The Expanse: Science 101 for dummies who love the show

The Expanse Trailer

The flash forward in science is what makes this show exciting, enough so, that you’re almost willing to overlook the buckling of epic moments that fizzled without the payoff they deserved.

It does this consistently – with the two plotlines of Holden and Miller running parrallel for the bulk of the first season without the lacklustre in this style of pacing set by Game of Thrones who managed to drag it out for 8 years. By season 2 the Eros event and infatuation Miller has for Julie went over our heads leaving little meaning to the protomolecule scenes until we are given further back story in a later season. This happens again in Season 3 with the five episode arc featuring Prax in search of his daughter in the belt not packing the punch it should have when they were finally reunited by Episode 5.

However, when The Expanse dials its melodrama to its own almost comedic sweetspot, characters like Amos, Gunny and Chrisjen offer some redemption and -we know we made the right decision to stick around for the longhaul.

You’re most likely to overlook any dramatic shortcomings because of the allure of the basic premise where human faults of ambition, power and greed have been magnified exponentially into a futuristic setting that spans our solar system. A new emerging ‘lower class’ of people who have never grown to know the ‘inner’ planets having been raised in space stations and / or asteroid compounds resonate the pleas of many social injustices we’re accustomed to today.

It’s Picard or Lost in Space on training wheels, as the romance between Holden and Naomi which is into its forth season now, just didn’t hit the notes for me to care. Even Amos’ fling with New Terra RCE rival was more interesting and headed into racier territory in a shorter amount of time, but even the instinct to stay loyal to the crew and disavow his feelings for Chandra didn’t generate the shattering realms it should have with years of his story lining up for that moment.

What is a Klick?

This is a term that finds its origins from the Vietnam War rather than one of the basic units of measurements used by NASA. By using the click of rifles, troops would signal each one by a distance of a kilometre to gauge the distance from the enemy. In the world of expanse by definition takes on two meanings as length (1km away) or velocity (1km an hour).

Light Year Science

In the intergalactic world of The Expanse, official standards of measure would apply now that the gates to the new worlds are allowed to open for humans to explore freely. When referring to Astronomical Units, each increment represents 149.597,871km (92,955 miles) in distance. A light year represents 9,460,730,472,581 kilometers (approximately 5,878,625,400,000 miles).

Why did that guy from Mars throw up as soon as he got off the shuttle on Earth?

The Expanse G Force

All this talk of g-s and the weird faces people make when ships accelerate into nose bleed speeds, what is actually happening? As humans we’re conditioned to 1g of gravity. You all remember the drill when it comes to free fall objects at 9.8 metres per seconds. Naturally this varies from planet to planet and on Mars that’s 3.7 metres per second. Less power exertion is required in combat, less developed bone and muscle density which is why the Martians on this show have compensated with the state of the art military technology the other planets are scared of.

If we were to step onto a planet with a stronger g-force that our planet we would experience a stronger force pulling down on us that our bodies are not conditioned to – from the crushing of bones, blood rushing from our heads among other things and nausea and vomitting from the sudden experience of the new plentary g-force could have been a response to that. For someone like Naomi who grew up around the belt, the g-force on Ganymeade is 15% of Eath’s which is why she was having issues when she came down to New Terra, a planet for the first time in her life.

The Expanse Ship Crash

What is fusion and why did it almost make the Rossinante fall out of orbit?

Basically as we know, splitting the atom back in the 1930s created nuclear power and inversely merging the two nuclei of atoms creates a powerful disperson of energy. When the ring gate sends New Terra into an involuntary meltdown, it incapacitates the ship’s ability to maintain that process risking it’s drop from the sky.

When should we expect Season 5 to drop?

Season 5 completed filming just before lockdown so it’s ready and there’s no consistent timeline to predict when Amazon Prime will be releasing it judging from their previous history…

Season 1 – December 2015
Season 2 – February 2017
Season 3 – April 2018
Season 4 – December 2019

So it’s not uncommon for there to be a gap over a year between seasons.

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Video Credit: McMH, Amazon Prime Video

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