Martian Survey Corps Vessel Empiricist
Length: 1,200 M
Width: 700 M
Crew Compliment: 27
One rack of 6x smart antiship missile launchers (subnuclear)
One axially mounted relativistic accelerator.
Constructed in 2209 as part of the Martian Socialist Republic’s first interstellar exploration fleet, Empiricist is 8th in the line of the new Newton class of Martian FTL explorers. Although lightly armed and armored compared to contemporary Martian warships, its low mass allows it to more easily use the Alcubierre drive without expending inordinate amounts of energy in the process. The vessel also boasts an impressive fuel efficiency in its fusion motors, allowing for up to eight months of 1 G burning on a single load of fuel.
The design features three rotating torii built around a central axle. The first torus is the largest and holds nothing but the Alcubierre ring. The second two rings are smaller, connected together at the ring tips, and counter-rotate with respect to the drive ring. These two rings are used to provide spin gravity while the ship is not under acceleration.
During periods of thrusting, the crew will migrate to the modules in the central axis, which are arranged so as to be useable in either freefall or while the vessel is under thrust. These freefall and thrust mode modules include additional science and medical stations to augment those found in the rings, as well as another bridge and crew quarters.
Behind the rings is a large hanger bay, the engineering bay, and the fusion reactor, which is nested behind water tanks to protect the crew from the radiation it generates. Fuel cells and the fusion motors for non-FTL maneuvers are finally stacked beneath the reactor core.
Fabrique Intersolar Exploratory Mining Vehicle Stoneburner
Manufacturer: Orbital Engineering Solutions
Length: 2,700 meters
Width: 980 meters
Crew Compliment: 210
Constructed in 2162, the Stoneburner and other EMVs were built as initial exploratory mining platforms, which would travel from asteroid to asteroid, digging test shafts, and doing value assessments on establishing permanent or semi-permanent outposts on site.
This era of exploratory mining came to a slow close during the 2180s, with vessels having to push further and further to reach untapped asteroids and comets. In 2184, Orbital Engineering Solutions was bought out by Tartaran mining giant Joveworks, and most of the EMV fleet was sold as scrap.
It was during this mass sale that Azrael Athabasca purchased three EMVs, including the Stoneburner, for his mining startup Fabrique Intersolar.
Fabrique spent the latter portion of the 2180s refitting the mining ships to use constructing a new generation ship which they would construct using modern techniques. These plans were thrown into disarray in 2199 with the discovery of warp drive.
The discovery of warp drive resulted in a massive restructure within Fabrique, and in the end, Azrael stepped down as CEO in 2205 to be replaced by his daughter, Zephyr.
Zephyr too, had grand plans for the mining ships and began refitting them yet again, this time for faster than light travel. In 2214, Fabrique launched the Hyades Mining Expedition, sending the three mining ships to the mineral rich Hyades Cluster, 150 light years from Earth. Before the launch of the Orion Arm Deep Survey in 2217, it was the furthest humans had ever traveled from Sol.
The vessel design features a modular construction, with four support columns mounted in a box formation around a central axle. These support columns are designed to accommodate different refining and processing equipment, which can be stacked on the structural members in whatever fashion is needed.
The human-occupied areas of the ship are buried deep within the central core of the ship, near the back of the vessel, allowing the bulk of the mining equipment to shield the crew from debris and impacts.
Beneath and surrounding the crew sections are more equipment attachment points, with hangers for processed ore at the bottom of the ship. These hangers also act as a buffer between the crew and the vessel’s power source: an advanced pebble bed fission reactor. At the vessel’s stern, a pumped fusion candle provides primary thrust.
United Nations Cruiser Electronic Warfare Leyte Gulf
Manufacturer: Compass Shipyards
Length: 1,480 meters
Width: 600 meters
Crew Compliment: 150
Twelve racks of 10x smart antiship missile launchers
Sixteen point defense laser batteries
Ten drone launch bays
Two turret-mounted railguns
In 2202 during the international crisis in Sol following the Lightspeed Conflict, the need for an advanced mainline vessel with warp capabilities and all of the latest in electronic warfare and remote warfare technology was seen as an urgent requirement for the UN to maintain force parity with the Martians. The mainline Martian fleet was considered decades ahead of the other great powers in this task, which was illustrated when a pair of martian frigates kept an entire UN fleet jammed for several weeks during the culmination of military operations on the surface of Alpha Centauri b.
Compass Shipyards, a longtime UN contractor in starship building, was hired to build the first Marathon class cruiser, and in 2204 the hull for the UNDF Marathon was laid down at the Apollo 9 Elevator Shipyards and slid out of the shipyards in 2206.
Following field tests against older vessels, the UN began a flurry of shipbuilding in an attempt to bring their aging fleet up to modern military standards, equipped for the new realities of interstellar travel. Sixty cruisers were commissioned for construction by Compass shipyards. The Leyte Gulf was the 44th electronic warfare cruiser to be built and was launched in 2211.
The Marathon class manage to evoke a sense of sleekness in their design, but in construction, they are anything but. Prefabricated armored modules are strapped to an armored axle and wrapped in additional layers of armor afterward. That roughly aerodynamic mass is encircled by the alcubierre ring, which is connected at the hull’s widest point.
They lack amenities such as spin gravity rings or windows, but their designs are more curved and flowing as a result of their aerodynamic ancestry with their earth engineers, compared to the hard angles and blunt edges of Martian military vessels. Despite this, the design is not rated for atmospheric flight.
Fabrique Intersolar Exploratory Survey Vessel Better Margins
Length: 900 meters
Width: 200 meters
Crew Compliment: 35
Following the invention of the warp drive by Adriana Thellis, many corporations jumped to be the first to build the first generation faster than light scout ship. The Tartarus Accords hired the Jovian industrial giant Joveworks to build fifty of their generation one scout ships and began construction of the first Discovery class vessel in 2200. Only twenty-five of the ships were delivered to the Tartarus Accord’s newly formed Excursion Branch before being replaced by a newer design, but Joveworks found the design to be a good model for a privatized exploration vessel, and continued building the ships and selling them to various Tartaran nations and corporate interests.
Over one hundred Discovery class vessels were eventually built and sold off before the construction lines were shut down. The Better Margins was the 68th Discovery class vessel produced by Joveworks Titan Orbital Shipyards, and was launched in 2208.
The design features a single heavy duty central axle module, into which all the crew compartments are built. Warp drive rings on the bow and stern are encased in a mesh of girders, fuel pods, and storage units, filling in the empty space between them and giving the overall vessel a shape resembling that of a tall soda can.