Manufactured by Lakon Spaceways, the Asp Explorer is often marketed at pilots seeking their first multi-crew vessel. Its high jump range and wide, unobstructed cockpit canopy make it popular with explorers, but its versatility also makes it a viable choice for traders and combat pilots.
— In-Game Description
The Asp Explorer is a ship manufactured by Lakon Spaceways. Agile, well-armed for its size, and capable of achieving high jump ranges, the Asp Explorer is a popular and affordable multipurpose vessel seen in ports across the galaxy that has earned a solid reputation for both long-range missions and those requiring some discretion. It is a civilian version of the military-spec Asp MkII, which first saw service in 2878. After obtaining the model's manufacturing license, Lakon Spaceways marketed them heavily at customers looking for their first multi-crewed ships. The vessel has become a mainstay among explorers due to its versatility in outfitting and an open, unobstructed cockpit canopy that allows for some dramatic views. Even with its emphasis on exploration, the Asp Explorer's multipurpose capabilities also allow it to serve as an effective freighter or bounty hunting ship.
Although the Asp Explorer's name contains the word "Explorer", it is one of the most flexible ship models available in terms of outfitting potential, and an extremely popular choice for pilots who want to dabble in various activities. For a low-cost medium ship, it has a decent cargo capacity of 130 tonnes, surpassing the Type-6 Transporter, and a surprisingly low hull mass for its size that allows it to achieve higher speeds than most dedicated trading vessels. With its six weapon hardpoints, it can be built into a well-armed freighter or a pure fighter suitable for light or moderate combat, but its combat ability is somewhat hampered by thinner armour and a prominent, damage-prone cockpit canopy. The Asp Explorer's best-known role is exploration, however, due to its considerable jump range, enough internal compartments to equip essential exploration modules, and the unobstructed views of the cosmos afforded by its canopy.
While the Asp Explorer packs a decent amount of firepower in the form of two Class 2 hardpoints and four Class 1 hardpoints, it lacks optimal heat dissipation, noticeably suffering in combat situations when equipped with thermal weaponry. This can also present difficulties during fuel scooping, especially when using a smaller Fuel Scoop.
The Asp Explorer's six weapon hardpoints are located as follows: 1 medium hardpoint on the dorsal surface and 1 small hardpoint on the ventral surface on both sides of the cockpit, and 2 small hardpoints located directly beneath the cockpit. Due to the shape of the ship and the hardpoint locations, the medium hardpoints and small hardpoints share a small field of fire directly ahead. Pilots should be aware that turreted weapons in both medium hardpoints will have firing arcs above the cockpit where the pilot can generally see the target and the turrets' line of fire. However, turrets in all four small hardpoints will have firing arcs below the cockpit, where the target will tend to be obscured from the pilot's vision by the flight console and the floor.
The primary pilot seat is located along the centerline of the ship on the bridge. A secondary pilot seat for Multicrew is located along the centerline of the ship below the bridge which is directly underneath the pilot's station. The Asp Explorer's Heat Vents are located on its central spine, in the area between its two fins.
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- Main article: Outfitting
All ships are highly customisable through the Outfitting menu of Station Services. Listed below is the default load-out for the Asp Explorer.
|Category||Default System||Default Rating||Default Class||Max Class|
|Small Hardpoint||Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||1|
|Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||1|
|Reactor Bay||Power Plant||E||5||5|
|Frame Shift Drive Housing||Frame Shift Drive||E||5||5|
|Environment Control||Life Support||E||4||4|
|Power Coupling||Power Distributor||E||4||4|
|Fuel Store||Fuel Tank [x32]||C||5||5|
|Internal Compartments||Cargo Rack [x32]||E||5||6|
|Cargo Rack [x4]||E||2||3|
|Cargo Rack [x2]||E||1||2|
|Planetary Approach Suite (H)||I||1||1|
- (L) = Loaned Module
- [x#] = Capacity
- (H) = Requires Elite Dangerous: Horizons, reserved solely for Planetary Approach Suite
- The Asp Explorer was first revealed for Elite Dangerous in Newsletter #6. It was first added to the game in beta version 2.0 on September 30, 2014.
- As of December 16, 2019, the Asp Explorer was one of the three most popular ships in Elite Dangerous, the other two being the Cobra MkIII and the Python.