This handbook explains the terminology commonly used in aerospace engineering. When you talk to other engineers or watch their videos, it is very likely that they use complex spatial terms.

What do you mean by progression and demotion? What is the difference between the dorsal and ventral sides of the vessel? In this guide, I will help you familiarize yourself with the commonly used terms in the game.

Read on below…

Handbook of Terminology for Aerospace Engineers

There is no up and down in space. These terms are meaningless because there is no gravity. On Earth, the ground is the direction in which gravity pulls us. In space, on the other hand, there is no gravity. Not all in the same direction, which can be disastrous in combat. So how do I run the team, you ask me. Well, the real space engineers have already decided that for us. Tell your friends to look at these instructions instead of talking.

Bow – The bow of a ship, usually built so that the smallest area is exposed to enemy weapons. Many spaceships of the future will likely be shaped like a pencil, with the sharp end for the enemy.

Rear – The rear portion of the vessel where most engines are usually installed. It will be much harder for opponents to hit the engines when there are hundreds of feet of steel in their path.

Message: The IRL ship will probably behave similarly to the ship in the Expanse and should slow down with its tail in the direction of the program vector. This means that the battle will be essentially orbital, with both sides too afraid to reduce their speed or reveal their thrusters before leaving the actual battlefield. Look at the various space war shows as an example of perfect realism.

The port is on the starboard side of the vessel, 90 degrees clockwise from the bow.

The starboard side is the port side of the vessel, 270 degrees clockwise from the bow.

Read on below…

The ridge is the top of the ship, 90 degrees to port and starboard.

Ventral – bottom of the vessel, 180 degrees on the dorsal side. That’s also where the landing gear goes.

Message: The port side and the dorsal side are generally symmetrical, so that the vehicle’s traction vector passes directly through the center of mass. If not, the motors must rotate the prop shaft (rotation of the nozzle) to compensate and keep the vessel stationary. The game does it automatically for us, so it’s not a big problem compared to real rockets.

Programme – the direction in which the vessel is currently sailing.

Demotion is the opposite of the program.

Message: The program and switchback on each vessel will remain the same, regardless of the vessel’s current heading, until the engines accelerate in a different direction. According to Newton’s laws, if you turn around and move backwards or sideways, you keep moving on the same vector.

Radial input/output – to or from the planet you are orbiting.

Message: In the game, you can literally reach space by going straight ahead and taking out your radial, which is totally unrealistic because lanes don’t work that way. IRL, one would have to travel with a planet rotating at 7800 m/s assuming an altitude of 200 km.

Normal / Abnormal – Vectors used to increase or decrease the slope of the track.

Message: The normal and the anti-normal have practically no effect on the game, because orbital mechanics and Kepler’s orbital laws are absolutely violated at all times. It’s too hard to do something like KSP.

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