29 December 2011

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Servicing Your Spaceship

Picture the scene. It’s 2575 and you’ve taken your ship out for a spin around Jupiter. There’s a light flashing in the cockpit, and you’re not sure what it means. Worried that you’ll need to ask for the space equivalent of a jump-start next time you need to take off, you decide it’s time for a service.

Not all of us have a Wookiee that owes us a life-debt and is happy to follow us around the galaxy repairing the hyperdrive. So, for those of us that have to make our own repairs, here’s a few tips:

  1. Check the seals: Space is a vacuum. If you have an air leak, things will get ugly fast.
  2. Watch your reactor: Your reactor core must be properly shielded. If it’s not, you’re exposing yourself to highly toxic radiation.  If that thought doesn’t concern you, take a look in the mirror. Do you have open wounds, piercings, and unkempt hair? Do you fancy snacking on your crewmates? You could be turning into a Reaver…
  3. Time for a space-walk: The only people allowed to have bits hanging off their ships are the Matari. If you’ve no idea where New Eden is, then you’re living in a different universe, and should maintain your ship correctly. For this, you’ll need some heavy-duty welding equipment. Get yourself to the nearest space dock, and prepare for some slow, tedious work.
  4. Check your tanks: Not all space-craft carry Oxygen on board, some modern models recycle existing air indefinitely. Check your ship’s manual and make sure that your system is ticking over properly.
  5. Tune your communication system: Even if your communication system seems to be working OK, it could be interfering with other ships. Spend a few minutes to make sure it is properly tuned, just as a courtesy.
  6. Fix your landing gear: Did you get caught in the crossfire last time you landed outside that dodgy Lunar Night Club? Your landing gear might need a few tweaks. Get out the profile cutting and welding equipment, and make sure your gear can move smoothly and freely.
  7. Update your navigation computer: Have you ever come out of hyperdrive in the middle of a planet? Of course you haven’t. If you had, you’d be dead. Make sure you never experience the horror of a bad jump by updating your navigation computer every time new maps come out.
  8. A lick of paint: That new solar energy absorbing paint is good stuff. It protects your ship from micro-particle damage, and saves on engine power too. Next time you’re in dock for a couple of days, treat your ship to a spray job.
  9. Top up your repair kits: Smoking conduits aren’t usually a sign of imminent engine failure, but they sure smell bad. Check your stock of repair kits, and top them up if necessary.
  10. Stock your med bay: Or, if your ship is a single person craft, stock your first-aid kit. You might think it’s overly paranoid, but it can take a long time for a rescue craft to reach you if you’re in the far reaches of space. Some liquid skin and bacta could save your life.

About today's Guest Writer:
This post post was written by James Harper on behalf of Westermans International who supply welding equipment including profile cutting machinery. James loves technology and can't wait to own his own spaceship.

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