The thing about style and function is that it needs to serve the master of dramatic necessity
, so in large part the things this ship does and the way it looks and behaves will be determined by the needs of the story being told. It does carry a pair of landers, sort of Apollo-esque in shape but vastly more capable. As for robots, we haven't discussed them so I can't say whether they might end up aboard or not. You know I love robotic stevedores.
My concept of the propulsion is that it is some form of space warp, balancing antigravity and hypergravity. It likely uses its antigravity as its primary means of sublight, realspace propulsion, but it also has huge thrusters for the conventional rocket burn. I like to think of the ship as releasing its warp "tether" outside a star system, maneuvering within a certain proximity of the main star using its antigravity drive, and then going to conventional thrust well outside the steep drop off of the star's gravity well. The fact that the ship has this layered propulsion system probably made it a valuable asset to be pressed into service during wartime -- the thrusters might prove to be a valuable tactical asset, while the antigravity is a powerful weapon in its own right.
The disk is mostly propulsion -- the two landers dock there, and there might be some storage, but in my mind the area is uninhabitable when the antigravity rings are active.
Here is a look at the lander. The top pic is the concept, with the Mars-lander legs. The bottom is a later revision, a bit more squished and saucer-esque.
I like the "landing on the tail" idea, BTW. But I'm not sure how practical it would be, (but with antigravity, who cares?). It would
look cool, and I can see it being part of a 1930s, Deco-esque painting. :thumbsup: