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Pathfinder Exploration Vessel by t-subgenius Pathfinder Exploration Vessel by t-subgenius
Pathfinder 4-(Exploration/Survey Package)
Length: 8 kilometers
Diameter: 4 kilometers
Structure: stress responsive synthetic diamond
Armor: gravationally collapsed diamondoid held within a carbon nanotube matrix
PowerPlant: Total-Conversion Reactor (using singluarity
(8) Fusion Reactors
FTL Drive: Semi-Inertialess Diametric Gravity/Singularity (Wormhole)
Maneuvering Drive: Diametric Gravity (via Fore & Aft Toruses) and Fusion Torch
Mass: In excess of 2.5 billion tons with singularity (ship is a mere 200 million tons)

The Pathfinder class vessel was to be a revolutionary design. Harnessing the power of a microscopic black hole, the ship would be able to travel faster than light without having to rely on the wormhole gateway network. It also deviated from basic starship construction. Most ships are constructed to minimalize the amount of 'wasted' space. No so with the pathfinder. Constructed of toruses joined by long pylons, the ship appears very delicate.
Basic structure is a series of toroids. The fore and aft toroids house the gravity drive systems, and primary sensors & communication systems. The central two toroids house the habitat sections and automated factories. A series of 40meter support pylons run the length of the ship & join the toroids together. The singularity forms the heart of the ship. Safely contained within the magnetic/gravatic core it provides power, FTL travel, artificial gravity, etc. For FTL travel, the singularity is allowed to expand, and the magnetic/gravatic containment tunnel forces it to form a wormhole. Matter is sucked in via the 'black hole' in the front and expelled in a burst of energy from the 'white hole' at the aft end. STL travel uses the fore and aft grav toruses and a series of fusion torch engines.
Designed to function for extended periods of time on its own, the ship contains extensive automated manufacturing systems. Given sufficient matter and time, any part on the ship can be constructed, even the singularity core. This also allows for the ship to be upgraded fairly quick for specific missions. Mostly it is an exploration vessel, but it is capable of constructing wormhole gateways, fast courier work, bulk transport, etc. It is possible for it to be used as a warship (the sheer size of the ship allows for alot of weapons to be mounted, and the wormhole drive is an effective weapon) but the basic structure is far to fragile for even light combat.
Crew compliment is incredibly small due to the high amount of automation. A pathfinder can function with as few as 8 individuals, when loaded with a full set of robotic assistants. If optimized for a colonization or similar purpose, it can support in excess of 100,000 (including equipment.)

The simple fact of the matter was the the Pathfinder was a success as a starship. As a commercial venture, it was an abysmal failure for its designers. The biggest problem was the automated factories, with a slight retooling an entire Pathfinder could be constructed in a matter of months. Despite installing safeguards in later models, the damage was already done and the company folded. Yet, Pathfinders are still almost the only choice for interstellar exploration/ survey work.
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Mechatherium Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Yes! Starships NEED enormous amounts of energy. They'll HAVE to be bigger and heavier than Earth ships.

Great work!
t-subgenius Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015
This was my big 'for shits and giggles' spacecraft.  Total hand-wave away of physics and run with the biggest and heaviest 'engine' I could think of.  Granted, I think that the rotation of the entombed dead physicists likely would produce more oomph than the singularity.
Mechatherium Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015  Student Digital Artist
It's just that so many starship "concepts" forget that by its very nature space travel needs HUGE amounts of energy. Why do you think rockets are all fuel tank? In the SF universe I'm working on now, you have a choice: rockets that are mostly all fuel tank OR propellantless/warp/anti-gravity ships that are all "engine" (at least in terms of mass).
AmongTheFirst Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
This is really cool and plausible idea for a starship. Excellent work :iconthumbsupplz:
EndCorp Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2008
An interesting and entertaining design there!

Well done!
t-subgenius Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2008
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Submitted on
October 2, 2005
Image Size
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