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starship-design: Re: shielding

In other words, we design a modular engine unit which is really a self
contained ship with either minimal living quarters, or none at all and
control it remotely. We can then design a variety of "mission modules" with
standard docking connectors. As the need arises, we can change components
for different missions.

Hey, I like this idea Kelly! It also solves the intersystem scouting
problem. Detach the main habitat into orbit and use the tug to deliver other
sensor packages within the system. Without the mass of the main habitat,
which is busy building a fueling station right now anyway, the tug could do
some serious delta v intersystem.

Since it is modular, as technology progresses rather than scrap an entire
ship, we just change out tugs. Makes mass production and maintenance easier
too. It might also help solve the old argument about crew return. The
manufacturing and research sections of the habitat can be left behind in the
target system for the next crew, reducing vessel mass for the return,
enabling a faster trip back. Hmm, the list is endless...

Lee Parker