Space: The final frontier! It's an exciting premise for any story; full of the unknown and open to any possibility you can imagine, and what better way to travel such a wonderful setting than in an amazing spaceship! So, how do we design a believable spaceship without ripping off Star Trek/Wars? Well, we have to keep a few things in mind; these points should stand regardless of how advanced your world's civilization is; your audience needs to connect it to space travel, so there should be SOME connection to how space travel works in the here and now, at least enough that the story isn't completely disconnected from reality Space conservation:Every crewman getting their own quarters would take up far too much space on any craft. Officers may get their own rooms (ROOM, not sitting room, bathroom, and bedroom!) but regular workers and crewmen should bunk up together, either in a few large group rooms, or in divisions of 4-6 people per room. Having whole rooms devoted to recreation or luxuries is equally space-inefficient; even Voyager's Hydroponics Bay wasn't in the original design, it was converted after it became apparent that the stocked food sources would not hold out. Most recreation would happen in the mess room, where people can sit together and eat and bring any entertainment they would like to enjoy with them. The only ships that would have rooms specifically for entertainment would be luxury vessels Engines A spaceship of the size featured in most science fiction couldn't be structured like a car, with one spot at either the front or the back that powers the entire structure; the engine would require constant maintenance, and would have to distribute power everywhere, meaning there would have to be more than one room from which power originates. The majority of the crew should at least be trained in regular engine maintenance, even if it isn't their main duty. The engine should also be accessible from many places on the ship, for repair and maintenance purposes. Strongly consider having various systems run on independent power; especially things like atmosphere, lighting, the medical provisions, and life support systems. Such crucial functions should not be dependant on only one source of power. Decoration Do you have any idea, even in a futuristic world, how much building a sizeable space craft would cost? Any luxuries like decorations or musical entertainment should have been brought on by the crew. On military or commercial vessels, these would probably also be confined to personal quarters. Back on size conservation, ships should be designed as small as possible, to save fuel, energy, and material costs. OK, that turned into a list of DON'Ts. Here's some stuff you should DEFINITELY include in your spaceship! A galley! The crew all need a place to eat; an officer's mess is optional, and should be reserved only for luxury/flagship type vessels. The galley doubles as an entertainment room; crewmen can bring games or music to enjoy themselves here. Quarters. These are the most compressible parts of the ship, so don't feel bad about cramming as many crewmen as possible into one room. Engine rooms. Yes rooms; plural. for one single area to be responsible for all of the engine's main functions is impractical; It's more realistic for large vessels to have seperated engine sections, and for crucial functions to have one or more backup power sources. Also remember that one kind of power might not work for everything; you can't run a refrigerator on gasoline, and you can't run a car from an electrical socket (at least, not a beefy one!), so having a variety of power sources or at least adaptive systems is something to keep in mind. Supplies. These should be scattered through the ship; otherwise if someone needs something and have to walk all the way across the ship to get it, it's terribly inefficient. Try to avoid having ONE weapons locker, ONE food storage, etcetera. Remember that doors can be locked; having a food storage near the crew quarters doesn't mean everyone will be sneaking midnight snacks! The Bridge. This can have a variety of functions, and can act as the Navigation room, Scanner/sensors room, weapons room, and communications room. You can have the sections separated like office cubicles, or all together. Of course the commands issued from the bridge may be carried out in other parts of the ship, but there's no need for there to be a separate room for the head of each function. With all this in mind, try designing a realistic spacecraft! You can draw a picture, or write a description, or use the form below if you're really stuck. Ship Name: Ship's Purpose: Ship's Size: Was it built privately, on a tight budget, or extravagantly? How many crewmen aboard? What kinds of training are needed to work on this vessel? Is it outfitted for long-term missions or trips of a few days/weeks? Does it land on various planets, or a predictable few, or just one? What rooms/sections does it contain (Describe what happens in each room) Is it a multilayered ship, or does it only contain one deck?