Local Orbit Defense Starfighter "Artemis"
Envisioned as a last response measure, the Artemis-class is a rapid but inefficient orbiter designed to fight in planetary orbit.
A two-stage design, the entire stack consists of 4 solid rocket boosters flanking a liquid-fuelled rocket, which detaches from the second stage when expended. The second stage is powered by 4 conventional liquid-fuelled rockets, each with a drop tank of extra fuel which can be discarded when empty. There are also 4 RCS thrusters on the main stage, and 4 smaller nozzles on the crew module.
Concealed during takeoff by large protective panels, the craft loses these after breaking through the atmosphere. Along with the first stage rockets, they are in designed to be reusable, allowing them to be mated to another starfighter.
Once in planetary orbit, the Artemis can use its many thrusters to force itself into different orbits and engage hostile forces. For this purpose, 8 missiles are loaded, along with two autocannons that fire caseless ammunition. A large magazine, designed only to dispense bullets when the guns have fully deployed, sits in between them. Directly between the missiles is the fire suppression system, which can freeze with liquid nitrogen any malfunctioning ordnance.
The craft is powered by two large batteries, but auxiliary power can be generated by the solar panels on the opposite side of the craft. While not particularly efficient, it is an adequate backup.
Much internal space is taken up by the RCS fuel tank and the attached compressor. Opposite this piece of vital equipment is the communications array, which allows the crew of two to liaise with Earth-based command and control personnel, as well as detect enemies.
Up front in the detachable pilot's module, the two-man crew split their responsibilities between piloting and target acquisition. The module is equipped with a separate life-support and fire suppression system.
When the mission is complete (or the ordnance is expended), the piloting module can detach itself and return to Earth. Similar to the Space Shuttles of old, the underside of the module is covered in black heat-resistant tiles.
Very happy with this. Threading those pneumatic tubes around the model was one of the most fun parts. Making realistic use of as much of the framework space was an interesting challenge.