Planetoid Hauler class Cargo Ship
|Planetoid Hauler class Cargo Ship|
Because sometimes, you just need stuff hauled.
|Type: WBC Cargo Barge|
|Also see||Cargo Liner|
|Canon||No. Unpublished, non-canon fan spaceship design.|
|Cost||MCr357.11. MCr321.399 in quantity.|
|Passengers||0 High/Med 0 Low|
|Reference||EXTERNAL LINK: MGT Forums|
|Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.|
The Planetoid Hauler class Cargo Ship is a Cargo Barge.
- It is a civilian ship, which carries most of its cargo externally.
A Planetoid Hauler can move up to 10,500 tons at a time at 1 G, or 45,000 tons at 1/4 G, in addition to its own mass (which includes a 10 ton ship's locker) plus a 10 ton safety margin (totals of 11,500 and 46,000 tons, respectively, including boat and margin). Almost half of its mass is devoted to a "maneuver net" consisting of articulated grav-plated segmented tendrils, which extend up to 200 meters (rarely in a straight line, instead usually winding around the cargo) to capture and direct volumes much larger than the ship, and coil up inside the ship when not in use. This leads to the common nickname "Hectopus", or "hundred tentacle", though there are actually 108.
Aside from the maneuver net, the ship is mostly power plant and maneuver drive. Engineers are needed to maintain and balance these for optimal operation but are technically optional. A single pilot can operate a Planetoid Hauler, and history records many tales of cut-rate operations attempting this. Recorded history does not provide many examples of this ending well, especially since this often correlated with skipped maintenance. (Records indicate that the ship was constructed just shy of 1,000 tons to get around regulations at the time requiring a mechanic for any ship of at least 1,000 tons. The ship is simple enough mechanically to get by without a dedicated mechanic, at least given a full crew of engineers.)
As its name implies, a Planetoid Hauler is most often used for hauling asteroids and planetoids, typically to a central processing location. A common mission is to travel to an asteroid belt or trojan cluster, grab rocks (previously surveyed as having valuable ores) up 45,000 tons, then bring them back (at 1/4 G, this takes twice as long as the outbound leg). For bodies over 45,000 tons, a fleet of Planetoid Haulers and one or more boats with laser drills (to split the rock) will be dispatched.
Not available at this time.
General Description & Deck Plans
- Deck Plans for this vessel.
Basic Ship Characteristics
|Basic Ship Characteristics |
|1.||Tonnage / Hull|| Tonnage: 990 tons (standard). 13,860 cubic meters. Streamlined Hull.
|2.||Crew||Crew: 1 Pilot, 7 Engineers.|
|3.||Performance|| Acceleration: 1-G maneuver drive installed. 1/4-G at maximum load.
|5.||Hardpoints||9 hardpoints, unused.|
|6.||Armament||None, aside from the ship's ability to release many thousands of tons of cargo on an intercept vector, as crude ortillery that can rarely be limited to military targets. This use thus falls outside of the rules of war where there are any - such as within the Third Imperium - though it still happens.|
|8.||Craft||None. Crew's vacc suits allow EVA (extra-vehicle activity). Rescue Balls for crew escape usually carried among examples manufactured in Charted Space; original was not so equipped.|
|9.||Fuel Treatment||It is not equipped with a fuel purification plant or fuel scoops.|
|10.||Cost||MCr357.11. MCr321.399 in quantity. (Architect's fees were amortized well before the Second Imperium was founded.) Usually produced in quantity.|
|11.||Construction Time||1 year standard, 9 months in quantity. Usually produced in quantity.|
|12.||Remarks||One of the first large cargo haulers.|
The Planetoid Hauler is representative of a typical cargo-moving boat among TL-9 civilizations that have just developed gravitic engines. This particular design is widely known and has some fame among historians. It was created on Terra shortly before its development of jump drive, then the design files were distributed with subsequent colonization efforts with the intent to help bootstrap the new colony with asteroid resources, resulting in there being at least one Planetoid Hauler manufactured somewhere in Charted Space every decade since through at least 1239, when a history was published documenting this and the many different traditions that had sprung up around the ancient design.
Even trojan clusters in the orbits of the furthest gas giant rarely take more than 1 week out and 2 weeks back to gather from. On these missions, typically the longest single deployments Planetoid Haulers ever see, the 4 week fuel supply gives a 1 week safety margin. In some cultures, this helped inspire a 4 week minimum fuel supply on all ship designs, even thousands of years and multiple technology levels later (thanks to the longevity of standards, once established). The Second Imperium might have been one case where this happened, extending from Solomani experience, but the First Imperium had already popularized this standard; the Planetoid Hauler merely reinforced it.
Planetoid Haulers are known to have been involved in multiple incidents during the Interstellar Wars and Long Night, where asteroids were diverted from a local belt and crashed into a local colony at high velocity. It is often unclear whether there was any actual objective other than eradicating the colony, whether as a terror activity or to deny its resources to the other side. Those involved, if caught, were sometimes executed as war criminals, especially if caught by the opposing side or if their own government desired to shore up its legitimacy. Most of those setting up for the same during the Second Imperium, Third Imperium, or Fourth Imperium have been stopped when questioned why they were transporting a Planetoid Hauler to a politically unstable system, although depopulating a Virus-controlled world (and thus, removing the labor force that keeps the machines Virus depends on running) has sometimes been seen as the only way to stop a Virus infestation that threatens neighboring systems (or other populated worlds in the same system).
Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities
Ship Interior Details: The maneuver net's tendrils, along with the reactor and the maneuver drive, have passageways for access, but maintenance and operation is usually done from the windowless bridge, divided into office-like cubicles to ease the stress of being sealed in a boat for weeks at a time. Further helping combat the stress, the crew commons are notably spacious compared to most higher TL designs (which come from civilizations more experience with space travel, and thus know better what they can get away with). This relative luxury has been cited as a factor in why the Planetoid Hauler design has endured for so long.
The primary views accessible from the bridge are from cameras on each tendril, to help pilots stay aware of any shifts in the load the ship is carrying, since accidentally running into cargo far more massive than the ship is the most immediate danger when an inept pilot is at the helm.
Planetoid Haulers are typically owned by large corporations or government branches, and are often named for their owning organizations. "RockCorp Hauler #2" and "RockCorp 2" are typical formats.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type WBC class Cargo Barge
- Planetoid Hauler class Cargo Ship
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