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Re: starship-design: Planetary Landing

In a message dated 6/2/98 8:51:47 PM, jon_jay1@juno.com wrote:

>    I was curious as to the landing of the "mother ship" on a planet's
>surface. Will the ship be able to land or will it send a shuttle to the 
>planet's surface? I favor not being able to land due to the extra work 
>in repairing the landing gear if needed and if the ship were to land 
>and underwent some sort of power failure or malfunction, they may 
>not be able to get back up. On the other hand, if it wasn't able to land
>and underwent system failure, etc. it could drift through space until
>by some lucky chance, if the crew were still alive, they could make 
>first contact with an alien race and not be able to tell anyone about 
>it. That's the bright side. You can probably think of something of the
>opposite on your own. Any comments?

The ships we were thinking off were to big to land.  (Hundreds of meters
wide!)  So the down wash from any rockets would demolish whatevers down there,
and the kind of designs that would work well in space wouldn't be very good on
a planet.

More importantly it wouldn't have any reason to land.  Most of its stuff is
designed to support the crew for decades, travel through deep space, and act
as a base of operations for research expiditions throughout the starsystem.
Littler shuttles carring the far smaller survey tems can do the landings.