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Starship Fixture Design by William-Black Starship Fixture Design by William-Black
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Image featured: on Winchell Chung’s Atomic Rockets site,Artificial Gravity page under Which Way Is Down? , scroll down at the link.</b>

In “The Mote in God’s Eye” Niven and Pournelle went to some trouble to describe details which properly distinguish life aboard (a plausible) spacecraft. The authors brought these realities to life through details such as the description of the curved spin-table in the officer’s mess, references to the “spin floor” verses the “thrust floor,” and the adjustment of civilian-scientists to movement under weightlessness, and even clumsiness among the civilians induced by lack of adaptation to the Coriolis Effect while MacArthur was under spin. I wanted to explore this design philosophy, putting some thought into bathroom fixture designed for spacecraft with two distinct operational modes. I’ve framed this as a new recruits training and orientation program, perhaps displayed on a tablet or data-pad.

Since there is no confirmed technique that can simulate gravity other than actual mass or acceleration or spinning the habitat (or the entire spacecraft) MacArthur properly, in accord to real world physics, generates an artificial gravity when not under acceleration by centrifugal force, i.e. by spinning the ship on its long-axis – the ship Niven and Pournelle described, from the orientation of its decks, right down to details of compartment fittings, furniture, and fixtures, is designed accordingly.

In Niven and Pournelle’s novel it is clear that the Imperial Service inducts recruits directly from the field, and while this particular idea is not part of the text or any description in the novel, Captain Blain is often depicted viewing information on a data-pad like device; I imagine that the Imperial Service might employ some kind service orientation manual handed out to new crewman in this form. There are numerous instances in the novel involving the on-going training of new crewmen and “middies” (or midshipmen), this thread in the novel, along with memories of reading the– often quite humorous –  U.S. Army manuals and numerous training handouts my grandfather had kept from his service in WWII were my inspiration.

[When the United States entered the war in 1942, the rapid expansion of forces required that civilians, almost all of whom were unaccustomed to military life, be rapidly pressed into service in large numbers. Most of these, due to the largely rural nature of America at that time, had never been to “town” much less plunged into situations where they were expected to not only know their way around a naval warship or combat aircraft (under any and all conditions) but to cope with the basic circumstances of everyday life where the means to do so were very different from their civilian experience. The various branches of service evolved training and orientation commands to cope with this and service handbooks, posters, and notices were produced en mass.]

CoDominium Emblem is my own interpretation of the Hammer & Sickle, Eagle, Crown, and Rocket emblem described by Jerry Pournelle in his CoDominium series. I chose the “War Eagle” rather than the usual American eagle. The Red Star Hammer & Sickle comes from a Bustinaurss, or Soviet garrison cap pin of the former USSR armed forces. The Rocket is a photoshop painting based on the (somewhat improbable, but nonetheless appropriate to the aesthetic I had in mind) design of an art-deco pendent; the crown is of similar origin.

Photo credits:

Red Star Hammer Sickle Emblem Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bus…

Description: garrison cap of USSR, file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Author: Suetonius.

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