And that's not even the largest ship!note
Your starship is big, very big. Now how do you get this across to people? By stating how big it is in miles or kilometers
. It may be a Starship Luxurious
or so packed full of people or machinery that the interior resembles that of a submarine. Generally, these ships are too massive to land, so they're built in space and stay in space.
Often, mile-long starships are considered to be "harder"
than small ones, partially because a slower-than-light ship would need to be huge to carry all the fuel and supplies needed for a decades-long voyage.
The most realistic designs—the ones that are very clear how lethal most high-powered spaceship engines are—tend to be very long
, specifically, in order to maximize distance between the habitat section and the engine. In order to minimize mass (since mass is proportional to volume
and one dimension is already determined), long ships will often be very thin.
No one knows how big ships will be when/if humankind takes to the stars, but it is worth noting that big spaceships do make sense if you are dealing with Generation Ships
- the occupants will want and need space to run around. And because space is so vast it is even called "space" the only limits to single spaceship size would be structural strength and propulsion capacity.
Supertrope to Planet Spaceship
and Unnecessarily Large Vessel
. See also: Cool Starship
, Big Dumb Object
, The Battlestar
and Generation Ship
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Anime and Manga
- Super Dimension Fortress Macross:
- The Macross is a city-sized alien spaceship which crash lands on Earth, which is then used by humans to go into space. 1210 meters (3970 feet) long.
- The assorted sequel series introduce the New Macross Class colonisation ships separated into 'Battle' sections that are at least the same approximate size of the original SDF-1, attached to massive 'City' sections which are exactly what the name suggests, massive, space going cities.
- Zentraedi ships are even bigger, since their crews are 9 meter giants (except when they undergo "micronization" to human-size). A Nupetiet-Vergnitzs flagship, for instance, is about 4 kilometers long, and a Thuverl-Salan cruiser is 2300 meters.
- Within the setting's background, the original builders classified the design as a small capital ship with the primary purpose of being a mobile Wave Motion Gun... and not much else. This is why the Zentraedi, who possessed true battle fleets, had larger warships. The New Macross vessels, more or less, demonstrate that humans adapted the class to their original function: though they retain humanity's Transforming Mecha technology.
- In Gunbuster the Earth evacuation ship-turned-warship Eltreum is said to be 70 km long.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 features the Celestial Being mothership, which measures roughly 15 km in length. (Though not technically "ships" per-se, space colonies in all Gundam series that feature them are roughly 5 miles in length.)
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has the Cathedral Terra, later named the Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren, is a big-ass ship that was the moon for a while. It's roughly half the size of earth, and it is piloted by Simon, piloting Gurren Lagann, that pilotes Arc-Gurren Lagann. It also transforms into its own giant robot. This is taken even bigger, reaching the point where galaxies are used as throwing stars. And that's not even the limit.
- When we first see the alien ship in Project A-Ko, careful blocking makes us think it's about the size of an Earth battleship. (Specifically, the Yamato, which it deliberately resembles.) then we see the whole thing. The "battleship" is little more than a figurehead, on a ship the size of a city.
- The UNSC and covenant ships in Mass Effect Clash Of Civilizations, whose scale astounds the Council team sent to investigate them, especially the Covenant supercarrier they dub "the Leviathan".
- Star Wars: The infamous Imperial-class Star Destroyers are 1,600 meters long, or approximately one mile, while Darth Vader's Super Star Destroyer Executor was 19 kilometers. However, the Venator-classes shown in Revenge of the Sith were only 1,137 meters and apparently capable of landing. The Star Wars Expanded Universe adds many more examples, some of which are found under Literature. The Galactic Empire has the justification of the Tarkin Doctrine: a Mile-Long Ship is imposing and scary and symbolic of the Empire's might. Certain Rebel ships match or exceed the ISD in length: Admiral Ackbar's flagship Home One is nearly four kilometers, though as Mon Calamari Star Cruisers are custom-built they vary pretty widely in length.
- Spaceball One in the movie Spaceballs, a parody of Star Wars, has a similar scale, justified by the fact that it needs to be capable of storing the entire atmosphere of an Earth-like planet. The movie opens with a shot of the ship flying past the camera — and it takes almost two minutes to pass, with the shot functioning as an Overly Long Gag. And it's still not as long as Mel Brooks originally wanted it to be. There's also a number of jokes about how big the ship is, such as:
President Skroob: (out of breath from having run from his quarters to the bridge)
Ship is too big. (pant)
If I walk, (pant) the movie will be over
- In Independence Day, the "city-killer" Flying Saucers that detach from the mothership are about 15 miles in diameter. The mothership itself is a Planet Spaceship at several hundred kilometers in diameter.
- The opening scene of Saturn 3 features an enormous spaceship, meant to visit outposts on various moons and planets in the solar system at sub-light speeds.
- The ISV Venture Star in Avatar is stated in some sources to be about 1500 meters long (almost a mile). The same is true for its 11 sister ships of the Capital Star class. In fact, the length is considered ''small' and is only possible with the use of Unobtainium. The original ship sent from Earth to Alpha Centauri was 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) long in order to make room for massive refrigeration units for the magnets keeping Anti Matter contained.
- In Guardians of the Galaxy, Ronan's ship, the Dark Aster is three kilometers long.
- In Stephen Baxter's Xeelee Sequence universe: the Xeelee Nightfighter. The cockpit is small, about the size of a room, but its wings stretch out for kilometers in either direction, like vast sails. The purpose of these wings are never made evident, as the ship itself travels via teleportation.
- E. E. “Doc” Smith's book Skylark of Valeron: the Skylark was a sphere over 1000km in radius and has a crew of four, it needed to be that big to contain the navigational instruments necessary to cross intergalactic space.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe adds enough of these that it seems kilometer-plus is fairly standard for heavy capital ships in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, particularly in the Imperial and post-Imperial eras. These are just some of the biggest examples.
- "Super star destroyer" is basically a catchall term for ships following the star destroyer design philosophy and larger than about three kilometers. The Empire built many of these, but most were one-offs and only the Executor-class went into (relatively) wide production with around a dozen known.
- The Eclipse-class star dreadnaught from Dark Empire is 17 kilometers long, outmasses the Executor-class, and mounts a superlaser capable of cracking a planet's crust. This won't destroy the planet, but the seismic effects will depopulate it quite handily.
- By the New Jedi Order series the New Republic saw the need to have a counter for Super Star Destroyers and the like, and the Mon Calamari supplied the 17 km Viscount-class battleship. For their part the Yuuzhan Vong had their koros-stronha or "worldships", 10 km in diameter and primarily colony ships but quite capable of defending themselves against GFFA capital ships. They also had a couple different types of kor chokknote of similar size that served much the same command-and-control/heavy battleship role as super star destroyers.
- By the Legacy comics, ships of SSD scale are seen as Awesome but Impractical (without a galaxy-sized tax base they cost too much to operate) and no longer in use. The Fel Empire's warship of choice is the Pellaeon-class star destroyer, which is about the same length as an Imperial-class but more massive. But when Darth Krayt seizes power, his Empire introduces the larger Imperious-class (exactly how it compares to the previous era's Super Star Destroyers is uncertain, but it's bigger than any contemporary warships)...and the Alliance promptly steals the first ship from him.
- The two miles long Imperial battlecruiser from Foundation.
- In John Ringo's Troy Rising series, Troy, Thermoplae, and Malta are mobile battle stations 9 to 13 km wide, each using rapid-fire 50-megaton nukes to power their Orion Drives and carrying an entire fleet of cruisers, fighters, and millions of missiles. They make the Rangora (the enemy aliens) Assault Vectors (which are pretty impressive battleships in their own right) look puny.
- In Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama, Rama is a mysterious cylinder entering the Solar system that is over 50 km long and 20 km in diameter.
- In Chindi, part of Jack McDevitt's Priscilla Hutchins series, the alien ship known as the chindi is over 16 km long, and apparently uninhabited, but still intent on its unknown mission.
- Ships in the Honor Harrington series are usually denoted by their tonnage rather than their length, but one book had a diagram that showed their main warships as being 2 kilometers in length for a battleship to 3 km for a Superdreadnought. Then David Weber apparently realized that at that scale they were far too light and he re-scaled them so they top out at just over 1500 m for an SD and 1200 m for a battleship.
- Alastair Reynolds has:
- Lighthuggers in the Revelation Space Series are roughly 2-5 kilometers tall.note Most of the space is taken up by vast cargo holds, cryogenic sleeper vaults, hangars, and weapon systems. The Nostalgia For Infinity's engineer knows of at least 1050 decks, almost all of which is abandoned and exposed to vacuum or rogue defense sentries. A Lighthugger is shown "landed" in an ocean in a later novel, with most of it sticking straight out of the ocean.
- In Reynolds' standalone novel, House of Suns, the ships are even longer - the protagonist's ship is 50 kilometers long. Most of the mass and length is taken up by the slower-than-light propulsion systems, but the ship still has room for an 8 mile long cargo hold which carries smaller interstellar ships inside. The novel also briefly shows moon-sized ships, though their mass makes them agonizingly slow, especially for the already slow, non-FTL interstellar travel.
- Ships with a length/diameter of 1500 meters or more are nothing special in the setting of Perry Rhodan. There are many examples of giant ships or mobile battle stations, for instance the cosmocratic spore ships, spheres with a size of 1126 kilometers.
- Some of the starships in Iain M. Banks' The Culture novels are quite large — a GSV (General Systems Vehicle) can be 25 to 200 kilometers long, with millions of passengers and enough on-board manufacturing capacity to match a planet in production. Consider Phlebas shows the megaships of Vavatch, which are massive oceangoing city ships that are at least 4 kilometers long, and are so massive that it takes years for them to accelerate to their max speed. The megaships use enormous cruise ships as tenders.
- One scene taking place on a GSV contains a throwaway observation by one of the characters of a megaship being neatly tucked away for storage in one of the GSV's smaller storage bays. Yeah.
- In the Star Carrier series by Ian Douglas the eponymous vessel America is a kilometer long and not very wide, while the railgun cruiser Kinkaid is of similar size or bigger, given the barrel for main weapon is a klick long. There are also several Turusch vessels built from hollowed-out asteroids that are several times larger. H'rulka vessels are an interesting version: they initially look 20 klicks long but are actually several single-crewperson ships docked together that are individually several klicks in length (the creature flying it is a 200-meter colony organism that finds itself cramped by the "small" vessel).
- According to the website of the author of The History of the Galaxy series, ships in that 'verse tend to be fairly large, almost absurdly so, especially since the stated crew complement is very small (although that could be justified by mass-produced AI modules that can be used to replace crew). The largest warships of the Standard Sci-Fi Fleet, flag cruisers, are 7 kilometers (almost 4.5 miles) long... with a standard crew of 150. Slightly justified by a fifth of the ship being taken up by its Anti Matter Wave Motion Gun (it's almost never used and really only serves as a deterrent). The first human extrasolar colony ship, the Alpha, was even larger. However, the Alpha was built before the discovery of Hypersphere and was supposed to have been propelled by three massive fusion engines. A large chunk of the ship was devoted to the engines and their hydrogen fuel. Even then, half the colonists/crew were supposed to be kept in stasis at any given time, with shifts rotating every couple years.
- In Sergey Lukyanenko's Genome, the main character notices a Taii ship, a Moon-sized sphere, patroling their ancient borders (which now belong to younger races). Subverted in that this ship is a relic of bygone times. The Taii ship is escorted by a tiny human destroyer that can incinerate the giant sphere with a single volley.
- In the Enders Game prequel Earth Unaware the Formic mothership is at least a kilometer in diameter.
- In Ten Thousand Miles Up by Rick Griffin the White Flower II is basically a mobile stargate three miles in diameter with the habitat modules for the ten thousand crew wrapped around the outer edge of the ring.
- Dune has Heighliners immense ships that are the primary means to transport everything in the known universe, as the are piloted by Guild Navigators who can navigate and teleport the ship to planets lightyears away from each other. Then there's the No-ships who are super huge that they can transport a full grown Sand Worm in them.
- In Ciaphas Cain: The Emperor's Finest the space hulk Spawn of Damnation is said to be about five kilometers in diameter. As space hulks go that's fairly small, but one of Amberley Vail's footnotes comments that it's "quite big enough under the circumstances."
- In Mikhail Akhmanov's Invasion, the Bino Faata starship is a cylinder several kilometers long. It's actually The Mothership for hundreds of large combat units (each 3 times the size of a human cruiser) and thousands of smaller units. In the sequel, the new human-built cruisers are a kilometer long. For bonus points, it takes only 6-7 years to build five of these. And that's only 30 years after humans get access to the technology required.
Live Action TV
- The Battlestar Galactica was over 1.5 km, the Pegasus over 1.7.
- even the scale model used in the Classic series was over 6 feet long!
- The Red Dwarf is 6 miles long, 5 miles tall, and 4 miles wide. It originally had a crew complement of 169. Then in series 3 it was retconned to 1,169. Then since about series 7 or 8 it was retconned again to 11,169...
- Of course in most series it has an organic crew complement of "two", plus several robots, the ship's computer, and a Virtual Ghost, none of whom use anywhere near all of the ship. So the inconsistencies might be excusable.
- Star Trek doesn't normally go in for this, but there are a few examples.
- The Deep Space Nine episode "Valiant" provides a Jem'Hadar battleship described as twice as the size of a Galaxy-class starship. A quick calculation based on the DS9 Technical Manual results in a ship just under 1.3 kilometers long. Another Jem'Hadar capital ship that is similar but much larger is seen during the Battle of Cardassia in "What You Leave Behind".
- Borg cubes are generally built around 3 kilometers cubed. (That means 3 km for all six sides.) The Borg Tactical Cube shown in one of the final episodes of Star Trek: Voyager is five times larger.
- Star Trek: Enterprise:
- "Azati Prime" has Captain Archer being taken through time and brought on board the USS Enterprise-J. Due to time constraints with making the episode, the designer of the ship admits that they only had a couple of weeks to flesh out a concept, which is only very briefly shown in a fuzzy holographic computer display in the episode itself. The ship was never shown from the outside in the episode, so supplementary material filled in for that. The Enterprise-J was built as a generational ship, capable of folding space to instantly travel to other galaxies. It is so large that its turbolifts are replaced with site to site transporters, and it features massive parks and even an entire university on board. Its saucer is roughly 26 miles in diameter.
- "Countdown"'s script describes the Xindi-Aquatic cruiser as five times the size of the NX-01. This puts it in the ballpark of 1,125 meters (official sources put it around 1800 meters).
- The Romulan D'deridex class warbird is slightly over a kilometer in length. Most of it is empty space though.
- Even Starfleet is close to the trope, with the Enterprise-E being close to half a mile in length.
- In the Babylon 5 'verse:
- The spinoff Crusade had the Excalibur, which was 3000 meters in length, and had an internal rail line (similar to that on the Babylon 5 space station) running along its length for transportation within the ship.
- Also, the Babylon 4 station, which preceded Babylon 5, had a propulsion system (unlike its successor), so could serve as a mobile base-ship and carrier that was 6 miles in length (Babylon 5, meanwhile, was 5 miles in length).
- There were also the Explore-class vessels. Their task was to travel to unexplored systems, identify those worth permanently occupying, and deploy jumpgates. They were several miles long, and so broad the pylons of the Babylon 5 jumpgate had to be spread wider than normal to create a jump point large enough for them.
- Minbari Sharlin-class war cruisers are about the same size as a star destroyer, though that's in height, not length (they're taller than they are long).
- The largest ships to date are Vorlon Eclipse-class planet killers. Estimates put them at 26-36 miles in diameter (they're circular). And they're definitely visible from planetary surface.
- Pretty much every major Earthforce warship measures around a kilometer, with the Omega-class destroyer breaking the mile barrier at 1700m, and it's successor, the Warlock-class making over 2000.
- Stargate Verse:
- The Ori warships in Stargate SG-1 were established by ancillary materials as 1.1 kilometers long.
- Wraith hive ships in Stargate Atlantis were described as roughly thirteen times larger than an SGC Daedalus-class battlecruiser. This gives a ship around 2.9 kilometers long. The super-hive that appears on the series finale is much larger, making it the largest known starship in the setting. Meanwhile, Ancient city-ships such as Atlantis are about 3 kilometers in diameter.
- In the show Lexx, the Lexx itself is an insect-like ship that is 10 kilometers in length.
- Warhammer 40,000 loves this trope, given its habit of exaggerating almost everything.
- GW doesn't like giving exact numbers for in-games vehicles because it tends to attract nerd rage. As of confirmed numbers, we have Imperial ships, escort frigates and destroyers are 750 meters to 2 kilometers long, while cruisers are up to 7.5 kilometers long. There is no canon specs for Battleships, Battlebarges and Mechanicum Arcs. The largest ship size confirmed in codex is of Necron Cairn class tomb ship which is 15 kilometers long.
- Less confirmed is information about Great Crusade era flagships (20-25 km long), various Xeno ships (i.e. Interex) that were 2-3 times bigger, Eldar Crafworlds note , the Rock (size of a city and accompanying bedrock), the Phalanx (small moon sized) and World Engine (planet made into spaceship).
- BattleTech the Clans have the largest ships in Inner Sphere, such as the Leviathan, Black Lion and Potemkin.
- And even ordinary JumpShips tend to be over a kilometer in diameter, though that's just the "sail" used to gather solar energy, the ship proper is usually around half a kilometer long.
- The ambitious Battlefield 2142 mod First Strike prides itself on modelling all Star Wars assets to scale — from 300 metres long corvettes and other small ships to the immobile, but very heavily armed 1600 metres Imperial Star Destroyer. To get a sense of how big this is, a BF veteran can consider that BF 2142 maps were typically 1-2 kilometres in length.
- In Mass Effect, Reaper capital ships like Sovereign and Harbinger are around two kilometers long and so massive that their kinetic barriers are severely weakened while they're landed in Earthlike gravity (due to the mass effect field strength needed to reduce their mass to the point where they don't crumple under their own weight). Citadel dreadnoughts vary by race, but average one kilometer. Ships of that size are justified by the setting's reliance on kinetic weapons: a longer ship means the spinal mass accelerator can be longer, meaning it can fire its slugs with greater force. For these reasons, massive dreadnoughts are used like self-propelled artillery pieces, remaining at the rear line of a fleet battle and exploiting their greater muzzle velocity to take down targets while smaller, lighter ships either screen their flanks or maneuver in around the enemy's flank. (At least, that was the idea. Nobody apparently told the VFX artists, who in Mass Effect 3 showed Citadel dreadnoughts engaging Reapers well within visual range.)
- The X-Universe series doesn't explicitly give lengths for its ships. However, in 2009, a forum member in this thread scaled their in-game models and determined that the largest destroyers average 3 kilometers, with the ATF Valhalla being the outlier at 5. The Valhalla's sheer size makes it wildly impractical to use normally, because its engine nacelles will impact the rim of a jump gate upon exit, causing it to get stuck inside the event horizon. This is fixed by the expansion pack X3: Albion Prelude, but it still has size-related problems with its turret firing arcs. Our page picture is the more manageably sized Teladi Phoenix, which is approximately 4 kilometers long. The games also features some truly enormous space stations, such as the Terran Military Outpost, a station so large that the entirety of Rhode Island could fit within its bulk, or the Torus Aeternal, a station large enough to wrap around the Earth.
- Mile long ships return in force in X Rebirth, where the humble Space Trucker trading ships have been largely replaced by massive freighters that operate independently of the Highway system. The Arawn battleship is large enough to have two hangars - one landing pad on the front for the Albion Skunk, and an internal hangar for URV drones which is large enough to have internal point-defense turrets.
- Escape Velocity Nova:
- Aurora Carriers are 1.2 km long, compared to the Federation and Rebel Carriers which are only 500 m long. Note they carry many more fighters than their counterparts and the Aurorans love their railguns.
- Polaris Ravens are 1.2 km long and about 1 km wide making them the biggest playable ship in the game. Strangely, they have a crew of less than a hundred.
- Deimos-Class Colony Ships are approximately 3×3×3 km, as the hypergates they traveled through had to be reconfigured to form wormholes with a diameter of 5 km.
- Titan class ships in EVE Online can be as long as 18 kilometers. Other ships (past the Battlecruiser class), while only a fraction of the size of a Titan, are still in excess of a mile long. The only exception is the Naglfar, which is a mile tall
- The Mothership from Homeworld, which the fluff says is somewhere between 7 and 15 kilometers "tall"note . It has a major case of Units Not to Scale in-game, however, but still measures a good three in-universe kilometers... Or rather "kloms", whose relationship to an Earth kilometer is never mentioned.
- The trope becomes evident as early as the final level of Halo: Combat Evolved when one of the waypoints during your escape from the Pillar of Autumn is over a kilometer away. The Autumn's official length is 1.17 km. The colony ship Spirit of Fire from Halo Wars is 3.5 km long, and the experimental vessel Infinity is 5.7 km long, capable of carrying an army and ten internally docked frigates, and was meant to be Plan B if Earth was destroyed. Human ships' main weapons are magnetic accelerator cannons (read: coilguns), so the trope makes sense for similar reasons as in Mass Effect, above.
- Covenant capital ships are even bigger, with the shining example being the CSO-class supercarrier that appeared during the Battle of Reach (Halo: Reach), an utter behemoth at just under 29 kilometers long.
- And then there's the Forerunner Fortress-class vessels, which are 50 kilometers long. Later, in Forerunner-Flood war, Fortress-class reach new height with 100 km long vessels, pushing them into Planet Spaceship territory.
- Then there's the Mantle's Approach, the Didact's personal flagship, which is vertically oriented and is a truly ridiculous 230.8 miles tall. That's 138.6 kilometers. And That's Terrible.
- Common in FreeSpace, in which any Destroyer-class or above ship is going to be at least 1.5 kilometers long. The Colossus and Sathanas measure in at nearly six kilometers long as the largest ships in the game. Fan-made expansions sometimes feature even larger ships (the current record-holder being the Gargant, at over 60 km).
- In Ground Control, the CSS Astrid is a massive warshipnote that contains enough men and materiel to lay siege to an entire planet by itself, and in the sequel, evacuate the majority of the populace of Morningstar Prime.
- Star Trek Online:
- The Borg Unimatrix 0047 Command Ships, hexagonal juggernauts roughly 20 kilometers in length. They're so big they don't even maneuver: they just sit there and spam various attacks at you.
- According to an image in one of the devs' Twitter feeds, Voth Citadel-class dreadnoughts measure up at a bit less than nine kilometers long and nearly five kilometers wide, while the Bulwark-class battleship is just short of a kilometer. And then there's the Fortress ship in "The Breach", which is in Planet Spaceship territory.
- On a smaller scale, Klingon Vo'Quv-class carriers sit at around a klick in length and can deploy Birds-of-Prey instead of conventional fighters. Federation Odyssey-class cruisers are of a similar scale. Then there's the Romulan Republic's Ha'apax-class warbird and its kin, which are instead a couple kilometers wide.
- Sunrider: The PACT super dreadnought, Legion, which is three kilometers long.
- Metal Gear Solid 2's Arsenal Gear and Metal Gear Solid 4's Outer Haven, although their exact sizes aren't mentioned in-game, are two impractically-sized warships.
- Vector Thrust boasts the EOS-04-01 Leviathan arsenal ship, which measures at just over 1,500 metres long.
- Xenogears has almost every ship beat, save those the size of actual planets with the 270 kilometer long colony ship 'Eldridge' which crashes in the beginning of the games ten thousand year backstory.
- Star Citizen's Bengal-class carrier is precisely one kilometer long.
- As players progress through Star Ruler's Lensman Arms Race, ships become progressively larger and larger. Starting with humble cruisers with sub-1000 crews, players can eventually build multi-kilometer long ships with crew numbering in the tens of thousand as their primary combatants. Planet Space Ship designs - both literal planets with engines and ships the size of planets - are generally reserved for flagships and as a Doomsday Device
- There are currently no Real Life examples of a mile long space ship, but that doesn't mean that there aren't currently some impressively large ocean-going ships. In the US, football fields are often used as a stock unit of measurement of measurement for such ships, with a particular vessel being described as 'x' football fields in length.
- For reference, the biggest ship ever built was the 650,000-ton supertanker Seawise Giant. She was 1,500 feet long (just over a quarter mile, or 0.46 km), 458 m to be exact. Meanwhile, the biggest military capital ships currently in use are the Nimitz-class supercarriers, which are a comparatively paltry 333m and 100,000 tons.
- Seawise Giant possessed the greatest deadweight tonnage ever recorded. Fully laden, her displacement was 657,019 tonnes (646,642 long tons; 724,239 short tons), the heaviest ship of any kind, and with a draft of 24.6 m (81 ft), she was incapable of navigating the English Channel, the Suez Canal, the Strait of Malacca or the Panama Canal, and incapable of entering the Baltic Sea. Overall, she was generally considered the largest ship ever built, as well as the largest self-propelled human-made object ever built. Her design approached the practical limit of ship design - larger ships than Seawise Giant are physically possible to be built, but they would be too impractical and uneconomical to use.
- She ended her days as a permanently moored floating petroleum storage. Her draught and beam (68.8 m) were simply too much for passing the important channels, canals and waterways and calling important ports, making her economically unfeasible.
- There has been an apparently serious proposal made to build a mile-long floating city ship. Buoyancy would be from a system of interlocking modules that would each have their own buoyancy tanks and propulsion units. This should allow a ship much larger than conventional construction methods would allow. (A normal ship in rough seas can flex to a degree quite alarming to those not familiar with modern vessels. The flexing limits the practical size of conventional vessels as well,)
- JPL scientist Robert Frisbee wrote a paper called How to Build an Antimatter Rocket for Interstellar Missions. His interstellar antimatter rocket involves a ship not merely a mile long, but 435 miles long (700 km). This is necessitated by the need for lots and lots of room both for storing antimatter and for a rocket fueled by it.
- The International Space Station, our current largest spaceship (technically; its rockets are only to help keep it in orbit), is around a tenth of a kilometer wide, and around 1/14 kilometer long (according to The Other Wiki). This sounds more impressive than it is, due to the space station's shape (some of the length comes from the arrays of solar panels on either end).