Emergency Operations

Safety is the single most important factor in the design of the Lightcraft. It is designed to maintain, and, in fact, maximize the safety of its crew at all times. The key safety feature and controlling mechanism for ensuring the safety of the vehicle is the Lightcraft's Smart computer. This advanced central computer monitors and operates all of the vehicle's safety features. 

The exterior double hull of the Lightcraft is designed to function as a gas bag that protects the crew against crashes. This exterior silicon-carbide hull is inflated with heliox (Helium and Oxygen) at 2 atmospheres pressure and acts as a cushion should the Lightcraft come into contact with any foreign object, such as atmospheric debris, trees, buildings, or the ground. The primary structional member is a torsiodal pressure vessel that comprises the vehicle rim and is pressurized by heliox to 25 atmospheres. The double hull is attached directly to this toroidal tube and is stabalized by it. Under certain crash conditions, the outer hull skin is designed to separate from the vehicle. This shedded skin temporarily shields the remaining structure from catostrophic damages, i.e. complete collapse or destruction. 

The Lightcraft is also equipped with plasma shields as a line of defense against solar proton storms in space. During space flight, the central computer constantly monitors the space environment for both solar storms and micrometeroids intersecting its path. When such material is detected, the computer activates the plasma shields to protect the crew from these 200 Me V protons; the on-board laser targets and vaporizes micrometeroids large enought to cause damage to the Lightcraft. 

Additionally the Lightcraft is equipped with 12 interior MIRV ejection pods. In the unlikely event of catastrophic Lightcraft failure, the central computer instructs the crew members to evacuate the ship and then directs all subsequent ejection and rescue alert operations. Once the crew members are securely positioned in the escape pods, the central computer then ejects the pods. Crew members are retrieved by another Lightcraft. In order to retrieve an individual escape pod, the Lightcraft must be in stationary hover or landed. The Lightcraft then employs a special Maglev belt to lift the escape pods into the ship. 

The Maglev landers provide an additional method of escape for the crew. The Lightcraft is equipped with 2 landers: one is located on the top and the other on the bottom of the Lightcraft. Each lander can safely carry 6 passengers and is equipped for re-entry. The landers are retrieved via Maglev coils located at the base of the rescue Lightcraft. Upon approaching the lander, the Lightcraft's Maglev coils lift the lander into position at the base of the ship. The Lightcraft then rotates 180 degrees and repeats the process.