Political Astrography

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Zor
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Political Astrography

Post by Zor » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:27 am

Astrography

Interstellar Navigational Terminology

-Corewards: Towards the Core of the Milky way Galaxy

-Rimwards: Away from the core of the Milky Way Galaxy

-Turnwise: in the direction in which the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy spins outward

-Counter Turnwise: in the direction in which the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy turns inward

-Plain: If one was to take the galaxy and cut it horizontally through the center, it would be divided into two plains, the Alpha Plain and the Beta Plain, the Alpha plain being defined as the plain in which Sol is located. Alphaward being considered “up”.

-Alphaward: Towards the ‘Top’ of the Alpha Plain

-Betaward: Towards the ‘Bottom’ of the Beta Plain

-Galactic Prime Meridian: A line dividing the Milky Way representing, defined by the location of Sol.

Zor
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Re: Political Astrography

Post by Zor » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:05 am

General Spheres of Colonization

The Old Systems: The Old Systems (also known as the Core Systems and the First Expansion Sphere) represent the oldest extra solar colonies and encompass a sphere roughly 100 light years around the primary of Sol. Be it by the first wave of state sponsored colony ships or the second wave of independent colony ships, every system with planets fit for colonization was colonized by 650AT. For a variety of technical factors, most of the Old Systems were colonized by multiple ships, thus allowing for a quick and redundant growth process. Any plant that could have been Terraformed in the old systems has been or is being terraformed in long-term development programs. The result is that the Old Systems is the most densely populated area in the Terran Sphere.

Much of the Old Systems are controlled, either as direct territories or as proxy territories divided amongst the Seven Core States. These nations came out of their early development and use of Hyperdrive and are as such some of the oldest interstellar powers. These nations also have the oldest and longest living interstellar conflicts in history. The past 250 years has been a long series of cold wars, hot wars and proxy wars as these nations fight for control. Along the rim of the Old Systems are a series of smaller independent political entities (mostly federations of some sort or another). These have some lower key conflicts between each other, but they collectively don’t take kindly to attempts by the Core States to conquer them and often even bitter rivals are willing to assist each other against the Core States due to fears of core system expansion.

Second Expansion Sphere: The Second Expansion Sphere is the second colonized zone roughly between 100 and 300ly from sol. Colony ships were first dispatched out towards this area shortly after the first Solar System War, but it only became the main targeted area for colonial development in the early 5th century in the second and third waves of colonial expansion. The area itself was colonized between the eighth and sixteenth centuries.

The Second Expansion Sphere differs from the Old Systems in several major details. The first being the number of colony ships per star system. At roughly 100 LY from sol, the number drops significantly and it becomes the norm and starting at 150 LY for systems to have only had one colony ship reach them. The second is the fact that with a few exceptions the Second Expansion Sphere was settled by non government organizations, be they those who simply desired a new start or those with other motivations (economic, political, religious and so forth), this lead to a few concerns. Among these was the fact that there were a larger number of systems at the same distance, which meant that colonists willing to push further were more likely to seek out a planet of their own. This also raised concerns about moving to systems or worlds with established systems and who was established there. By universally accepted law and simple practicality of mass penalty, colony ships were not armed nor armored (this was done only for the latter reason) and as such it was possible to build weapons systems capable of destroying a colony ship with fairly rudimentary space capacity. This meant that going for a star system was a risky venture and was rarely done.

The consequences of these actions is a great diversity in terms of what civilizations emerged with little exchange. For example, Nova Constantinople (Byzantium system) was a planet colonized by a series of Byzantine Romanticists (arrival date 1463 AT) and from these colonized a civilization that recreated much in the line of Byzantine Culture. Other planets evolved on similar courses based on ideas and ideals of their founding colonists. This isolation has also led to a few instances of technological regression. Being cut off from external aid, a failure in infrastructure and especially early on can mean extinction or utter degeneration (either rapidly or gradually) of the population to pre-industrial levels. Cut off from industrial aid, these societies were left in primitive states ranging from Neolithic to comparable to that of the gunpowder age, many of which remained in said state until the FTL age. The fact that the colonists aboard private colonial ventures tended to lack the advanced survival training or the same degree of equipment for setting up industrial infrastructure made this phenomenon.

In General, the Second Expansion Sphere is not as heavily populated per cubic light year as the Core Worlds. Terraforming efforts in general took more time to get started and lacked the resources in environmental engineering and the simple fact is that there was less time to expand the population as was the case in the Old Systems. Never the less, there are some major systems in the Second Expansion Sphere, albeit mixed among a fair number of marginal systems. For the last two hundred years, the political situation in the Second Expansion Sphere has undergone a period of Imperial expansion. About two dozen major nations have emerged although a large number of minor powers and system states still thrive due to various factors. Those of the Core System have a tendency to view the Second Expansion Sphere as backwards, never the less a few of the more powerful Second Expansion Sphere nations such as the Novan Empire have militaries that are comparable to those of Seven Core States.

The Outer Expansion Sphere: The Outer Expansion Sphere is an area that was the last zone to be claimed in the STL colonial era, representing an area between roughly 300 and 550 Light Years from Sol. With a few exceptions in regards to high speed spacecraft, this area was colonized between 1600 and 2000. While there was some overlap in between the second and third spheres, with both having a vast diversity in terms of culture and civilization the difference politically between the two is major.

The key diference between the Second and Outer Expansion Spheres is in scale of development. Baring a handful of about two dozen systems, most Outer Expansion Sphere systems were sparsely populated with less than a hundred million in population and marginal industrial assets and scientific knowledge that made development of FTL technologies difficult at best and left them at a disadvantage. For the most part the nations in the Outer Expansion Sphere remain single system entities, although a few smaller nations have emerged over the last century. Piracy is a major problem in the Outer Expansion Sphere, a few pirate fleets have even managed to seize control of a few systems. Never the less, there is still considerable commercial activity in the Outer Expansion Sphere, which generally consists of selling technologically advanced products in exchange for raw materials.

Both the Core Systems and the Second Expansion Sphere tend to look down on the Outer Expansion Sphere as being Chaotic, Lawless and Backward, despite improvement in conditions over the last century. A few Second Expansion Sphere (notable among them being the Novan Empire, the Commonwealth of Democratic Systems, Interstellar Protectorate, Domain of liberated Mankind and the Union of Free Socialist Worlds) nations have begun long term expansion into the Outer Expansion Sphere with the long term goal of development of these systems.

The Frontier: The frontier is the newest colonized zone of the Terran Sphere and the largest, colonized during the FTL era, starting around 2000, stretching out from 550 to roughly 3,000 light-years from Sol. The Frontier is expanding fairly fast as colony ships loaded with tens of thousands of settlers strike out in search of greener pastures.

The worlds of the frontier lag behind the rest of the Terran Sphere, even in comparison to the outer expansion Sphere, despite the fact that systems will often receive as many as fifteen shiploads of colonists before they are deemed “full” and colonists push on in search of greener fields. Industry and Space Development are marginal at best, with many systems (especially those at the edge of the Frontier) lacking the ability to produce hyper capable craft due to the small scale of their industrial base. The frontier is home to no shortage of dangerous factions, with pirates and marauding warlords being common, which make things rather difficult for new colony ships from the inner sections of the Terran Sphere, which has slowed down expansion somewhat, prompting the rise of defensive mercenary fleets to escort out colonists to the fringe of the Terran Sphere to find new homelands. The only rule of law that is widely accepted in the Frontier is that of the Treaty of Sol, if only of fear of responce from those who hold the Treaty sacred, and even still more minor violations still happen and go unpunished.

For the most part the inner sections of the Terran Sphere view the Frontier as absolutely lawless, undeveloped area beyond their reach and don’t pay much attention to it beyond the occasional reaction to those who violate the treaty of sol (an action which is fortunately rare). The most notable development along the frontier is the result of the colonial efforts of the Bastian Combine and its attempts to ensure the continuing existence of Felinoid independent states using its colonization fleets.

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Re: Political Astrography

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:55 pm

Hmm, I don't really see how the outer spheres could come anywhere close to the inner in terms of technology and industry. It also occurs to me that there would probably be Deep Core sphere comprising of Sol, Centauri and some of those other close to systems (maybe those are the 'Seven Core States' you mentioned). Considering something like the Novan Empire; if memory serves they had a population of a few thousand, who had to take themselves out of the loop technologically for a good thousand years before starting almost from scratch on a new planet so far away that any information and even working models from new colonists would be centuries behind the Core.
Now consider the Solar System; which presumably has several colonised planets and a population of at least billions, and is consistently at the cutting edge of technology, with thousands of groups sharing ideas and competing for advancement for all those centuries the Novans are still in stasis/building their little empire. I don't see how the Novans could catch up to the extent that they could 'rival' the inner worlds given this.

Incidentally I'm not just bashing your ideas or anything of the sort, this is just how I see the situation you've set up and I'm interested in your opinion on it and whether there are reasons this isn't the case.
"Little monuments may be completed by their first architects, but great ones; true ones leave their copestones to posterity. God keep me from completing anything."

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Re: Political Astrography

Post by Zor » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:51 pm

First of all, it was effectively seven hundred years, not a thousand years as a second ship did arrive in the Novan home system. Secondly, Technological development has somewhat slowed, not stagnated but slowed. It took in the area of three centuries from going from theoretical physics to pratical hyperdrive and you did not take into account things such as in system wars (Sol has had plenty of these). Thirdly, there has been some exchange in the pre-FTL era via long range laser communication, mostly for scientific information which helped narrow the gap. Finally, in the early FTL era speeds were between 50 to 100 c for hyperdrive (leaving aside things such as cooldown stops) effectively making the Novan Empire reachable but not able to interact politically, like China was to Europe during the middle ages.

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Re: Political Astrography

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:29 pm

Your points about travel time to the outer reaches and the slowed rate of technological advancement are duly noted, these were factors I had considered but hadn't mentioned due to lack of specific knowledge. Although I

should point out that I only said I don't think the outer systems could match the inner in tech and industry, not that the inners should conquer the outer, I agree that conquest is a pretty foolish proposition when the enemy is 2 years away from you and even a planet hopelessly primitive by Core standards will need a lot of occupying.
First of all, it was effectively seven hundred years, not a thousand years as a second ship did arrive in the Novan home system
That's still a hell of a time to be out of touch, and even if the ship is picking up and storing broadcasts in flight (I don't know if this is possible unless there's an interested party that can be bothered beaming stuff to them for 700 years) then it'll take a while for scientists to get up to speed on centuries of knowledge they've missed out on. Probably at least a generation. Plus they'd still be 200 years behind. Plus the new colony will be on a considerably worse scientific and industrial footing than a similarly sized colony back in Sol because they've got no one to trade with, so they've got to build everything from the ground up (this impacts science because money that could go to exciting physics experiments will go to things like water extraction and oxygen generation plants for many years after arrival).
you did not take into account things such as in system wars (Sol has had plenty of these).
It's my understanding that in the last 2 centuries wars between developed nations have served to spur technology and science onward out of a need to find more effective weapons and countermeasures. And if these were the kind of wars which would disrupt the whole apparatus of civilisation enough to stall technological progress then how is Sol still rich enough to spam the universe with colony ships?
"Little monuments may be completed by their first architects, but great ones; true ones leave their copestones to posterity. God keep me from completing anything."

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Re: Political Astrography

Post by Zor » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:33 am

speaker-to-trolls wrote:Your points about travel time to the outer reaches and the slowed rate of technological advancement are duly noted, these were factors I had considered but hadn't mentioned due to lack of specific knowledge. Although I should point out that I only said I don't think the outer systems could match the inner in tech and industry, not that the inners should conquer the outer, I agree that conquest is a pretty foolish proposition when the enemy is 2 years away from you and even a planet hopelessly primitive by Core standards will need a lot of occupying.
I am not denying that there was a technologicaly gap between the Core Systems and the Second Expansion Sphere. However, the FTL age dawned for them around the latter half of the 21st century AT (about 200 years from the present) and in the time the Novans (and other Second Expansion Sphere states) had managed to make up the gap through trade, reverse engineering, vigorous research programs and sometimes less that legitimate means.

I did mention travel time in the History of the Novan Empire thread, although it is burried under other details about that time period (as it does serve as a general universal history at the moment).
speaker-to-trolls wrote:
First of all, it was effectively seven hundred years, not a thousand years as a second ship did arrive in the Novan home system
That's still a hell of a time to be out of touch, and even if the ship is picking up and storing broadcasts in flight (I don't know if this is possible unless there's an interested party that can be bothered beaming stuff to them for 700 years) then it'll take a while for scientists to get up to speed on centuries of knowledge they've missed out on. Probably at least a generation. Plus they'd still be 200 years behind. Plus the new colony will be on a considerably worse scientific and industrial footing than a similarly sized colony back in Sol because they've got no one to trade with, so they've got to build everything from the ground up (this impacts science because money that could go to exciting physics experiments will go to things like water extraction and oxygen generation plants for many years after arrival).
As i have said, there was still some general scientific communication, the scientific community of the Terran Sphere saw as a good thing and there was little reason why not to exchange information over intersteller distances. This was not enough to remove the diference, but if nothing else closed it.
you did not take into account things such as in system wars (Sol has had plenty of these).
It's my understanding that in the last 2 centuries wars between developed nations have served to spur technology and science onward out of a need to find more effective weapons and countermeasures. And if these were the kind of wars which would disrupt the whole apparatus of civilisation enough to stall technological progress then how is Sol still rich enough to spam the universe with colony ships?
[/quote]

Wars also tend to do things such as destroy industrial infastructure. Envision if all of the mining stations in the asteriod belt were whiped out or if universities got bombed. This might have generated a technological edge, but the core Weapons systems have not changed too much to the point where a missile is no longer a missile.

Also, warships and colony ships are two very diferent type of spacecraft. One is loaded down with advanced manuvering thrusters and sensor systems, as well as weapons and point defense systems. Colony ships, on the other hand, are basically one shot rockets designed to accelerate to a decent fraction of lightspeed, coast for a few centuries and decelerate in a manner to get into a stable orbit of a certain star. And by the 6th century, Sol was not the only system shooting off colony ships.

There is also one factor you have left out, the Novan Empire is that it is HUGE. I am not sure if it is the Largest intersteller Empire at this point, but if nothing else you could count its sizewise rivals on one hand. In the matter of Cubic Light years and systems it has under its control, it wins hands down over any of the Seven Core States, even if it is not throughly exploited as the Core Systems are.

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Re: Political Astrography

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:14 pm

Zor wrote:Also, warships and colony ships are two very diferent type of spacecraft. One is loaded down with advanced manuvering thrusters and sensor systems, as well as weapons and point defense systems. Colony ships, on the other hand, are basically one shot rockets designed to accelerate to a decent fraction of lightspeed, coast for a few centuries and decelerate in a manner to get into a stable orbit of a certain star. And by the 6th century, Sol was not the only system shooting off colony ships.
Right, I should have responded to this months ago, but better late than never;
Colony ships, as you describe them, have to do the following things:
A) Carry thousands of colonists, plus the cryogenic equipment to keep them frozen and alive.
B) Carry the medical, industrial, agricultural, scientific and possibly military equipment to keep the colony going while it's getting started.
C) Carry a range of shuttles to move the above things down to its destination, and presumably a few interplanetary probes wouldn't hurt either.
D) Accelerate all of this to a decent fraction of the speed of light, which takes an ungodly amount of energy.
E)Decelerate back down to a reasonable speed once it gets to the target, taking a more godly but still large amount of energy.
F) Pilot itself though interstellar space between points D and E, for hundreds of years, with noone to assist it if it is damaged or suffers a malfunction, moreover since the entire crew is in stasis, this will all have to be done by a computer. All I'm saying is that sounds like it needs some good bloody redundancies.

Now keep in mind I'm not sure if there's a more appropriate way to work out the energy cost for accelerating a ship, and I suck at maths, but using the common garden velocity equation (1/2m(kg)*V(m/s)^2) accelerating a 1,000,000 ton ship (not unreasonable with everything it's got to carry, I think) to 1/4 the speed of light (about what most of your colony ships manage) would take around 2.8*10^24 joules. And using E=M(kg)C(m/s)^2 that means you'd need something along the lines of 7,5000 tons of antimatter reacting with 7,5000 tons of matter to get one of these monsters up to cruising speed. Then that much again to slow it down.

My initial reaction would be that that sounds like a lot, but maybe your guys have got Mercury turned into one giant antimatter factory and they can tile their roofs with the stuff.

My apologies if I've got the maths wrong or oversimplified. Though my understanding is that the figure for the amount of antimatter is actually impossibly small, since it implies 100% conversion to EM energy rather than neutrinos and weird stuff.
"Little monuments may be completed by their first architects, but great ones; true ones leave their copestones to posterity. God keep me from completing anything."

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Re: Political Astrography

Post by Zor » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:04 pm

speaker-to-trolls wrote:My initial reaction would be that that sounds like a lot, but maybe your guys have got Mercury turned into one giant antimatter factory and they can tile their roofs with the stuff.
I will say that Sol did have some substantial antimatter infastructure for military spacecraft drives and colony ships did offer a good market for selling off the surplus.

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