View Full Version : How plausible are these space habitats in the Gundam series?

2011-Jan-29, 07:29 AM
Something on the scale of Iserlohn Fortress in Legend of Galactic Heroes is highly unlikely.
The space habitats in the Gundam series are pretty small units......

2011-Jan-29, 08:53 AM
Highly unlikely based on what?

Depending on how you make them, and the living environment they provide, space habitats hundreds of millions of km (or more) in diameter are possible. Worlds with billions of times the surface area of Earth.

Gundam's O'Neill colonies are peanuts compared to what's possible.

2011-Jan-29, 09:37 PM
With current technology? ISS is probably about the limit. With current structural technologies, and ignoring the lack of manufacturing capability in space, the size limit for a hollow cylindrical, 1g, pressurized habitat is about 5km in radius, with no structural limit on length (realistically, probably no more that 100 km), if the same structure is required to resist both pressure and inertial loads.

There are a bunch of different limits, depending on how you phrase the problem. For independent structures, linked together by transportation lines, but not by any load carrying members, the size limit is going to be set by gravitational stability. A few thousand km, maybe?

Of course, get some unobtanium or some handwavium, and there is no size limit.

Van Rijn
2011-Jan-29, 10:29 PM
Something on the scale of Iserlohn Fortress in Legend of Galactic Heroes is highly unlikely.
The space habitats in the Gundam series are pretty small units......

You might want to describe these for folks that aren't familiar with the shows.

I've watched a little Gundam, but I'm not a fan of the show. In bits I did see, they had what were essentially Gerard O'Neill's Island Three design. I'd consider those quite large (five miles in diameter and 20 miles long!). The Island Three itself is reasonably plausible, in that it appears to be possible to build something like that with conventional materials, though it would require space construction capability far beyond what is available today. On the other hand, some of the things they did on the show with the habitats weren't very plausible. For instance, if I recall, they had combat shelters underground as viewed from the interior, which would put them at or outside the exterior surface of the habitat. The center line of the habitat would make more sense, or better yet, get everyone off the habitat into something better designed for protection. And then there was the infamous colony drop (a small, dense object, like an asteroid, would work better). All in all, it seemed to me they grabbed the Island Three design because they liked the look of it, but it didn't seem to me that anybody on the show thought much about how things should really work.

And, again, not a fan of Legends of Galactic Heroes (which is a bit harder to see at any rate, not being licensed in the U.S.) I have seen a few bits, but my memory is fuzzy. From what I recall, they weren't trying for any realism - I believe ships had artificial gravity generators like Star Trek, Star Wars, Star Gate, etc. The story didn't really seem to need the science fiction element - you could replace the spaceships with warships at sea, and tell essentially the same story.

Anyway, I don't remember Iserlohn Fortress, but from what I do remember of the show, I expect it was about as realistic as the Death Star.

2011-Jan-30, 06:02 AM
Some fun facts about this Iserlohn fortress in LOGH: (Ask IsaacKuo here; he may know:)
1. Its 60 kilometer sphere
2. Its has a liquid armor surface that weapons platforms can float on, and ships need to sink through to get into the interior of it
3. It has a city in it as well as a full fleet dock for at least 15,000 ships
4. It has tons of guns
5. It has a big cannon call "Thor's Hammer" which can wipe out a 1000 ships at time if it hits a fleet.
6. The interior part of it is decorate in Imperial Gaudy. The art style that afflicts the Empire, and at times seems more like a giant art museum gone wrong then an invincible space fortress.
7. It gets captured by Yang Wengli twice :p
8. It has a pretty nice park and civilian areas
9. Its located on the Iserlohn Corridor and serves as the choke point on that route, thus whoever controls the fort for the most part of the war was the power that launched offensives.
10. It was built as a symbol of imperial rule, yet ironically it becomes one of the most hallowed sites of the forces of democracy and republicanism for that universe as the series progresses.

2011-Jan-30, 11:21 PM
I assume all animie is made with late-80's technology.