Take, for example, the Chang’e Class mining vessel. Converted for general transport duty, this mid-bulk “flying house” comes complete with four shuttle bays (originally used for automated mining drones), a spacious cargo hold and living space on top.
The two pairs of inline engines can be a little deceiving: Originally added to help lift heavy ore loads, the front engines shutdown when in horizontal thrust mode so as to not fry the rearward engines. Unless you popped for a set of custom extenders for the front engine pair, in which case the Chang’e offers one of the fastest rides in the mid-bulk category. Nothing’s sweeter than the look of surprise on a pursuing ASREV pilot’s face when those front engines move outward and all four engines go to hard burn!
The Chang’e's got that funky awkwardness that make some ships really memorable. There’s just something so contrary about it’s design – which seems to exist in defiance of any concept of aerodynamics – that we can’t help but admire it’s contrary spirit. And now that we’ve seen the final 3D game model (seen below), we can’t help but want to fly this brick around the Verse a spell!
- Chang’e is the Chinese goddess of the moon. The name has been used for the Chinese Lunar missions.