Sci-Fi Need Spaceship engine problems - any ideas?

LDorito

Cadet
Joined
Feb 18, 2018
Working on a project where a short range spaceship gets sabotaged so it can’t take off, but I have no mechanical knowledge to start from to make it semi-realistic. All ideas welcome! 🚀
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Working on a project where a short range spaceship gets sabotaged so it can’t take off, but I have no mechanical knowledge to start from to make it semi-realistic. All ideas welcome! 🚀
What type of spaceship?
Take-off from where or what?
Sabotage of what nature?
How much realism is in your scenario?

You do realize that sabotage doesn't necessarily mean mechanical.
Anything from an unstable launch pad to a computer virus could be critical.
The absence of any number of key personnel could also prove to stop a launch.
If its a space based launch, the craft doesn't even need to be the target. A station window seal could cause the entrance to be too dangerous to enter the craft. The door could fail to open, or remain open.

Too many variables for speculation.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Challenger basically failed from a defective O-ring.
Sabotage can be done at any time in the process, including during the intial construction of the ship.
Someone substitutes rivets with rivets of lower tolerances.
Any number of conditions could apply.
 

LDorito

Cadet
Joined
Feb 18, 2018
It has landed on a planet and been attacked so it’s passengers can’t get off world... I said mechanical because the computer systems have a separate back up system.

Thanks for the replies
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
I said mechanical because the computer systems have a separate back up system.
You do know computers are devices, right? Physically pull the RAM out and see how well it works.
But, for the sake of discussion lets assume it is not computer related.

Someone put sugar in the gas tank. (someone contaminated the fuel source)
Someone slit the tires. (someone altered the flying surfaces making it unstable)
Someone blew a big hole in it. (self-explanatory)
Someone took a hammer to the clock. (someone did something that permanently interrupts the blast off count down) The ole monkey wrench in the gizmo.

"We found the Duff Retractors had been welded in place. Without being able to retract the Duff, we couldn't take off. Billy has a team up there right now trying to free them. They are welded solid and severely heat damaged. If he can get them free, they may not be strong enough to take the weight of the Duff."
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
It has landed on a planet and been attacked so it’s passengers can’t get off world... I said mechanical because the computer systems have a separate back up system.

Thanks for the replies
What's your power source for ship, traditional rocket engines that could be easily affected by physical attack or some other type of technology?
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
It has landed on a planet and been attacked
Sabotage can be subtle or extreme.
Subtle can mean one person gains access to the ship, internally or externally and causes damage that goes unnoticed until found.
Extreme can mean a person or team gains access to the ship, plants a bomb or device on a key component and causes catastrophic damage where everyone know when it happens.

Sabotage can also happen by remote methods, both subtle or extreme.
For example.
A single sniper a mile away on a hill might shoot a hole in the fuselage creating a weak spot that could cause a high velocity takeoff disintegration. Computer sensors alert the crew and take off is delayed.
A single person fires a RPG at the ship, damaging it critically.

Have you never read or watched any science fiction concerning spaceships?
Not only can you find hundreds of thousands of examples there is whole encyclopedias worth of technical jargon of spaceship speak.
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
Some one stole the power crystals, cutting power from the helm to the drive section.;)
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
Remember, Lost in space's craft uses dutronium, the Enterprise uses di-lithium, and other craft use what ever the author of the story suggest for fuel......
 

ElderChao

Ensign
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
If you gave a little more information about the attackers and the situation. How big is this spaceship. You could do a Gulliver's Travels trick and they could anchor it to the ground at least you only have to fight them off and release it. They could put a potato (or whatever) up the exhaust if you want something funny! How about one of them getting in and compromising the ship so that going into a vacuum would be lethal? Ram another craft into the airlock. Backup systems are no good if there is a software bug in the system so you could invent one of those and get the nerd in the crew to sweat it out with a solution while the attackers get nearer. Over to you.
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
If you gave a little more information about the attackers and the situation. How big is this spaceship. You could do a Gulliver's Travels trick and they could anchor it to the ground at least you only have to fight them off and release it. They could put a potato (or whatever) up the exhaust if you want something funny! How about one of them getting in and compromising the ship so that going into a vacuum would be lethal? Ram another craft into the airlock. Backup systems are no good if there is a software bug in the system so you could invent one of those and get the nerd in the crew to sweat it out with a solution while the attackers get nearer. Over to you.
Tater in the tail pipe is classic!!!!
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
I said mechanical because the computer systems have a separate back up system.
Is the assumption that the computer systems have been hardened & shielded from stuff like EMP attacks? With multiple redundant power supplies? And isolated from other computer systems to prevent any type of virus attack? And, as @Tom alluded to, physically unable to be accessed?
 

Sabersaver

Cadet
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
A humorous take would be gallons of a "milk" or milk like product poured into the fuel right before takeoff. We did that to our 5th grade teacher. She was driving a different car after that weekend. Even the teachers thought she deserved it.
 
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