I’m writing a short story where the Millenium Falcon finds Earth and wants to dock with its only space station. The International Space Station (ISS).
However looking at the MF plans online I see no docking ports. It has a walkway gangplank going up into it and an upper and lower hatch, but no docking ports that would allow it to hook onto another ship. The hatches dont seem to be connected to airlocks. This is why you only see it either landing on a planet or in a ships hanger bay. The ISS has docking ports which I’d guess any magnetic ring could latch onto.
So the only way I figure Han Solo and Chewbacca could enter the ISS would be in pressure suits.
The Falcon is a smuggler, and as such needs to be able to dock with all sorts of vehicles and stations - many of them obsolete, modified or jerry-rigged - in order to load and unload its illicit cargo. If any SW ship has all the adapters it needs to dock with anything, it’s the Falcon. The fact that we haven’t seen them means nothing; after all, we haven’t seen its cargo holds, either. It just means that it hadn’t had a need for them in the movies.
Docking ports are extremely specific and need the other side to be exactly designed to fit them. It’s not just two rings that stick to each other, there are a complex series of hooks and guide pins and mechanical latches that have to align just right, make an airtight seal, and hold the two vehicles together against the significant air pressure trying to force them apart. The ports aren’t even the same size and shape, and there’s the additional complication that the Falcon has magic artificial gravity while the ISS’s ports are designed for use in free fall only. The only way it would work would be if the Falcon’s docking ports somehow had the ability to recognize the configuration of a completely differently designed port and reconfigure themselves to match it, but I don’t think we’ve seen any evidence of that.
The ISS has a new docking ring and the plans are available on the internet. Han could download them and jury rig something up to match quite quickly I’m sure. All alien spacecraft can access the internet via their Apple Mac compatibility.
In the Star Wars universe, there are probably thousands of alien species making there own ship designs that come fitted with their own ideas of access hatches (and beds and chairs).
I assume anyone working as a cargo hauler in space is going to need some kind of way to deal with the many different designs encountered, both for cargo transfer in orbit or space, or for rendering rescue assistance on disabled or unpowered spacecraft or habitats.
I am thinking of some kind of device equipped with a flexible and durable material that can be temporarily set up around access points (even if the access point is a hole cut into a hull) to provide an “airlock”, as needed. Maybe the ends are secured with some kind of space epoxy.
According to the various blueprints online, those are escape pods. There doesn’t seem to be any way in or out other than the main ramp and the various little hatches like the one they used to rescue Luke from the antenna array in ESB.
But there’s that line in the ANH when the Imperials are inspecting the Falcon after pulling it into the Death Star, something about the escape pods all being jettisoned? So those would be the mating points for the pods, not the pods themselves? Maybe in a smuggler’s pinch, those could be used as a docking port of sorts.
Well maybe not. As AndrewL says above space docking ports are quite complicated and I imagine take up a lot of room and are very heavy plus I’m sure their is complicated maintenance issues. Maybe best to to just not have one and only enter/exit when your on a landing pad.
Sort of like major ships today. Their is no convenient way for say a cruise ship to get a person to say an aircraft carrier other than fly them over or have them take a smaller boat over and then they land or are hoisted in. Naval ships can transfer people over at sea but only via a complicated arrangement of ropes and tethers and even then in a rolling sea its very dangerous.
Even if the Falcon couldn’t actually dock with the ISS, it could probably still couple with it (probably holding it in between those two prongs in front), carry it down to Earth, transfer over passengers in atmosphere, and then lift it back up into orbit.
This. When the Falcon was hiding in the asteroid after escaping the Impies at Hoth, they walked around the inside of the space slug’s mouth with just airmasks. Nobody seemed very concerned about pressure differentials and vacuum. That asteroid was definitely not big enough to have atmospheric pressure.
Well, I’m seeing at least one work of art with Han in a spacesuit, for what that’s worth—I dunno if that’s official or not, if the ship he’s depicted dumping canisters out of is the Falcon or not, or if that suit is a piece of standard equipment that he’d normally carry.