Thank you both very much.
The basic idea is to transport a ship (watercraft, not spacecraft) from orbit
to the surface of a water world, because this seems less complicated and
expensive than building one on an ocean surface without any dry land for a
Below is a very rough
draft of the ship's SWATH design, the SWATH floaters
would be retracted for the transport, and the first of the ships would have a
flat flight deck. The ship would be surrounded by a lifting body shell with the
parachute system, the shell and the parachutes would be disposable - so no
need to return anything to the orbit. Once the ship would have landed (well,
watered), a shuttle could deliver the crew and their equipment to the ship.
The 30,000 metric tons are just a guess based upon the GURPS Vehicles de-
sign system, it would probably not be difficult to reduce the ship's mass signi-
ficantly, because much of the interior fittings could be delivered later on by