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CA35 Explorer

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The Explorer was the largest spacecraft that the human race had built upto the year 2030, it was roughly two and a half times the height of the Empire State Building (if stood on its end). It was eventually surpassed in this respect by the development of the Nomad industrial complexies, which were sited off Jupiter. Specifically built for the exploration of the solar system, the Explorer could be used for long-duration missions, refulling only when needed at long-range unmanned fuel and provisions dumps located across the solar system.

Around eighty percent of the entire structure of the ship was contained in the sixteen massive Consolidated Supernova VII engines, four each contained in the each of the four fuel tanks. This huge capacity allowed the ship to each destinations as far away as Pluto and Eris, establishing the first manned bases there in 2026.

The rest of the superstructure contained the command deck at the front of the ship, then a four-way docking connector for service vehicles and finally the spherical rotating (for the creation of artificial gravity) living quarters module. The docking connector usually carried two CA23 Platypus shuttles and two other service vehicles of various types. The shuttles allowed the crew to explore the local environment before return back to the Explorer.

Some of the custom versions that were produced included using two of the fuel tanks (upper and lower) as storage vessels which were dropped off at stategic points around the solar system. This helped create some of the first long-range space stations and storage dumps which craft could refuel and replenish their supplies. A special long-range variant was built in 2029 which had fitted one of the first commercially produced versions of the DeVass warp generator, which had a short one light year range. The fuel tanks were extended by an additional forty percent and the ship, named 'Vasco da Gama' made the flight to the Oort cloud, establishing the human races furthest outpost in 2030.

The scene depicts an Explorer without its service craft operating near one of Saturns moons in 2030.


Civil & Commercial/Terran
Manufacturer - Consolidated Aerospace
Classification - Long-range Exploration Ship
Main Drive - Consolidated Supernova VII chemical thrust engines, 16 units 750,000lbs thrust each.
McInley Ion Ultradrive, 4 units 200,000lbs thrust each
Secondary Drive - Standard pattern correction thrusters
Personnel - 65 crew, 23 MeckTeck / RoboServe units
Defence - Duralloy armour 24cm thick
In-service date - 2026

About this image:- December 2010, Bryce 6.1, AC3D 6.5

All images © S. Attwood / Digital Waterfalls
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