Craft: Mitchell-Hyundyne Explorer Class Ship
Type: Deep space exploration/construction ship
Skill: Capital starship piloting: Explorer class
-Emergency Evac: 120,000/6 weeks
Crew Skill: Astrogation, Capital ship gunnery, Capital ship piloting, Sensors, Starship gunnery
Passengers: 20,000 (workers)
Cargo Capacity: 200,000 metric tons
Consumables: 6 years
Cost: Not available for sale
Hyperspace Jump Engine: Yes
Nav Computer: Yes (+2D Astrogation)
AUXILIARY CRAFT CAPACITY:
-Many of each craft, and probably more:
--Long Range Shuttles
-48 Starfuries (2 squadrons/24 per squadron)
4 52mm Plasma Pulse Cannons
Location: Mounted along hull
Fire Arc: 4 turrets
Crew: 1 (4)
Skill: Starship gunnery
Fire Control: 2D
Rate Of Fire: 2
4 Twin Particle Cannons
Location: Mounted along hull
Crew: 2 (4)
Skill: Capital ship gunnery
Fire Control: 1D
Rate Of Fire: 1/3
Explorer class ships are used by Earthforce to explore new regions of space, map star systems and planets, make and maintain diplomatic relations with other races, and build new jumpgates.
-ROTATING SECTIONS: If the rotating sections take damage, roll 1D. On 1 they stop rotating, the ship loses gravity, and the crew have to operate in zero-g with all the penalties that apply. Damage to rotating sections may also cause the crew to be thrown about (roll 1D, 1-2 causes this). If so, the crew must roll Dex against Difficult Difficulty. Failure incurs 4D damage. Ships built with rotating sections in Earth Alliance/Earthforce ships have less speed (between -1 and -2) and maneuverability (between -1 and -1D) to than if they were built without them (with their crews operating in zero-g).
-JUMP ENGINES: Instead of Hyperdrives, most ships in the Babylon 5 setting have Hypserspace Jump Engines. Instead of the ship instantly accelerating at faster than light speeds and be partially or fully in hyperspace in an instant, this drive opens an aperture, or "jumpgate", into Hyperspace. The ship enters Hyperspace and flies as though it were normal space, locking onto Hyperspace beacons that mark the destination to desired coordinates (though Hyperspace has conditions of its own that can cause hazards for ship travel). When a jumpgate is opened, the ship must still maneuver and fly into the aperture. This can leave an opening for the ship to be attacked before leaving the area (unlike Star Wars where a ship can leave immediately once the Hyperdrive is engaged). Instead of the ship's speed through Hyperspace being determined by the quality of the Hyperdrive, it is the ship's own flight speed that determines how fast it travels through Hyperspace. Also, Astrogation is used differently. Instead of doing calculations to plot Hyperspace coordinates, Astrogation is used to locate and lock on to Hyperspace beacons. If the signal from these beacons is ever lost, a ship could wind up lost in hyperspace forever.
These immense ships are built by Mitchell-Hyundyne at the New Kobe Orbital Shipyard. Designed for the long haul, this is a pure breed exploration vessel for charting out on the Rim, making first contact with new species and constructing new jumpgates to open up exploitation of areas with useful resources. Vessels of this class were not built for combat and were unlikely to be called upon for fleet action support.
Explorers are the largest ships in service of the Earth Alliance, at over 6 kilometers in length. Like many contemporary Earthforce vessels, Explorers were designed with a large rotational section for simulated gravity, and a forward-facing launch bay. In addition to their complement of fighters, Explorer-class ships have an array of smaller support vessels and shuttles for short range exploration and planetary surveying. The Earth Alliance has very few of these ships due to their large cost in credits and equipment, but the few they do have allow for rapid expansion in Earth's sphere of influence through jumpgate construction and are a good source of income, as other races can then be charged for the use of new jumpgates.
Captain John Sheridan remarked that if an Earthforce officer was "supremely lucky", he or she would see two Explorer class ships in his or her lifetime - in order to justify their expense, they are always on the Rim constructing gates. They are only seen in civilized space if they are undergoing major overhauls, and in fact crew starting or finishing their tours are transported to or from the Explorer by other ships instead of the Explorer visiting a port of call to pick them up.
Status: Active (as of 2267)
Affiliation: Earth Alliance
Engines: Beigle-Bryant 9000A Particle Thrust Engine
Jump Capable: Yes
Gravity: Rotational sections only
-4 52mm plasma pulse cannons
-4 twin particle cannons