sign that it’s collapsing in on itself and is getting ready to go Boom!

Comparison shows Betelgeuse in Jan and Dec 2019. It has already dimmed by nearly 40%.

The star is a red supergiant in the constellation of Orion aprox 600 light years away and about 20 times as massive as the sun.

The last supernova in our galaxy was in 1604, so this is a pretty big deal.

If it does go bang, it will be as bright as the moon, but with all the light squeezed into a single point. Something like this:

and eventually we will see the shrapnel and gas:

Betelgeuse was also identified with Osiris by the ancient Egyptians:

“…until that day Osiris lives in the Duat, where he rules the Dead wisely and nobly as he ruled the living when on earth.
For though Horus fights with Set and the battles rage furiously, yet the decisive victory is not yet accomplished, and Osiris has never returned to earth again…”

Not a bad way for a race of visitors to mark a date in our calendar:

“By the way, we’ll be back when the red star winks then burns…”