Spaceflight 101

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[Author's Note: The following is intended to be a living document. Changes are expected to occur to clarify, improve, and expand. Also this is a collaboration, as such I've decided to cast the teacher(s) from my character's past so no one person will be felt excluded.]

Contents

Introduction

Greetings. I am Major Ito Goro, Marine Corps Air Service pilot and Commanding Officer of the Flying Tiger squadron based on Earth. The following training is designed to help interested Federation pilots learn the basics of flight. These basics will hold true for generations to come, so even in a future time of fast women and faster ships, this training will be valid.

Now I'm sure there are those who are asking, 'Goro-sensei how do you know that things won't change?' The answer is standardization. Warp technology whether Federation, Romulan, Klingon, Gorn, or what have you follows the same basic principles. The names of the equipment might change, but what they do is the same regardless of name.

This is going to be an Overview lesson. At certain points, I will be referencing more advanced training opportunities for those who want to dig deeper. I highly recommend that my students take advantage of those opportunities in areas that they're interested in.


Power

If your ship has been around for a while, more than likely your engineer has already set up the necessary profiles in the computer. As such you can skip over to the next section. For brand new ships, there are no previously defined profiles. Upgraded ships could find their older profiles to be insufficient.

The following commands are used to power up a ship.

main 100
fusion 100

That will turn the power systems of the ship to full power (100%). Those who are interested in saving fuel should see Sergeant Major Hendricks' advanced technician lessons.

Next is to see what power and what systems you have. The display will look something like as follows.

engstat

 _______
|       | Engineering Status
|       \____________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       ______________________________________Damage________________________)
|       / 
|       | Warp Core:         100.0% (1000.0)   [                            ]
|       | Fusion Generators: 100.0% (720.0)    [                            ]
|       | Power Produced:    1720.0 GW
|_______| Power Available:   1720.0 GW
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       __System Name______GW Allocated_______Damage________________________)
|       /
|       |  Warp Drive          0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Impulse             0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Sensors             0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Shields             0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Communications      0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Transporter         0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Tractor Beam        0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|        \___________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)

Now, you'll want to allocate that power. Warp Drive, Impulse, Sensors, and Communications are the major four systems every ship should have powered up if available. Shields, Transporter, Tractor Beam, Weapons are a bit more optional.

power warp 100%
power impulse 100%
power sensors 100%
power communications 100%

Now engstat will look something like this:

engstat

 _______
|       | Engineering Status
|       \____________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       ______________________________________Damage________________________)
|       / 
|       | Warp Core:         100.0% (1000.0)   [                            ]
|       | Fusion Generators: 100.0% (720.0)    [                            ]
|       | Power Produced:    1720.0 GW
|_______| Power Available:   335.0 GW
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       __System Name______GW Allocated_______Damage________________________)
|       /
|       |  Warp Drive       1200.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Impulse            10.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Sensors            75.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Shields             0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Communications    100.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Transporter         0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Tractor Beam        0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|        \___________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)

Now we're ready for the next section. More details on power distribution can be found in Sergeant Major Hendricks' Advanced Lessons.

Sensors

Now that power is to the sensors, you should be able to see what's in your neighborhood. The most basic command is:

scan

-------------------------------[Sensor Report]--------------------------------
Name                 Bearing A|F Distance     Heading Speed   Class
-------------------- ------- -|- ------------ ------- ------- ----------------
Blue Planet          356 0   F|S 202.99       180 0   None    Planet          
Blue Flag            356 0   F|P 203.02         0 0   None    Buoy            
CCV Red              250 -24 P|A 81530.03     355 0   None    Light Cruiser   
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The most important parts for the beginning pilot are the name of the contact(s), their distance, and class. Bearing, A|F, Heading, and Speed are covered in the advanced lessons.

In the above example, there is a planet (Blue Planet), a buoy (Blue Flag), and a Light Cruiser (CCV Red). Other possible classes are Star, Freighter, Shuttle, Space Station, etc. Distance is relatively self explanatory as is the name of the contacts.

Navigation

At this point, you can choose to fly towards any contact on your sensors with the autopilot.

auto Blue Planet will point your ship towards Blue Planet. auto CCV Red will point your ship towards CCV Red.

If you were to engage your engines with an impulse 100 or warp 3 you will begin moving towards the contact you selected, coming to a complete stop once you arrive.

Now I'm sure someone is asking, 'Goro-sensei, how do we know how fast our ship can travel?' This is a very good question. There are two places to look for this information.

The first is the most comprehensive, covering your current coordinates, your destination coordinates, your heading, whether the autopilot is on, your eta, and so on.

navstat

Navigational Status ----------------------------------------------------------
   Position:         40280.3          -193.6           -83.0
Destination:        121446.8         -4691.8           -17.1
   Location: Space  <Unclaimed Space>
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Heading: 356.828 0.046       Maximum Impulse: 100.0%
  Autopilot: On                   Maximum Cruise: 5.0
      Speed: w3.0  (38.941c)        Maximum Warp: 8.5
        ETA: 34 minutes, 48 seconds
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The second command is focused on the warp drive, showing your cruise speed, your maximum warp, but most importantly your warp coil heat. If you fly faster than your cruise speed, your coils will begin to overheat.

warpstat

Warp Propulsion System Status ------------------------------------------------
Warp Field Integrity: 100.0%   [============================================I]
      Warp Coil Heat:   4.0%   [=I                                           ]
    Time to Overheat: 1 hours, 16 minutes, 58 seconds
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Current Speed: w8.5
     Max Warp: w8.5
   Max Cruise: w5.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, that covers flying to what you can see, but what about places you can't? That's where your navigational computer comes in. Most ships from reputable shipbuilders will come preloaded with popular destinations. More can be found in news public places.

navmem

Navigational Database --------------------------------------------------------
Bajor:                    -3853010535.0 -5193160.0 -968.73                    
Beerax IX:                -3849190205.0 -4440049.0 -226.5                     
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, to fly to Bajor which isn't on our sensors, we would use the following command.

auto mem Bajor

Once the ship lines up on Bajor, you can kick in the warp drive and you should eventually reach Bajor via the most direct course possible.

Communications

Now that you can see and move, the final introductory lesson is on how to talk to other ships, stations, planets, or what have you.

commstat

Communications Status --------------------------------------------------------
Name            Status Frequency            Code                              
--------------- ------ -------------------- ----------------------------------
Standard        Open   1.0                                                    
Emergency       Open   911.911                                                
Courier         Closed 411.411                                                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Communications Range: 1.74408862738458 Light-years
Subspace Tracing: ENABLED
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This shows you what frequencies are already programmed into your ship, whether you're actively monitoring it or not, your communications range and whether you're tracing where communications are coming from. You can create a variety of channels to use for private communications with little chance of overlapping someone else's frequency. Even if you did manage to, you can further encrypt the channel to ensure your conversation is private to those without the encryption. Public frequencies are universally unencrypted and you can generally find them listed in news public frequencies.

To transmit on a frequency, you issue the following command:

transmit <channel> <what you have to say>

So, to say "Hello" on Standard:

transmit Standard Hello

[Captain's Chair: Medium Freighter (Standard): Hello]
[Captain's Chair: Message Trace: 64.76 mark 0.032]

You will see your own communications as well as any on the frequencies you are monitoring. Captain's Chair in the example is where you are manning, Medium Freighter is the ship transmitting, and (Standard) is the frequency. The trace appears on it's own line, and shows the heading you would have to take to head towards the transmitting ship. This will be covered in more detail in advanced lessons.

Conclusion

That covers Spaceflight 101. With these simple steps, you should be able to power up a ship, fly it around to places on sensors, fly it to a more distant system and talk to other ships. More advanced lessons on navigation computer, manual navigation, sensors, engineering, and combat will be covered in other classes.

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