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|Role:||Agricultural ship for growing foodstuffs|
|Fate:||Almost all destroyed by Cylons (The Magnificent Warriors)|
Agro Ship is the common classification for spacecraft capable of growing any edible agro foodstuffs needed in a convoy or Fleet for long periods of time. These crafts have translucent hull plates interconnected in a structural enforcement grid, which allow the plants to receive the necessary sunlight from a nearby star or some other stellar formation to achieve the state of photosynthesis. Artificial lighting is, apparently, also an important function of these agro ships. One of the crops grown aboard the agro ships is the tallon plant.
Agro ships are unarmed, but can withstand an assault for some period of time.
- The agro ships are reuses of the spacecraft from Silent Running, a Universal/MCA movie that special effects guru John Dykstra worked on a few years prior to Battlestar Galactica.
- The same shots of the agro ships destructions in "The Magnificent Warriors" were reused in the Galactica 1980 episode "Space Croppers". This continued Battlestar's regrettable tradition of continued reuse of stock footage, which occurred due to the length of time special effects shots took to prepare for and produce in that television era, in combination with the hectic shooting schedule. As a side effect of this, a continuity error is created as, by the time the Fleet heads to Earth, they should have only one agro ship left.
- According to Encyclopedia Galactica, a non-canonical piece of merchandise published in 1979:
- Agro ships were created by Aeries and are capable of converting "artificial sunlight into raw foodstuffs at an average efficiency of eighty-four percent". Converting the food to "add variety and taste appeal" reduces the overall efficiency of food, such as hydronic mushies to sixty-two percent. Agro ships are capable of recycling and reprocessing nutrients and water.
- To create the artificial sunlight, the ship gets its energy from the "reburning of solium wastes from the main drive engines of [ships in] the fleet". In addition, agro ships are equipped with foodstuffs that have been created to process the "solium light spectrum" efficiently and grow in the weightlessness of space.
- Because of the Cylon pursuit it is obvious that agro ships cannot rely on star light as energy source for constant crop growth: It is unlikely that the ragtag fleet can stop for a longer period of time near a star.
- Why do the agro ships exist? Of course they are necessary for the fleet. But why do they exist? Why were they built before the destruction of the colonies? To travel with the agro ships have to be space ships. It makes sense to build agro space stations to grow crops near hostile planets and asteroids that are of strategical or economical value (e.g. as source of resources). But why build agro ships that can travel through space on their own? (The picture of the agro ships shows some kind of solar panel where one would expect the propulsion system.) Were they supposed to be a kind of garden cruise ship?
- Are the genetics of the plants grown in the agro ships altered? There are three reasons that make that likely: a) If you can build ships that can travel between the stars then you probably also have advanced knowledge about genetics and the capability to alter plants genetically. b) Agro ships are an unnatural living place for plants: They wander between the stars and as they wander the radiation and light from stars change. The evolution on a planet cannot have been the best preparation for this kind of existence. c) Agro ships are a more controlled environment for plants then planets: For instance we can assume that there are no vermin. A plant on a planet has to deal with vermin and other challenges of nature. Plants on agro ships do not need that capability (actually modern sorts of corn on Earth suffer from the same problem: the plants were grown on a controlled environment in plant nurseries; those who grew best were chosen as new sorts. It took some time to realize that the new sorts are less capable to deal with vermin, drought and other awkwardnesses of nature).
- Kraus, Bruce (1979). Encyclopedia Galactica, p. 11-12.