Guide: Spaceships

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(WIP - questions or suggestions can be directed to PeterHan5#1790 on Discord.)

Spaceship Systems[edit]



Very short-range ships may be powered by accumulator only.

+ simple: easy to set up
- low-powered: available power is very limited.
- fragile: any event prohibiting travel or landing can leave the ship stranded and require an in-person visit
Solar + Accumulator[edit]

Adding solar panels addresses some issues of accumulators.

+ simple: easy to set up
+ low-maintenance: doesn't use any fuel or consume any items
- low-powered: available power is limited.
- bulky: uses a lot of space, and therefore hull integrity
- affected by solar yield: be careful as some areas may not have enough solar energy to power your defenses...
Rocket Fuel Engine[edit]

Switching to Fluid Isothermal Engines uses rocket fuel, but provides continuous power

+ simple: easy to set up
+ continuous power: generates constant power as long as you have fuel
- uses rocket fuel
Steam Battery[edit]

What holds a lot of energy in a small package? Nuclear steam!

+ simple: easy to set up
+ decent energy density
- uses a lot of cargo integrity
- no continuous power: must be frequently refilled with steam
Nuclear - Steam[edit]

Why carry around cans of steam when you can make it on-site?

+ good energy density
+ continuous power: good for long flights and high power usage
- bulky: uses a lot of space, and therefore hull integrity
- must be periodically refilled: condenser turbines only preserve 99% of the water used
- complicated: 2 kinds of fluid, and extra circuitry for efficiency
Antimatter - Steam[edit]

Fission Schmission, let's use ALL the energy instead of just a tiny part.

+ amazing energy density
- bulky: uses a lot of space, but at this point you have integrity to spare
- complicated: 3 kinds of fluid, and extra circuitry for efficiency


Fluid tanks[edit]

Because you don't like having too many barrels

+ easy loading/unloading via underground pipes
- need pumps to fill or empty quickly
- may be slow depending on number of tanks
- only store fluids
Roll-on trains[edit]

Trains... burning coal... in space... what could go wrong?

+ easy input/output
- scheduling trains on multiple surfaces can be complicated
Logistic chests[edit]

Note: use buffer chests so logistic bots can both load and unload

+ easy loading/unloading via logistic robot
- may contribute to robot attrition
- may need a specialized logistic cell to load/unload completely
Normal chests - direct insertion[edit]

Direct insertion here means either long inserters over the wall or some sort of adjustable inserter mod.
(I recommend the adjustable inserter mod)

+ ...not much
- may be slow depending on inserter throughput.
Normal chests - belts[edit]

Space underground belts can tunnel through the spaceship floor and under the spaceship wall. Don't ask how that's airtight.

+ ... still not much. slightly faster than normal chests by direct insertion? maybe?
- limited belt throughput: 45 items/second with normal space belts.
- (if you're using deep space belts here, you need to think about your life choices)
- takes extra space... like 3-5 times as much space.
Static cargo cars - direct insertion[edit]

A static cargo wagon can be placed on 3 diagonal rails, and including a stack inserter, makes it a minimum of 10 tiles per wagon (if stacked next to other wagons).

+ doesn't use cargo integrity
- uses 5-6x as much space as a chest for its storage size
- can't connect to the circuit network to measure contents
Static cargo cars - belts[edit]
+ doesn't take cargo integrity
+ belts can measure I/O with some complicated combinator circuitry
- belts can measure I/O only with some complicated combinator circuitry
- throughput limited by belts
- takes even more space - like 2-3x as much as direct insertion cargo cars


Rocket fuel tanks[edit]
+ simple: the standard way
- you brought enough fuel, didn't you?
Rocket fuel liquefaction[edit]

Why not bring the supply chain with us?

+ more dense fuel storage
+ can refuel with minimal planetary facilities
- the fuel plant takes space and power
Vulcanite block-> solid fuel -> liquid fuel[edit]

Why not bring the supply chain's supply chain with us?

+ even more dense fuel storage
+ can refuel with even less remote facilities
- twice the space, twice the power, unless you want to change the recipe manually

Raw vulcanite -> crushed vulcanite -> washed vulcanite -> don't even go there that's too much to put on a spaceship.


It's safe, I think...

+ amazing energy density
- can't refuel without a space facility and thermofluid


Note that spaceships without thrusters will not move fast enough for meteors to appear.

Repairing via Roboport[edit]
+ space efficient
+ lowest risk
- resource intense
Gun Turret[edit]
+ space efficient
- needs refilling
- longer journeys will need bullet stacks
Laser turret[edit]
+ consumes energy instead of resources
- requires a large amount of burst-able energy sources
- requires more turrets for a proper defense than gun turrets
+ uses no hull space
+ also allows for repairing without a roboport
- uses up chest space

Forcefield generator[edit]


Signal I/O[edit]

The spaceship clamps allow signals to be passed in and out, as well as power supply. There are two anchors to attach wires to: the top corner, which will be passed through to the docked twin clamp, and the bottom of the clamp to which it is possible to control the clamp itself.

Spaceship clamps.jpg
Signals to console:[edit]
  • Speed - Tells the ship how fast to try to go. This is useful for regulating power usage on solar-powered ships to make sure there's enough power for the defenses. Recommended methods are either setting the three speeds manually or a math combinator linked to an accumulator (dynamically control speed depending on the power available).
  • Spaceship clamp # - indicates the clamp on the spaceship to use to dock

This is the only console input required to be generated during the trip for automated spaceships. All other signals are optional. There is no real benefit from using more than one clamp, so use one clamp and put the signal on a constant combinator attached to the console.

  • Destination

The destination signal for a surface can be found in the info box in the universe explorer - it's a signal unique to each zone or spaceship.

  • Launch signal
  1. Launch based on fuel: Useful when you want to pass a signal to take off from outside
  2. Launch based on cargo: Useful when you can wire up your cargo either directly or with a roboport
Using multiple docking clamps[edit]

It is possible to have more than one clamp on a surface with the same ID. The ship will dock to any clamp that is free and enabled. A clamp can be disabled sending the red signal value 1 to the clamp (bottom connector).

  • Simple back-and-forth
  • Multi-selector