Author Topic: 'The Expanse' on SyFy - First trailer for new space opera show  (Read 41657 times)

Online zack

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
  • Liked: 9
  • Likes Given: 13
Actually, the producers apologized for the physics in this scene even before the episode was shown.
http://www.danielabraham.com/2017/04/04/guest-post-losing-science-drama-finding-drama-science/
« Last Edit: 04/07/2017 06:55 AM by zack »

Offline Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6984
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
  • Liked: 549
  • Likes Given: 623
In the end, The Expanse is not a documentary; scientific accuracy has to take second place to pleasing the audience.
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Online Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3455
  • California
  • Liked: 2691
  • Likes Given: 1702
Definitely. And if you played a bit of KSP, you'll watch those scenes with an ear-to-ear grin.

I thought it all happened a bit too fast.

I assumed the "gravity assist slingshot" scene was meant to imply some sort of sped up time lapse - but it was clumsily edited.

EDIT: Zack already posted a better explanation, definitely a goof.
« Last Edit: 04/07/2017 06:42 PM by Lars-J »

Online Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3455
  • California
  • Liked: 2691
  • Likes Given: 1702
I really need to see this show, but I have one question - if this is supposed to be (mostly) hard science fiction, why are the ships so boxy? Pressure vessels shouldn't have corners.

If the shape of pressure vessels bother you, this may not be the show for you.  ;) 

No, on a more serious note - the show is not "hard SF" per se... But certainly "harder" and more realistic than any other sci-fi/space opera show in recent memory. I certainly recommend it! So don't expect too much, and enjoy the show.  8)
« Last Edit: 04/07/2017 06:47 PM by Lars-J »

Online sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3845
  • Liked: 485
  • Likes Given: 7
Really liked the latest episode of The Expanse ("The Monster and the Rocket") - very good quality episode - definitely worth watching over again, because a lot happens. Liked everything about it - the plot events, the dialogue, the emotions, the atmospherics, and the scene backdrops.

Online Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3455
  • California
  • Liked: 2691
  • Likes Given: 1702
One thing that recently realized which makes the Expanse rather unique, is that it is one of the first SF shows to leave behind the whole "wings in space" idea. There are no winged shuttles. No aerodynamically shaped spaceships.

It is a book series (and universe) that has fully embraced the VTVL approach. Part of that is certainly due to it being 'harder SF', but I think part of it is also because it is one of the first shows produced away from the shadow of the Shuttle program. And I would imagine that the emergence of real life reusable VTVL systems is further cementing that.

Could Sci-Fi entertainment in general about to throw off the shackles of the winged space-plane era?
« Last Edit: 04/14/2017 11:46 PM by Lars-J »

Online Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3455
  • California
  • Liked: 2691
  • Likes Given: 1702
For those techie interested, here is a perspective corrected orthographic cross-section of the Rocinante. (based off a screen shot from an extended preview of the season finale next week)

Looks like the top half of the ship is crew areas (8? decks) and weaponry, and the bottom half is cargo/engineering/propulsion.

It looks neat but the show still makes the typical Sci-Fi mistake of forgetting where propellant goes:D
« Last Edit: 04/15/2017 01:20 AM by Lars-J »

Online sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3845
  • Liked: 485
  • Likes Given: 7
Well, they seem to gloss over the issue of power source for these ships. It looks as if they're nuclear-powered, but we never see anything about radiation-related issues -- I assume they're all fusion-powered, and that fission is obsolete. We haven't seen anyone deal with any kind of reactor stuff yet.

It's quasi-hard sci-fi, but it still can't explain to me how that shuttle which lofts Avasarala & Co into orbit has enough propellant supply to actually make orbit. Here's the Martian version of it:






Online Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3455
  • California
  • Liked: 2691
  • Likes Given: 1702
None of the ships have room for propellant. That's my point.  ;) Yes, they are fusion powered. With magical thrust and isp. We can't have everything.  :)

Offline yokem55

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 442
  • Oregon (Ore-uh-gun dammit)
  • Liked: 242
  • Likes Given: 12
None of the ships have room for propellant. That's my point.  ;) Yes, they are fusion powered. With magical thrust and isp. We can't have everything.  :)
The Epstein drive is estimated to deliver an ISP north of 1,000,000 with an exhaust velocity ~4% of C. Yes quite magical. Fortunately the writers use it to enable otherwise conventional Newtonian transit around the system in a reasonable and plot friendly amount of time. Not to mention a sensible gravity solution while in transit.

If you have to have something magical, this isn't a bad element.

Online sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3845
  • Liked: 485
  • Likes Given: 7
Heh, so it's sort of the "Iron Man" macguffin - idealized compact power source with ability to make lots of thrust conveniently.

I wonder why we haven't seen any lasers or beam weapons on the show?
In space there's nothing to attenuate such beams, and their near-zero time-of-flight would offer a tremendous advantage in military engagements. I'm surprised the Earth and Mars aren't bristling with orbital fusion-powered laser platforms. Although, to be fair, BSG-reboot never featured them either.

One nice thing about the quasi-hard sci-fi aspect is that we don't have the magical force-field shields trope. Ship crews get riddled with bullets, and there doesn't seem to be any way around that.

Offline RonM

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2125
  • Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • Liked: 996
  • Likes Given: 777
Heh, so it's sort of the "Iron Man" macguffin - idealized compact power source with ability to make lots of thrust conveniently.

I wonder why we haven't seen any lasers or beam weapons on the show?
In space there's nothing to attenuate such beams, and their near-zero time-of-flight would offer a tremendous advantage in military engagements. I'm surprised the Earth and Mars aren't bristling with orbital fusion-powered laser platforms. Although, to be fair, BSG-reboot never featured them either.

One nice thing about the quasi-hard sci-fi aspect is that we don't have the magical force-field shields trope. Ship crews get riddled with bullets, and there doesn't seem to be any way around that.

Lasers produce a lot of waste heat, just like the power plants to operate the lasers, and it's hard to get rid of waste heat in space. I guess the authors picked the missile side of the missiles vs. lasers debate. Big point in deciding what weapons to use in a SF story is how you want to write the battles. Missiles are dramatic, railguns require close combat, and lasers allow long range combat.

Online sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3845
  • Liked: 485
  • Likes Given: 7
Here's Scott Manley's critique of the propulsion technology featured in The Expanse:


Online Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3455
  • California
  • Liked: 2691
  • Likes Given: 1702
I guess the authors picked the missile side of the missiles vs. lasers debate. Big point in deciding what weapons to use in a SF story is how you want to write the battles. Missiles are dramatic, railguns require close combat, and lasers allow long range combat.

The irony is of course that the Epstein drive itself would be a formidable weapon... Point it at your enemy, engage full thrust.  8) With that exhaust velocity and thrust, the results would be ... highly energetic.  ;D
« Last Edit: 04/18/2017 04:44 PM by Lars-J »

Offline joncz

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 358
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 126

The irony is of course that the Epstein drive itself would be a formidable weapon... Point it at your enemy, engage full thrust.  8) With that exhaust velocity and thrust, the results would be ... highly energetic.  ;D

That's actually mentioned... in the books.


Offline MarsMethanogen

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 476
  • Denver, Colorado USA
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 0

The irony is of course that the Epstein drive itself would be a formidable weapon... Point it at your enemy, engage full thrust.  8) With that exhaust velocity and thrust, the results would be ... highly energetic.  ;D

That's actually mentioned... in the books.
And interestingly enought, the concept has been used previously; in the 1970s Known Space books by Larry Niven.  Albeit in this case, the fusion drive was used to perform some "quick and dirty" earthwork prior to settlement on another planet in his universe.

Online Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3455
  • California
  • Liked: 2691
  • Likes Given: 1702
And speak of the devil, the Epstein drive does come in handy.  8)

(I haven't read the book for a while, so I do not recall is this plot point was resolved exactly the same way)

A great season finale, IMO. And a great solution to the problem on the ship. I'm certainly looking forward to season 3.

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10951
  • Liked: 2436
  • Likes Given: 1
Yeah, it was great. This was one of several shows that I pretty much watch "live" because I don't want to wait and watch a recording. I liked how there are multiple threads (Earth, Mars, the Belt) that constantly intertwine and converge.


Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10951
  • Liked: 2436
  • Likes Given: 1
So there are spoilers in this article. Don't click on it if you care about that:

http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-expanses-ep-on-the-stellar-second-season-and-last-n-1794492348


Online sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3845
  • Liked: 485
  • Likes Given: 7
[spoiler]
At various points, I didn't think Holden or Prax were going to make it. I thought one or both of them might end up like Miller did, at the end of Season 1 finale. In Holden's case, I thought they would use the over-pressurization to blow the creature into space, taking him with it. In Prax's case, I thought he'd have allowed the creature to grab him along with the nuke, thus "reuniting" with his daughter. I was even thinking Cotyar would die saving Avasarala.

But it looks like the main sacrifice for the finale was given by the crew of the Arboghast, who suddenly suffered immediate "dissection" for scrutiny by the Protomolecule. (Once those luminous spores began appearing inside their crew compartment, you knew they were about to meet their fate.)

Naomi's reveal about her little gift to Fred Johnson was also a shocker - but where does that leave his rival, Dawes?

[spoiler]

Tags: