Short-range extra-orbital vessels.
Currently in production are six primary models:
- 42-CADi “Locust”. Single-reactor, dual engine transport ship, blunt-bow, with one main engine for speed and two secondaries for steering. Has some locust-like aesthetics. (military contracted vessel, decommissioned versions used for civilian transport and cargo. Made by the merger of Cessna Aircraft Company and Diamond Aircraft, specializing in small craft)
- 31-DFAC “Mule”. Single-engine craft with ion-thruster technology for steering. Primary compartment used for personnel, positioned in center, in oblong ship section; cockpit in circular section at front, engine room at rear. (commercial craft intended for small personnel transport and small-volume cargo. Made by the merger of Derringer Aircraft and Fairchild Aerospace Corporation)
- EO-25 MatKo “Panther”. (cutting edge single-man craft made specifically for the Alliance. Made by the merger of the former Aerospatiale Matra and Kolb Aircraft)
- MP-11, AKA “MoonPie”. (a civilian craft that is very popular, and used mainly by private corporations for their company transportation. (Made by the merger of Mooney Aircraft Corporation and Pilatus Business Aircraft)
- SLM-56 “Jester”. (The primary name in private craft on space stations around Mars. Made by the company resulting from when Lockheed Martin folded and was bought out by Saab)
Long-range interplanetary vessels (Non-Military).
Currently in service are five main classes:
- Hades Class. Used for large-scale cold-sleep runs. Usually between 1/2 to 3/4 km in length, the Hades Class vessels are produced by several corporations and house any number of conveniences for the crew. These include artificial gravity, an oxygen production unit filled with algae screens, as well as fitness facilities and an entertainment deck. Too large for atmospheric entry, these ships are equipped with several drop-ships that are used as personnel carriers.
- Umbra Class. Can be fitted for medium-scale cold-sleep runs or cargo. Usually from 1/4 to 1/2 km in length, Umbra Class vessels are capable of atmospheric entry, unlike their larger Hades counterparts. These ships have been used to haul anything from frozen produce grown in the polar caverns to solar cells and recycled metals. While they do have oxygen production units, there are fewer conveniences available, so crews tend to take 1-month rotations in cold-sleep to avoid boredom.
- Neptune Class. Normally not used for cold-sleep runs, but handles various non-military cargo. These medium-sized cargo vessels have the best setup for hauling frozen cargo like vegetables and animal products. Occasionally, decks are outfitted for live cargo, but many shipping companies find it too difficult to deal with. Crews on Neptune Class vessels are smaller than Umbra and Hades, simply because the ships are smaller. Most are only a couple hundred feet long, but their cargo tends toward the more expensive. Most crews are at least 50% ex-military, and the Neptune JS-9 models have docking fighters to fend off attacks by pirates.
- Titan Class. Contraversial large-scale cargo and security ship. Newer and larger than their Hades Class counterparts, Titans are between 4 and 6 km long. These enormous vessels have begun to function as cities afloat. Ships up to Neptune Class size can dock at any of 6-10 docking ports, and there is a very large shuttle bay for short-range craft usually located toward the aft of the vessel. While the primary function of a Titan Class vessel is to prowl the network of satellites and stations between Earth and Mars for maintenance and repairs as well as upgrades, the TR-2/5 sub-type is a popular option for a few of the more adventurous corporations with eyes on exploring the solar system and beyond for resources. Controversy over the Titan Class vessels revolves around the TR-2/2 subtype. These vessels have been fitted for deep space travel, cargo hauling and cold-sleep runs. Some groups have left Mars and Earth for areas unknown in these ships in hope of one day finding a more hospitable planet to call home
- Corona Class. Light, small cargo and personnel transport using cutting-edge cold-sleep technology and the best automatic navigation instruments on the market. Skeleton crews of ten run these high-end transports, and they spend less than a week of the trip conscious. Most everything on a Corona Class vessel is run by computer, from piloting to cold-sleep timing, biorhythms and oxygen regulation. Short run production, but maufacturers make plenty back with the upgrades necessary to remain competitive.
- Burst-Nav Drive Core. Three or four companies are working on the Burst-Nav system in an all-out race for interplanetary dominance in the transportation market. Short for Controlled Burst Navigation, this form of propulsion relies on a concentrated energy core and a nuclear backup that is capable of cutting the trip between Earth and Mars by at least half the time. It is a daunting task, because none of the laboratories are located on Earth or Mars. Well away from population centers, the laboratories are found in clusters of asteroids between the two planets.
Reportedly, the first successful Burst-Nav engine was stolen three years earlier, along with plans, notes, and one scientist that made the primary breakthrough in this technology. No progress has been made into the investigation, but work continues on new techniques for the ultimate Drive Core.