Swallow Freighter (140dt)
Late TL 9 freighter with experimental plasma drive. The crew quarters are placed as far from the drives as possible, to reduce the radiation hazard. The hull itself is very light, and easily damaged by micrometeorites. It's total length is 40m, though much of this is the thin neck. The main bulk of the ship is 9m wide.
Though ion drives were great for getting about a solar system, they were terrible for leaving planetary orbit, requiring complicated orbital manoeuvring to overcome even a small planet's gravity. The advent of the plasma drive improved things, but early versions were rare in non-military craft due to expense and also their perceived risk.
The Swallow was one civilian design which tried to make use of the early plasma drive designs to allow fast orbital insertion and escape. Compared craft such as the Albatross, it could simply point away from the planet and thrust. In order to achieve this though, the Swallow sacrifices maximum speed and also durability - the design is stripped down to the bare essentials in order to reduce mass to a minimum.
- Nuclear Drive: 3dt
- Shield: 4dt
- Hydrogen Fuel: 400dt (40t/440t)
- Crew: 16dt
- Cargo: 37dt
- Methane Fuel: 10dt (1t/101t)
- Thrusters: 1dt
Total Tonnage: 471dt
Total Tonnage: 64dt Wet Mass: 164t
System Drive (Nuclear)
This assumes a full tank of Liquid Oxygen/Methane.
- Dry Mass: 202t
- Wet Mass (Hydrogen propellant): 602t
Nuclear Impulse: 12.0
Nuclear Deltavee: 13km/s
Nuclear Deltavee (without Methane): 21km/s
Orbital Drive (Chemical)
Performance of just the orbital shuttle (detached from nuclear drive):
Chemical Impulse: 3.2
Chemical Deltavee: 3km/s