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Old 10-10-2012, 06:40 PM   #16
LuceBianchi
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Everyone makes good points here, especially the navy vs air force thing. The air force, being airborne and requiring fuel to stay there, is not a long-term-deployment service. The navy, however, is. You don't need to use fuel to stay at sea (you're likely to never get back to land if you run out, actually), nor do you need to use fuel to stay in space (excepting unstable orbits).

The space force splitting off and becoming more navy-like over time is something I would expect to happen. This would not really happen, though, until we had viable bases in space already, to start from and head to. The air force would certainly start this, as fighters etc need to launch/land from *somewhere*, and doing so from Earth's surface would be *very* impractical.

So. Initially, the air force. As our spaceborne infrastructure develops more and more, more like the navy.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by LuceBianchi View Post
The navy, however, is. You don't need to use fuel to stay at sea (you're likely to never get back to land if you run out, actually), nor do you need to use fuel to stay in space (excepting unstable orbits).
Not true.
The Navy makes water, lights (and cools) the ship, cooks food for the crew. All use power (fuel)
A ship without power is uncontrolable (no headway for the rudders to work on).
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:58 PM   #18
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A ship needs power to function, but it doesn't require power to stay at sea. An airplane needs power to avoid crashing.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
A ship needs power to function, but it doesn't require power to stay at sea. An airplane needs power to avoid crashing.
This is what I meant about fuel usage. :P
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #20
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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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Old 10-10-2012, 09:20 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by LuceBianchi View Post
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.
It reminds me of the Ovine Aviation sketch from Monty Python, where sheep are attempting to escape by learning to fly. "Now witness their attempts to fly from tree to tree. Notice they do not so much fly as plummet."
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:20 PM   #22
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This is an interesting thought experiment.

If you haven't yet, it might be informative to read this "Aircraft Carriers in Space" article from Foreign Policy - it's short and pretty interesting: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...pace?page=full

Here's an excerpt:
Quote:
Science fiction authors and moviemakers tend to gravitate towards historical models they -- and their audience -- understand. So, sometimes you end up with "submarines in space" -- but a submarine is a vessel designed to hide under the water, which obscures your vision and forces you to use capricious sensors like sonar. Space, on the other hand, is wide open, and any ship putting out enough heat to keep its crew alive stands out from the background, if you have enough time to look. Other times we get "dreadnoughts in space," with gunnery duels like Jutland -- but again, hiding is hard, so this battle should take place at extreme range. Or you get "airplanes in space," which largely ignores that airplanes work in the real world because they take advantage of the fact that air and sea have different attributes.

All of these models are fun, and some work better than others, but they all present space combat in a way that doesn't really fit with the salient attributes of space. And lest I get a thousand emails from people who say I don't understand how combat in their favorite universe works -- yes, I do. My answers are necessarily approximations for this interview. Someday I should write a book.
Another thing to keep in mind is that divisions between military branches aren't tightly drawn. The Coast Guard actually predates the US Navy for example, and has had different, but complementary roles for most if its existence. (Actually, that might be an interesting model to look at for an orbital force, depending on what they do).

And although the Air Force is generally thought of as the branch with the planes, the Army, Navy, and Marines all have their own planes and pilots within their own branches. (Although this is perhaps not a given; in some countries, the Navy operates the aircraft carriers, but the airforce flies the planes on it.) So it's quite possible that while the Orbital Corps is the main space-based force, the Army, Navy, and Marines may have their own ships for their own purposes.

(And of course the Marines are interwoven with the Navy of course - the "corpsmen" who serve as medics for the Marines are actually Navy enlisted men (even in places like Afghanistan)).
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:54 PM   #23
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This is an interesting thought experiment.

If you haven't yet, it might be informative to read this "Aircraft Carriers in Space" article from Foreign Policy - it's short and pretty interesting: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...pace?page=full

Here's an excerpt:


Another thing to keep in mind is that divisions between military branches aren't tightly drawn. The Coast Guard actually predates the US Navy for example, and has had different, but complementary roles for most if its existence. (Actually, that might be an interesting model to look at for an orbital force, depending on what they do).

And although the Air Force is generally thought of as the branch with the planes, the Army, Navy, and Marines all have their own planes and pilots within their own branches. (Although this is perhaps not a given; in some countries, the Navy operates the aircraft carriers, but the airforce flies the planes on it.) So it's quite possible that while the Orbital Corps is the main space-based force, the Army, Navy, and Marines may have their own ships for their own purposes.

(And of course the Marines are interwoven with the Navy of course - the "corpsmen" who serve as medics for the Marines are actually Navy enlisted men (even in places like Afghanistan)).
The highlighted is the only thing I disagree with. The navy has its own air wings on each carrier. The USAF does not fly off of navy carriers. Navy aircraft carriers are in general manned by all navy personnel, air crews and support personal.

Now other navies in the world may do things a bit differently.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:07 AM   #24
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I've been invited to submit to a hard sci-fi anthology, and story is shaping up to have a military bent.

This is bad, because I have no military experience.

In order to not totally screw up the details or otherwise disrespect the existing armed forces, I'd like to invent a new branch of the military: one created specifically for orbital operations. I want it to have an elite force, something akin to the navy seals, that handles reconnaissance and counter-terrorism. And I want it to feel believable.

So... if within the next 200 years the orbital regions near earth became a center of political and military conflict, which branch of the military would initially move into that vacuum? And how and when might that branch of the military be split in order to create an independent organization?
You could always arm the Parking Police.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:36 AM   #25
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The highlighted is the only thing I disagree with. The navy has its own air wings on each carrier. The USAF does not fly off of navy carriers. Navy aircraft carriers are in general manned by all navy personnel, air crews and support personal.

Now other navies in the world may do things a bit differently.
I agree.
Navy and Marine squadrons on board (Both of their planes are equipped with 'Tail Hooks'). I watched the Marines fly (really just riding behind the controls at that moment ) some of the first ACLS (Automatic Carrier Landing System) test flights. Talk about a Brutal hand on the stick It did a great landing, just not kind to human passangers
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:19 AM   #26
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I agree.
Navy and Marine squadrons on board (Both of their planes are equipped with 'Tail Hooks'). I watched the Marines fly (really just riding behind the controls at that moment ) some of the first ACLS (Automatic Carrier Landing System) test flights. Talk about a Brutal hand on the stick It did a great landing, just not kind to human passangers
Not sure now because I got out in 1976, tail hooks are the distinguishing difference between carrier aircraft and land based ones, other that the carrier planes also had beefed up landing gear for the "Controlled" crashes the Navy likes to call landings.

What I am not sure of is if the USAF still fly's the same exact aircraft the navy uses. If so they will have a tail hook also. But I do not think so.

When I was in, the predominant aircraft that the USAF was flying was the F-4 phantom and it did have a tail hook because I think that aircraft was the same flown by all branches of the US military services, at the time, So in theory the USAF could fly on and off carriers, tho probably only once.

They maybe able to take off OK, but the landing probably would their last one

Because they did not have the training to do the standard Navy carrier controlled "Crash" they like to call a landing.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:21 AM   #27
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It seems clear that the navy and air force will disagree over who should run the new space force, and that's why there will be a new branch of the military. (Possibly starting as some sort of combined operation.)
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:30 AM   #28
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It seems clear that the navy and air force will disagree over who should run the new space force, and that's why there will be a new branch of the military. (Possibly starting as some sort of combined operation.)
"Disagreeing" would be a slight understatement, to say the least. The Navy has several century's of existence and traditions in the united states. Where the air force is the "new kid on the block" only being in existence as a separate branch of service for only 70 years or so.

You can bet your "Booties" that the Navy will want a piece of the action! And Get it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:38 AM   #29
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I do think it gives you an advantage. It's a whole different mind-set, not just the terminology.

ETA: They always say "write what you know".
But the truth is not that, it's "write what you are interested in learning about"
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:41 AM   #30
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If you have no military experience, I doubt you will be successful in writing military SF.
So you have a to be a fish to write about marine biology?
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