Generation Ship

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A K-class Generation Ship is a Starship using sublight NAFAL propulsion that uses multiple conscious crews while in transit.

  • They are considered to be K-class Expedition Ships.
  • Since the distance between stars is so vast, ship travel duration can extend into many decades or even centuries, so crew reproduce and create future generations of crew while the ship is in transit.
  • The two terms Sleeper Ship and Generation Ship are often, incorrectly, interchanged and used to refer to either type of ship.
  • Since civilizations that use such ships generally have limited means and technology for producing NAFAL starships, most are used for colonization purposes.
Technical Data.jpg

Library Data Referral Tree[edit]

Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:
Interstellar Colonization:

Description (Specifications)[edit]

A ship containing a full complement of personnel intended to make a sub-light journey across space. Since such journeys take years, or even decades, the crew and passengers of the ship expect to give birth, live and die naturally during the course of the journey. The subsequent generation of the original crew and passengers being the ones who actually arrive at their destination.

Image Repository[edit]

No information yet available.

Generation vs. Sleeper Ships[edit]

Generation Ships are sometimes referred to, incorrectly, as Sleeper Ships, which are similar, except that the majority or all of the passengers and crew are put into low berth hibernation for the duration of the journey. [1]

Technical Discernment[edit]

The original crew and passengers are usually picked for their ability to re-orient to living the rest of their lives on a ship. Re-orienting the arriving generation to life on a planet is usually more of a problem. There have been cases where the arriving generation simply refused to set foot on the planet, regarding the ship as their proper home regardless of their ancestors' desires (...when this happens, the difference between skills usable for shipboard life and skills usable for planetside life - specifically, that the arriving generation has been using the former but has had no immediate use for the latter - has often been a factor). In other cases, where acceleration to the target system took longer than a generation, a subsequent generation ceased acceleration and stopped short (in interstellar space or diverting to some other, closer system without a habitable world) in order to divert fuel for other uses. In any case, the resulting colony is often only notionally still a part of whatever culture (...let alone government or other organization) originally sent them, which may have died off back home in the mean time; FTL-enabled cultural ties such as trade and taxes are difficult to apply. [2]

Between these problems, and Generation Ships being larger (...and thus more expensive) than Sleeper Ships for the same number of passengers, Generation Ships are less common than Sleeper Ships. [3]

Strategy & Tactics (Doctrine)[edit]

Like most civilian vessels, Expedition Ships are not designed for combat and should run whenever possible when facing marauders or pirate vessels. Many are equipped with light armament and defensive suites nevertheless.

Supraclass Roles[edit]

Expedition Ships typically serve the following roles:
Largecraft & Bigcraft:

T-class Transport & Tanker Supraclass Archetypes
Archetype Type Code
Generation Ship (KCG)

Size-Class Roles for Expedition Vessels[edit]

  1. Expeditionary Smallcraft (UK) (1 to 99 tons)
  2. Very Light Expedition Ship (KVL) (100 to 2,499 tons)
  3. Light Expedition Ship (KL) (2,500 to 99,999 tons)
  4. Medium Expedition Ship (KM) (100,000 to 249,999 tons)
  5. Heavy Expedition Ship (KH) (250,000 to 499,999 tons)
  6. Superheavy Expedition Ship (KS) (500,000 to 999,999 tons)
  7. Ultraheavy Expedition Ship (KU) (1,000,000 or more tons)

Civilian Subcraft[edit]

Civilian subcraft (...both smallcraft and bigcraft) are carried by some of these vessels:

  1. Barge (WB)
  2. Utility Craft (U)

Supraclass Archetypal Roles[edit]

These vessels typically serve the following archetypal roles:

K-class Expedition Ship Supraclass Archetypes
Archetype Type Code/s Exemplar Remarks
Expedition Ship K Leaping Snowcat class Safari Ship Type-K Expedition Ships are tasked to go on extended trips whether for recreation (safari), exploration (colonization), diplomacy (first contact), or other tasks requiring purposeful travelling across vast distances. [4]
  • K = Kiswahili (Name of Terran language used in an area where many significant safari expeditions occurred. Also known as Swahili)
Colony Ship KC C-Jammer class Settlement Transport Colony ships, settlement transports, star arks, and the like bring a population of colonists across great distances to establish new mainworlds. Such vessels are often quite large, needing to bring all the necessities of life to the new world. [5]
  • C = Colony
NOTES: There is semantic overlap between many of the classes and codes. Some codes organize by mission or capability, others by size and tonnage, and yet others by other characteristics.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Colony Ships establish colonies on new worlds, settlements to sustain life and provide socioeconomic commerce.

Polity Users of This Technology[edit]

The following species are known to use, have used, or posses the technology to manufacture generation ships:

Selected Variant Types & Classes[edit]

Civilian Ship - Largecraft - Expedition Ship:
Type K class Expedition Ship

  1. Type KC class Colony Ship
    1. C-Jammer class Settlement Transport
    2. Jump Conveyor class Settlement Ship
    3. Vrad class Generation Ship
    4. Xeng Kirr class Space Ark

Ship Summary List[edit]

Some of the most commonly used vessels in this role or these roles include:

1 Representative Expeditionary Generation Ship (KCG) Classes

Class Superclass Tons Category TL Origin Jump G Image Canon
Class Superclass Tons Category TL Origin Jump G Image Canon
Vrad class Generation Ship KCG 73 x 10^18 WCS 12 Two Thousand Worlds 0 1 Yes Yes. Published, canon starship design.


References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.
  1. An unpublished factoid written by Adrian Tymes
  2. An unpublished factoid written by Adrian Tymes
  3. An unpublished factoid written by Adrian Tymes
  4. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  5. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak