Interstellar Travel

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Interstellar travel is prolific across the Orion Spur. Long trips across the stars are relatively affordable between highly developed systems, but costs increase in less developed systems. There are two known methods of interstellar travel within the Spur; using the system of warp gates established across inhabited systems by the powers that be, or using an expensive ship-bound interstellar drive, which allows vessels to travel across the stars under their own power. Between the two, traveling via the gate system is far more common, as the majority of ships do not head into uncharted space, wish to spend the money on a drive, or do not want the risks associated with using any form of drive within a system’s gravity well.

These divisions are split further by how faster-than-light travel is achieved, either using bluespace, or warp. Since 2462, and the beginning of the phoron scarcity, traveling via bluespace has become more expensive, and prices will continue to rise if the new phoron deposits of Orchard Moon cannot satisfy the market.

Bluespace Travel

Bluespace travel describes a process that uses phoron-powered engines to bore tunnels into the “bluespace dimension” so named for its characteristic blue hue. The vessel then uses onboard propulsion to enter the tunnel and begin travel. It was first discovered in 2341 by Luo Qiqiang, a physicist employed with Einstein Engines. Qiqiang theorised that bluespace would revolutionise FTL travel, though he could not grasp its full implications, thinking it was just a more efficient version of the warp, rather than the separate dimension it is known to be today.

It was not until NanoTrasen’s discovery of phoron, and the further work of Samantha Tigard, that bluespace was able to be better researched, understood, and applied. The high energy capacity of phoron allowed bluespace gates and drives to be easily used. As early methods of propulsion were being developed, bluespace drives saw quick adoption, and plans were put in place to partially replace the prior generation of warp gates, with some scientists confidently declaring warp travel obsolete. However, even before the scarcity, maintaining bluespace drives and gates was an expensive endeavor, one which never saw a significant price drop; causing plans to phase out the warp gates in favor of bluespace ones to be canceled, and revised into the more modern system we know today.

In the 2460s, circumstances have changed. The phoron scarcity brings doubt as to whether bluespace travel will remain a viable option in the future, andNanoTrasen and the Stellar Corporate Conglomerate have put great effort into alleviating the scarcity. After the SCCV Horizon discovered the “Orchard Moon” asteroid in the galactic region of Valley Hale, some of the drain on resources has been lessened, but only time will tell if bluespace travel is passing into the annals of history.

Phoron

Discovered within the Romanovich Cloud in 2417 by the NanoTrasen Science Vessel Yosemite, Phoron irrevocably changed the history of the Orion Spur - while initially for the better, in recent times nothing could be further from the truth. Purple and opaque in appearance, the mineral was discovered to be incredibly useful for energy production, alongside uses as a catalyst for creating advanced medications that transformed the field of medicine into what it is known as today.

It is extremely toxic and caustic in all its forms, however, most notably dangerous when in gaseous form, capable of significantly harming those that breathe it in as well as being capable of causing significant damage to anything engulfed within should it be set alight. Sirens blaring due to the caustic gas escaping containment is oftentimes the last sound that many employees will hear before succumbing to its severe toxicity. Phoron is used mostly in energy production, predominately within fusion generators that sustain both Bluespace Drives and Gates due to the excessive amount of power required to commence travel within the anomalous dimensional pocket.

Currently, the only deposits of the mineral have been located within the Republic of Biesel and the Serene Republic of Elyra - with reports from Vaurcae that Sedantis, their homeworld, also had deposits of the mineral. Due to the exhaustive extraction and refining operations that have been conducted since its discovery, there now exists a scarcity that deeply impacts the entirety of the Orion Spur, and continues to worsen as the limited supplies of phoron are used to keep the status quo. The Stellar Corporate Conglomerate, predominately NanoTrasen, continues to search for additional deposits with the SCCV Horizon, with limited success, such as the previously mentioned "Orchard Moon".

Bluespace Drives

Bluespace drives are generally reserved for military vessels or those that have the luxury of affording a bluespace drive, such as high-end corporate and commercial vessels. Limited by the size of any given vessel, bluespace drives vary in their abilities depending on their design. The most modern and powerful drives are reserved for flagships of the respective nations within the Orion Spur. They utilize a combination of compacted preprogrammed databanks referred to as “bluespace crystal matrices” that empower a drive to ‘breach’ the anomalous dimension, and require quantities of energy currently only capable of acquiring by using phoron.

Unlike their gate counterparts, drives are considered unreliable or even dangerous to use within a system’s gravity well, due to the displacement of mass caused by entering and exiting bluespace, a danger that increases with the size and distance a ship jumps. However, this is only a problem for large vessels as the risks of using bluespace drives within gravity wells steeply decreases with the size of the vessel, and the very few shuttles which possess bluespace drives can reliably jump within a gravity well. Still, large ships using their bluespace drives for anything but the shortest of jumps while inside a systems gravity well may suffer any number of damages, or at worst, cause their drive to critically malfunction, potentially destroying the ship; a crew would need to be bordering on suicidal for a drive to get to this point. Instead, large ships using drives will plot travel to the edge of a system, and make their way to their destination under the power of sublight thrusters, or through a series of short jumps, though even this brings risk, as it is possible to collide with unseen objects upon exiting bluespace. Therefore, every system will have many points of ingress or egress that are marked on stellar charts. Those who either independently charter or are contracted to charter new ingress/egress points are often paid incredibly well due to the hazardous nature of their work.

Bluespace drives project a field around a certain distance around the ship itself, enveloping it into the anomalous dimension, and then proceeds to ‘jump' it to the plotted destination. Typical means of moving do not work within bluespace, and a drive is required to do so. Drives can be used to jump to any location within range, so long as enough power is provided to them. High-quality drives are more efficient in plotting exit coordinates, and some are even rumored to be able to give an accurate picture of their egress point before exiting bluespace, but these drives are incredibly expensive and used almost exclusively by the militaries of the major factions.

  • Low-end bluespace drives found in shuttles and corvettes tend to reach velocities of .10 lightyears a day, with the highest end reaching .25LYD.
  • Mid-range, expensive bluespace drives found in frigates and destroyers tend to reach velocities of .30 lightyears a day, with the highest end reaching .50LYD.
  • Heavy-duty, powerful bluespace drives found in cruisers tend to reach velocities of .60 lightyears a day, with the highest end reaching .75LYD.
  • Capital bluespace drives found in battleships and larger tend to reach velocities of .85 lightyears a day, with the highest end reaching 1 LYD.

Bluespace Interdiction Nets

Bluespace interdiction nets are designed to overload bluespace drives, essentially forcing vessels in bluespace to violently breach, oftentimes straining opposing drives causing a multitude of issues that not only requires a full reset but maintenance as well if not outright rendering them inoperable. Interdiction nets are popular with pirates who use them near a system's ingress/egress points, pillaging those they capture in their snare. Interdiction nets are easy to jury-rig and can be produced with inexpensive, modified warpdrives, resulting in their widespread use by rather infamous groups - however, an advanced understanding of engineering and the internal complexities of warpdrives is needed to do so.

Blue means a solid connection, red means one that has been deconstructed on one or both ends, and yellow means "temporarily" shut down.

Bluespace Gates

The first bluespace gates began construction in 2420, and became operational by 2425.

Bluespace gates are particularly useful for being a highway of interstellar travel for ships that are not outfitted with any kind of drive, or even those that are, due to the cost of fuel. They are massive constructions, taking up a square kilometre, shaped like giant rings which ships pass through to be warped. They are outfitted with phoron-powered projectors facing inwards, and as with nearly all gates, are overseen by an integrated artificial intelligence which permits access based on ship credentials and performs the highly-complex calculations required to transport a vessel thousands of kilometers through a different dimension. To use a bluespace gate, a transmission consisting of several details is required, which are usually checked against existing records and with the local authority of the entity that the bluespace gate resides within.

A key detail to the use of bluespace gates are the bluespace lanes. These “lanes” are pre-established and documented trajectories between separate gates, which allow for instantaneous travel between them. It is expensive, time-consuming, and extraordinarily complex to create new bluespace lanes between gates, which is why they are limited in number. Originally bluespace gates were expected to be a total replacement to warp gates; this idea was quickly discarded after it became clear how expensive these new gates were. Instead, they were built in only the most traffic-heavy systems of the spur. Still, the construction of the modern bluespace gates, even after the scale of their deployment was toned down significantly, is to this day considered the most ambitious, far-reaching, and expensive construction project in the Orion Spur. The Solarian Alliance shouldered most of the costs, with a majority of the gates being in their territory at the time of their construction. Diplomatic agreements with the Nralakk Federation, Coalition of Colonies, and Serene Republic of Elyra also saw the Alliance allow new lanes to be created between gates constructed within the capital of each respective nation. No new gates have been constructed since 2425. In the modern day, the only systems to possess bluespace gates are Sol, Qerrbalak, Tau Ceti, Konyang, Xanu Prime, and Persepolis. Of note is the bluespace lane between Tau Ceti and Xanu; in 2462, which is said to have “collapsed” due to reasons unknown. It is unclear what exactly happened, and if the lane will re-open, as both governments and the corporations they contract keep their investigations highly classified.

Unlike drives, bluespace gates are not affected by being within a gravity well, and therefore are normally placed in orbit over the primary planet in a system; as an example, Sol’s bluespace gate is in orbit of Earth.

Mysteries

Slimes

Slimes are gelatinous, jelly-like creatures known to appear in areas with Phoron deposits or odd Bluespace activity. They were first discovered by the Skrell in the aftermath of the Tri-Qyu Incident after an enormous explosion of energies that included Bluespace ones. The Skrell continue to maintain tight control on them in the Nralakk Federation, but slimes have appeared in areas such as Biesel and the Republic of Elyra near their Phoron deposits. These creatures pose a significant threat to anyone unprepared to deal with them. Scientists and Xenobiologists study slimes for their many anomalous properties and the unusual effects their cores can have. They have been seen living symbiotically with golems, who can also be created or summoned through the usage of a specific slime core. Slimes are presently incredibly difficult to work with and dangerous when they manage to escape. But researchers still believe there is some value that could be gained from them, especially if a method of reliably farming slimes was found. Due to slimes' relationship with Tri-Qyu, the Nralakk Federation is known to keep an eye on slime research facilities within the Spur, legally or otherwise.

The Scarab vessel Riphean Voyager exiting bluespace at high velocity, its hull shimmering as it enters real space.

Golems

Referred to as Golems, these humanoid beings are believed to be creatures that inhabit Bluespace - with theories regarding them existing in a different form to what is displayed outside of the anomalous dimension, their corporeal forms oftentimes exhibiting characteristics of natural resources such as wood, uranium or even gold. It is unknown why, but Golems have been observed to only materialize outside of Bluespace for approximately twenty-four hours after appearing, with attempts to track them not successful despite advances in the understanding of the dimension. They have also been discovered in close proximity to naturally occurring colonies of Slimes, for reasons unknown, but with a proposed theory of the irregular characteristics of the slimes creating pockets of “bluespace-like” areas which Golems can appear from.

Artifacts

Considered the most bizarre of Bluespace anomalies "artifacts" is a broad term used to refer to any anomalous items found in areas that have or have had ongoing Bluespace activity. These were first reported in the Romanovich Cloud a few years after the discovery of Phoron when the mining team of the NanoTrasen Mining Vessel Yangtze discovered a 5000-year-old pillar in an asteroid. When they brought it back with them the pillar reacted to the oxygen entering the airlock and immediately began to violently expel flames. The more of these items found the more questions they raise. Some were linked back to the known species of the spur despite being far from their homeworlds and predating their first space flights. The vast majority are of unknown origin. The field of Xenoarcheology exists to work with these artifacts and figure out what they are, what they can do, and how to harness them.

Warp Travel

Nearly 300 years of history have solidified warp as the mainstay for galactic travel, especially for poorer areas of the spur. While at first, the invention of the bluespace drive and gate were expected to make warp obsolete, it quickly became clear that while bluespace was much faster, the expenses associated with the construction of the bluespace gates made it clear that a vast majority of interstellar travel would always remain warp-based. Even though nearly every new drive produced used bluespace, the warp gates which existed in almost every inhabited system remained active, and are still constantly used to travel across the stars.

Warp works by warping the space around a ship or multiple ships, by exploiting the fundamental laws of physics, folding the universe in on itself and creating a “warp bubble” around a vessel. Similarly to bluespace, there is danger present attempting to use a warp drive within a gravity well, one that increases as the size of a ship increases. However, warp drives are considered to have a significantly higher level of risk, unless they are following a charted warp lane. When a ship enters warp, to the outside world, they are seen speeding up very, very quickly, before stopping abruptly and blasting off into the void.

Unlike bluespace, which tunnels through another dimension, warp travel is far more restrictive in terms of movement, being heavily dependent on the “warp lanes”. Warp lanes are mapped safe routes for vessels to travel along, and form the lifeline of the Spur; they are what keeps all but those systems with bluespace gates connected. Warp lanes were first charted in the early periods of Skrell expansion, and then again following humanity’s expansion into the void. They are still charted to this day as explorers continue to map the frontier of space. In order to chart a warp lane in the modern age, a vessel needs a highly sophisticated and immensely powerful artificial intelligence called a Cartographer-class AI, which can analyze trillions of points of data and not only store, but account for itss analysis to keep a vessel safe as it hurtles towards its destination; this is because warp lanes are not mapped ahead of a jump, but during. As one can imagine, to make a living as a stellar cartographer is to live life on the edge, constantly one wrong calculation by an artificial intelligence away from death. Despite the danger, this is a marked improvement compared to cartography before this level of AI was developed by Skrell and humanity; back when the warp was just being discovered, it was almost a certainty that cartographers would eventually be killed while attempting to chart new lanes.

For ship captains and crew with the nerve to chart lanes, the rewards are lucrative. Once a warp lane is charted, it can be used with zero risk to other vessels, whether they are propelled along by drive or gate. This is because when a Cartographer-class AI stores its analysis of data gathered during jumps, it runs special processes on navigational data, simplifying it enough to where it can then be transferred and used safely by far less powerful intelligences either within a warp gate, or within a ship’s drive. However, these intelligences can only follow an established warp lane, not chart their own. Without a Cartographer-class AI making the calculations during a jump, any ship which strays outside of a lane plays an extremely high risk game, as at best they may find themselves having warped lightyears away from their intended target, or at worst, into a stellar body. A vessel may not even be able to head towards its destination immediately, instead having to first get to a system with a warp lane to it, or lead to another that does, causing an already slower form of travel compared to bluespace to become exponentially slower.

Due to their unique, and foundational contribution to the modern Spur, stellar cartographers are often given the greatest amount of respect by others, even nation-states, which includes a monument on Unity Station; a black obelisk with a shining golden pinnacle, inscribed with all the names of cartographers who perished charting new lanes, regardless of their species, religion, nationality, or any other considerations. Without their work and sacrifice, the modern Spur would be a collection of isolated systems, alone in the dark.

Starting a warp engine requires no phoron, but it is power-hungry all the same. They require no direct fuel source beyond energy from a ship’s own reactor to provide movement. This fuel is most commonly Helium-3.

Low-end warp drives are roughly a quarter of the highest possible bluespace speeds for their respective weight classes, while the highest end can reach up to half. Higher speeds are possible to obtain but generally avoided due to safety concerns and lack of necessary power in even the most efficient or over-tuned vessels.

Warp Gates

Where bluespace gates form the highways of travel in the spur, warp gates are considered local roads. They are reliably found in every known inhabited system, and in conjunction with warp lanes, form a spider web of connection across the known galaxy. Significantly smaller and cheaper to run than bluespace gates, they’re seen as the mainstay of interstellar travel, even during the dominance of bluespace. A drive is not required to use a warp gate, and they are significantly shorter range than bluespace ones. However, a specific security key for their destination is needed for a vessel to travel between warp gates. These security keys are long strings of barely decipherable code, which “unlock” use of a gate on a ship by ship basis. Each warp-gate will house a AI who, in addition to processing the simplified navigational data on a warp route to ensure a zero-risk jump, has all the codes for other gates within range on hand, and will transmit them on a ship-to-ship basis, ensuring the right ship receives the right code. These AI, or some form of them, are used even by those in the spur who reject artificial intelligence. However, compared to the fully sentient, aware, and exponentially more powerful AI installed in bluespace gates; warp gate AI can be incredibly simple, allowing nations such as the Empire of Dominia to still utilize their warp gates with non-sentient AI. Nearly all organics cannot hope to achieve the raw computing power necessary to process even the simplified navigational data needed to ensure safe warping, however, there is a notable exception in the Nralakk Federation, who have created an organic alternative to use on warp gates, which can be read about here.

Similarly to bluespace gates, warp gates are unaffected by the gravity well of a system, and are therefore normally placed in orbit of specific planets; such as the famous network above the port planet of Callisto.

Sublight Interstellar Propulsion

The standards for interstellar propulsion involving sublight speeds are only addressed nowadays by racers and atmospheric-capable spacecraft. Moving in the literal sense without utilizing bluespace or warp pushes vessels of any kind to their extremes. Even the most powerful gravity generators and dampeners can not ease all inertia for a ship’s crew, making sublight travel slow and meticulous.

Ships and Stations

Spaceships in the 25th century are a common sight. Different star nations and alien powers use different models, designations, and hull types that makes specifics impossible. There are giant barges, small freighters, huge carriers and battleships, heavily armored cruisers, and more. The primary distinction between all ships is whether or not they are equipped with Bluespace Drives that allow them to use FTL outside the network of Bluespace Gates. Military, research, and scouting vessels typically have bluespace drives while the majority of commuter or civilian traffic must use bluespace gates to go between star systems. Warp drives are also relatively common, being a cheaper, albeit slower, solution to non-gate travel.

IFF Tags
Ships, much like stations, hold a three or four-letter prefix in their name that designates the ownership, type, and classification of the ship. Below is a list of common prefixes in use across the spur.

  • Coalition
    • AKPV - Air Konyang Passenger Vessel
    • AXSV - All-Xanu Spacefleet Vessel
    • CCV - Coalition Civilian Vessel
    • FPBS - Frontier Protection Bureau Ship
    • GNV - Gadpathurian Navy Vessel
    • KASFV - Konyang Aerospace Forces Vessel
    • PCV - PACHROM Cargo Vessel
    • SFV - Scarab Fleet Vessel
  • Adhomai
    • ACV - Adhomian Civilian Vessel
    • DPRAMV - Democratic People's Republic of Adhomai Vessel
    • NKAMV - New Kingdom of Adhomai Vessel
    • PRAMV - People's Republic of Adhomai Vessel
  • Corporations
    • EERV - Einstein Engines Vessel
    • EERV - Einstain Engines Research Vessel
    • EMV - Eridani Military Vessel
    • HCV - Hephaestus Civilian Vessel
    • HCS - Hephaestus Civilian Shuttle
    • IIV - Idris Incorporated Vessel
    • NTV - Nanotrasen Vessel
    • OEV - Orion Express Vessel
    • PMV - Private Military Vessel.
    • SCCV - Stellar Corporate Conglomerate Vessel
  • Izweski Hegemony
    • HMV - Hegemony Military Vessel
    • IHGV - Izweski Hegemony Guild Vessel
    • IHKV - Izweski Hegemony Kataphract Vessel
  • Diona
    • RCS - Rokz Clan Ship
    • SCS - Serz Clan Ship
  • Sol
    • FSFV - Free Solarian Fleet Vessel
    • SAMV - Sol Alliance Military Vessel
    • SFAV - Southern Fleet Administration Vessel
  • Other
    • BLV - Biesel Military Vessel
    • ENV - Elyran Navy Vessel
    • GDMV - Golden Deep Mercantile Vessel
    • HIMS - His Imperial Majesty's Ship
    • IAV - Interstellar Aid Vessel
    • ICV - Independent Civilian Vessel
    • IFR - Independent Freighter
    • IPV - Independent Passenger Vessel
    • NFV - Nralakk Federal Vessel

Ships and Sizes

Military Vessels
Class Average Length Average Crew Complement Notes
Corvette 25-100m 16-50 up to 80 These ships are the mainstay of many fleets and serve many purposes. Scouts, patrol ships, search and rescue, and more, the majority are able to conduct atmospheric operations and smaller examples are capable of landing on carriers. These can cost about as much as a house.
Frigate 100-300m 100-150 Larger and more armored than corvettes, these tend to be the largest ships in the small Frontier navies. They pack more armor and guns. Some frigates are of atmospheric operations, for example the Sol Alliance Navy, Valkyrie Class frigate. These can cost somewhere around twice as much to four times as much as an equivalent Corvette.
Destroyer 250-450m 100-500 Heavily armed and equipped with advanced electronic warfare and countermeasures that can wreck havoc on enemy fleet's computer systems and defend against the same. Only a very select handful are capable of entering the atmosphere because of the general size and weight. Destroyers and above are usually capable of long-term, independent operations. They are primarily used to help allied corvettes that bit off more than they could chew. These, and ships of larger classes, are prohibitively expensive for anyone but specialist groups, or people such as rich pirate lords with a group to back up the price.
Cruiser 400-800m 400-1000 It is extremely rare for frontier nations to possess even a single heavy cruiser. Cruisers are used as the gunboats of the galaxy, with the Sol Alliance sending cruisers on patrols in frontier systems to project their power. Many Frontier nations are incapable of even hoping to scratch an Alliance cruiser, so they usually operate in small star nation's space with impunity.
Battleship 750-1200m up to 2000 Bristling with weapons and armor, the battleship is the bread and butter of space navies. A battleship always serves as the flagship of any star nation that can get their hands on one.
Carrier 500-2000m 750-5000 Crew

500-9000 Air Crew

Vary massively in size and crew build up due to differing roles and craft carried. Drone and Scout Carriers are built to be smaller, faster and more agile, like the Icarus that defends the NSS Aurora
Super-Dreadnaught 1000-2000m 2000 - 5000 Crew With immense firepower and incredibly thick armor, Super-Dreadnaughts follow the philosophy that "more is better". They are an unusual evolution from previous classes of warships. Only the Izweski Hegemony currently possess ships of this class, with each one serving as the flagship for a fleet. Despite being huge vessels they are still built for ramming actions.

General Purpose Ships

A Shuttle is the smallest of all spacefaring vessels. Shuttles are very common and inexpensive. Many larger ships and carriers often have two or more shuttles for atmospheric operations. These cost just a bit more than a hovercar.

Space Stations

There are all kinds of space stations in orbit of planets or out in deep space. They vary from spaceports where ships dock and crew mingle, sprawling habitats where entire generations live and work, deep space pirate bases, bristling cannons in orbit of planets, giant refineries or factories, and more. Any sort of industry or infrastructure that would make sense to put out into space (and somewhere it doesn't seem to make any sense) is out there somewhere. Many of these stations are worked in by the Spacers.

Civilian/Commercial Vessels

Freighters

The mainstay sight of commercial spacefaring is the freighter vessel, used for the transport of supplies, raw materials, and other goods from pretty much every destination in the known universe. There are further subclasses of Bulk Freighters, Tankers, Barges, etc. These are relatively inexpensive, a small step up from a shuttle, costing around the same as a high-end car, not including secondary expenses. It is not unknown for certain owners to stick with a freighter, simply upgrading them as much as the power source and hull allows.

Ferries/Liners

Used for the transportation of passengers and light goods, as well as vehicles between planets and systems. Ferries are smaller craft but are larger than shuttles. Luxurious ferries are called Star Yachts. Asides from Star Yachts, their price driven up solely due to their target audience, ferries are around the same cost as Freighters, if not slightly cheaper.

Residence Vessels

Residence vessels are a catch-all term for various ships that have been retrofitted or modified for usage as a residential space. Often these are cheaper and older models of ferries and shuttles bought from scrapping zones, retrofitting current models being more expensive. When purchased, these vessels are normally heavily modified to suit the needs of the residents: Bedrooms, botanical gardens, even workshops and pools have been found on residence vessels. They normally have rudimentary and basic ship systems on board, if any at all. While ships maintain a costly investment, to those willing to pay the price, they remain a perfect investment. A small private place to call your own alone is tempting, but the promise of eventually fixing the vessel, updating it, and using it for contracts is a dream many ship buyers hope to fulfill. Megacorporations are always happy to expand their roster of freighters and transports. For the daring, the path to more illegal but lucrative jobs is always open. Stations with permanent residences, such Unity Station and the Odin itself have hangars full of people living communally within residence vessels. They are also popular within newly settled or poorer colonies across space or to form off the grid towns on developed worlds. These generally cost around the same as an equivalent motorhome.

Price

While spacefaring vessels can be quite expensive for the layman, there are several factors that can make the bill less painful. The primary factor is what drive you have, bluespace drives being almost a lifetime investment for anything larger than a frigate, the average price for a functional drive for sub-Destroyer vessels being double the ship’s price, not to mention fuel costs. Warp drives are much cheaper, the best drives costing a quarter of the cost, compounded with not requiring phoron fuel, though buyers will have to keep in mind the additional need for cryogenic storages or good entertainment to combat the very long travel times. Capability of the ship to enter atmosphere or not can adjust the price, often larger starships themselves cannot enter a planet’s atmosphere to reduce cost, relying on secondary landing craft. Another factor that can severely reduce cost is having a crew, many hands making light work. Depending on what jobs the crew carries out, legal or otherwise, it is not unheard of for a crew to own even a Frigate. Any larger ships such as a Destroyer are typically staffed by specialist groups, military, corporate, pirate or otherwise. Only rich independent groups own a Destroyer, only the very rich or militaries/corporations own Cruisers. Other miscellaneous factors can be age of the vessel, group of manufacture, power source, source of parts (and their quality/amount, such as weapons, armament, energy shielding, sensors, etc), and how qualified the crew is to repair it themselves. Naturally, choosing to live aboard ones' vessel rather than owning a second home can help.