An Explorer Ship is a large, long-range starship designed for exploration and contact missions throughout the galaxy. Explorer Ships are the successors to the Pathfinder series of ships.
The Defender and Explorer Ships grew out of the platform originally developed for “Phase II” of the Odyssey Project; conceptualized as ships revisiting colonies contacted by the Pathfinders. The high cost of building and crewing Pathfinder Ships, coupled with the imminent threat posed by the Aurelians, led to both a change in philosoph for exploratory missions and an accelerated schedule of construction for new ships. Henceforth, Exploration and Discovery Missions would be undertaken be fleets of ships consisting of an Explorer Ship, a Defender Ship, and auxiliary vessels as deemed appropriate. The new ships would lack the ability of the Pathfinders to function autonomously for decades; but this was deemed unnecessary due to the discovery of surviving colonies where the ships could be serviced and by advancements in propulsion technology that allowed the ships to reach their destinations faster.
Explorer ships are typically 1,800 meters long and contain 40 – 50 decks. They are propelled by a pair of Heavy Graviton Drive engines housed in the ship’s aft sections. They carry provisions sufficient for a five year voyage. They typically carry twenty transport shuttles, usually of the Aquilae series, which may be combined in one heavy squadron or divided into two light squadrons. An Explorer Ship may contain one large hangar bay or two smaller bays; accessed through a large hatch aft of the lower hull. They use standard AI Braincores to process collected data and operate the ships' autonomous systems. Many of the ships are piloted by Memn navigators. The ship was designed to support science missions as well as exploration and diplomatic missions. There are multiple laboratories located throughout the ship. While they are equipped with shields and point defenses, their capacity for tactical operations is limited; these vessels are typically accompanied by a Defender ship for protection, and often accompanied by a Supply ship to extend the ship’s supply of consumables.
For a given Exploring Expedition or Mission involving multiple ships, the Explorer Class Ship in the group is typically the command ship. All New Commonwealth ships are flagged to the New Commonwealth and operated under the direction of the New Commonwealth Galactic Exploration Fleet Command. Explorer Ships of the Free Worlds Affiliation are often operated under the flags of the individual worlds that financed their construction; especially Sapphire, Bella La Cava, and Wolf’s Head; although they usually contain multi-planetary crews. The Free Alliance Space Exploration Consortium also commissions ships that operate under its auspices and have crews representing many worlds. Through the consortium, worlds may buy shares in the construction of Explorer (as well as Defender) ships and purchase rights to a number of crew billets proportional to their share of the construction costs.
A typical crew complement of an explorer ship is 900 – 1,100 crew. Most Explorer crews represent a number of inhabited worlds; although typically Explorer Ships in the Commonwealth Fleet will have crews made up exclusively or primarily of Commonwealth citizens. Likewise unto Explorer Ships of the Free Worlds Affiliation.
Quarters and Amernities: Edit
Crew quarters provide single occupancy compartments for officers and visitors, suites for family units, and shared accommodations for crewmen, who can be bunked in arrangements of two-to-six. Compartments typically contain a sleeping unit, storage space, shared hygiene pod, and work space. Meals are taken in any of several dining halls of various size. Lounges permit access to entertainment. Recreational facilities are maintained for morale and physical fitness. Virtual environments are also accessible for purposes of recreation and training.
Examples of the TypeEdit
Free Worlds Affiliation and Space. Ex. Consortium Edit
- Milky Way
- Knowledge (Training Ship)