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102 Vehicles: Cargo Transport

Xian Cargo Lighter (TL13)

Summary: 12.50 displacement ton box; 99.8 tonnes; kCr 207 Chassis: 175 kL box (8.7 m long x 4.5 m wide x 4.5 m high); Structure: 10.9 tonnes of soft steel, rated for 1.5Gs, body 0.02 cm thick, sealed to 1 atm Armour: 3 front (0.02 cm), 2 sides (0.007 cm), 2 rear (0.007 cm), 2 top (0.007 cm), 2 bottom (0.007 cm) Performance: 4.00 MW TL13 fusion plus generator; Fuel: 200 L of enriched water (200 kg), 200 hours supply Propulsion System: 4.00 MW contragrav with 6 minutes emergency power and orbital thrusters; Maximum Speed: 72 km/h loaded, 322 km/h unloaded; Range: 14423 km loaded, 64153 km unloaded; Agility: +1DM (1.5G); Crew & Passengers: Crew roster: pilot; 1 crew station; 1 roomy passenger seat Basic life support, sanitary facilities; Hatches: 2 manual Communications: Continental Radio (1.00 kW, TL13, SmVcl); Range: 3000 km Sensors: Active Regional Radar (1.00 kW); Range: 30 km; Resolution: 0.050 mm per km of range Other: Options: wet bar Safety Features: licensed for orbital use, Roadgrid, 1 emergency wall patch, fire suppression system 140 kL of modular cargo space (77.4 tonnes)

Highports need a cheap way of transporting freight to and from the surface. True spacecraft cost millions of credits, while cargo lighters can do the same job for a fraction of the cost. The Xian is a typical lighter, being little more than an armoured box with a contragrav drive, navigational aids, and a crew compartment attached. The cargo bay is sized to take module 140kL shipping containers (10 displacement tons). While the Xian’s maximum loaded speed is only 72 km/h, sanitary facilities and a wet bar permit longer orbital journeys without violating union regulations.

© Robert Prior, 1998.

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