by Helen E. Davis

What would make for the perfect spaceship? Lots of blinking lights, and a pretty tune? Friendly aliens? Lots of pizza? Here's my personal opinion....

More than one bathroom, for starters. The first spaceship I ever designed, for a story I wrote in the fifth grade, was a luxury liner with only one bathroom. Granted, it was a very luxurious bathroom, with a tub the size of a swimming pool and all sorts of potted plants and towels so soft you could fall into them and never want to emerge, but it was still the only one on the ship. As a mother, I now know that there should be a bathroom for each person on board the ship, plus one more.

Furthermore, the bathrooms will all be self-cleaning, and stocked with an endless supply of those soft towels.

There should also be a kitchen, complete with all sorts of fresh and quick cook food. The dishes and silverware should be recyclable, and never needing to be washed. It also would need to be self-cleaning, and run by infalliable food preparation robots whose "healthy eating" mode can be easily overridden.

The laundry room should have automatic cleaning, folding, and sorting machines. And every room would have it's own self-emptying automatic floor sweeper. For the children's cabins, a cleaner that can scoot under clutter would be essential.

And of course, there must be a recreation room, large and wide, with individual soundproof computer and reading niches. Bookcases would cover every space bit of wall space, and there would be several large project tables just for me.

But the most important thing to be found in my spaceship -- is SPACE! Lots of it! The ship itself would be no larger than a mid-size car on the outside, making it easy to move and park. But on the inside -- oh! Thanks to the invention of the ISE (Interdiminsional Space Expander) the inside of this ship can be the size of Bill Gates' mansion. But that's not all -- for each closet and cupboard would have its own ISE. And within the now walk-in closets, there will be shelves and drawers, and each drawer will have a small ISE. And within the drawers will be boxes....

I'll have room for all my stuff, at last!

And I'll need a book of maps just to find it all.....

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