2300 AD is a "hard science-fiction" role playing game that was originally published by Game Designer's Workshop in the 1980s and is currently available from Far Future Enterprises. The game postulates the development of a "Stutterwarp" drive (an implementation on the macro-scale of the tunneling effect actually exhibited by electrons on the quantum level) which allows faster-than-light travel. Earth's nations have colonized 29 extra-solar planets and set up numerous outposts on others. This page is devoted to one of the smaller commercial vessels often used as a "tramp freighter" in 2300.
The Krupp 821 was designed and first produced by the German firm of Krupp Architects in the mid-2230s. The vessel was intended for transporting supplies to mining sites on vacuum worlds and returning with a payload of ore. Due to the ship's small size, payload capacity was limited to 12,000 tons. However, production from small-scale mining operations rarely exceeded that amount, and an 821 or similar small cargo carrier making frequent calls was often preferable to a larger ship visiting only once a year.
The 821 has thrusters and landing gear to give the ship interface capability, although the ship's lack of streamlining and inexpensive metallic hull construction limit operation to only trace atmospheres. Standing on its retractable tripod landing gear, the 821 measures about 18 meters tall, roughly 10 meters wide and over 30 meters long. Three large cargo doors located on the ship's stern and on the aft starboard and port sides allow access to the spacious payload bay in the rear of the vessel. The crew's quarters and bridge are located forward and engineering and fuel tankage is located in the ship's lower bow. No spin habitat is provided for the crew.
The German government originally purchased over twenty 821s from Krupp. Despite the design's relative age, several civilian firms and a few independent shippers are known to still operate 821s. One such example, the independent trader Wanderer, is pictured above and below. The Wanderer's owner and Captain, Arthur "Max" Donner, has made a number of modifications to his ship which may be noted upon close examination of the photographs. The Wanderer has been equipped with a large, steerable high-gain antenna (visible on the upper hull) for enhanced long-range communication and radio-navigation over interplanetary distances. Three photovoltaic solar cell arrays mounted on the upper hull provide auxiliary electrical power during times when the ship's MHD turbine is not operating. The Wanderer also features augmented landing thrusters and powerful floodlights for nightside landing and cargo handling. Because the ship often operates in frontier areas without convenient refueling facilities, fuel cracking/refining machinery has been installed in the cargo bay to allow refueling using water ice from comets and small moons.
Crew: Bridge: 10; Engineering: 3; Medical: 1
Warp Efficiency: 1.53 (0.62 loaded); Power Plant: 1 MW MHD Turbine; Fuel: 200 tons, sufficient for two weeks of operation; Range: 7.7 LY; Mass: 843.7 tons (12,693.7 tons loaded); Cargo Capacity: 3,950 cubic meters; Comfort: 0; Total Life Support: 14;
Price: Lv3,337,000 (new).
All photographs of the Krupp 821 model featured on this page were taken by Free Trader using a Nikon F2 Photomic SLR in natural outdoor light. The 1/200 scale Krupp 821 model was constructed of painted cardboard and scrap plastic based on drawings featured on page 46 of Ships of the French Arm by Timothy B. Brown and on page 15 of the 2300 AD Directors Guide as references. The information on the Krupp 821 provided above was taken from Ships of the French Arm by Timothy B. Brown.