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Old 10-10-2012, 08:43 PM   #20
LuceBianchi
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Device: Nook 1st Edition
I used the phrasing I did on purpose. A ship at sea without fuel is dead in the water, unable to maneuver, but still at sea. A ship in space would need fuel to start moving, to stop moving, and to change course, (as well as support life) but not to *continue* moving, or stay in space (except for unstable orbits, as mentioned above). (Except for FTL travel. *Something* has to bend physics to your will, dammit.)

The point: a ship without fuel will not immediately find itself beached or sinking, though it will need rescuing. It can still be its own lifeboat. Even a diesel-electric submarine *might* still be able to force enough pressurized air into its tanks to surface. An airplane without fuel will very quickly test the "any landing you can walk away from is a good landing" hypothesis.
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