Originally published at: Smol But Effective | The Associated Worlds
GERRAWAY-BY-CLASS ORBITAL SERVICE VEHICLE
Operated by: The canine orbital mechanics of regular orbital mechanics.
Type: Orbital transfer/service vehicle.
Construction: Horizon Cageworks, ICC
Length: 2.2 m
Beam: 1.7 m
Dry mass: 784 kg
Gravity-well capable: No.
Atmosphere capable: No.
Personnel: 1 smart dog (prosophont bandal partial uplift)
- Propulsion Dynamics, ICC HX-3 Husky low-thrust orbital maneuvering engine
- Propulsion Dynamics, ICC cold-gas reaction-control assembly
- Horizon OrbitSpace, ICC reaction wheels
Propellant: Liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen mix.
Cruising (sustainable) thrust: 0.25 g
Δv reserve: 1,350 m/s
- Orbital Positioning System
- Star tracker
- Passive EM array
- Short-range collision avoidance and docking radar
- Cognitech, ICC/Family of Species, ICC “Radio Sniffer” audio-olfactory merkwelt translation system
- Cognitech, ICC/Family of Species, ICC “Starlight Barking” multimodal communications system
- Exogenesis, ICC AI pilot-assist and remote override system
- Omnidirectional radio transceiver
- 3 x Extropa Energy, ICC accumulators
- Systemic Integrated Technologies radiative striping/solar power collection systems
- 1 x Extropa Energy, ICC hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell
- Canned (non-regenerative) life support; CO₂ scrubbers
- High-intensity LED work lights
- 4 x fixed-point multipurpose, interchangeable-tool work arms (Horizon OrbitSpace, ICC)
- optional satellite servicing kit, tool platform, and component rack (Horizon OrbitSpace, ICC)
- optional interchangeable drop tanks for use with refueling probe
- optional debris-collecting shield, basket, and tow cables
The Gerraway-By-class of “micro” orbital service vehicle was a unique oddity brought to life by the circumstances of the early space era, and a chance meeting at the Look Out Below Café and Bar. Specifically, a wide-ranging discussion over several beers between some of the celestime architects from Horizon Cageworks, a number of gentlesophs working in various orbital industries, and a trainer of working bandal – and more specifically their “smart dog” variants who had undergone stage one uplift – who happened to be visiting the platform at the time. The topic was the increasing amount of grunt work – refueling satellites, performing basic maintenance, debris collection – that maintaining orbital industry required, and how inefficient it was to continue carrying this out by hand.
The result, a design outline found scribbled on a pile of napkins delivered to the Horizon offices the next morning, was the Gerraway-By.
In its essentials a shrunk-down version of the Minnal-class workpod – refactored so that one or two Gerraway-Bys could be carried by a Minnal, or several by an OTV – the Gerraway-By was intended as a means to bring our old friends with us into the space age. While AI was not quite ready for independent use performing the necessary tasks, it was more than capable of operating in conjunction with a well-trained working bandal, and their eldrae supervisor, to command a small service vehicle operating from a larger ship.
Combined with the work into uplift carried out by Family of Species and Cognitech’s beginning research into merkwelt translation easing interface difficulties, the timing was perfect for an entirely new kind of spacedog to take their place shepherding Eliéra’s increasingly crowded low orbitals, and a new era of partnership was born.