Over the past week, I’ve been playing around with a first space ship design for Somnium, a small frontier cargo/passenger transport. This is what I have so far:
I am sort-of happy with the design; I just wish I had better drawing skill – or better yet, knew how to use Blender so I could take this to 3D modelling.
The black boxes in the design are TEU, twenty-foot equivalent units – or in other words, the standard, ubiquitous shipping containers we all know and love. It can carry 44 of those, plus a number of passengers (probably around 20).
This is really small by ocean-shipping lines, but I always wanted the economy of the Somnium interstellar trade to be more in line with aviation than with maritime trade.
The ship is about as long as an A380 and about twice as wide as the A380 fuselage. It can carry about 1000 metric tons of cargo or about 1700 cubic meters – probably a bit more, this is based on simple multiplication for the shipping containers.
For comparison; while there is no cargo variant of the A380, a 747-400F has a maximum payload of 112 metric tons. A 747-8F has a payload of 140 metric tons.