The Nanos-Class Carrier is a class of relatively large-sized interstellar cargo vessels. By a large margin it carries the most cargo in the Milky Way and most Confederacy of Humanity territories. It is mass-produced in various shipyards across the galaxy.
In the 38th century, the commerce between newly colonized systems and the older systems began to mature as the exploration rates lowered with the increasing local production of ores and industrial products. However, serving this massive trade networks are cargo ships of extremely varying design and capacity, causing some administrative issues with the hundreds of thousands of non-uniform ships.
In 3771, Mak'Thus Hecctor was an engineer working for the one of Confederacy's busy spaceports in Concordia. After a near-disastrous incident involving a mess-up in maintenance of a cargo vessel due to the differing designs between virtually similar units, Mak'Thus decided to design an efficient, simple-to-produce cargo vessel which would be used in the main trade routes. His initial design was submitted to his superior, who never passed it along the chain of command.
Two years later, during a central visit to Concordia, Mak'Thus approached an Earth-based engineering official with his (improved) design. The impressed official referred the engineer to one of the heads in the Confederate technological department, and Mak'Thus earned some funding and a team to improve and test his design. Within a year, he completed a prototype which was tested - initially ferrying cargo between the Iridium mines on Nestropter to the industrial centers on Venus. The testing was highly successful and the Confederacy soon commissioned several hundred vessels of the type to be used as standard government cargo vessels for cargo and passengers alike. Mak'Thus received a significant amount of royalty from this, allowing him to retire comfortably.
Nevertheless, on 3778 Mak'Thus decided to make the design free for use, allowing any individual/corporation/government to build vessels based on his design without paying any royalties. Since the ship was already the most common class within the Confederacy's cargo fleet, many private shipyards began building the cargo vessels for sale. On 3785, the vessel consisted of 12% the capacity of newly-built cargo vessels and was already the most important vessel in the new market. Mak'Thus redesigned it slightly and released a slightly more efficient version (with less complexity, allowing quick and cheap maintenance) on 3787.
With a standardized design, some megacorporations began to assemble the ship in (massive) space-based production lines. However, as required by the design they utilize, the mass production methods had to be made public. The first such plan was released in 3790, with several more within the years coming. Mak'Thus released new, slightly improved versions every several years until his death in 3936. The engineering was carried over to a dedicated team working for the Confederacy of Humanity, which continue to improve on Mak'Thus' original design for over 6,000 years making only minor changes.
The cargo vessel used the solid-to-plasma, high-impulse drive which was then a new technology, considered unusable by most designers who prefer liquid fuels over solid ones. This allowed a massive reduction in the mass required to carry fuel, since solid iron pellets could quite literally be stored with no containers. The warp drives are relatively weak and cannot go for a long range, but highly efficient in terms of energy use which gives it a massive advantage over other carriers with overkill warp drives.
The ship uses simple industrial alloys in place of high-quality ultrapure ones (which are extremely high in cost and were the norm for spacecrafts) for essentially all parts except for its electronics and engines (a small fraction of the mass). This decision, while seemingly risky, have not been responsible for a single incident within the thousands of years of use. This was considered the most revolutionary change in spacecraft building - allowing a switch between a high-precision industry to a large-scale mass production one.
Engines and reactors are detachable components - a damaged engine can just be literally unbolted and repaired or replaced - allowing customization of the properties required for niche tasks. This was also a factor behind Nanos' Success.
Even with some competing designs, few can stand up to the Nanos Carriers without essentially being a copy of it. In the year 10,000, the Nanos carries nearly 58% of the total mass in the main cargo routes of the galaxy with a lower share of about 26% in smaller capacity side routes.
Aside from cargo, the ship can be reutilized as a mass passenger carrier. Shuttles between outer bodies in the solar system (for example, Triton) and the inner planets like Earth utilize Nanos Carriers, going from body to body and carrying up to 1.4 million passengers on arrival at Earth's orbital spaceports. Large corporations also use them as colonial vessels, with a capacity of 280,000 colonists and colonial equipment.
In the First and Second Galactic Wars, some vessels were modified for use in battles as gunships (due to its size) and troop carriers (which carry even more, up to 2 million troops). While it was not designed for combat, the sheer ease in production gives it considerable use in battles. They were much more fragile, though, and generals avoid using them in the frontline of space battles.