TSV-14 Alan Shepard
The Alan Shepard is a Trilon Corporation Survey Vessel of the SSV-21 class. Her namesake, Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepard Jr., was a naval aviator and astronaut who was the first American to travel into space, and the fifth person to walk on the Moon.
The Shepard — affectionately referred to simply as “the Shep” — can support 30 souls on extended survey missions. She boasts spin habitats for crew comfort and carries two space planes to provide interface transport. The space planes are GB-1 Freedom 7 and GB-2 Kitty Hawk, also casually referred to as “Golf Ball One” and “Golf Ball Two.”
The SSV-21 — or System-C Special Services Vessel 21— grew out of a Trilon need for a sophisticated vessel that could handle such tasks as first contact missions and extended surveys of living worlds.
The SSV-21 relies on a closed-cycle fuel cell power plant. Fuel cells are normally used in small military vessels for their lower radiated signature but the high cost typically keeps them out of civilian vessels. A closed-cycle plant like the one found on the SSV-21 retains its fuel supply after use and can simply deploy a solar array to crack the water exhaust back into hydrogen and oxygen. This way, it does not need to rely on bases and need not spend a great deal of time searching for water or ice to crack into fuel. Using a closed system greatly extends the vessel’s operating time but some loss does happen with each cycle. A separate fuel refining plant is not necessary, as the fuel cell itself can simply be operated in reverse.
The vessel’s active sensor array cannot be used while the ship is reprocessing water back into fuel, as the power requirements are too high. It takes a week to crack the full load of fuel using
the vessel’s solar array.
The space planes are SLV-50s (Scout Landing Vessel, 50 tons), which can perform interface operations (the ship itself is not streamlined, and relies on these two craft for all interface requirements). They are VTOL craft for rough terrain landing, and are of rather rugged design to withstand the rigors of several months of continuous use out of reach of repair facilities. Each can transport up to 10 passengers (in addition to a pilot and co-pilot). The SLV-50 carries a heavy ATV (6 displacement tons) in a vehicle bay, along with an expanding base (2 displacement tons), a fuel station (1 displacement ton) and a variety of stores for a ground party in its cargo bay. Many use part of the cargo capacity to carry a small multi-environment gyrocopter. The SLV-50 itself carries a basic array of survey sensors and can be used to extend the ground party’s survey range 100 fold.
- List of the Shep’s crewmembers
General Information: Warp Efficiency: 2.076 (unloaded) Plant: 4MW Fuel Cell Fuel: 400 tons, enclosed system Range: 7.7 Mass: 1295 tons (unloaded) Cargo Capacity: 2360 m3 Comfort: 0 Emergency Power: Battery, 250 hours Total Life Support: 56 Solar Array: 800 m2, 1.75 days
Ship Status Sheet Information: Movement: 4 hexes (unloaded) Screens: None Passive Signature: 3 Active Signature: 9 Passive Sensors: 0 Active Sensors: None Hull Hit Capacity: 10/2/5 Power Plant Hit Capacity: 16/4 Crew Complement: 24 Weapons: None Targeting Computer: None Remote Stations: None