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MRT103 Spidercrab

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Spaceflight, especially during the early years of exploring the solar system, was of course an inherently dangerous activity. Rescues effected by the FLEA did result in spacecraft having to be abandoned and this could cause problems by the spacewrecks drifting into shipping lanes. The job of clearing such problem was the job of the MRT103 Spidercrab, named for its likeness to a Terran sea creature with long protruding arms. Its main job was salvage and rescue, spacecraft being very expensive things, it was always better to try and salvage the craft rather than abandoning it to deep space.

The vehicle was probably one of the first multi-role spacecraft equipped with three utility 'arms'. Built by Canadarm, specialists in this field ever since the original space shuttle, two arms had 'hand' adaptors for gripping and manipulating objects. The third arm contained a magnetic-grip for moving objects into position. In addition, the craft was designed with two docking ports either side of the ship to allow for easy entry.

The craft found uses across the solar system and many fields of operation, including the Jupiter industrial complex, near the mining operations in Saturn's rings and in deep space, where they operated from Skybases placed at strategic points. They were eventually replaced by the famous MRT114 Mule. A few Spidercrabs can still be found in operation used by private salvage companies, though their numbers are starting to dwindle as spares are starting to dry up.

The scene above depicts a Spidercrab maintaining a safe distance from the detonation of an unsafe wreck, using nuclear charges.


Civil & Commercial/Terran
Manufacturer - Avery Astronatics
Classification - Medium-range Salvage Ship
Main Drive - Avery Type 15A chemical thrust engines, 4 units 750,000 lbs thrust each
McInley Ion Ultradrive, 4 units 400,000lbs thrust each
Personnel - 31 crew, 12 MeckTeck / RoboServe units
Defence - Duralloy armour 15cm thick
In-service date - 2020

About this image:- December 2011, Bryce 6.1, POV-Ray 3.62, AC3D 6.7

All images © S. Attwood / Digital Waterfalls
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