A Contact Unit is a type of multi-purpose Culture spacecraft. A related development was the Contact Vehicle.
The smallest Contact Unit built by the 24th century CE was the Scree-class Limited Contact Unit. Relatively few were built; the Minds of the Scree-class were regarded as "guarenteed to go a bit mad" due to the extremely small crew size of five. By contrast, an Escarpment-class General Contact Unit of the late-20th century CE carried a crew of 300, and the GCU Grey Area of c. 19th century CE was designed for a crew of 300.
Contact Units were equipped with Contact procedures and equipment, which enhanced their information gathering capabilities. GCUs could perform a full scan of a planetary civilization within a few months, in addition to despatching Contact personnel for low-level reconnaissence.
GCUs were considered able to "waste planets."
- ↑ Matter, chapter 13
- ↑ The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 16
- ↑ The State of the Art, chapter 2.1
- ↑ Excession, chapter 9.7
- ↑ Use of Weapons, chapter 4
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 "The State of the Art", chapter 2.3
- ↑ Use of Weapons, chapter 1.Three
- ↑ Excession, chapter 2.2
- ↑ Consider Phlebas, chapter 1
- ↑ "The State of the Art", chapter 3.1
- ↑ "The State of the Art", chapter 7