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TTA Colonial II

The worlds second space freighter came about after the original Colonial I's reliability record was not the best by any means. The ship was to operate entirely outside the Earth's atmosphere which was made possible by the pefection of the McKinley Ion UltraDrive a year earlier. Even so, the rear third section of the ship was taken up by the engines and fuel storage. Three liquid-fuel engines supplemented the ion drives giving an extra boost when accelerating from a standing start, or in an emergency should the ion drives fail.

The middle part of the ship was reserved for passenger compartments and facilities, these being limited to a maximum of 50 persons. Passengers were airlifted to the Colonial II by the AAT181 transports, the compartments would be attached to the sides of the Colonial and passengers transfer via the docking port. These compartments were designed to carry a variety of cargoes besides passengers: food stuffs, nuclear piles, building materials, electronic equipment, vehicles, robots, in fact almost anything that could be transported into space. Though relatively slow compared to todays standards, the Colonial II helped massively in man's expansion in the inner solar system, transporting the materials that established the lunar, Mars bases and the way stations in the asteroid belt. Long range transport was undertaken by the Explorer class transports as the Colonial II did not have the range to establish the deep-space support network in the outer solar system around Jupiter and beyond.

Locally-based AAT181's would ferry passengers and cargo to and from the surface bases, these could be transported to a new base by 'hitching a ride' by remaining docked with the Colonial II. Up to 12 AAT181's could be transported in this way.

In total, forty-five Colonial II's were built but none survive to the present day. The last major action they were involved in was in 2052 during the Battle for Mars when a supply convoy numbering six ships was attacked by a spearhead Proximan force - only one of the Colonial II's made it to Mars Base. After this disasterous action, all remaining Colonial II's were withdrawn and the only service they saw was the Sol - Moon run until the end of the war. One ship was converted to a local defence ship with extra weaponry orbiting the Moon in 2053, however after the end of the Proxima Wars had ended in 2068 all remaining ships were dismantled and broken up.

In this scene, the Colonial II Cezanne is taking on cargo from four AAT181 loaders, in orbit over Mars in December 2024. The region Ares Valles can just be seen behind the Colonial II, whilst an AAT181 below is rejoining its front command and rear power sections after delivering its centre cargo module.


Civil & Commercial/Terran
Manufacturer - Avery Astronautics
Classification - Class I Medium-Range Freighter, 200, 000 cubic dekometres
Main Drive - McKinley Ion Drive 2 units, 4 million lbs thrust each
Secondary Drive - Avery chemical thrust engines 3 units, 1 million lbs thrust each
Personnel - 85 human crew
Defence - Duralloy armour 10cm thick
In-service date - 2014

About this image:- October 2005, POV-Ray 3.5, Bryce 4.1, Photoshop 5.5.

All images © S. Attwood / Digital Waterfalls
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