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design by Nick Bradbeer
Cargo; half the pod is cargo space, allowing stores for extended missions to be carried, extra ballute fuel tanks, artifact recovery or mass transport.
Science; eight labs with two scientists per lab are connected to the Belladonna's main sensor systems although the pod carries four dedicated science computers. These labs will concentrate more on astronomy and orbital surveying, due to the inclusion of the PortaLabs. A hangar bay for a shuttle is also carried, intended mainly to serve as a utility transport craft for the PortaLabs and for atmospheric sample gathering. A small contingent of troops is embarked, intended to provide protection for landing teams in dangerous conditions. There's also a pair of probe launchers.
Planetary Survey; four massive clamshell doors in the belly of the pod conceal four 60dt self-contained deployable bases; the PortaLabs. Each may be hydraulically lowered down to the ground from under the grounded Clipper to act as a remote research base. The PortaLabs are constructed as self-contained spacecraft and can survive more or less any conditions from zero-G vacuum up to 4G (has AG) and corrosive atmosphere. Each contains four labs, sensors and an air-raft hangar, plus five staterooms for the crew of ten and a 6 ton cargo bay. Oh yeah, and a 5Mj 800rof laser turret for self defence. The crews do not live in the units while they are in storage.
The theory runs that the Clipper moves to the most habitable world, puts ComSats into orbit and drops off the PortaLabs in four seperate locations, probably with the shuttle. It then leaves them to study the rest of the system or do whatever interests the captain. The labs can be picked up when the Clipper leaves, or some may be left behind for extended study.
Extended Duration Survey Pod
|Displacement: 1000 tons||Hull Armor: NA|
|Length: 41.47 meters||Volume: 14,000 m3|
|Price: 78 MCr||Target Size: NA|
|Configuration: 2:1 Cylinder||Tech Level: 12|
|Mass (Loaded/Unloaded):3,992.6 / 1,591.7|