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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Design flaws of the B5 station
    Date: 9/28/1993 7:48:00 AM  

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Y'know, the only thing that bothers me about these discussions is
when something becomes a "flaw" because it's not how someone else might
do it.

I've gone over your message, and frankly, what you say is a flaw is
NOT a flaw. It's the most logical approach we could come up with. You
use the zero-G cargo bay for huge, heavy objects and crates and god knows
what where you need weightlessness. People don't weigh very much. You
also don't have to worry about pumping in air in most cases; you can
leave it fairly open, let the ships dock nearby, shuttle in the cargo
right into the top bay, and move on.

You say that it's hard to dock in the center because it's moving,
but I'd point out that in space, EVERYTHING is moving. Even to dock in
or use the zero-G area, a ship has to stop and orient itself to that
area. Everything in space is moving relative to everything else. There
isn't much difference involved for the approaching ship.

When a ship enters the regular bay, it moves further in and is in
essence "grabbed" and lowered into any of a number of various docking and
cargo bays. The deeper the cargo bay, the more gravity. So you can
adjust as you go. Also, this way, instead of having what is in essence
one big garage (the zero-G cargo bay), you can shunt ships off by their
category (civilian vs. military, alien vs. human atmosphere) to the
appropriate bays. You don't have to worry about shuttling people through
zero-G once they leave their ships; they're in atmosphere, and on the
"ground," where they can then get into a proper line to go through
customs. It's a *controlled environment*, which is what you want in a
customs area, not everybody floating around everywhichway.

There are another half-dozen reasons why it's constructed this way,
but those are the primary ones. So frankly, I have to disagree with you:
it is most definitely NOT a design flaw. And not to be persnickety, but
before classifying something a "flaw" in a message, you might consider
next time asking why something is the way it is. If I can answer your
question logically, then it's not a flaw. If I can't, then it is. (Ditto
to just going on this as an assumption that it IS a flaw, and then asking
for additional, as though this were simply a given. It isn't.)


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