A Capture Tank is a sort of storage and residential space for a lifeform, usually a non-sophontic creature, that cannot use standard shipboard life support, atmospheric recycling, and other conditions.
- The same device used for captured sophonts is typically called a Holding Tank, Environmental Tank, etc.
- It is a kind of Ship Equipment specialized for hunting and wildlife conservation very often in connection with an Interstellar Safari.
Capture tanks can hold specimens, usually live ones, for transport back to civilized space. Expedition Ships often boast of holding tanks for handling and storage of carcasses or live trophies. Capture tanks can be lit in a variety of different wavelengths in order to reproduce native environments or to enhance observation by the passengers and crew. Each capture tank has an independent environment support mechanism which is capable of maintaining the desired atmosphere, temperature, and pressure for life forms held inside. Standard settings are also available for preservation of dead trophies with a minimum of deterioration.
The capture tank is a cargo compartment specially fitted out for carrying trophies from the hunt. Trophies and captures can be transferred to the main capture tanks through specially fitted doors in the launch and the safari ship.
Animal class Safari Ship Ship Capture Tanks
- Two gentlesophont-hunters in the lounge of an Animal class Safari Ship. Trophies are to their left, and the two on-ship capture tanks are slightly behind the trophy wall.
Capture Tanks: Two large capture holding tanks are situated toward the rear of the lower deck in the Animal class Safari Ship. Accessible through a large sliding bulkhead door, each tank is a holding vessel for animal specimens taken on a safari. Although the tanks are equipped with preservation provisions (...primarily refrigeration and vacuum) for holding kills, they are also fully adapted to a variety of environments to allow carriage of live specimens back to zoos, parks, or laboratories. The interface between each capture tank and the trophy lounge is a strong transparent wall which allows the clients to observe their live trophies.
The capture tanks, numbered 1 and 2, are effectively identical mirror images of each other. Captured animals can be held in the capture tank on board the hunting launch, and then transferred to a main capture tank once the hunting launch docks with the ship. In some cases, live animals can be herded into the empty launch slip, and then directly into a capture tank on board ship. Dead, drugged, or immobile specimens can be manipulated into place using the air/raft, if necessary.
Although Capture Tanks-1 and 2 are effectively identical, common usage allocates Tank-1 for land animals and Tank-2 for aquatic life.
Containment Globes at a Research Station
Research Stations dealing with live specimens use 15m radius spherical globes (...about 1,000 dTons) of which about 1/2 is a climate and gravity controlled chamber. The globes can maintain any type of atmosphere, range of temperature, or strength of gravity. The computer can adjust the parameters, and the most extreme adjustments take about 10 hours to accomplish.
- A schematic of the facility at Research Station Gamma with it's spherical lifeform storage Containment Globes.
Most sophonts and even some proto-sophonts begin to domesticate creatures common to their homeworlds in the early TL-0 period, and typically develop cages and enclosures to keep those creatures contained and safe from predation. The Capture Tanks often present on Expedition Ships take this a step further and allow the confinement and transport of creatures encountered in alien environments. Natural curiosity compels sophont interest in such unfamiliar species, and frequently multiple varieties of such creatures will be displayed together as an attraction. 
Zoos were unknown among the Vilani until the development of spaceflight. It was only after the development of Jump Drive that the first attempts to bring live alien species to Vland were successful. The first Vilani zoos often mixed sophonts and non-sophont creatures in the same habitats, as both were found to be exotic and entertaining. Around the end of the Ziru Sirka and the beginning of the Rule of Man, alien sophonts were understood to have basic rights and the idea of a zoo as a place to observe non-intelligent creatures became the norm. 
As drive capabilities increased and travel times decreased, it became easier to transport living creatures greater distances. Zoos experienced a new golden age, and capture expeditions to stock them became commonplace. This remains part of the cultural tradition in many parts of the Third Imperium. 
Expected Capture Tank Development Sequence
- Wooden Cage → Barred Cage → Capsule Room → Holding Tank → Cryogenic Tank → Capture Tank → Environmental Tank → Stasis Cell
|This article is missing content for one or more detailed sections. Additional details are required to complete the article. You can help the Traveller Wiki by expanding it.|