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What happens to all that debris?

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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:20 am

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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:I've always wondered about the degree of freedom civilians have in space. Private citizens can operate a lavish yacht or speedboat on the ocean. Honor has an expensive sloop on Sphinx, and a yacht that she can operate in space for fun. There's no telling what kind of personal vehicle either of the Hauptmans own. But how much freedom does anyone actually have in space? Would they be able to look for treasures just as they would on the ocean? In High School, there was a classmate who was addicted to metal detectors. Instead of enjoying the girls on the beach, he would search for lost metals endlessly. He found quite a bit of lost jewelry. Would a private rig be allowed to seek out overlooked debris? A private vehicle that is one huge metal detector? I'm surprised these vehicles don't follow the heat like modern ambulance chasers. LOL

We know that there are ownership claims on many things in space: in the Manticore system there are asteroid belts that are crown "lands", the Twins wormholes are in a system whose possession is a matter of legal dispute. I have no idea how someone asserts ownership; but am certain that if ownership is asserted, then no one else can grab a piece for themselves without permission.

As to your classmate with the metal detector, there is property law derived from English common law that states "A finder of property acquires no rights in mislaid property, is entitled to possession of lost property against everyone except the true owner, and is entitled to keep abandoned property". This can sometimes result in "theft by taking".
RFC has touched lightly on this in Twelve Hour Limit and in hints in the books.

There's a "12-minute limit" around inhabited systems; a bubble extended 12 light minutes beyond the star's hyper limit. There is no right of free passage within that and all ships are required to identify themselves to the system, " subject to inspection, traffic laws, commercial law, taxes, etc." and can be denied entry/passage. While not stated in the post I believe that the system also has automatic sovereignty over its resources; regardless of policing power.[1]

Then there's a wider exclusive economic zone, the "12 hour limit" as 12 light-hour diameter bubble around their star where the system "claims sovereignty: any natural resources, habitats, wormholes, etc." as long as they have "a tangible, genuine police power" (aka can patrol it with force). But anybody had a right to free passage in this outer zone -- though quite why someone would bother to drop out of hyper and wander around there (except for military reconnaissance) eludes me.

So, assuming police power, claims or ownership of resources in either 12 minute or 12 hour zone would be entirely subject to the local system laws. Some systems may allow private prospecting (at least by their citizens) of at least of certain types resources; While in others possibly none is permitted.

And anything outside the 6 light hour radius is in international space and presumably free to claim - baring some preexisting claim through means other than simple system proximity. (That does mean the outer rim of Sol's Kuiper belt is beyond that outer 12 hour bubble)


For uninhabited systems there is still some ability to claim them; hence Mannerheim seeking to get clear title to the Felix system from all the various pre-existing claim-holders. But it's not clear exactly how that works or what their rights are. I wouldn't be surprised if a fair number of those rights were tied to ability to practically police the system. But clearly at least that isn't entirely the case de jure otherwise Mannerheim could have unimpeachable claim to Felix simply by permanently stationing forces in the empty system. So there's some mechanism to stake a durable claim even without a persistent presence or ability to defend it by force.

Still I believe it was private companies that stakes the claims there, not other governments. So that does show that if you're willing to go out and treasure hunt in empty systems you can find and claim treasures (or the system itself) though you may not have the means to make doing so pay back economically.

[1] Though as a practical matter, without a friendly third party willing to act upon a complaint of violation of the law a system without any patrol force isn't going to be able to do much about violations of their sovereignty.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:14 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:There's a "12-minute limit" around inhabited systems; a bubble extended 12 light minutes beyond the star's hyper limit. There is no right of free passage within that and all ships are required to identify themselves to the system, " subject to inspection, traffic laws, commercial law, taxes, etc." and can be denied entry/passage. While not stated in the post I believe that the system also has automatic sovereignty over its resources; regardless of policing power.[1]

Then there's a wider exclusive economic zone, the "12 hour limit" as 12 light-hour diameter bubble around their star where the system "claims sovereignty: any natural resources, habitats, wormholes, etc." as long as they have "a tangible, genuine police power" (aka can patrol it with force). But anybody had a right to free passage in this outer zone -- though quite why someone would bother to drop out of hyper and wander around there (except for military reconnaissance) eludes me.


There's quite a lot out there. What's likely in that limit is the Goldilocks zone for liquid water by solar irradiation, so habitable planets.

In the Sol System, the 12-minute limit would be at 33 light-minutes or 4 AU. That would exclude all of the gas giants and their moons from the sovereignty claims. In the Manticore Binary Systems, the Unicorn and Nibelung belts are also probably outside the 12-light-minute limits. And the same applies to the Refuge system: four out of the five belts, if not all five, are outside the dim K8's hyperlimit and the Sanctuarians can definitely not police and patrol it.

So there's a lot of mineral wealth out there and by volume there's a lot more outside the 12-light-minute than inside. TBH, I think RFC picked the number "12" out of thin air but must have forgotten a decimal point somewhere. It should be more like 120 light-minutes or 1.2 light-hours (72 light-minutes). Otherwise, what you said below loses a bit of its power:

So, assuming police power, claims or ownership of resources in either 12 minute or 12 hour zone would be entirely subject to the local system laws. Some systems may allow private prospecting (at least by their citizens) of at least of certain types resources; While in others possibly none is permitted.

And anything outside the 6 light hour radius is in international space and presumably free to claim - baring some preexisting claim through means other than simple system proximity. (That does mean the outer rim of Sol's Kuiper belt is beyond that outer 12 hour bubble)


Another thing that would be outside the limit is the Manticore Wormhole Junction. It's at 7 light hours from the primary. So Axelrod could simply have parked a few warships there and claimed sovereign territory. The fact that the limit falls short of it could mean that forced this 6-hour radius limit law through as they discovered just how far the junction was, before attempting to seizing it.

Another reading is that the Solarian League wanted to make the MWHJ international waters and thus have guaranteed free passage. The Shingaine convention tried to do the same later.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:12 pm

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There are going to be salvage laws and there is going to be both military, government (not the same thing) and commerical salvage/recovery operations as well as commercial prospecting operations. Depends on the laws (or lack there of) applicable in system.

We know that the Crown holds a lot of land and resources (including communicaiions frequencies) that has not already been sold or otherwise destributed to private owners. You have to figure that people who own things like a section (it would be defined by various location boundaries even it were part of things like an astroid belt) but who license people to the prospecting or hire them. Same with the processing of materials. We know that in many places there are hydrogen extraction facilities (automated at the system with Cerebus) and the belter operation- it sounded like- where Henke arranges to buy hydrogen bunkerage in the Meyer system before she heads off to Mesa.

Process human waste from starships and insisted ships. Why not? It used to be that as long as you were not in port you could just open the apropriate valving and pump it overboard. You are not allowed to do that anymore. All sorts of health regulations and requirements for miliary and commecial (and private) ships (down to little boats on lakes etc) So you have to use an approved system/ contractor to have the effluent removed or you can use a "dump station" if your needs are smaller and they deal with the waste. Water treatment covers a lot of things. A number of private and municipal systems sell the resultng holds as fertaliser -typicaly agricultural. The liquid part gets treated to a set condition and can be -depending on the location- released into the enviornment under controlled circumstances. In places like at least Florida, you see purple utility pipes being laid in the ground- and variious sprinkler heads or access points in the same color- that that is treated wastewater being used for things like irrigation- again, controls, but it is being recycled but not for direct human consumption. Having a two tiered water system -potable, and non-potable (for toilets etc) wouild be usefull on a space station.

I would think venting your septic system at your opponant if you struck your wedge would fall in the INSULT range and them having to deal with flash frozen "brown stuff" hitting at least the shields would not go over well. :)
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:18 pm

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What will happen if two fleets transit the junction simultaneously from opposite sides? Will they crash into each other inside the wormhole?

What happens to the debris inside a wormhole and inside hyperspace? Seems debris would be more dangerous there sense sensors are severely degraded and the ship's speed is high.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by tlb   » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:44 pm

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cthia wrote:What will happen if two fleets transit the junction simultaneously from opposite sides? Will they crash into each other inside the wormhole?

What happens to the debris inside a wormhole and inside hyperspace? Seems debris would be more dangerous there sense sensors are severely degraded and the ship's speed is high.

I assume that you are talking about one ship at a time from each fleet, rather than a mass transit of both.

Years ago I wondered if there should not be an inbound and an outbound lane. We know that a wormhole permits the simultaneous transit of multiple ships and no one ever says that they will collide in the wormhole (but they are going in the same direction). Also no one has expressed a concern that a mass transit will result in one big collision upon exit (unless you are doing that now).

This may be just another thing that that RFC gets to decide by fiat, if it ever becomes germane to a story.

Do the gravity waves in hyperspace eventually erase all debris?
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:51 pm

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cthia wrote:What will happen if two fleets transit the junction simultaneously from opposite sides? Will they crash into each other inside the wormhole?

What happens to the debris inside a wormhole and inside hyperspace? Seems debris would be more dangerous there sense sensors are severely degraded and the ship's speed is high.
Basically you can't. The transition is instant and the first ship/fleet through would shut the wormhole down for somewhere between 10 seconds and many hours; depending on how much tonnage transited. It don't matter how few fractions of a second difference there might be in activation; there is no "simultaneous" and so one ship/group goes and one ship/group is blocked. Because the transition is instant there's no possibility of collision within the wormhole.

Now I don't think the books have said what happens if you try activate your hyper-generator when the wormhole is blocked. But I suspect it's like trying to use it to leave normal space from within the hyper-limit. It discharges but you don't go anywhere. (Well you keep moving, but you're still in the departure system)

And I believe the entrance and exist lanes are separate, so there shouldn't be a collision upon arrival. But it'd be damned startling to see someone pop into existence nearby right when you were supposed to depart...
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:55 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:What will happen if two fleets transit the junction simultaneously from opposite sides? Will they crash into each other inside the wormhole?

What happens to the debris inside a wormhole and inside hyperspace? Seems debris would be more dangerous there sense sensors are severely degraded and the ship's speed is high.
Basically you can't. The transition is instant and the first ship/fleet through would shut the wormhole down for somewhere between 10 seconds and many hours; depending on how much tonnage transited. It don't matter how few fractions of a second difference there might be in activation; there is no "simultaneous" and so one ship/group goes and one ship/group is blocked. Because the transition is instant there's no possibility of collision within the wormhole.

Now I don't think the books have said what happens if you try activate your hyper-generator when the wormhole is blocked. But I suspect it's like trying to use it to leave normal space from within the hyper-limit. It discharges but you don't go anywhere. (Well you keep moving, but you're still in the departure system)

And I believe the entrance and exist lanes are separate, so there shouldn't be a collision upon arrival. But it'd be damned startling to see someone pop into existence nearby right when you were supposed to depart...

Thanks, but instantaneous is such an arbitrary notion. Explosions are also instantaneous. Those ships rigged with hidden explosive devices which are just waiting for an MA OOPS maybe can be instructed to explode inside the WHJ making it dangerous with debris floating about.

But still what happens to the debris from ships which explode in hyper? My guess would be debris suddenly reemerging in N-space.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by tlb   » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:00 pm

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cthia wrote:What will happen if two fleets transit the junction simultaneously from opposite sides? Will they crash into each other inside the wormhole?

What happens to the debris inside a wormhole and inside hyperspace? Seems debris would be more dangerous there sense sensors are severely degraded and the ship's speed is high.

Jonathan_S wrote:Basically you can't. The transition is instant and the first ship/fleet through would shut the wormhole down for somewhere between 10 seconds and many hours; depending on how much tonnage transited. It don't matter how few fractions of a second difference there might be in activation; there is no "simultaneous" and so one ship/group goes and one ship/group is blocked. Because the transition is instant there's no possibility of collision within the wormhole.

Now I don't think the books have said what happens if you try activate your hyper-generator when the wormhole is blocked. But I suspect it's like trying to use it to leave normal space from within the hyper-limit. It discharges but you don't go anywhere. (Well you keep moving, but you're still in the departure system)

And I believe the entrance and exist lanes are separate, so there shouldn't be a collision upon arrival. But it'd be damned startling to see someone pop into existence nearby right when you were supposed to depart...

If you say that works on a ship by ship basis, then you need to explain to me how a mass transit works. How do they get the second ship in, once the first ship starts? How do they they get ships 9 through 16 in, once ships 1 through 8 start? It would seem that they have to coordinate the mass transit to within the time that light crosses the wormhole opening (and I hope that is light in normal space, rather than hyperspace).
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:33 pm

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cthia wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:Basically you can't. The transition is instant and the first ship/fleet through would shut the wormhole down for somewhere between 10 seconds and many hours; depending on how much tonnage transited. It don't matter how few fractions of a second difference there might be in activation; there is no "simultaneous" and so one ship/group goes and one ship/group is blocked. Because the transition is instant there's no possibility of collision within the wormhole.

Now I don't think the books have said what happens if you try activate your hyper-generator when the wormhole is blocked. But I suspect it's like trying to use it to leave normal space from within the hyper-limit. It discharges but you don't go anywhere. (Well you keep moving, but you're still in the departure system)

And I believe the entrance and exist lanes are separate, so there shouldn't be a collision upon arrival. But it'd be damned startling to see someone pop into existence nearby right when you were supposed to depart...

Thanks, but instantaneous is such an arbitrary notion. Explosions are also instantaneous. Those ships rigged with hidden explosive devices which are just waiting for an MA OOPS maybe can be instructed to explode inside the WHJ making it dangerous with debris floating about.

But still what happens to the debris from ships which explode in hyper? My guess would be debris suddenly reemerging in N-space.

Explosions are far from instantaneous when measured with high speed photography; their detonation velocity is under 4 km/s. What we're told is that no measurable elapsed time could be detected during a wormhole transit. I doubt that statement was made by people just looking at their watches; time of transit and whether or not the ship experienced time dilation or loss would have been of great interest to scientists after the first wormhole was discovered and passed through. Presumably therefore the phenomenon was subject to significant scientific scrutiny; and the best scientists and technology applied to the problem were apparently unable to distinguish it from 0 elapsed time.

Even with today's technology the maximum possible time a transit could take without detectable is miniscule. Back in 2018 a camera was developed that could take 10 trillion images per second; each frame covering just 100 femtoseconds. So if a transit happened between two frames of that camera, and atomic clocks showed no time change from the transit, that's pretty darned close to "instant". (An 3 km/s explosion would have moved no more than 0.3 nanometers through the explosive in that time)
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:43 pm

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tlb wrote:If you say that works on a ship by ship basis, then you need to explain to me how a mass transit works. How do they get the second ship in, once the first ship starts? How do they they get ships 9 through 16 in, once ships 1 through 8 start? It would seem that they have to coordinate the mass transit to within the time that light crosses the wormhole opening (and I hope that is light in normal space, rather than hyperspace).

That's a good question.

MY first though was to wonder if all the ships could crowd in close so a single central ship maxes out its hyper generator to jump the formation as an single event (kind of like how Thunder and Principality were able to pop LACs into hyperspace with her). However I realized 2 problems with that. One, those ships were only able to cover 6 km out from their hull so you'd need to be very tightly packed. And two, which compounds the first, each ship presumably still needs its sails rigged to survive that close to the transit point; meaning there's no possible way to cram them that close.

So I'm not sure how you'd pull off a simultaneous transit given that we are told the transit takes no detectable time and that transiting locks down the wormhole. It doesn't seem like you could synchronize clocks tightly for everyone's hyper generator to trigger perfected at once.



So there's clearly something I'm missing - either about single ship transits or about how a mass transit would work.
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