Colony ship

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allanimal
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Colony ship

Postby allanimal » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:35 pm

#43 on the space encounters table on p. 146 mentions a colony ship.
Does anyone have an example of a colony ship design?

I'm assuming a sub-light design that has been travelling centuries... I imagine the origin is >100 parsecs from the destination, and the PCs will find it ~2 parsecs from the destination.
Realistically, how long would a sub-light colony ship take to go 100 parsecs? Approximately what TL would the Solomoni be when the ship left, if the current date is mid 1105?

Thanks for your help and ideas!
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Jeraa » Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:12 pm

allanimal wrote:#43 on the space encounters table on p. 146 mentions a colony ship.
Does anyone have an example of a colony ship design?

I'm assuming a sub-light design that has been travelling centuries... I imagine the origin is >100 parsecs from the destination, and the PCs will find it ~2 parsecs from the destination.
Realistically, how long would a sub-light colony ship take to go 100 parsecs? Approximately what TL would the Solomoni be when the ship left, if the current date is mid 1105?

Thanks for your help and ideas!
Any ship can theoretically be a colony ship. Your typical one would probably be more like a freighter, but with a larger than normal passenger capacity.

100 parsecs is 326 light years. Even at the speed of light, it would take 326 years to get there. Reactionless drives have no limit on maximum velocity (aside from the speed of light), so could eventually get at least close to the speed of light.

The Solomani reach TL 13 in 300 (805 years ago), and have an average of TL 14 at 1050 (55 years go). So somewhere between TL 13 and 14, probably closer to TL 13. The Solomani develop jump drive in -2431 (over 3,500 years ago) - they are unlikely to still be using slower than light generation ships.
Last edited by Jeraa on Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
allanimal
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Re: Colony ship

Postby allanimal » Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:17 pm

Jeraa wrote:
allanimal wrote:#43 on the space encounters table on p. 146 mentions a colony ship.
Does anyone have an example of a colony ship design?

I'm assuming a sub-light design that has been travelling centuries... I imagine the origin is >100 parsecs from the destination, and the PCs will find it ~2 parsecs from the destination.
Realistically, how long would a sub-light colony ship take to go 100 parsecs? Approximately what TL would the Solomoni be when the ship left, if the current date is mid 1105?

Thanks for your help and ideas!
Any ship can theoretically be a colony ship. Your typical one would probably be more like a freighter, but with a larger than normal passenger capacity.

100 parsecs is 326 light years. Eve at the speed of light, it would take 326 years to get there. Reactionless drives have no limit on maximum velocity (aside from the speed of light), so could eventually get at least close to the speed of light.

The Solomani reach TL 13 in 300 (805 years ago), and have an average of TL 14 at 1050 (55 years go). So somewhere between TL 13 and 14, probably closer to TL 13. The Solomani develop jump drive in -2431 (over 3,500 years ago) - they are unlikely to still be using slower than light generation ships.
Thanks for the answer. It's interesting... Maybe I'll have to find a different origin for the colony ship then... I was thinking of something that launched well before jump drives were practical, yet still had a good idea that the target was practical. Is there a good site that documents when the various races and human sub/races acquired jump tech in relation to the 2rd imperium year?
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Jeraa » Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:20 pm

allanimal wrote: Is there a good site that documents when the various races and human sub/races acquired jump tech in relation to the 2rd imperium year?
The various alien books have timelines for that race. I know there is a Traveller Integrated Timeline out there, but I seem to be having a problem finding it. I have the pdf, so I know it exists somewhere.

All of the major races have had working jump drives for thousands of years by 1105. The only ones who wouldn't would be a minor race that haven't invented one of their own yet or for some reason hasn't traded with another race for a jump drive.

One possibility could be a group of Space-Amish who have decided to limit what technology they can use.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Solomani666 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:32 am

1000 years give or take.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Reynard » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:41 am

I'm amazed we never really see an official colony ship design. You think worlds exploring and colonizing would have a colonization branch of government that would have ships specializing in movement of people and supplies/equipment in the early stages of a colony rather than commandeering passenger liners and cargo freighters. I also see ships that deliver crews and equipment for the initial infrastructure construction before the first colonist arrive. This would be especially true on worlds with less than ideal conditions.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Solomani666 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:58 am

Reminds me of the TTA Conestoga class ships:

Image
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Condottiere » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:55 pm

Probably economics, colonies are supposed to become self sufficient as soon as possible.

Technological level eight colony ships are probably the expression of their planet's acme of aspirations and industrial base, and likely to be unique, even if they can afford to construct entire classes.

Once there's a hint of the possibility of hyperspace travel, all those resources would be channelled into investigating and developing that.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:12 pm

allanimal wrote:#43 on the space encounters table on p. 146 mentions a colony ship.
Does anyone have an example of a colony ship design?

I'm assuming a sub-light design that has been travelling centuries... I imagine the origin is >100 parsecs from the destination, and the PCs will find it ~2 parsecs from the destination.
Realistically, how long would a sub-light colony ship take to go 100 parsecs? Approximately what TL would the Solomoni be when the ship left, if the current date is mid 1105?

Thanks for your help and ideas!
A parsec is 3.26 light years, 100 parsecs is 326 light years, so any slower than light starship should take longer than that. It just so happens that I have a design for a colony ship.
Image
It is an artificial world with an artificial sky, you can scale it down if you think its much too big, but this design is open to space, it relies on its spin to hold its atmosphere down, it has 500 km high walls, and the inner cylinder projects an image of the sky, with sun, stars, Moon, whatever you like. A person standing on the surface of this will think he is on a planet.
Image
This is one possible layout for the interior, the poles are towards the cylinder ends.

Getting back towards a realistic trip time. I'd say 1% of the speed of light would be a realistic cruise velocity, there is really no reason to go really fast for a starship this size, at 1% of the speed of light, it would take 32,600 years to make a journey of 100 parsecs. So I imagine if this ship came from Earth, and arrives in 1106 Imperial, which is 5628 AD, then we subtract 32,600 years from that to arrive at the departure date of 26973 BC.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:37 pm

I had one designed at 2,000 tons for MGT1, prior to HG.

My basic premise is that it would be an Unstreamlined ship with LOTS of 30-ton modules filled with Low Berth units.

1 colonist + 1 ton of cargo (supplies) all in modules that can easily be transported to the surface and then the Module becomes first generation housing...
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:41 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:I had one designed at 2,000 tons for MGT1, prior to HG.

My basic premise is that it would be an Unstreamlined ship with LOTS of 30-ton modules filled with Low Berth units.

1 colonist + 1 ton of cargo (supplies) all in modules that can easily be transported to the surface and then the Module becomes first generation housing...
So you want a sleeper ship, not a generation ship. Okay so 1106 Imperial is 5628 AD, 100 parsecs is 326 light years. 3528 years to travel 326 light years equals a cruise speed of 10% of the speed of light.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby AndrewW » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:10 pm

For a non sleeper ship, barracks could be a possibility:
Book 2: High Guard wrote:A barracks may only be used to carry marines or passengers (few will willingly pay for passage in such cramped conditions, so such passengers will be colonists or prisoners).
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:45 pm

This is in CT A5 TCS:
Early in the space-faring history of Terra, a long-range program of interstellar
colonization was begun, only to be abandoned with the discovery of the jump
drive. Before that abandonment, however, several large colony expeditions were
launched. The most ambitious such effort was launched in 2050 by the European
Space Agency, in cooperation with the French O'Neil colony and Beltmetallfabrikant,
AG. Three large asteroids were hollowed out and fitted with reaction drives,
becoming the colonization ships Voyageur, Marinus van der Lubbe, and C-Jammer.
Each was filled with a thousand crew, none of whom would live to see the end (or
much more than the very beginning) of the voyage. Flight time was projected at
two thousand years. Despite this, there was no shortage of volunteers for the crew,
many of whom were already living in artificial space colonies: one colony was much
like another, and this one was going somewhere interesting. Space was provided for
a tenfold population increase during the trip.
Each ship also carried 100,000 additional colonists in cold sleep. During the
voyage, each colonist was awakened for a five-year work period; at any one time
there were 750 of them awake, and thus the culture of the ships maintained its
contact with 21st Century society, and each new shipboard generation was reminded
of its mission by some of those who had begun the trip.
This system worked well: although some unavoidable cultural gulfs developed
between the crew and the sleepers, nothing jeopardized the mission.
The ships' computers ultimately found, and locked onto, a suitable group of
worlds and designated them the mission destination. That destination proved to be
the Islands Clusters, located in the center of what is now the Reft Sector, in a low
stellar density branch of the Great Rift. Their trip took over two thousand years.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:49 pm

Furthermore, we are told in MegaTraveller (MT) that the Vilani used STL ships for a century to explore their neighbouring systems prior to their invention of the jump drive. Finally The Hinterworlds supplement for MT mentions the Terran STL colony ships that were sent in that direction prior to jump discovery.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby -Daniel- » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:12 pm

When ever I think of a sleeper ship I think of this....

Image

I can't help it. I am one of the TV generation. :lol:
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Condottiere » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:18 pm

For the hyperspace generation, no one is likely to design and build a colony ship from scratch.

They'll adapt the biggest commercial ship they can afford; a passenger liner for the over moderately well to do, and a freighter for the under moderately ne'er do wells.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby allanimal » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:21 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:I had one designed at 2,000 tons for MGT1, prior to HG.

My basic premise is that it would be an Unstreamlined ship with LOTS of 30-ton modules filled with Low Berth units.

1 colonist + 1 ton of cargo (supplies) all in modules that can easily be transported to the surface and then the Module becomes first generation housing...
So you want a sleeper ship, not a generation ship. Okay so 1106 Imperial is 5628 AD, 100 parsecs is 326 light years. 3528 years to travel 326 light years equals a cruise speed of 10% of the speed of light.
Yeah, this is what I want.
I did a rough work up on the 2nd ed High Guard design process, and i am finding it hard to fit enough fuel in for 3500 years, much less 326 years... I've taken all the liberties I can find - basically the power plant is powering the m-drive and the low berths only. It still takes a metric crapton of fuel. Almost no basic systems - enough to run the computer who is on autopilot and running auto repair drones for the inevitable issues that crop up over the decades...

The ship is going to need to refuel on its journey somehow...
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Re: Colony ship

Postby hivemindx » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:34 pm

The Traveller RPG wiki has a page giving dates for jump drive invention for the major races:-
http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Jump_Drive ... Dossier.29

There is obviously some terminology confusion. As far as I'm concerned a colony ship is jump capable and is basically a ship with cargo and passenger capacity enough to carry the starter population and their equipment. I can see why there might be specialised ships for this but I don't see why those wishing to start a colony wouldn't hire or buy a few large freighters and maybe a liner or two to do the job. Depending on whether the colony is being founded on an already occupied planet they may bring some warships and troop carriers too. See Aslan for this, and in fact there is a special purpose Ihatei transport in the Rebellion book. Referenced here:- http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Ihatei_class_Transport

A generation ship is a type of colony ship but a slower than light one. I think 100 parsecs is probably far too far to send a ship like that for a civilisation that hasn't invented the jump drive yet. That is a very long way in Traveller terms and they are more likely to be going somewhere far closer. Unless they are fleeing oppression or something and want to go so far that there is no realistic possibility of someone following them. Reactionless thrusters, which is what Traveller uses, are kind of (ok very) fudgy in that they can accelerate a ship to near light speed. However Thrust 1 manoeuvre drives and Jump 1 are both TL 9 according to High Guard second edition so by the time you can accelerate your ship to light speed you may as well jump there. Note that at 1g it would still take nearly a year to accelerate to almost light speed (according to Wolfram Alpha) and obviously a year to slow down too. It is far more likely that a generation ship is using an ion drive and never gets even close to that fast. In the TV show Ascension their plan (which I haven't checked for scientific accuracy sorry) is to travel the 4.2 ly (1.3 parsecs) in 100 years.

On the Steel Breeze is the second in a series of books by Alistair Reynolds. There are a few threads in this and one of them involves generation ships. These are sent out in their hundreds by Earth, in clusters so that while each ship might be completely cut off from Earth they may be able to get assistance from another colony ship relatively near them if something goes wrong. This also acts a safety valve for social problems. You are not trapped in a tin can with the same people for your whole life, you have the prospect of maybe going to a different tin can with different people. It's a very interesting take on the idea of generation ships and it is well worth a read. Those ships are very large by Traveller standards. They are bringing their entire ecosystem and enough people to found a civilisation. They would have more people and more biodiversity than an awful lot of the planets in Traveller would.

A sleeper ship is another thing again. Assuming their low berth technology is good enough that only an acceptable percentage of people die then this can work fine. There's a bunch of examples in fiction but none are springing to mind. There are two main types in fiction though, the ones where a skeleton crew stay awake, possibly in shifts, and maintain a colossal mausoleum of a ship and the ones where everyone is asleep and the computers are programmed to wake people up when they arrive or if something goes wrong. These ships represent a huge amount of money to anyone coming across one that is unscrupulous enough just to take what they find. The Tom Baker Doctor Who series The Ark in Space is an example of the latter. The crew are awakened and are hostile to the Doctor, assuming that he is responsible for all their other problems.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Jeraa » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:17 pm

hivemindx wrote:A generation ship is a type of colony ship but a slower than light one. I think 100 parsecs is probably far too far to send a ship like that for a civilisation that hasn't invented the jump drive yet. That is a very long way in Traveller terms and they are more likely to be going somewhere far closer. Unless they are fleeing oppression or something and want to go so far that there is no realistic possibility of someone following them. Reactionless thrusters, which is what Traveller uses, are kind of (ok very) fudgy in that they can accelerate a ship to near light speed. However Thrust 1 manoeuvre drives and Jump 1 are both TL 9 according to High Guard second edition so by the time you can accelerate your ship to light speed you may as well jump there. Note that at 1g it would still take nearly a year to accelerate to almost light speed (according to Wolfram Alpha) and obviously a year to slow down too. It is far more likely that a generation ship is using an ion drive and never gets even close to that fast. In the TV show Ascension their plan (which I haven't checked for scientific accuracy sorry) is to travel the 4.2 ly (1.3 parsecs) in 100 years.
Not necessarily. You don't spontaneously develop all the technology for a given TL all at once. It takes time. You can develop reactionless M-drives and then not develop the jump drive for a long time after.

Using the Solomani as an example again, they develop the maneuver drive at -2458, while the jump dive takes until -2431 (though they didn't use it for interstellar travel until -2425). While only 27 years apart (33 until they started using it for interstellar travel), that is more than enough time to outfit and launch a ship with the new maneuver drive before the jump drive comes along.
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Re: Colony ship

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:26 am

Sigtrygg wrote:Furthermore, we are told in MegaTraveller (MT) that the Vilani used STL ships for a century to explore their neighbouring systems prior to their invention of the jump drive. Finally The Hinterworlds supplement for MT mentions the Terran STL colony ships that were sent in that direction prior to jump discovery.
How long were the Ancients using STL drives before they invented the Jump Drive? My thoughts were, they could have built some pretty huge STL starships before they invented the Jump, maybe with AIs.

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