The Short Range Colony Ship is an excellent choice if there is a planet you wish to colonize that is very close to your existing planet. It is 1/3 the cost of a normal Colony Ship. However, part of the savings with this ship went into cheaper engine components. This ship can travel faster than the traditional colony ship but it's engines burn out very quickly. You might only be able to get to another star system with it, or even across your own star system if the planet isn't right next door.
Since the ship is so cheap, it enables you to get off of your home planet when you're first starting out much faster than you normally would be able to. If you choose to leave early, be prepared. Once you've settled your second colony you are open to attack from other players. Protect yourself at all times.
Range: The SRCS has a range limitation of the ships speed/100.
Build Requirements: Obervatory Level 3