Scout Ship
A small, long-range relativistic exploration vessel, almost always conversion or reactionless drive propelled, equipped and designed for extended relativistic travel, with excellent shielding, and generally some measure of self-repair (but not self-replication) faculties.

Like Neumanns, scout ships are most often used to explore, chart, and sometimes also to claim for their parent polity, unknown or poorly known, mostly unexplored regions of interstellar space, generally on the Periphery or in the less charted expanses of the Outer Volumes. Although there is a great deal of romanticism attached to the profession, it is for the most part a lonely and tedious job, involving long relativistic flights that even at ship time may take many years. With the exception of the NoCoZo and the outer empires, personality screening is rigorous, and only those few sentients with the right psychological profiles manage to gain employment in the Scouting Corps.
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 31 December 2001.