Alfred's New Ramblings

Space travel

How does space travel look like? I was watching the tv series The Expanse (2015) and the movie Pitch Black (2000)

A few things struck me. There must be gravity for comfort’s sake, so there is a spinning section to generate centrifugal force for spin gravity. Hibernation is a must to reduce the number of stores carried, but I guess we are not there yet.

What really caught my eye was the Pitch Black’s pilot station. There were so many switches to flip and gauges to read.

Pitch Black crew, picture from IMDB

In contrast, The Expanse’s Rocinante was controlled using small tablets, hand gestures and voice commands.

Rocinante’s pilot station
Canterbury’s pilot station

In space, it is going to be a real pain to do maintenance. Spares are limited and I don’t think it is that conducive to do soldering. Then there is another matter of weight or mass of the switches and related cabling. It would be much simpler and lighter to have the controls on a graphical user interface (GUI). Not just any GUI that uses the whole screen. One that is fault-tolerant or flexible enough to resize or rearrange intelligently to account for damage to the control screen. For example, if there is damage on the top right-hand corner, resize the display screen and pushed some icons to the next page.

This will help everything to chug along.

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