The majority of MISC’s business comes from the production of their heavy industrial division. One of MISC’s claims to fame, is their technology partnership with the Xi’An, which came about due to the popularity of MISC ships within their culture. That popularity led to MISC becoming the only Human spacecraft corporation to sign a lend lease agreement with the Xi’An. The details of which, are a closely guarded secret.
In recent years, MISC has turned its attention to advancing its two ship lines marked for personal use – the Freelancer and Starfarer. They’ve funneled profit from their corporate revenue to break into this crowded segment, battling against giants such as Roberts Space Industries and Drake Interplanetary.
Our discussion of the Starfarer will be solely on the refueling variant. We’ll save discussion of the Gemini for a future show.
The Starfarer is a niche spacecraft which has become the defacto standard for fuel transport. Its design is the result of an 18-month survey that yielded a 15,000 page study on ship roles and the deficiencies faced by pilots. That insight influenced the core design philosophy for the Starfarer. And led to it being fitted as a dual-role fueling craft, capable of collecting fuel in space and refueling ships in-flight.
The Starfarer’s massive internal fuel tanks are welded directly to the ship’s core superstructure. This makes safer for fuel transport than ships modified to carry out this role. The tanks use external probes and pressure access nodes to provide easy access. In this manner, the ship can scoop hydrogen from a gas giant and just as easily funnel fuel to a nearby ship.
Starfarers can be upgraded to include a basic refinery to allow for processing unrefined fuel themselves. The hydrogen tanks can also be modified to carry liquid food products. Although this modification isn’t popular, you can replace the tanking machinery with a cargo chassis to transport bulk goods.
Even though the Starfarer can be modified for other roles, remember that it’s primarily a dedicated fuel platform. And designed from the ground up to be that. It won’t perform in these other roles, as effectively as a dedicated option.
Although the Starfarer supports multiple crew stations, it can be run as a solo operation. Management of the ship and its resources will take more time and require a lot of running back and forth. But it is possible.
Detailed Design Doc Still Incoming
A detailed design document will be made available as soon as all of the mechanics involved the refueling process have been finalized. That said, here are some aspects which have been more or less “confirmed” based on CIG Q&A responses:
- Eventually, you will be able to store pods of fuel in your hangar.
- There will be refueling missions and NPC pilots can also be serviced by a player run Starfarer.
- The Starfarer’s refinery operates considerably slower than a dedicated refining facility. However, it allows you to refine and utilize fuel you’ve collected while out in space. You will have the option of taking your unrefined fuel to a refinery for processing.
- You’re carrying and processing fuel. Mishaps can happen and it’s mostly bad news if they do. They want refining to be a challenging process where failures and collisions can cause significant ship damage.
- You can refuel ships while flying, similar to aircraft. Doing so, is considerably more difficult and adds an additional element of risk.
- Unlike the larger Hull series of ships, the Starfarer can land planetside even with a full load of cargo.
- Potential owner upgrades include long range scanner and jump drives. You can exchange the fuel tanks for standardized Stor-All containers to haul cargo.
- Fuel will be important in space flight but not a constant worry. You’ll need to monitor your consumption if you quantum often and are traversing lots of jump points. However, it’s not a situation that should leave you completely stranded if you run out. You can use a slower method of travel as a stop-gap, until to reach a refueling option. The plan is for fuel to be a serious support role in Star Citizen. NPCs and players will be manning Starfarers. And player managed Starfarers can supply fuel to NPC managed fuel stations such as Cry Astro.
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