Astro Safari Excursion Shuttle (SM+7, TL11^)

If you have a flying casino, you’ll need a flying bar to orbit it. This ship was designed as a target for the space pirates in the Deeps of Lyrae campaign. It might add drama to complicate an attack on a Contessa-class cruise ship to have this craft involved in some way: some wealthy passengers escape in it? Crew launch it to ram the PCs ship in an act of desperate self-sacrifice? Who knows? It would be standard equipment to carry this ship in a hangar bay of a liner like the Contessa-class.

Astro Safari Excursion Shuttle

The Astro Safari-class excursion shuttle was designed by Astro Streamliner as a ship’s boat for a luxury passenger ship like the Contessa. It is a contemporary ship with a reputation for reliability and it sees wide use in the cruise ship industry. Its main feature is a expansive windows above, to the side, and even below (built into the deck along aisles and the floor of shared spaces), providing panoramic views. Passenger seats fill the midships to the bow compartment, while the very front of the craft is taken up by a standing-only bar/lounge/restaurant space with the best views.

After liftoff, passengers can stand and mingle in the on-board bar/restaurant while admiring the scenery. Crew-only spaces include a small cockpit in the nose a few steps down from the bar/lounge, a small engine room directly aft, and a galley serving the restaurant (also aft).

The Safari is typically used by passenger liner companies to take passengers on profitable in-system sightseeing excursions. When a liner must stop to refuel at a gas giant or space station, for instance, the Safari excitingly skims across the top of the gas giant’s atmosphere, then briefly dives beneath it. The Safari can be used to offer a tour of a nearby asteroid belt. When the liner is in port, the craft may be used as a shuttle to/from the planet, although it has limited cargo capacity.

Like all luxury craft, it is over-crewed at six crew billets, but in an emergency it can be fully operated by one pilot. It has no facilities for long-term accommodation, but its passenger seats are somewhat larger than normal. Although this is not its intended purpose, if necessary it can be operated as an in-system shuttle without accommodation–essentially reproducing the experience of a long-distance bus where you sleep in your seat.

The ship’s fast engines are necessary to allow the ship to make in-system side-trips while the liner is in transit: the Safari can still catch up to the liner. But they are also part of the experience: The inertial compensator can even be adjusted to allow the passengers to feel more of the acceleration—and the excitement!

The ship also contains 30 hibernation berths, allowing it to do double-duty as an emergency lifeboat. Many cruise lines insist on this arrangement in order to meet lifeboat requirements at a minimum of expense. The hibernation berths are located along the sides and aft of the craft below the passenger deck. Hibernation berths are accessible by removing floor panels between the seats and crawling down short ladders.

The ship is unarmed and has a winged lifting body.

Stats

TL: 11^

dST/HP: 50

Hnd/SR: +1/5

HT: 13

Move: 100G/c

LWt.: 300 tons

Load: 20 tons

SM: +7

Occ.: 6 + 26SV

dDR: 2

Range: N/A

Cost: $12.71m

Streamlined, Winged Lifting Body

Front

  1. Armor (Steel plate, 2 dDR)
  2. Luxury passenger seats x 10 (double size with room above and large observation windows above and below).*
  3. Luxury passenger seats x 10 (double size with room above and large observation windows above and below).
  4. Luxury passenger seats x 6 (double size with extra room above and large observation windows above and below) + galley, bathroom, Rescue/Utility Room
  5. Habitat: Establishment (lounge cabin)
  6. Habitat: Establishment (restaurant cabin)

Front CORE: Control Room (C7 computer net, comm/sensor array level 7, 3 control stations)

Middle

  1. Armor (Steel plate, 2 dDR)
  2. Habitat: (Hibernation berths x 8)
  3. Habitat: (Hibernation berths x 8)
  4. Habitat: (Hibernation berths x 8)
  5. Habitat: (Hibernation berths x 8)
  6. External Clamp with extendable flexi-sleeve passage tube to airlock

Middle CORE: Fusion reactor (2 power points at 600 years endurance)

Rear

  1. Armor (Steel plate, 2 dDR)
  2. (!) Super reactionless engine (50G thrust)
  3. (!) Super reactionless engine (50G thrust)
  4. Engine Room (1 control station)
  5. Habitat: Steerage Cargo (10 tons)
  6. Habitat: Steerage Cargo (10 tons)

* most of the additional space for the luxury passenger seats is allocated to air space that makes the compartment taller. The seats themselves are only somewhat more luxurious than normal.

Max. Passengers: 26

Max. Crew: 6 (minimum crew: 1)

Emergency Hibernation Berths: 32

Crew complement (duty station):

  • Pilot (bridge)
  • Co-Pilot (bridge)
  • Tour Guide (jump seat in bridge)
  • Steward (galley)
  • Bartender (lounge)
  • Engine Technician (engine room)
Module/Equipment Cost/ea. Quantity Cost
Armor plate .06 3 .18
Fusion reactor     3
Engines 2 2 4
Passenger Seats .1 3 .3
External Clamp     .03
Habitat .3 8 2.4
Control Room     .6
Engine Room     .1
Artificial Gravity     .3
Gravatic Compensator     .3
Winged lifting body     1.5
    TOTAL 12.71

(Image coda: I picture this ship as being somewhat like the SNC Dream Chaser [pictured] if it were a little larger and it had windows where all of the black parts are on this concept image. Source: NASA. I’d imagine the onboard experience to look somewhat like this daz3d image of an imaginary shipboard lounge, but probably without seats.)

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