A J-class Prospector Vessel is a specialized vessel that surveys systems for valuable resources.
- Mining missions and vessels will typically follow a successful prospecting find.
- The Supraclass designation is also known as Ship Mission, Ship Mission Code, Mission, or Ship Hull Designation.
- It is a starship supraclass.
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- 2 Description (Specifications)
- 3 History & Background (Dossier)
- 4 References & Contributors (Sources)
Library Data Referral Tree
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Prospector vessels are an important part of the economy as they do survey work, identify valuable resources, seek out accessible stockpiles, and later redirect significant mining and processing assets to the largest and most promising mineral and/or other valuable resources.
- An Arzhent class Prospector/Surveyor.
- A Kteiroa class Seeker on route to potential resource-rich star system.
- This is a side view and a top view of a smaller layout of the modular ship known as the Roca Maestro class Modular Ore Hauler.
- A typical Type J class Seeker preparing to enter jumpspace.
Prospector Vessel - Smallcraft:
- Two Bathysphere class Prospector's Cutters making planetfall.
- A Tomar class Industrial Mining Launch equipped with two 15-ton Ore Pods, a kind of Cargo Container.
Strategy & Tactics (Doctrine)
Prospectors and seekers perform the following missions:
- Resource Prospecting
- Resource Recovery ("Mining")
- Resource Surveying
- Other specialized uses
They are noncombatants and are not intended to do anything other than run from hostiles.
- Asteroid Miner (JB)
- Asteroid Prospector (JB)
- Belter Craft (JB)
- Belter Ship (JB)
- Mining Vessel (JM & GM)
- Prospector Vessel (J) (Namesake)
- Resource Collector (J)
- Resource Hunter (JM)
- Resource Scout (JM)
- Seeker (J)
- Survey Scout (LU)
- Survey Ship (LU)
Size-Class Roles for Transport Vessels
- Industrial Smallcraft (UG) (1 to 99 tons)
- Prospector Vessel (J) (100 to 2,499 tons)
- Light Industrial Vessel (GL) (2,500 to 99,999 tons)
- Medium Industrial Vessel (GM) (100,000 to 249,999 tons)
- Heavy Industrial Vessel (GH) (250,000 to 499,999 tons)
- Superheavy Industrial Vessel (GS) (500,000 to 999,999 tons)
- Ultraheavy Industrial Vessel (GU) (1,000,000 or more tons)
Supraclass Archetypal Roles
These vessels typically serve the following archetypal roles:
|J-class Prospector Vessel Supraclass Archetypes|
|Resource Collector||J||Jackie class Seeker||None|
|Belter Craft||JB||Seeker class Asteroid Prospector|| Belter craft perform many of the same missions as prospectors, but are specialized to search planetoid or asteroid belts, requiring less ship performance and cost, but also adding more risk. Belting is a highly dangerous vocation. Many belters use non-jump capable boats.
|Mining Vessel||JM||Udzuekh class Mining Vessel|| Mining vessels follow prospectors and belters, doing extraction and processing at low to medium levels. Truly large resource quantities will attract industrial mining assets. Smaller yields can be handled by smaller, yet capable mining vessels.
|Prospector Vessel AKA Seeker||JP||Arzhent class Prospector/Surveyor|| Prosecutors or Seekers have a straight forward job: Enter un-assayed star systems and investigate, looking for valuable resources worthy of bringing industrial mining vessels or even mining stations for later widespread, industrial extraction, and processing.
|Survey Vessel||LU||Donosev class Survey Scout|| Survey scouts and other science vessels often perform the first data assays of a system, which later attract an array of prospecting, seeking, and belter attention. The missions of survey vessels and prospecting vessels overlap.
|Industrial Smallcraft||UG||Tomar class Industrial Mining Launch|| None
|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.|
While all Prospectors are Belters, not all Belters are Prospectors, as it is a Prospector who identifies suitable targets for later Asteroid Miners.
At minimum, a Propsector needs a way to get to their target asteroids, a way of assessing them and a way of recording their finds. These things are true whether the Prospector is a lone independant, or part of a Megacorporate survey team.
Generally, Prospectors operate small spaceships or starships, going from rock to rock. Sometimes, Prospectors are dropped off by their mothership, and then survey the rock operating out of temporary shelters on the asteroid itself, with the mothership returning once the survey is complete. This allows multiple teams of belters to operate out of one mothership, allowing gains in economy.
While more expensive, jump capable starships enable encounters with pirates to be avoided, making Prospecting a much safer operation. Many Prospectors use modified IISS Type S scouts, usually referred to as 'Seekers', as the IISS sensor package and robust life support and engineering systems are particularily suited to several month long survey expiditions.
Assessment is done by a combination of sensors, scientific instruments and samples for later analysis by better equipment. Part of the skill of a Prospector is knowing what to survey, where and for how long - an experienced Prospector knows when to look for veins of intrusive material, when to sample randomly in a homogenous body and when to abandon an unprofitable rock for another target.
Generally speaking, Prospectors simply record the location and orbit of their surveyed asteroids, as this will allow the target to be located at a future time. Sometimes, beacons are placed on particular rocks, but this is more commonly done to denote asteroids as the legal property of some entity. Some belters broadcast their results to base, but this is unusual in less secure Outsystems, as it may alert Pirates or claim jumpers to the presence of the Belter.
Imperial systems often require a Belter to lodge a temporary survey claim on the asteroids proposed to be surveyed. This claim is generally for 90 days, and then either has to be upgraded to a more expensive Exploitation Licence or abandoned.
Some Prospectors operate without ever entering their target system, by taking existing surveys and applying new techniques, or looking for now in-demand metals or compounds. Generally, once potentially profitable target is found, another Prospector is hired to resurvey the target asteroid and confirm the results. This technique extensively applied by Imperial Megacorporations, who in some systems have series of survey results stretching back hundreds of years.
Prospectors can also operate on planetary surfaces.
Typical Resource Exploitation Process
Typical Mining Sequence:
- Survey Vessel (LU) → Prospector Vessel (JP) → Belter Craft (JB) → Mining Vessel (JM) → Industrial Mining Vessel (GM)
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type JB class Belter's Ship
- Type JM class Mining Ship
- Type JP class Prospector Vessel AKA Type J class Seeker
- Type UG class Industrial Smallcraft
Ship Summary List
Some of the most commonly used vessels in this role or these roles include:
|11 Representative Prospector Vessel (J) Classes|
|1 Representative Belter Craft (JB) Classes|
|1 Representative Mining Vessel (JM) Classes|
|9 Representative Prospector Vessel (JP) Classes|
|15 Representative Survey Vessel (LU) Classes|
|3 Representative Industrial Smallcraft (UG) Classes|
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- This article is an amalgamation of many different materials published since 1977.
- Jim Cunningham. High Passage 4 (FASA, 1982), TBD.
- Martin Dougherty. Scout Ships (Avenger Enterprises, 2007), TBD.
- Marc Miller. T5 Core Rules (Far Future Enterprises, 2013), TBD.
- Traveller Wiki Editorial Team
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science