Basic Colony Ship
Wet Mass: 3000t
Dry Mass: 1500t
Mass Ratio: 2
Capacity: 1000 people
- Alcubierre FTL Drive (300t)
- NSWR (33t)
Basic FTL Colony Ship is the simplest method of establishing extrasolar colonies in an economic environment that makes FTL drives prohibitively expensive to build. The Colony ship primarily consists of a habitat ring (which also houses the propellant tanks) surrounding an Alcubierre FTL Drive. A nuclear salt water rocket (NSWR) at the end of the ship provides intra-system propulsion. NSWRs use water as propellant, rather than hydrogen; this results in smaller propellant tanks, allowing the ship to fit within the FTl drive's warp bubble.
These ships are only intended to make a single voyage. A typical mission for one of these colony ships is as follows:
1) The colony ship loads its colonists in Earth orbit and departs with at least one accompanying cargo transport. The cargo transport carries equipment that the new colony will need, such as modular building kits, livestock embryos, 3D printers, generators, electrolysis equipment, and perhaps most importantly, one (usually two) STO (surface to orbit) spaceplane.
These ships then travel to their destination.
2) Once at their destination, the cargo transport will unload the STO transports first. These will then ferry the colonists and their equipment to the planet's surface. Any unused propellant in the colony ship will often be used to fuel the STO transports.
Towards the end of this process, the colony ship's FTL drive (and often the NSWR with it) are detached from their support struts. the drive is then loaded into the cargo transport which will return it to Earth. The struts and fuel lines can then form the basis of docking support for future spacecraft.
3) Once the colony is set up on the surface, the cargo transport departs for Earth with it's first valuable cargo from the colony. The former colony ship now serves as the colony's space station.
I've had this idea for a little while and thought I'd put it out there.
I was hoping I would get enough time to put this up before I fly out. Comments and thoughts very welcome.