Heyerdahl Class Colony Ship
|Heyerdahl Class Colony Ship|
|Builders: Moss Corporation|
|Operators: United Nations|
|Preceded by: None|
|Succeeded by: Oracle Class Colony Ship|
|Type: Colony Ship|
|Mass: XX,XXXX Tons|
|Length: 280 m|
|Beam: xx m|
|Height: xx m|
|Speed: 249,827.05 m/s2|
|Powerplant: Walters Atomic C-17|
|Propulsion: 3x Carroll Motors CM-X15|
|Range: 750,000,000 Km|
|Sensors: FazeWare A-11 Suite|
|Small Craft: None|
The Heyerdahl Class Colony Ship was manufactured by the Moss Corporation beginning in 2061. It was only manufactured for 4 years before being replaced by the larger Oracle Class Colony Ship. Although it was called a "colony ship", the title is something of a misnomer as it was actually closer to a passenger ferry in function. Unlike later Colony Ships, the Heyerdahl class ferried passengers to colonies that had already been erected by robots.
The Heyerdahl Class was the first colony ship within the Terran Colony Ship (TCS) series - sometimes called the TCS-500 based on its passenger capacity. This ship was a small ship that carried approximately 500 passengers and minimal cargo. This ship was instrumental in the establishment of the moon base during 2062. Passengers aboard the TCS-500 were transported fully awake and, as a result, this ship was limited to short in-system trips. This class of ship ended production in 2065 and the ships were quickly retired.
Design & Construction
The ships were built in orbit and were never intended to land. Passengers were loaded to the ship via orbital station. They could arrive via space elevator or shuttle. Once arriving at their destination, orbital shuttles ferried passengers down to the planet. The ship was essentially a long cylinder with engines on the back. Near the middle of the cylinder, 2 "y-shaped" ring fragments rotated in opposite directions to provide stability and artificial gravity. The main airlocks were in the front of the cylinder, near the command module. Two additional airlocks where located at the top and bottom of the ship in between the rotating frames. These were intended to be emergency escape hatches, but their position made it difficult for other ships to dock there.
For all of it's public successes, the Heyerdahl Class was dangerous. Moss Corporation realized the dangers associated with this design and worked quickly to try to rectify those with the Oracle Class Colony Ship. This is why the Heyerdahl Class had a limited production run and so few vessels were built. Some of the problems with this class included poor structural planning. There were not enough internal bulkheads to properly compartmentalize the ship in case of violent depressurization. There were also a limited number of escape hatches. The ship carried a crew of 10, who also lived in the rotating frame. Each pod held 85 people; 83 passengers and 2 crew. In the event of an emergency the passengers in the rotating frame would not be able to escape easily. Designers of the ship voiced objections to the plans and advocated for increased structural engineering and safety protocols citing the Titanic disaster of the early 20th century on Earth as an example of why lifeboats and escape hatches were needed, but they were pressured into completing the ships quickly due a bidding war over a lucrative government contract. Moss Corporation dodged a potential disaster when the TCS-Cook was destroyed in Earth orbit in 2062. Fortunately, the ship was undergoing testing in Earth Orbit and only the 10 crew members were aboard the vessel and were able to evacuate safely. But, the Cook disaster brought to light the importance of adequate safety precautions.
The Heyerdahl Class Colony Ships were operated by the United Nations of Earth in the earliest of space-faring days. Due to the immense safety issues with these ships, none of the ships wound up in civilian hands or operated by other agencies.
The Heyerdahl was instrumental in getting the Moon Base operational during the mid-21st Century. Between the six operational ships of the class they made more than 300 trips to the moon between 2062 and 2066.
Ships in Class
Ships of this class were named after famous adventurers. Moss Corporation wanted to capture the pioneering spirit with these ships. There were 7 ships planned, but only 6 ships were constructed in total. The ship patches for ships of this class feature the silhouette of an Egyptian reed ship in honor of Thor Heyerdahl's legacy.
List of Heyerdahl Class ships:
- Short Story: "TCS-Cook" (2017)