Interplanetary transport includes the spacecraft and technologies for moving passengers and cargo from point to point within a star system or the immediate environs of a star system up to a distance of about half a light-year. At distances greater than this, transport systems are generally considered to be interstellar class, although craft or systems able to move between the widely separated components of some multiple star systems (for example the components of the Kiyoshi pentad) are also usually included under the "interplanetary" classification.
Aerospace Engineering - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, modified from the original write-up by Robert J. Hall A field of engineering that combines aerodynamics, fluid dynamics, propulsion, thermodynamics, aerospace mechanics, virch simulations, materials science, energy use, nanofabrication and vehicular structures.
Arcjet - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Simple very lo-tech rocket used for short low power thrusters, such as station keeping motors and satellites. A non-flammable propellant is heated (not combusted) by an electrical heat source, causing it to undergo a phase change (from liquid to gas) and is then expelled out of the nozzle under pressure. Although extremely inefficient and low thrust, arcjets are very reliable and require no sentient or subsentient ai controller. Almost any fluid from spare drinking water to human urine to vec cleaning oils can be used as a propellant in an emergency.
Bioship - Text by Steve Bowers Bioships are either grown partially or entirely using biotechnology or by a close analogue to biological growth: they can be very similar in final composition to other ships but often look distinctively 'organic' in form.
Boostbeam - Text by Todd Drashner Mass-beam based system used to accelerate or decelerate spacecraft without the use of onboard reaction mass.
Cycler - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A ship or habitat that travels along an orbit or route in such a way that it rendezvous with other stations, orbitals, planets, or stars along the way. Cyclers may be small or large, sparse or luxurious, slow or fast, interplanetary (also called an Aldrin Cycler) or interstellar (also called a Schroeder Cycler), completely passive (simple ballistic orbit) or with course correction drive units. Depending on the route and speed, a single cycle may take anywhere from a few months to many millennia.
Exoatmospheric - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Vehicle or tweaked life-form capable of operating both in a vacuum and in an atmosphere. May be planetary- or space-based.
Explorer Class - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Long range, rugged and reliable self-repairing amat-powered exploration vessel used during the First Federation period. Some remained in service as late as the Empires age, and even today Explorer Class vessels little different from the original design are popular among many minor and independent clades, especially in the outer volumes.
Solar and Microwave Passive Propulsion - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Microwave and optical laser and solar sails have the attractiveness of providing a virtually engineless and fueless craft; photons simply provide the momentum necessary to send the spacecraft to its proper destination. But as with every form of space ship propulsion these, too, have their share of disadvantages: pointing accuracy of laser-driven probes, dependence on ground infrastructure for laser or maser launched and propelled ships, low intensity of solar light outside the solar system for solar sails, ultra-low payload mass (which makes them perfect for nanoprobes but very inefficient at larger scales), vulnerability of the huge sails (hundreds of square kilometers) to accumulative micrometeoriod damage, etc.