Makisha Girra class Research Vessel
|Makisha Girra class Research Vessel|
A spaceship for those new to gravitics
|Type: LS Laboratory Ship|
|Hull Configuration||Cylinder Hull|
|Fuel tank||0 Tons|
|Year Operational||circa -9000|
|End of Service||Examples still operate post-Collapse|
|Cost||MCr57.685. MCr51.9165 in quantity.|
|Quick Ship Profile||LS-AA10|
|Also see||Tramp Vessel|
|Canon||Published, fan design|
|Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.|
- 1 Description (Specifications)
- 2 History & Background (Dossier)
- 3 References & Contributors (Sources)
A Makisha Girra, or "Gas Giant Camera", is a fairly basic science ship, by 1105 standards. A simple delta-winged spaceplane, it is only capable of 1 G acceleration - but using a maneuver drive at TL-8, which is usually impossible. The main point of a Makisha Girra class Research Vessel is to be able to build a maneuver drive with TL-8 tools, albeit a more expensive and energy-hungry version.
The blueprints can only be developed at TL-9 or higher, once maneuver drive is understood - so the inventors have access to better ships. Makisha Girra designs are given to lower-technology civilizations to help them practice, learn, and advance to TL-9. Originally these were newly contacted minor races that did not have any prior understanding of gravitic technology. As of 1105, it is generally only used in the rare case that a world has backslid so much - such as having collapsed during the Long Night and has never been recontacted since - that no one still alive on the world remembers the details of higher technology, if they even know higher technology exists outside of legends. The blueprints are far more often encountered in academic textbooks and simulations, used to teach new shipyard crews, than actual instances of this class are encountered. As of 1105, the Long Night is distant history in most of Charted Space. Still, the First Imperium met its end, as did the Second, so the blueprints are kept in archives in case the Third Imperium should one day Collapse.
Engine aside, a Makisha Girra class Research Vessel is quite capable by TL-8 standards. It is fully capable of prospecting asteroids as a precursor to belt mining, diving deep into gas giant atmospheres to take samples and pictures (for which capability the class is named), and otherwise exploring a solar system in ways that users of this ship class do not otherwise have access to. The pressure hull also provides some protection against accidental impacts (the ship also comes with self-repair drones, just in case), and has been hardened against radiation. The wings allow extra maneuverability in an atmosphere, and let the pilot land it like an airplane (as the intended first crews will have had no experience with grav vehicles). The ship's computer, with no need to run jump control software, is instead set up to guide and assist the scientist crew.
Not available at this time.
General Description & Deck Plans
- Deck Plans for this vessel.
Basic Ship Characteristics
|Basic Ship Characteristics |
|1.||Tonnage / Hull||Tonnage: 100 tons (standard). 1,400 cubic meters. Streamlined Sphere Hull.
|2.||Crew||Crew: 1 Pilot (who is usually also the Captain), 3 Scientists.|
|3.||Performance||Acceleration: 1-G maneuver drive installed.
|6.||Armament||None. (Although naive buyers sometimes confuse the laser drill for a viable weapon.)|
|7.||Defenses||1 turret-mounted laser drill.|
|8.||Craft||None. Vacc suits required for EVA (extra-vehicular activity). Rescue Balls for crew escape normally carried.|
|9.||Fuel Treatment||It is equipped with a fuel purification plant and fuel scoops.|
|10.||Cost||MCr57.685 standard. MCr51.9165 in quantity. (Architect's fees were subsidized, and paid long ago.)|
|11.||Construction Time||2 months standard, 1.5 in quantity.|
|12.||Remarks||A truly ancient (though not Ancients) ship design, more useful as a practice example to boost a starport and its shipyard from TL-8 to TL-9 than as a science ship in its own right.|
The Makisha Girra class of spaceship was developed around -9000 by early Vilani starfarers, to gift to newly encountered civilizations to help uplift them enough that they could assist the Vilani Hegemony. This use grew less frequent with the rise of the First Imperium, but building the ship class has occasionally helped restore worlds whose shipbuilding capabilities collapsed generations ago, such as to the Long Night. It has been likened to an academic homework project, in that building it is intended to familiarize a shipyard crew with multiple standard elements of Vilani starship designs (which elements remain common in Imperial ships):
- 100 ton hulls (being the minimum viable size for jump drive equipped starships),
- Streamlined hulls,
- Fuel scoops and processors (and wilderness refueling in general, to deter fuel price gouging),
- Bridges and bridge computers (much of the bottom deck of the bridge is bridge computers),
- Stateroom-and-commons style long duration living arrangements,
- Starship-grade fusion power plants (in two parts, so the crew can limp home if they damage one),
- Iris hatches, ladders, and grav lifts to go from deck to deck (a Makisha Girra has two decks),
- Artificial gravity and inertial dampeners (and airplane-like spaceship layout, instead of tailsitter),
- Maneuver drives, and
- Naval weapons (including dedicated fire control stations).
The maneuver drive is officially the main point. Even the most basic maneuver drive is a revolutionary advance in space travel. Usually only one or a few will be built before the starport crews are able to advance to TL-9, even if the rest of their world lags behind. This class is one step along a chain: a starport is established and advanced to TL-8 (usually by advancing some local group to TL-7, then getting them to build and crew a highport so they become a TL-8 starport crew), then this project gets them to TL-9, then building jump-1-capable starships gets them to TL-10, which was as far as early Vilani starfarers were willing (or able, at first) to uplift non-Vilani societies.
The nose-mounted laser drill, with a primary console physically separate from the rest of the bridge terminals, is a trap. While its official purpose is to allow crews to sample asteroids and other bodies of interest, it can also slaughter malcontents from a safe distance. It is traditional to explain this when the design is gifted, and that should the recipient’s government choose to use it this way, the gifting organization will execute the heads of said government and install a replacement – and, should the replacements make the same mistake, execute and replace them. While history records no cases of enough such replacements being done to significantly depopulate a world, there have been instances of recipients thinking the laser drill was a super weapon (being more powerful than anything they had previous personal experience with) and turning it on Vilani ships, only to get a crash course in actual space weaponry, soon followed by a replacement government.
Any given Makisha Girra is usually found doing these tasks until the local system is able to transition to TL-9 or better ships, at which point it is obsoleted. Records suggest that there has been at least one in operation somewhere in Charted Space each century going back at least to the First Imperium.
Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities
Ship Interior Details: Most of the space is straightforward and functional. The lab space is reconfigurable for studying gas giant atmosphere samples, carved-off asteroid samples, or other things brought in through the cargo scoop. The tiny cargo bay can carry a decent amount of spare parts. The workshop and biosphere give the craft significant potential endurance, so long as it skims and refines fuel at least once every 4 weeks. A double hull lets it dive deep into gas giant atmospheres – or oceans, and some of these ships wind up doing quite a bit of oceanographic research between missions away from their mainworld. The power plant can not quite power all systems at once, so there is a three-position switch on the main pilot console for power management: Safety (the laser drill is powered off), Drill (the fuel processor and medical bay are powered off), and Danger (ship’s lights dim).
Inevitably, local cultural flourishes are worked in, more so than on other ship classes made by civilizations with more exposure to interstellar society. Function dictates form in this case, though, so the deckplans attached to this article remain generally correct between different ships of this class. The biosphere and crew commons are the most variable, though the biosphere tends to be designed around 8 food production units - 2 reserved for each crew member, all 8 producing communal supplies, or somewhere in between - and the commons has food preparation units (most often an oven/stovetop and a washer/dryer unit topped with a cutting board) on either side of the entrance to the medical bay, with a table around which the 4 crew can gather toward the back, then a pantry near the rear lift. In several cases, the biosphere pipes its products directly up to the commons' mini-galley; in others, the crew takes advantage of the lift adjacent to the mini-galley leading to the biosphere.
According to historical records, it was common practice - none of the documentation says "tradition" (This design dating from before the First Imperium froze its culture) - for someone experienced with the ship (or at least its design) to lead a new crew from the airlock along the lower deck to the bridge, then back along the upper deck, introducing each system as they passed it. The pilot usually got the central station on the upper deck of the bridge and the stateroom closest to the bridge, but in every case this was left to the crew to decide.
Where local culture dictated the crew obey instruction from outside superiors as much as possible, it was pointed out that light speed lag - and, sometimes, communication blackout while deep inside a gas giant - required the crew be capable of at least a little autonomy - starting, if necessary, with trivial decisions such as bridge station and stateroom assignment. This was, of course, prelude to a starship crew needing to be capable of initiative after jumping to a neighboring system and being parsecs away from home - and thus, cut off from communication until they returned home. In these cases, introducing this concept all at once risked rejection by the locals' minds, while introducing this concept in small chunks - a crew might be out of contact briefly inside a gas giant, but could simply rise up out of it if isolation proved too much - while establishing the social norm that it was right and proper for the crew of a spaceship with a maneuver drive to be able to act on their own.
Class Naming Practice/s: When they are not simply called "Makisha Girra" (sometimes followed by the local language's equivalent of "One", "Two", et cetera), these ships inevitably wind up named for local famous explorers or expeditions.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
12 Representative Laboratory Ship (LS) Classes
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