Many versions of Traveller have listed "live animals" under speculative trading, including MgT1 and MgT2. Granted, there is no explanation of *how* they are transported, and my assumption is no more or less valid than yours. We are just looking at it from different perspectives. If there is going to be an explanation, it's likely in Gurps Traveller as Gurps always explains EVERYTHING. Whether Gurps is considered canonical depends on who you talk to. I know there's at least one adventure that involved hauling unfrozen livestock, but again probably not what everyone thinks of as canon. No matter how you look at it, there's a lot of handwavium involved and livestock is treated no differently than a hold full of ore.Infojunky wrote: ↑Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:06 pmThat is a big assumption, especially considering the amount of life support overhead shipping awake live stock would need. The traditional assumption Livestock is shipped in Low.
Also Note while the cargo bay might have atmosphere, it doesn't have the active ventilation that the people occupied portions of the ship have.
So let me try to explain where I'm coming from before you roll your eyes. We are looking at hauling livestock from two standpoints really, if it were a real world situation and not a game mechanic, ease of transport vs. cost. Sure, if I'm hauling a hold full of livestock, they are going to stink and need to be fed, but if you're freezing them you'd have to buy the equipment to do so and supply massive amounts of power to keep them frozen. A weeks worth of feed and hiring someone to clean out the hold afterward would be a lot cheaper than buying lowberthing equipment for horses,chickens, and cattle. Low berths are a C100k for a human, even assuming there's no cost increase for the increase in size to hold large animals or needing a bunch more for smaller animals, that's still a substantial cost. The base price for a ton of "live animals" is C10k, so it's very unlikely that it includes any low berth equipment in the price. This doesn't even touch on the question about where all the power is coming from to keep 1000s of chickens frozen for the trip. Now, a quick google search shows that a month worth of alfalfa is $22 in today's prices per head of cattle. Even if you pay a group of dock workers C5k to clean the hold out, the cost differences are enormous. Investing in low berths for livestock would only make sense if that's what you were transporting exclusively.
It also makes very little sense to not circulate and scrub the air in the cargo hold, as well as monitor it. Not doing so would be dangerous to the safety of the crew and the existence of the ship. I have often worked in confined spaces. They are dangerous enough to go down in without testing and ventilating, I would never go into a 100dT hold that didn't have the air circulated and monitored constantly, let alone open the door! There are plenty of stories about people that don't know what they are getting into entering a storage tank, manhole, or other confined space and dying. Worse yet, sometimes their friends or coworkers try to go in to save them, and die too. A cargo hold is a very large space that could hold a lot of bad air. Now, I'm not a rocket scientist, but it's probably safe to assume that there's a lot of hazardous and dangerous materials involved in a starship. What if something leaks and fills the hold with CO2 or something more hazardous like hydrogen or more noxious gases? Especially if the tanks leak, it would create a pressure differential, so when you opened an iris valve all that hydrogen is going to come rushing into the rest of the ship, just looking for a spark! Logically then, if the assumption was that the cargo hold wasn't maintained by the life support system, there would be airlocks to enter and leave, and more than likely it would be a vacuum environment requiring a suit to enter. (As an aside, the Mongoose 2300AD setting has steerage, explicitly stating that passengers can be transported in the hold or anywhere else they can find a place to stand, and that the cost of the ticket includes one balogna sammich a day.)
The problem with all of this is that the cost for life support is based on staterooms in MgT, not ship size. Again, this is handwavium, as it doesn't state explicitly what is involved in the cost of life support or in what quantities. As noted in my previous post, this really seems to be more food and water than air. Air is pretty much free anywhere you go, assuming you run it through the fuel processors or scrubbers as you fill the tanks if it's tainted or exotic, why would you have to pay for it? If you gather and crack water for fuel you're getting hydrogen and oxygen and you aren't going to just vent the oxygen out the airlock. The only place you wouldn't be likely to get oxygen easily is if you are scooping on a gas giant because it's a good deal heavier than hydrogen. Meaning you'd have to go deeper into the gas giant, making it a lot more risky. Also, and more tellingly, the rules explicitly state that you have to pay for life support even if the stateroom is empty. Oxygen doesn't tend to go bad after a month sitting in tanks, but food in a fridge for a month does. Water goes stale too, although as far as I know it's still safe to drink, but you wouldn't want to give that to paying customers. So, my conclusion is that the majority of the cost involved in life support is for food and water, and a minor portion of it is for filters for the air scrubbers. Costs for the actual air would be negligible and probably included in the cost of fuel if not just sucked up from atmosphere.
Don't get me wrong, I know that from an ease of play standpoint the rules are what they are. An adventure involving a cargo hold full of carnivorous space pigs running amok would be a fun ONCE, but a party of adventurers isn't going to want to deal with that nonsense regularly. Life support, all the various cargoes available, and many other things are necessarily abstracted. Thankfully Mongoose didn't put out a new version of Fire Fusion & Steel! Even with the abstractions, I personally like to think logically within the rules as best that I can for answers. The OP was asking about what it would take to transport a hold full of people in an emergency and why. As a GM, I'd handwave it for whatever adventure element was involved and let the players rescue everyone they can, but the OP was asking why...so I gave him the an explanation which would satisfy *most* players that didn't break the rules.