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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Escape from Earth - Updates Thread
« on: June 06, 2020, 11:25:24 AM »
Background
January 1st 2025 was a good news, bad news day. To the astonishment of the worldwide scientific community, a team at Cambridge University announced the discovery of Trans-Newtonian physics. The Cambridge team assured the assembled global new media that the discovery would revolutionise industry and open up the entire solar system for exploration. Six hours later, a four-kilometre-wide asteroid, travelling unseen from high above the ecliptic, impacted near the southern Indian city of Bengaluru.

The shock wave flattened buildings as far away as Mumbai, almost nine hundred kilometres to the north. Intense, unbearable heat was felt at double that distance, reaching the southern suburbs of New Delhi. Within hours, fiery ash was blotting out the sun over four thousand kilometres from the impact. While the great cities of Beijing and Shanghai escaped the immediate fall out, two thirds of China was drowned in ash, killing animals, crops and millions of people. To the West, the fallout covered Iran and most of the Middle East, although Syria, Jordan and Israel escaped the worst of the damage. Somalia, Ethiopia and parts of Kenya vanished under the ash fall. All of Central Asia was affected as far as the Kazakhstan – Russia border and halfway across Mongolia. South-East Asia was lost entirely and Indonesia suffered greatly, with the ash burying Sumatra and falling on western Borneo and Java.

While later estimates placed the immediate death toll at well over two billion, the disaster had just begun. Even as those areas of the world without direct damage, the Americas, Europe, Russia, Japan and Australasia, launched massive relief operations, the skies began to darken. Vast quantities of dust remained in the atmosphere, blocking out the sun and causing the temperature to decline rapidly. Within weeks, the average temperature was approximately -27C, a fall of forty degrees. People did their best to survive, but most of the world was not equipped to handle arctic conditions. Unless temperatures increased or special infrastructure was constructed, most of the human population would freeze to death within a few years. Initial estimates were that the surviving population would fall by approximately eighteen percent per year.

One month after the impact, with the world starting to come to terms with the magnitude of the catastrophe, the situation deteriorated considerably. Across the world scientists came to the same conclusion; the impact had knocked the Earth out of its orbit. The planet was locked into a death spiral that would take it closer and closer to the sun until it was torn apart by tidal forces. Although it would be almost a hundred years before the final destruction of the Earth, environmental effects would be felt much sooner as the temperature rose. Earth would change from a frozen world to a planet of molten rock within a few decades. The planet would be uninhabitable long before it was destroyed

Faced with the destruction of the planet and the extinction of the human race, the major nations of the world finally discarded their ideological and geopolitical disputes and cast aside old rivalries. Only a global effort could save humanity from the asteroid winter and, once the dust settled, from a Sun that would grow larger and larger in the sky as it scorched the surface of the Earth. A global council, the Colonial Alliance, was formed with the objective of evacuating the entire human population within fifty years. The council had the legal power to override all national governments and appropriate whatever resources it required.

The only point of light in the darkness faced by the human race, both literally and metaphorically, was the discovery of Trans-Newtonian physics. If that knowledge could be harnessed, it would provide the means to rescue a substantial portion of the surviving population before time finally ran out.

Game Setup
Conventional Start with Tran-Newtonian tech already researched
Known Systems
25% research speed.
All spoilers active.
Earth with five billion pop and industry for two billion
Earth Dust Level 4000 (-40C)
3x NPRs at 50-80 light years from Earth.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 11:58:50 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 

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Re: Escape from Earth - Updates Thread
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2020, 11:19:36 AM »
January 2025
Population 5 billion
Temperature -26.9C
Distance to Sun 150m km

Worldwide casualties during the first year of the asteroid winter were devastating. Seven hundred million perished due to starvation or the frozen conditions. The desperate situation caused massive unrest among the populations of almost every country on the globe. The Colonial Alliance used the existing conventional forces of Earth’s major military powers to quell that unrest. There was little need for high tech weaponry, so the military was formed into infantry-heavy Security Brigades. Each comprised four thousand troops for security duties, one hundred and eighty machine gun teams to handle serious unrest and forty tanks for sheer intimidation. The conventional tanks were a mixture of M1A3 Abrams from the United States, T-15 Armatas from Russia, British Challengers, German Leopards and Chinese ZTZ-99s. Twenty Security Brigades were formed in total. The rest of Earth’s major military forces were disbanded, as their maintenance was a luxury that could not be afforded.

To a large degree, the future of humanity lay with its scientists. They had to research and develop the technology required to save the population of Earth before the ice turned to deserts. Even within the scientific community, certain key personnel stood above the others. Earth’s leading propulsion scientist, Wolf Spielmann, was possibly the most important person on the planet. Fortunately, he was a man who handled himself well under pressure. At the start of 2025 he had responsibility for fifteen of the thirty-three available facilities. By the end of the year, that had risen to twenty-four. Nuclear thermal engine technology had been researched and he had begun work on improved pressurised reactors, the prerequisite for an improvement in nuclear thermal technology.

The main areas of concern for research were construction and sensors. The leading construction scientist, Georgi Maslov, was brilliant but his administrative skills were lacking and he could manage only five research facilities. Carmela Pasquale, formerly an expert in propulsion with excellent administrative skills, had transferred to the construction department but so far lacked the skill in her new field to make an impact. Sensors and Control System were in an even worse situation as no world-leading scientists in the field survived the impact and the aftermath. The missile scientist Stefan Voskresensky was retraining, but had only minimal expertise.

Industrial effort focused on converting conventional industry to Trans-Newtonian technology. Three thousand, two hundred industrial complexes around the world had been identified for conversion, including factories, mines and fuel refineries. BY the end of the year, one hundred and five construction factories, ninety-seven mines and a single fighter factory had been converted. Two small orbital shipyards, built in the early 2020s to support missions to the Moon and Mars, were being expanded to handle larger ships. In the meantime, the Colonial Alliance planned to convert factories to produce small ships of up to 500 tons to begin a survey of the Solar system.

As the years passed the temperature rose; partly due to dust settling out of the atmosphere and partly due to the decreasing distance to the sun. By January 2028, the temperature was -14.7 and rising toward the lower edge of the range at which humans could survive without specialised infrastructure. Even so the intervening years had been harsh and while the rate of deaths was slowing, the numbers were still catastrophic. Four hundred and thirty million died during 2026 and a further two hundred and twenty million in 2027. The distance to the Sun had fallen by 4.5m kilometres, which had contributed four degrees to the temperature rise. It would not be many years before heat, rather than cold, became the primary threat.

The conversion of industry was halted temporarily in December 2027 so that a second commercial shipyard could be constructed. One of the two existing shipyards was intended to build military shipping, so a second commercial yard was required in order to build both freighters and colony ships. The decision would add four months to the completion time for conversion, but would allow time for the second shipyard to be expanded.

By the beginning of 2029, the temperature was -10.8C, almost within the tolerance range. Without the dust it would already have risen to 20C due to the spiralling orbit. The decline in population had halted and begun to reverse. Even so, half the human race had died within the previous four years and the population of Earth had fallen to three point six billion. Eleven hundred conventional industrial complexes had been converted to Trans-Newtonian technology. No ships had been designed, much less constructed, but Wolf Spielmann believed he would have a working design for a nuclear pulse engine within a year. At that point, research would be focused in other directions until the number of facilities could be increased.

In late December 2029, work began on the first Galileo class Geological Survey Craft, a small, 500-ton design that could be constructed by factories on the surface, rather than requiring an orbital shipyard. The Galileo was a basic design with limited engine power, a single geological survey sensor and sufficient engineering and crew quarters to allow missions of up to two years. The ships of the Galileo class were intended to conduct a survey of the inner Sol system and identify future sources of minerals.

Galileo class Geological Survey Craft      500 tons       12 Crew       122.2 BP       TCS 10    TH 8    EM 0
800 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 2      Sensors 0/0/0/1      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 2.59 Years     MSP 35    AFR 20%    IFR 0.3%    1YR 7    5YR 110    Max Repair 100 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 24 months    Morale Check Required   

Spielmann-8E Nuclear Pulse Engine (1)    Power 8    Fuel Use 39.53%    Signature 8    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 37,000 Litres    Range 33.7 billion km (487 days at full power)
Geological Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

In February 2030, construction began on the first two Trans-Newtonian ships to be built in orbit. The Mars class freighter was a bare-bones design, with nuclear pulse engines and a Duranium hull wrapped around a cargo hold and four shuttle bays. The design was named for the planet that was the most likely future home for the human race, although Professor Spielmann believed that spatial rifts known as jump points existed somewhere in the Sol system and would lead to other star systems. Unfortunately, the detailed knowledge and technology required to search for them did not yet exist.

Mars class Freighter      41,643 tons       175 Crew       586 BP       TCS 833    TH 1,000    EM 0
1200 km/s      Armour 1-107       Shields 0-0       HTK 71      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 8    Max Repair 50 MSP
Cargo 25,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 4   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Spielmann-100C Nuclear Pulse Engine (10)    Power 1000    Fuel Use 11.18%    Signature 100    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 450,000 Litres    Range 17.4 billion km (167 days at full power)

The Diaspora class colony ship was a companion vessel, designed to transport sixty thousand colonists per trip. The immediate problem was that Mars was not habitable, so specialised infrastructure would be required to live on the surface. Even with Earth’s combined industry, including the contribution from the civilian sector, it would be challenging to build sufficient infrastructure to house a significant portion of Earth’s population and transport that to Mars. The potential solution lay with Lucas Harris, a biology and genetics scientist who believed a terraforming system could be devised to make Mars more habitable, or even to slow down the environmental disaster that would unfold on Earth. Unfortunately, he was a scientist of only moderate ability with minimal administrative skills. The project to develop the module would require approximately twelve years, by which time the situation on Earth would already be considerably worse. Other alternatives were under review, including giving the project to a scientist without a biology specialization, but with sufficient administrative skill to manage a large number of facilities. It was not an efficient solution, but it could shorten the time required at the expense of other research projects.

Diaspora class Colony Ship      27,546 tons       194 Crew       1,038.2 BP       TCS 551    TH 700    EM 0
1270 km/s      Armour 1-81       Shields 0-0       HTK 60      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 23    Max Repair 100 MSP
Cryogenic Berths 60,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 4   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Spielmann-100C Nuclear Pulse Engine (7)    Power 700    Fuel Use 11.18%    Signature 100    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 400,000 Litres    Range 23.4 billion km (212 days at full power)

The first Galileo class Geological Survey Craft was constructed on March 28th 2030. Commander Morgan Evans was given the honour of commanding the twelve crew that would take humanity’s first steps into the era of Trans-Newtonian space travel. Six days after launch, Galileo completed a survey of the Moon, finding accessible deposits of Boronide and Corundium, then moved on to Venus, which was just thirty-five million kilometres from Earth. Copernicus, the second Galileo class, was completed on May 10th and headed for Jupiter to survey the giant planet and its moons. Construction speed was increasing as fifty fighter factories were in operation by this point.

On May 11th, Galileo completed the orbital survey of Mercury. While no minerals were found, the survey revealed a vast alien construct on the surface, surrounded by what appeared to be the remnants of a destroyed alien outpost The construct and the outpost appeared to be of different design, perhaps indicating the presence of more than one alien species. There was no sign of life. Even so, the discovery was profoundly shocking for the Colonial Alliance. Not only did the Alliance have to rescue as much of the human race as possible, it now had to contend with the existence of alien life. Whoever the aliens were, they had visited the Sol system in the past and might return. Once the immediate threat of extinction was addressed, the Alliance would need a Navy.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 11:52:28 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 
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Re: Escape from Earth - Updates Thread
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2020, 06:59:16 PM »
January 2031
Population 3.75 billion, Temperature -2.6C, Distance to Sun 141m km

The first Mars class freighter was launched on February 4th 2031. Despite the lack of minerals on Mars, it remained the only realistic destination for humanity, at least for the foreseeable future. The freighter began a shuttle run between Earth and Mars, transferring the infrastructure that the civilian sector had built during the asteroid winter. The stockpile of infrastructure on Earth was sufficient to support only one hundred and forty million settlers on Mars, assuming that sufficient freighters and colony ships could be built to transport both the infrastructure and the colonists. Even in that case, the capacity represented less than four percent of the human population.

With the logistical situation looking more desperate than ever, the terraforming research project became the highest priority for the Colonial Alliance. The propulsion scientist Wolf Spielmann continued to impress, with his knowledge growing as he learned more about Trans-Newtonian physics. Therefore, the decision was made to place him in charge of the terraforming research. While it was not his specialist field, he could manage twenty-four facilities and the council believed he would improve the output of those facilities by up to forty-five percent. The downside was taking him away from propulsion research, where he would be far more efficient. The alternative was to concentrate on the jump point theory research, but even if that was successful it still required that a habitable planet be located within a relatively short distance from Earth. With the survival of humanity at stake and no way to conduct both projects simultaneously, the less efficient but less risky option had to be chosen.

In January 2032, the survey vessel Kepler ran out of fuel on its return to Earth and became stranded just inside the orbit of Saturn. The technology did not yet exist that would allow fuel transfer in deep space so, for the moment, there was no way to send help. Before the stranding of Kepler, the four Galileos conducted an extensive geological survey of the solar system, including everything inside the orbit of Neptune and perhaps a third of the Kuiper Belt, before heading to Earth for resupply and overhaul. The other three ships, Galileo, Copernicus and Tycho Brae, all returned home safely. 

The results of the survey were not encouraging. The only substantial deposit of accessible Duranium was on Io, one of Jupiter’s moons, which had a colony cost of 6.3. It would require substantial terraforming before a productive mining colony could be established. Two comets, Whipple and Van Biesbroeck, had accessible deposits in the tens of thousands of tons range. All four gas giants had accessible Sorium, but it would be some time before the technology was available to exploit that resource. It appeared that humanity’s long-term future would depend on Wolf Spielmann being correct about the existence of jump points.

Io Survey Report
Duranium:   6,369,452   0.70
Mercassium:   33,160   0.80
Corundium:   429,759   0.90

Whipple Survey Report
Duranium:   66,221   0.70
Mercassium:   7,601   0.50
Vendarite:   12,018   0.50
Corundium:   8,676   1.00

Van Biesbroeck Survey Report
Duranium:   50,243   0.80
Neutronium:   10,891   0.90
Corundium:   25,728   0.90

Jupiter Survey Report
Sorium:   572,000   0.90

Saturn Survey Report
Sorium:   542,430   1.00

Uranus Survey Report
Sorium:   664,560   0.90

Neptune Survey Report
Sorium:   247,600   0.90

The conversion of industry to Trans-Newtonian facilities was completed in April 2032, resulting in twelve hundred and fifty construction factories, one thousand mines, six hundred financial centres, three hundred fuel refineries and fifty fighter factories. Two weeks later, the first Diaspora class colony ship was launched. The Martian colony, humanity’s first off-world outpost, was established on May 2nd 2032.

Shortly thereafter the civilian sector on Earth finally began to contribute to the survival effort. Over the next eighteen months, three separate off-world civilian mining colonies were established; two on comets and the third on the Jovian moon Europa. During the same period, the civilian company SpaceX constructed three freighters and a colony ship to begin transporting infrastructure and settlers to Mars.

By the end of 2033, five government-owned freighters were in service, as well as the single Diaspora class colony ship, and the population of Mars reached seven million. It was a very small beginning, but at least a small portion of the human race was guaranteed to survive the destruction of Earth. There was a concern over potential unrest on the new colony and there was no way to transport the Security Brigades and all their equipment from Earth to Mars. For several months, a limited amount of precious research time was devoted to developing a troop transport bay, until a new solution was found. The five Mars class freighters transported the ground forces construction complex from Earth to Mars, along with a supply of Vendarite, so new formations could be built in place. A new Security Police formation was designed with six hundred lightly armed troopers. The first formation completed training on December 5th 2033.

With industry fully converted and able to concentrate on other tasks, production of new installations began in earnest. Between April 2032 and December 2033, a naval shipyard, three commercial shipyards, a military academy and seven research facilities were completed. Finally, on October 16th 2033, the technology required to build terraforming installations was developed by Wolf Spielmann. The construction factories on Earth began building the new installations, with the first being delivered to Mars on Christmas Day 2033. Wolf Spielmann began a new project to improve the rate at which terraforming took place.

A second civilian shipping line, Boeing, was formed on Jan 19th 2034. By the end of the year SpaceX and Boeing each had three freighters and a colony ship in service. With three government colony ships and seven freighters, the evacuation began to speed up a little. On January 1st 2035, ten years after the asteroid impact, the population on Mars was seventeen million, with twenty-two terraforming installations in operation. Despite the number of installations, the rate of atmospheric production was 0.0232 atm per year, which would mean fifteen years of effort to build an atmosphere plus ten build to add sufficient water.

The construction factories on Earth were dedicated to building additional terraforming installations, to speed up the process, with occasional breaks to construct cryogenic modules and engines for additional colony ships. The research situation changed in mid-July 2034 with the graduation of Morita Maya, a brilliant young scientist in the field of construction and production. While she wasn’t quite as capable as Georgi Maslov, she could manage twenty facilities compared to five for Maslov. Some facilities were diverted from Wolf Spielmann’s efforts to speed up terraforming so that Morita Maya could begin work on improving research rate. As of the start of 2035, it was estimated that the improved terraforming would be available in one year and the improved research rate in eighteen months.

Despite the progress, the environmental situation on Earth was worsening fast. The surface temperate had risen to 13.7C, virtually the same as before the impact, but that included a fifteen degree lowering of the base temperature due to the remaining dust in the atmosphere so the real temperature was 28.7C. The Earth was ten percent closer to the Sun than its original orbit and the situation would quickly worsen, especially once the dust settled. Humanity was running out of time.
 
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Re: Escape from Earth - Updates Thread
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 09:28:54 AM »
January 2035
Earth Population 3.95 billion, Mars Population 17m, Temperature 13.7C, Distance to Sun 135m km

By early May 2035, Morita Maya had improved her knowledge to equal that of Georgi Maslov, making her the pre-eminent construction scientist. Finally, significant progress could be made in this critical field. Wolf Spielmann continued his invaluable contribution with an improvement in terraforming rate, then moved back to his specialised field of propulsion, completing work on making engines more efficient before beginning research into jump point theory. In April 2036, Morita Maya completed her project to increase research speed, then moved on to improved wealth generation. As the Exodus grew in size and scope, it was consuming material and financial resources at an ever-increasing rate. Since terraforming installations had become the priority, no more research facilities had been completed, so forty were in operation.

The occasional diversion of construction factories to build colony ship components speeded up the construction of colony ships by a factor of three and made a significant difference to the growth of the Martian colony. The population reached thirty-nine million in January 2036 and seventy-three million by January 2037. By the latter date, thirteen Diaspora class colony ships and thirteen Mars class freighters were in operation supported by four civilian colony ships and seven civilian freighters. Civilian mining operations continued to expand with eighteen civilian mining complexes spread across six different sites by early 2037.

On Earth, the temperature continued to rise; 17.9C in January 2036 and 22.1C in January 2037, with dust still keeping that temperature artificially low by ten degrees. The population reached four billion, but that was likely to be close to the post-impact high point, before the heat really began to take effect. The Earth had moved eighteen million kilometres closer to the Sun since 2025.

Morita Maya developed technology for improved wealth generation in February 2037, while Wolf Spielmann completed his research into Jump Point Theory in October of the same year. It would still be some time until the technology could be used due to the requirement to develop a number of follow-on technologies required to build jump drives. A team led by a young scientist named Rachael Banks began research into gravitational sensors.

Meanwhile, the terraforming of Mars began to show results. In August 2037, with seventy-five terraforming installations in operation and the population passing one hundred million, the ice caps melted, raising the temperature slightly and creating small seas that covered ten percent of the surface area. Even so, additional water would be required to make the surface fully habitable.

A year later, in August 2038, the number of terraforming stations reached one hundred. No more would be built, as the terraforming was making good progress, so Earth’s construction factories began building a mixture of research facilities and components for additional colony ships. By February 2039, the atmosphere was breathable, although the colony cost was still 1.00 due to the small amount of surface water. The Colonial Alliance finally began to believe that Earth could be successfully evacuated.

So far, the rapid increase of population on Mars had been driven by using the infrastructure built up on Earth during the asteroid winter. However, that was almost exhausted. In February 2039, at the point the Martian atmosphere became breathable, there were 36,000 infrastructure installations on Mars, mainly atmospheric domes and environmental systems, supporting an overcrowded population of one hundred and ninety million. Only 900 remained on Earth. The atmosphere had become breathable just in time to prevent a serious slowdown in the evacuation.

On Earth, only twenty million kilometres outside the orbit of Venus, the temperature was 30.9C, including five degrees of cooling provided by the remaining dust. A new environmental disaster was fast approaching. The population was stable at just over four billion as the evacuation caught up with the growth rate. Once sufficient water vapour was added to Mars to increase the surface water beyond twenty percent, the one hundred terraforming installations would be moved back to Earth in an attempt to slow down the environmental damage. In the meantime, the infrastructure originally transported from Earth to Mars would be transported back to Earth to provide some protection for the population.

The resource situation was becoming a cause for concern. Deposits of Vendarite and Gallicite had both been exhausted on Earth and all but two of the remaining deposits were at reduced accessibility. While there were still tens of thousands of tons of each mineral in stockpiles on Earth, the Colonial Alliance would eventually ground to a halt unless new deposits could be found. The solar system had only limited resources, except for the large deposit of Duranium on Io, so the Alliance had to rely on future interstellar exploration.

The more immediate concern was fuel. With the demands on research since the asteroid impact, fuel production and efficiency technology had been a low priority and therefore never addressed. The Spielmann-100C Nuclear Pulse Engines of the Mars and Diaspora classes were therefore very fuel hungry. That was not a concern in the early years due to the limited number of ships. However, with forty-six freighters and colony ships in operation by February 2039, the fuel stockpile was dropping at an alarming rate. Once jump drives and gravitational sensors were available, the focus of research would be on improving the productivity of the three hundred fuel refineries on Earth and researching the technology required for more efficient engines.

Gravitational survey sensors were developed in early October 2039. The first Newton class Geological Survey Craft was launched ten weeks later on December 19th 2039. Although superficially similar to the preceding Galileo class, the Newton had High Density Duranium armour, compared to the Duranium armour of the Galileo, which allowed room for increased fuel storage and larger crew quarters. In addition, the Spielmann-8EB Nuclear Pulse Engine used 10% less fuel than the original Spielmann-8E. These two improvements provided a substantial increase in both range and endurance.

Newton class Gravitational Survey Craft      500 tons       12 Crew       122.4 BP       TCS 10    TH 8    EM 0
801 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/1/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 2.47 Years     MSP 35    AFR 20%    IFR 0.3%    1YR 8    5YR 119    Max Repair 100 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Morale Check Required   

Spielmann-8EB Nuclear Pulse Engine (1)    Power 8.0    Fuel Use 35.58%    Signature 8.00    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 55,000 Litres    Range 55.7 billion km (805 days at full power)
Gravitational Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

As the 2040s dawned, fifteen years after the asteroid impact, the situation for humanity was in equal parts encouraging and concerning. The Martian colony was firmly established. A population of two hundred and sixty million lived on a planet with a breathable atmosphere, slowly expanding seas covering thirteen percent of the surface and, most of all, a stable orbit. Mars was also the Colonial Alliance’s financial hub with over four hundred financial centres transported from Earth. However, four billion people remained on Earth, which had a surface temperature of 34C. The last of the dust from the asteroid would settle during 2040 and the surface temperature would move beyond the upper bound of the habitable range by early 2041. 10,000 infrastructure installations were back on Earth with more arriving every day, along with twenty-seven terraforming installations that were pumping Frigusium gas into the atmosphere.

The impact would be limited though. Earth was a much larger planet than Mars and even with all the installations on Mars added to those already transported to Earth, they would not be able to prevent the inevitable. They could only slow it as long as possible to get more people off the planet. The Colonial Alliance hoped that someday, the capacity of Mars, estimated at three point four billion people, would become a problem to be solved. Resources continued to be a problem, with the fuel stockpile reduced by almost thirty percent in a single year. A new engine had been developed for future colony ships and freighters that used only half as much fuel and new ship designs were being created. However, the fuel situation was a problem just for the already existing ships. Fifty new refineries had been built in 2039, which helped a little, and that strategy would continue until production improvements could be made.

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Re: Escape from Earth - Updates Thread
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 02:41:12 PM »
January 2040
Earth Population 4.02 billion, Mars Population 261m, Temperature 33.8C, Distance to Sun 127.5m km

By January 2041, the remaining atmospheric dust from the asteroid impact had returned to the ground and Earth was one hundred and twenty-six million kilometres from the Sun. Even so, the temperature had risen only a tenth of a degree since January 2040. The fifty terraforming stations in operation on Earth were adding Frigusium, which by this point comprised 2.1% of the atmosphere. The Frigusium was reducing the greenhouse gas effect and counter-acting the increased solar radiation. On Mars, the other fifty terraforming installations continued to add water vapour, which condensed out of the atmosphere and increased the surface water. The Martian population was almost three hundred and eighty million and the number of installations on the planet was increasing. All six hundred financial centres were on Mars, along with five research facilities, the military academy and Colonial Alliance naval headquarters.

The first jump point in the Solar system was detected in April 2040 by the second Newton class survey craft, Nikolai Tesla, and was located just inside the orbit of Saturn. Two further jump points were detected later in the year, located five hundred million and one hundred and twenty million kilometres inside the orbit of Uranus. The fourth and final jump point was discovered in May 2041, 750m km past Neptune, just a month before the gravitational survey of the solar system was completed.

Wolf Spielmann completed development of the Spielmann JD-90C Commercial Jump Drive on June 27th 2041, opening up the galaxy to humanity. The new drive was incorporated into the Kamikawa Maru class Jump Tender, a design intended to provide jump support for commercial-engined ships without inherent jump capability, in particular colony ships and freighters.

Kamikawa Maru class Jump Tender      41,896 tons       240 Crew       713.9 BP       TCS 838    TH 1,024    EM 0
1222 km/s    JR 2-25(C)      Armour 1-107       Shields 0-0       HTK 76      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 10    Max Repair 265.6 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Spielmann JD-90C Commercial Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 90000 tons    Distance 25k km     Squadron Size 2
Spielmann-128C Nuclear Pulse Engine (8)    Power 1024    Fuel Use 4.55%    Signature 128    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 400,000 Litres    Range 37.7 billion km (357 days at full power)

Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1200     Range 19.7m km    Resolution 120
Commercial Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Commercial EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

Wolf Spielmann began work on the Spielmann JD-8M jump drive, a design intended for military-engined vessels of up to 8000 tons. Disaster struck three weeks into the project, on July 19th 2041, when Spielmann was killed in a tragic boating accident on the Colorado river. His protégé, Jason Kirk, was assigned the task of completing the new jump drive. Kirk was an accomplished young scientist, considered one of the most promising on the planet, but not yet as capable as his illustrious predecessor. Even so, the drive was ready by December 2041 and along the way Kirk improved his skills until they almost matched his mentor. In fact, his administrative skills were superior, as he was able to manage up to thirty-two facilities.

The Spielmann JD-8M jump drive, final legacy of the famous scientist, would have to wait before being incorporated into a new design as the Matsushina Naval Shipyard, intended to build the first interstellar survey ships, was still being upgraded to its target capacity of 8000 tons. As of January 2040, it was at 7568 tons.

Mars reached a population of 400m in April 2041 and by January 2042 was at 488m. The terraforming was almost complete with water covering 18.7% of the surface. With the rapidly growing population providing a large manufacturing sector, the centre of industry for the Colonial Alliance was gradually moving to Mars. Nine hundred construction factories were in operation, leaving just three hundred and fifty on Earth. Earth was still home to all Alliance shipyards, mining complexes, fuel refineries and fighter factories. Sixty terraforming stations on Earth were pumping Frigusium into Earth’s atmosphere and the temperature was actually starting to fall. After reaching a high point of 33.9C in January 2041, the temperature had fallen to 29.4C at the start of 2042.

The base temperature of Earth, based purely on solar radiation without any greenhouse effect or Albedo, was 280 Kelvin, or 7C, twenty-five degrees higher than in January 2025. Greenhouse effects took that to 315K, or 42C, which would be above the upper tolerance level of humanity. The terraforming stations had added 0.0434 atm of Frigusium, which reduced that temperature by 12.5C. However, as the Earth moved closer to the Sun, the increase in base temperature would accelerate. Earth was 0.83 AU from the Sun, or 124.5m kilometres. The first 0.1 AU added 13.7C, the second would add 16.3C and the third 19.7C. At 0.5 AU from the Sun the base temperature would have risen in total by over a hundred degrees. As the Sun grew ever larger in the sky, the subsequent 0.1 AU increments would add 42C, 62C, 104C and 280C. Frigusium would help for a while, but ultimately it was a losing battle.

On June 3rd 2042 the first Rappahannock class Tanker was launched. The Rappahannock was relatively small for a commercial vessel and was intended to ferry fuel from Sol’s gas giants once Sorium extraction technology became available. Its first mission was to rescue the geological survey craft Tycho Brae, which was stranded due to lack of fuel several years earlier. It’s sister ship Kepler had suffered the same fate and did not survive due to overwhelming maintenance failure. The crews of the early interplanetary vessels had known their mission was vital and pushed beyond safe limits to achieve their objectives.

Rappahannock class Tanker      19,177 tons       132 Crew       544.4 BP       TCS 384    TH 768    EM 0
2002 km/s      Armour 1-63       Shields 0-0       HTK 159      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 17    Max Repair 25.6 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Spielmann-128C Nuclear Pulse Engine (6)    Power 768    Fuel Use 4.55%    Signature 128    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 5,700,000 Litres    Range 1,174.7 billion km (6791 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 50,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 114 hours

Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1200     Range 19.7m km    Resolution 120
Commercial Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Commercial EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

Mid-2043 was notable for several other reasons. By June 4th, all construction and fighter factories had been transported to Mars, along with the spaceport from Earth. Earth gained a refuelling station instead. Three weeks later, Morita Maya completed her research into the Sorium Harvester module, leading to the first harvester station design. In July, Mars became an ideal habitable world. Finally, Jason Kirk, the propulsion scientist who succeeded Wolf Spielmann, reached the same level of research skill as his mentor and had the advantage in administration ability.

In August, Kamikawa Maru and Kiyokawa Maru were launched. The two tenders were the first jump-capable ships in history. They would not investigate the four jump points in Sol though as that task would fall to another class of vessel. In October, the first pair of Magellan class Survey Ships laid down. At 8000 tons, they were large enough to mount a jump drive, carry both geological and gravitational sensors and still retain sufficient endurance to conduct missions of up to four years in duration. Exploration would wait until these ships were available.

Magellan class Survey Ship      8,000 tons       193 Crew       988.7 BP       TCS 160    TH 300    EM 0
1875 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 1-35       Shields 0-0       HTK 71      Sensors 5/5/2/2      DCR 8      PPV 0
Maint Life 5.22 Years     MSP 617    AFR 64%    IFR 0.9%    1YR 38    5YR 567    Max Repair 128 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 47 months    Morale Check Required   

Spielmann JD-8M Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 8000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Kirk-150M Nuclear Pulse Drive (2)    Power 300.0    Fuel Use 24.65%    Signature 150.00    Explosion 7%
Fuel Capacity 1,303,000 Litres    Range 118.9 billion km (734 days at full power)

Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1200     Range 19.7m km    Resolution 120
Commercial Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Commercial EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Gravitational Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour
Geological Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

By the end of 2042, all the Colonial Alliance’s financial centres had been transported back to Earth to free up workers. The industrial centre-of-gravity for the Alliance was rapidly moving to Mars. In May 2043, the last of Earth’s fuel refineries were moved to Mars to join those built by Martian construction factories. Four hundred and seventy refineries were in operation, but the fuel situation was still cause for concern with less than twenty million litres in storage. The first Hercules class Tug was launched later the same month and began towing shipyards to Mars as they finished their current tasks.

Hercules class Tug      63,664 tons       506 Crew       1,246 BP       TCS 1,273    TH 3,840    EM 0
3015 km/s      Armour 1-142       Shields 0-0       HTK 224      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 12    Max Repair 100 MSP
Tractor Beam     
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Kirk-128C Nuclear Pulse Engine (30)    Power 3840.0    Fuel Use 4.05%    Signature 128.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 1,000,000 Litres    Range 69.8 billion km (268 days at full power)

Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1200     Range 19.7m km    Resolution 120
Commercial Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Commercial EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

Mankind’s second off-world colony was formed on May 29th 2043 with the delivery of 320,000 settlers to Io. The moon had six million tons of accessibility 0.7 Duranium, along with smaller but accessible deposits of Mercassium and Corundium. The colony cost was high at 6.30, but it could be brought down over time through terraforming.

June brought another major milestone in the great quest to save humanity. The survey ships Ferdinand Magellan and James Cook launched from the Matsushina Naval Shipyard in Earth orbit. The rapid build time of eight months was due to some components being pre-built by Martian construction factories and then transported to Earth. The first interstellar transit took place on July 2nd. Ferdinand Magellan was under the command of Commander Morgan Kerr, who was previously captain of the ill-fated gravitational survey craft Kepler before its destruction. His new command was sixteen times larger and far more capable.

Ferdinand Magellan transited jump point one and arrived six point five billion kilometres from Sirius, a dazzling white A1-V primary that was the brightest star in the sky when seen from Earth or Mars. Sirius had two planets, a superjovian with eighteen moons and a terrestrial world, plus a companion white dwarf star orbiting by its own superjovian with nineteen moons. Both superjovians had clusters of Trojan asteroids; eighty in total. The terrestrial world was mountainous, with large lakes covering sixteen percent of the surface and a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 0.7 atm. The oxygen content was too high for humans at 38% and the temperature was 78C, but overall the planet was a very good terraforming prospect. Three of the moons orbiting Sirius-A I had Venusian atmospheres while two others were colony cost 2.00, although they lacked both water and atmosphere. Even so, the system presented better colonization options than the pre-transit expectations of the Alliance.

Nine days later, James Cook entered jump point three and discovered the system of Alpha Centauri, a binary with a yellow G2-V primary, similar to Sol, and an orange K1-V companion. The survey ship arrived at the edge of the system, five point eight billion kilometres from the primary and more than seven billion from the companion. In total, the two stars had twelve planets, sixty-four moons and forty-six Trojan asteroids. While there were no immediately habitable planets, two planets and one moon had nitrogen – oxygen atmospheres. Alpha Centauri-A III was a huge, super-terrestrial planet 30,000 kilometres in diameter with gravity of 1.45, temperature of -39C and an atmosphere of 2.09 atm, 36% of which was oxygen. Ice sheets covered 97% of the surface. Unfortunately, the sheer size of the planet meant terraforming would be almost six times slower than on Earth. Due to the density of the atmosphere, 0.18 atm of oxygen would have to be removed to make the atmosphere breathable. Combined with the size of the planet, that would be a task equal to creating Earth’s entire atmosphere.

Alpha Centauri-A IV was a slightly better option. A world larger than Earth at 15,800 km, it had a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.9 atm, with only 1% oxygen. The temperature of -71C would also need to be addressed. However, it had ice sheets covering thirty-eight percent of the surface and the population capacity was eighteen billion, making it a far better terraforming prospect than the third planet. The fifth moon of Alpha Centauri-B III presented another option. The moon was a similar size to Mars and had a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 0.156 atm, including 0.04 atm of oxygen. Ice sheets covered half the surface and the temperature was -57C.

Ferdinand Magellan and James Cook headed in-system to begin geological surveys, while the jump tenders Kamikawa Maru and Kiyokawa Maru headed for the two jump points to maintain communications with the survey ships and provide jump support if colony ships or freighters were sent into the systems. By the end of 2043, the planets and moons of Sirius-A had all been surveyed and about half the bodies of Sirius-B. The terrestrial planet Sirius-A II had deposits of all eleven minerals, including ten million tons of accessibility 0.5 Duranium. All the others were minimal accessibility, with the exception of Corbomite, which was accessibility 0.5, and Neutronium, where the deposit was only 2000 tons. Three moons of Sirius-A I also had noteworthy deposits

Sirius-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   10,534,050   0.50
Neutronium:   2,025   0.60
Corbomite:   10,791,225   0.50
Tritanium:   6,350,400   0.10
Boronide:   4,473,225   0.20
Mercassium:   72,900   0.10
Vendarite:   11,696,400   0.10
Sorium:   164,025   0.10
Uridium:   10,208,025   0.10
Corundium:   10,497,600   0.10
Gallicite:   2,924,100   0.10

Sirius-A I – Moon 1 Survey Report (CC 3.71 – 2800 km, no water, no air)
Duranium:   352,800   0.90
Neutronium:   1,920,996   0.50
Uridium:   63,504   0.60

Sirius-A I – Moon 10 Survey Report (CC 4.98 – 3000 km, no water, no air)
Duranium:   3,976,200   0.70
Vendarite:   216,225   0.80
Sorium:   900   0.80
Uridium:   72,900   0.40
Gallicite:   216,225   0.90

Sirius-A I – Moon 5 Survey Report (Venusian atmosphere – ground survey potential: High)
Duranium:   38,896,200   0.10
Neutronium:   4,900   0.10
Corbomite:   18,835,600   0.10
Tritanium:   3,841,600   0.10
Boronide:   7,840,000   0.10
Mercassium:   35,402,500   0.10
Vendarite:   29,052,100   0.10
Corundium:   10,824,100   1.00
Gallicite:   4,900   0.90

In Alpha Centauri, the survey of the primary solar system was virtually complete by the end of 2043, although the bodies of the companion solar system remained unsurveyed. Alpha Centauri-A III, the super-terrestrial world, had a deposit of thirty-two million tons of accessibility 0.7 Duranium, but nothing else. Two of the moons of the fifth planet had multiple accessible deposits, with the fourth moon being perhaps the better short-term option as it would be easier to terraform. The sixth moon had almost eight million tons of accessibility 0.9 Duranium, plus large accessible deposits of Mercassium and Vendarite, but the atmosphere was fairly dense and mostly hydrogen making it hard to terraform. The most notable discovery was another destroyed alien outpost surrounding the same type of ancient construct found on Mercury. Once research time was available, the Colonial Alliance would need to develop the necessary technology to uncover the secrets of the outposts and the constructs.

Alpha Centauri-A V – Moon 4 Survey Report (CC 5.85 – 2000 km, no water, no air)
Duranium:   405,000   1.00
Boronide:   57,600   0.80
Uridium:   40,000   0.80
Corundium:   291,600   0.90

Alpha Centauri-A V – Moon 6 Survey Report (CC 6.76 – 9200 km, 46% crustal, Hydro-Helium 0.75 atm)
Duranium:   7,824,968   0.90
Neutronium:   15,288,100   0.10
Corbomite:   9,217,296   0.20
Mercassium:   2,742,336   1.00
Vendarite:   18,696,976   0.70

In December 2043, the first pair of Saturn class fuel harvester stations were completed in Earth orbit. Two Hercules class tugs towed them into orbit of their namesake planet. The Saturns represented the first step in ending the growing fuel supply problems of the Alliance.

Saturn class Fuel Harvester Station      88,683 tons       374 Crew       1,266.9 BP       TCS 1,774    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 225      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 8    Max Repair 30 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Fuel Harvester: 34 modules producing 1,632,000 litres per annum

Fuel Capacity 2,000,000 Litres    Range N/A
Refuelling Capability: 50,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 40 hours

Commercial Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Commercial EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

During 2042 and 2043 the population of Mars continued to grow, reaching six hundred million by December 2042 and seven hundred and seventeen million at the end of December 2043. Earth’s population was starting to fall slightly as the evacuation outpaced the growth rate, but remained close to four billion. The most promising news was the temperature. After the high of almost 34C in January 2041, the temperature had fallen all the way back to 16.3C. The reason was the vast quantities of Frigusium being pumped into the atmosphere by the ninety-seven terraforming installations on Earth. The atmospheric pressure of Frigusium was 0.11 atm, or about ten percent of the atmosphere.

The two civilian shipping companies, SpaceX and Boeing, continued to play a vital role, with a total of fifteen colony ships and sixteen freighters in operation. The government-owned fleet comprised thirty-four colony ships and forty-two freighters. Civilian mining companies continued to flourish with eleven civilian mining colonies setup on moons, asteroids and comets across the Sol system.

At the end of 2043, a new chapter in the history of the Colonial Alliance was beginning. Survey ships had begun the long task of exploring the galaxy and the first out-system colonies would soon be established. The success of the terraforming of Earth also promised a much longer period than initially expected would be available to evacuate the home world of humanity, although that presented its own problems given the population capacity of Mars. The unknown factor was the potential for alien contact. The outposts on Mercury and Alpha Centauri-A IV were solid evidence that alien life had visited both system, but whether alien civilizations still existed was a different question. The Colonial Alliance had no military assets and no research time had been devoted to weapon research. As the pressure to evacuate Earth was starting to decrease, the Alliance had to consider diverting precious resources toward building a navy.
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Escape from Earth - Updates Thread
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2020, 09:23:30 AM »
January 2044
Earth Population 3.86 billion, Mars Population 717m, Temperature 16.3C, Distance to Sun 121.5m km

The five-year period from January 2044 to the end of 2048 was an era of growth and exploration for the Colonial Alliance. The rate of shipbuilding significantly increased, due to expansion of existing shipyards, construction of new shipyards and an improvement in shipbuilding technology. The last ships to be constructed in Earth orbit were the jump tenders Hirokawa Maru and Kimikawa Maru, completed on January 11th 2044. After that point, all new construction was at Mars. The Magellan class of 8000-ton survey vessels was expanded from the original two ships, Ferdinand Magellan and James Cook built in 2043, to a total of ten, with two ships built in each year from 2045 to 2048. The new vessels were named Vasco de Gama, Zheng He, Marco Polo, Sacagawea, Leif Erickson, Christopher Columbus, George Vancouver and Yuri Gagarin.

In response to the fuel crisis, which reached its peak in August 2044 when Mars ran out of fuel entirely, the number of fuel harvesters was increased to thirty-seven stations, twenty of which were built by construction factories. The rapid expansion came just in time, as the four hundred and seventy fuel refineries on Mars were forced to cease operation in 2047 due to a critical shortage of Sorium. Even by the start of 2049, there was no major off-Earth mining operation to address the growing shortage of minerals in general. Earth itself was almost out of all mineral except Duranium. Once the Io operation was completed, the next objective for the Colonial Alliance would be to create out-system mining colonies.

Several new classes were created as part of the shipbuilding expansion. Four Gaia class terraforming stations were completed in 2046, two by construction factories and two by the Cortez orbital shipyard. A larger design, the Gaia II, with five terraforming modules entered service in 2047 with four stations in operation by December 2048.

Gaia class Terraforming Station      101,335 tons       416 Crew       2,179.7 BP       TCS 2,027    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 56      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 13    Max Repair 500 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Terraformer: 4 modules producing 0.0013 atm per annum

Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1200     Range 19.7m km    Resolution 120
Commercial EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Commercial Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

In July 2046, the first Gateway class stabilisation ships were launched and immediately began work on stabilising Sol’s four jump points, with the Sol – Sirius first jump point first to be stabilised in May 2047. By December 2048, six Gateways were in service and six systems were part of the stabilised network.

Gateway class Stabilisation Ship      88,945 tons       404 Crew       1,825.3 BP       TCS 1,779    TH 2,304    EM 0
1295 km/s      Armour 1-177       Shields 0-0       HTK 133      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 12    Max Repair 1000 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Jump Point Stabilisation: 180 days

Kirk-128C Nuclear Pulse Engine (18)    Power 2304.0    Fuel Use 4.05%    Signature 128.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 1,000,000 Litres    Range 50 billion km (446 days at full power)

Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1200     Range 19.7m km    Resolution 120
Commercial EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Commercial Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

A single Agincourt class troop transport was completed in February 2047 with a single, larger Agincourt II launched in May 2048. The Agincourt II had a capacity of 50,000 tons but otherwise similar capabilities to the original.

Agincourt class Troop Transport      77,149 tons       442 Crew       1,504 BP       TCS 1,543    TH 2,048    EM 0
1327 km/s      Armour 1-161       Shields 0-0       HTK 201      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 12    Max Repair 80 MSP
Troop Capacity 40,000 tons     Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 5   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Kirk-128C Nuclear Pulse Engine (16)    Power 2048.0    Fuel Use 4.05%    Signature 128.0    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 750,000 Litres    Range 43.2 billion km (376 days at full power)

Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1200     Range 19.7m km    Resolution 120
Commercial Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Commercial EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

An interesting side-note was the Spartan class Troop Shuttle, two of which were built in late 2045. Unrest was rising on the Io colony as population grew and the Agincourt was more than a year away from completion. The Spartans were used to transport 80-man police companies to Io to quell the unrest.

Spartan class Troop Shuttle      500 tons       4 Crew       28.4 BP       TCS 10    TH 20    EM 0
2001 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 2.44 Years     MSP 20    AFR 100%    IFR 1.4%    1YR 5    5YR 69    Max Repair 10.00 MSP
Troop Capacity 250 tons     
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Morale Check Required   

Kirk-20M Nuclear Pulse Drive (1)    Power 20.0    Fuel Use 160.0%    Signature 20.00    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 77,000 Litres    Range 17.3 billion km (100 days at full power

Construction of freighters and colony ships continued apace, with several different designs in service in late 2048. The three Mars class freighter variants had similar capabilities and were differentiated mainly by their engine type. The original Mars had the fuel-hungry Spielmann-100C Nuclear Pulse Engine, designed when building ships quickly was more important than building them efficiently. The Mars II, mounting the Spielmann-128C Nuclear Pulse Engine, increased speed from 1200 km/s to 1308 km/s while reducing fuel consumption per engine-power-hour by almost sixty percent. The Mars III involved a minor upgrade to the Kirk-128C Nuclear Pulse Engine, improving fuel efficiency by a further ten percent but was otherwise identical to the Mars II. In December 2048, the Colonial Alliance had thirty Mars I, twelve Mars II and twenty-four Mars III in service.

The original colony ship was the Diaspora, which carried sixty thousand colonists and mounted the same inefficient Spielmann-100C Nuclear Pulse Engine as the Mars I. The Diaspora II mounted the much more efficient Spielmann-128C Nuclear Pulse Engine and increased capacity to eighty thousand colonists, while the Diaspora III was identical to its predecessor with the exception of the Kirk-128C Nuclear Pulse Engine. All three variants had a speed of 1270 km/s. A new Kirk-160C Improved Nuclear Pulse Engine became available in mid-2048 and was incorporated into the designs of the Mars IV and Diaspora IV, both of which were faster and much larger than the preceding classes but neither of which had any units in service by the end of the year. However, the Kirk-160C did make an appearance via the Diaspora-B, a limited refit of the original Diaspora which replaced the Spielmann-100C with the new engine but made no other changes. The intention was to reduce the extravagant fuel use of the Diaspora and a new shipyard with a single slipway was dedicated to the task. In December 2048, the Alliance had twenty-seven Diaspora I, four Diaspora II, twelve Diaspora III and three Diaspora-B in service.

Known space expanded from three systems (Sol, Sirius and Alpha Centauri) at the end of 2043 to twenty-one systems by December 2048. Sol’s fourth jump point was explored in April 2044, resulting in the discovery of a red dwarf binary with a planetless primary and a companion star with five planets, the second of which was a potential terraforming prospect. The system was named Spielmann in honour of the late scientist who contributed so much to the Colonial Alliance. A transit of jump point two in July 2044 revealed Lacaille 9352, a red dwarf with eight unremarkable planets. The name was shortened to simply Lacaille. As the number of survey ships increased, they moved beyond the systems adjacent to Sol and began to explore the galaxy.

Beyond Alpha Centauri was the planetless, cul-de-sac Proxima system, cutting off any further exploration in that direction. The only outward jump point from Sirius led to LP-816-60, a nondescript red dwarf system with seven planets. The non-mnemonic name was typical of those systems discovered by astronomers in the decades before the asteroid impact, which were assigned designations based on a star catalogue or on the date and location of discovery. The council of the Colonial Alliance determined that more memorable names were required for such systems. Rather than use modern place names from Earth, which would be destroyed within a few decades, the Council decided to use the names of mythological figures from the past for any ‘star catalogue’ systems. Beyond Sirius, the systems would be based on Scandinavian mythology, beyond Spielmann would be Greek mythology and beyond Lacaille would be Egyptian. As more branches appeared in the jump network mythologies from different cultures would be added. On that basis, LP-816-60 became the Midgard system. Midgard had two outgoing jump points, connected to the planetless systems of Jötunheim and Niflheim, both of which had gravitational surveys underway at the end of 2048.

Lacaille had three outward jump point, one of which connected to Sirius, forming a triangle of systems including Sol. Beyond the other two jump points were a total of five systems named Osiris, Horus, Hathor, Seth and Ptah. Osiris, which connected directly to the outmost jump point of Lacaille, would ensure the long-term fuel supply of the Colonial Alliance, once it was secured. Osiris VIII had forty-two million tons of accessibility 1.00 Sorium, while Osiris XII had one hundred and seventy million tons of accessibility 1.00 Sorium. Osiris V, a terrestrial world with a colony cost of 2.13, would be a suitable future base in the system. It had terraforming potential and two million tons of accessibility 0.7 Duranium, plus four other minerals.

Osiris V Survey Report
Duranium:   2,367,488   0.70
Neutronium:   139,876   0.90
Corbomite:   462,400   0.20
Sorium:   10,653,696   0.10
Corundium:   10,653,696   0.10

Seven systems had been discovered beyond Spielmann by the end of 2048. Appropriately, given the scientists first name, the only outward jump point in Spielmann led to Wolf 359, shortened to Wolf. Wolf had three outward jump points leading to Bernard’s Star, Hera and Hermes. Initially, the latter was the most interesting, with five planets and almost five hundred asteroids within four hundred million kilometres of a young M4-V primary. Unfortunately, the geological survey proved disappointing. A gravitational survey was completed in Hera, revealing three outward jump points to Artemis, Demeter and Hestia. Artemis was a red dwarf binary with fourteen planets, four of which were colony cost 2.00 terrestrial worlds, all with ice sheets, plus over a hundred and seventy moons. The geological survey was underway at the end of December 2048.



Even though resources had been devoted to improving humanity’s knowledge of the systems around Sol, the overriding priority of the Colonial Alliance remained the evacuation of Earth. The population of Mars almost doubled between December 2043 and December 2048, reaching one point four billion, while Earth’s population fell to just over three point five billion. Colonies were established on Sirius-A II, two moons of Sirius-A I, Alpha Centuari-A IV and Spielmann-B III. Sirius-A II and Alpha Centuari-A IV were both terraforming prospects seen as long-term home worlds for humanity with population capacities of six billion and eighteen billion respectively. The former had deposits of all eleven minerals, albeit mostly at low accessibility, while the latter was home to an ancient construct and a destroyed alien outpost. The other three colonies had potential for mining, each with three or more high accessibility minerals, but would require significant terraforming to allow manned mines.

Apart from Mars, the main focus was on the Io colony, originally settled in May 2043. The need to find a new location for Earth’s manned mines, plus a secondary colonist location that was easy to reach from Earth, meant the colony grew fast in the late 2040s. By December 2048, the population of Io was close to fifty million. Terraforming had increased atmospheric pressure to 0.71 atm and reduced the temperature from -161C to -73C. While there was still some way to go, progress was relatively fast due to the size of the moon. Sixty terraforming installations were on the surface, mainly transported from Earth, and several recently-constructed Gaia class terraforming stations were in orbit.

Earth itself had undergone significant terraforming by late 2048 with 0.244 atm of Frigusium in the atmosphere. The temperature had dropped slightly below freezing, despite the orbit of Earth only being six million kilometres further from the Sun than Venus. With the immediate threat removed, many of the terraforming installations had been moved to other colonies, such as Io. Seventy research facilities, nine hundred mines, six hundred financial centres and twenty-four terraforming installations remained on the surface. All factories, refineries and shipyards had been moved to Mars. In December 2048, in addition to Earth and Mars, the Colonial Alliance had the following populations and installations:

Io: 49.3m, 17,700x infrastructure, 60x terraforming installation, 1x DSTS.
Sirius-A II: 4.57m, 1500x infrastructure, 10x terraforming installation, 2x Mine, 1x DSTS.
Alpha Centauri-A IV: 1.3m, 700x infrastructure, 2x terraforming installation, 1x DSTS.
Spielmann-B III: 0.51m, 370x infrastructure, 2x terraforming installation, 1x DSTS.
Sirius-A I – Moon 1: 0.32m, 650x infrastructure, 1x automated mine.
Sirius-A I – Moon 10: 0.32m, 150x infrastructure.

In addition to the technology required for troop transports and stabilisation ships, important research projects to be completed between 2044 and 2048 included improved nuclear pulse engines, hangar decks, geological survey vehicles and xenoarchaeology vehicles, with the latter project completed in December 2048. While no weapons were available, basic railgun technology had been researched and fire control and capacitor research projects were underway at the end of 2048. True warships were still years away, but in the meantime three Lexington class Carriers were laid down in mid-2048 and would be ready in 2050. The Colonial Alliance hoped to have a basic energy-armed fighter design ready at approximately the same time, although it would take some time to construct strike groups.

Lexington class Carrier      24,999 tons       422 Crew       2,635.5 BP       TCS 500    TH 1,600    EM 0
3200 km/s      Armour 2-76       Shields 0-0       HTK 126      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 16      PPV 0
Maint Life 1.96 Years     MSP 1,054    AFR 312%    IFR 4.3%    1YR 361    5YR 5,417    Max Repair 200.00 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 11,000 tons     
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 15 months    Flight Crew Berths 220    Morale Check Required   

Kirk-400M Improved Nuclear Pulse Engine (4)    Power 1600    Fuel Use 40.00%    Signature 400.00    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,762,000 Litres    Range 31.7 billion km (114 days at full power)

SPS-4 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 5200     Range 40.4m km    Resolution 130
SQR-2 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
SER-3 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

Whatever happened to Earth, Mars was now a viable long-term home for humanity. However, it could not hold the entire human population and it lacked minerals. The focus now was on additional colony sites, in particular those with substantial mineral deposits. Duranium, Neutronium and Sorium were of particular concern. The ten survey ships would continue to push out the boundaries of known space, looking for better colony sites than those already available. On Earth, the focus would slowly shift from economic to military research in case those ships found something other than empty worlds.
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: Escape from Earth - Updates Thread
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2020, 12:49:58 PM »
During the five-year period from January 2049 to January 2054, the focus of the Colonial Alliance turned to out-system colonization, primarily in the Sirius system. Until that point, colonization was almost entirely within the Sol system. The primary advantage of Mars as a colonist destination was its proximity to Earth, but it lacked minerals entirely and the population of 1.8 billion was already half the maximum capacity. Io, which became an ideal habitable world in August 2053, did have substantial deposits of Duranium and Corundium plus a billion in population capacity, but lacked other key minerals. Even so, the population of Io had reached ninety-five million by January 2054 and had one hundred and five manned mining complexes in operation. Earth itself was fast running out of minerals with only Duranium remaining in large, accessible quantities. Even that resource was starting to diminish as the accessibility fell.

Earth Survey Report
Duranium:   331,288   0.98
Corbomite:   1,104   0.11
Boronide:   34,853   0.29
Mercassium:   51,608   0.34
Sorium:   503   0.10

Io Survey Report
Duranium:   6,365,606   0.70
Mercassium:   28,765   0.80
Corundium:   424,814   0.90

Therefore, after much debate in the Council of the Colonial Alliance, the focus turned to Sirius. With almost two billion people already evacuated from Earth, the survival of humanity was assured. The new priority was ensuring the economy could continue to support that population, which meant exploitation of resources outside the Sol system, which in turn required out-system colonies. At the start of 2049, the colonies in Sirius comprised 4.5m on Sirius-A II and tiny settlements on two moons of Sirius-A I.

Sirius-A II, a mountainous world, with large lakes covering sixteen percent of the surface, offered a number of advantages for a more substantial colony. The planet had deposits of all mineral types, albeit mainly at minimal accessibility with the exception of Duranium and Corbomite, plus it had a population capacity of six billion. Before terraforming began, the planet had a temperature of 78C and a nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere of 0.7 atm, with an oxygen content too high for humans at 38%. By January 2054, forty-six terraforming installations on the surface, supported by twenty Gaia class terraforming stations in orbit, had brought the temperature down to 42C and made the atmosphere breathable. The colony cost was 0.40 due to the hydrographic coverage, but the scale of the terraforming effort meant it would be an ideal habitable world within a year. The population was thirty-eight million.

Sirius-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   10,533,889   0.50
Neutronium:   1,831   0.60
Corbomite:   10,791,064   0.50
Tritanium:   6,350,368   0.10
Boronide:   4,473,160   0.20
Mercassium:   72,868   0.10
Vendarite:   11,696,368   0.10
Sorium:   163,993   0.10
Uridium:   10,207,993   0.10
Corundium:   10,497,568   0.10
Gallicite:   2,924,068   0.10

Another advantage of Sirius-A II was its proximity to other sources of minerals, which meant a substantial economy could be supported on the planet. In the late 2040s, Neutronium had become a serious problem, with almost all work on shipyard expansion halted as the stockpile fell to a critical level. The only significant supply on a world that could be realistically colonised from Earth in the near-term was on the first moon of Sirius-A I. The 2800 km diameter moon had almost two million tons of accessibility 0.5 Neutronium, plus over three hundred thousand tons of accessibility 0.9 Duranium and a smaller deposit of Uridium.

While the moon lacked both air and water and had a colony cost of 3.75, its small size meant it could be terraformed twenty times more quickly than an Earth-sized planet. The moon became the primary terraforming target between the completion of the operation on Io and the start of the major effort on Sirius-A II. The atmosphere was made breathable and the temperature brought into the habitable range. By January 2054 the colony cost was 0.85, with the only factor being the limited amount of surface water. Sufficient water vapour was already in the atmosphere so it was simply a matter of waiting for the condensation to take place. The moon would be an ideal habitable world by 2056. The Neutronium crisis made the moon the focus of out-system mining; three hundred and eighty mines were in operation by the end of 2053 and the population reached thirty-six million.

Sirius-A I – Moon 1 Survey Report
Duranium:   340,169   0.90
Neutronium:   1,913,979   0.50
Uridium:   55,084   0.60

Two other moons of Sirius-A I also would contribute to the ongoing industrial expansion in the system. The tenth moon was very similar to the first; 3000 km in diameter with useful mineral deposits and lacking both air and water. In this case, the deposits were accessible Duranium, Vendarite and Gallicite and the colony cost was 4.95. Once the terraforming of Sirius-A II was complete, the tenth moon would be the priority. Even without terraforming, the population had reached six million.

Sirius-A I – Moon 10 Survey Report
Duranium:   3,976,106   0.70
Vendarite:   216,118   0.80
Sorium:   793   0.80
Uridium:   72,847   0.40
Gallicite:   216,105   0.90

Finally, the eleventh moon had deposits of all eleven minerals, including ninety-four million tons of accessibility 0.5 Duranium, eighteen million tons of accessibility 0.7 Corbomite, ten million tons of accessibility 1.00 Corundium and one point five million tons of accessibility 0.9 Gallicite. All the other deposits were at minimal accessibility. Unfortunately, the ‘moon’ was larger than Earth and had a dense Venusian atmosphere of over 100 atm, which meant terraforming was not an option and the colony cost of 27.04 precluded the use of manned mines. One hundred and twenty automated mines were in operation on the surface, plus four civilian mining complexes.

Sirius-A I – Moon 11 Survey Report
Duranium:   94,118,573   0.50
Neutronium:   4,775   0.10
Corbomite:   18,834,722   0.70
Tritanium:   18,232,775   0.10
Boronide:   7,839,875   0.10
Mercassium:   35,402,375   0.10
Vendarite:   29,051,975   0.10
Sorium:   12,744,775   0.10
Uridium:   20,702,375   0.10
Corundium:   10,822,845   1.00
Gallicite:   1,586,471   0.90

In addition to the major colonies in Sirius, a colony of 600,000 was established on Osiris V, a small colony cost 2.13 planet two transits from Earth via Lacaille. Osiris V had accessible Duranium and Neutronium deposits, although the latter was not in the same quantities as the first moon of Sirius-A I and Osiris was further away from Earth. Even so, it was a useful outpost on a planet with terraforming potential that could serve as a forward base in the future.

Osiris V Survey Report
Duranium:   2,367,488   0.70
Neutronium:   139,876   0.90
Corbomite:   462,400   0.20
Sorium:   10,653,696   0.10
Corundium:   10,653,696   0.10

Between January 2049 and January 2054, Earth’s population’s fell by only twenty million as the much longer round trip to the Sirius-A system meant the colony ships could only keep up with the natural population growth on Earth. The population might even have grown slightly if it were not for the establishment of a colony on Mercury in November 2050. The Xenoarchaeology expeditions on Mercury and Alpha Centauri-A IV were successful in deciphering the language and symbology of the two destroyed outposts, which were apparently both created by a polity known as the Kitchener Kingdom, and identified a total of sixteen sites for potential recovery, once the requisite technology was developed. They also determined the two ancient constructs would provide assistance in research efforts, adding perhaps thirty percent to construction-related projects on Mercury and seventy percent to logistics-related projects on Alpha Centauri IV. With the potential for Mercury as a research-focused colony, a total of twenty-seven terraforming installations were moved to the planet to add Frigusium to the atmosphere, which reached 0.16 atm by January 2054 and reduced the colony cost to 2.49. The focus of civilian shipping lines moved to Mercury for a couple of years, before being redirected to Sirius, and the population passed thirty million in late 2053. A single research facility was moved to Mercury in 2052.

By January 2054, Earth had moved within the orbit of Venus. The distance from Earth to the Sun was one hundred and six million kilometres and falling. The temperature had risen slightly to 0.3C, which was not yet a major factor due to the 0.275 atm of Frigusium in the atmosphere. In fact, most of the terraforming effort had moved away from Earth, leaving only nineteen terraforming installations in operation on the home world. Seventy-seven research facilities were on Earth, along with six hundred financial centres and five hundred and seventy mines. As the colonies in Sirius increased their population and began to take on more responsibility for industrial production, the financial centres would move to Mars. The research facilities would move either to Mars, or to the sites of the alien structures on Mercury and Alpha Centauri IV. The mines would move to Sirius or Io.

The three 25,000-ton Lexington class carriers, Lexington, Ark Royal and Akagi, were launched in January 2050. It was almost a year before the first Cobra class fighter landed on the Lexington in December 2050. Over the next three years, a total of four different Cobra class fighters were designed, with construction of the Cobra MK IV beginning in January 2054. The Cobra MK I was a bare-bones design, intended to provide the Alliance with at least a minimal combat capability. The Tarasov MK I 10cm Railgun only had a range of 10,000 km while the operational range of the fighter was less than 200m km. The Cobra did not have an inherent engineering capability but did carry sufficient spares to effect repairs. Despite its limited offensive potential, the Cobra could serve in a missile defence role where weapon range and endurance were not a factor. The APD-6 Active Search Sensor was designed with that role in mind, sacrificing range for a missile-detection capability. Twenty Cobra MK Is were constructed.

Cobra MK I class Fighter      500 tons       23 Crew       72.6 BP       TCS 10    TH 72    EM 0
7214 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 3
Maint Life 2.09 Years     MSP 40    AFR 100%    IFR 1.4%    1YR 12    5YR 184    Max Repair 36.00 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 days    Morale Check Required   

Kirk-72F Improved Nuclear Pulse Drive (1)    Power 72.0    Fuel Use 754.25%    Signature 72.00    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 8,000 Litres    Range 0.38 billion km (14 hours at full power)

Tarasov MK I 10cm Railgun (1x4)    Range 10,000km     TS: 7,214 km/s     Power 3-3     RM 10,000 km    ROF 5       
AWG-5 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 32,000 km   TS: 7,200 km/s     69 38 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R3 Improved Pebble Bed Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 3    Exp 5%
APD-6 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 1     Range 1.3m km    MCR 113.5k km    Resolution 1

The Cobra MK II upgraded the power plant from the pebble bed reactor of the Mk I to the recently-developed gas-cooled fast reactor, providing the same power while saving mass. The extra payload capacity was devoted to fuel, allowing a seventy-six percent increase in range. Ten Cobra MK IIs were constructed before the advent of the MK III.

Cobra MK II class Fighter      500 tons       22 Crew       73.1 BP       TCS 10    TH 72    EM 0
7206 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 3
Maint Life 2.09 Years     MSP 40    AFR 100%    IFR 1.4%    1YR 12    5YR 184    Max Repair 36 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 days    Morale Check Required   

Kirk-72F Improved Nuclear Pulse Drive (1)    Power 72    Fuel Use 754.25%    Signature 72    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 14,000 Litres    Range 0.67 billion km (25 hours at full power)

Tarasov MK I 10cm Railgun (1x4)    Range 10,000km     TS: 7,206 km/s     Power 3-3     RM 10,000 km    ROF 5       
AWG-5 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 32,000 km   TS: 7,200 km/s     69 38 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R3 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 3    Exp 5%
APD-6 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 1     Range 1.3m km    MCR 113.5k km    Resolution 1

The Cobra Mk III design was a more substantial improvement in performance. The Kirk-72F Improved Nuclear Pulse Drive was replaced with the Kirk-80F Ion Drive, increasing engine power by eleven percent while reducing engine mass by the same percentage. Although a more powerful engine could have been included, the Kirk-80F remained within the maximum repair capacity of the Cobra and freed up sufficient mass for a larger fire control with a greater tracking speed, plus an eighty-five percent increase in fuel capacity. With endurance exceeding a billion kilometres, the Cobra MK II could operate at interplanetary ranges. The Tarasov MK I 10cm Railgun was replaced with the MK II, which doubled the weapon range to 20,000 kilometres. Fifteen Cobra MK Is were constructed. With the availability of Ion technology, developed by Jason Kirk in July 2052, the parent carriers were taken back into the shipyard for an upgrade to the new engines, increasing their speed to 4000 km/s.

Cobra MK III class Fighter      500 tons       21 Crew       84.6 BP       TCS 10    TH 80    EM 0
8015 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 3
Maint Life 1.97 Years     MSP 40    AFR 100%    IFR 1.4%    1YR 14    5YR 204    Max Repair 40 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 days    Morale Check Required   

Kirk-80F Ion Drive (1)    Power 80    Fuel Use 800%    Signature 80    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 26,000 Litres    Range 1.17 billion km (40 hours at full power)

Tarasov MK II 10cm Railgun (1x4)    Range 20,000km     TS: 8,015 km/s     Power 3-3     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
AWG-7 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 32,000 km   TS: 8,100 km/s     69 38 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R3 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 3    Exp 5%
APD-6 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 1     Range 1.3m km    MCR 113.5k km    Resolution 1

The design of the Cobra MK IV was finalised in December 2053. The only change was the replacement of the AWG-7 Beam Fire Control with the more modern AWG-11, which provided greater fire control range and therefore improved accuracy at shorter ranges. As of January 2054, no MK IVs had been constructed.

Cobra MK IV class Fighter      500 tons       21 Crew       91 BP       TCS 10    TH 80    EM 0
8015 km/s      Armour 1-5       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 3
Maint Life 1.89 Years     MSP 40    AFR 100%    IFR 1.4%    1YR 14    5YR 215    Max Repair 40 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 days    Morale Check Required   

Kirk-80F Ion Drive (1)    Power 80    Fuel Use 800%    Signature 80    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 26,000 Litres    Range 1.17 billion km (40 hours at full power)

Tarasov MK II 10cm Railgun (1x4)    Range 20,000km     TS: 8,015 km/s     Power 3-3     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
AWG-11 Beam Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 48,000 km   TS: 8,100 km/s     79 58 38 17 0 0 0 0 0 0
R3 Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 3    Exp 5%
APD-6 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 1     Range 1.3m km    MCR 113.5k km    Resolution 1

The development of ion drive technology also had an impact on the design of commercial shipping, in particular the large numbers of colony ships and freighters responsible for setting up the colonies in Sirius. The first Diaspora V class colony ships were launched in July 2053, with four in service by January 2054. The Diaspora V was much larger than the first three Diaspora designs, but was identical to the Diaspora IV with the exception of the Kirk-200C Ion Drive replacing the Kirk-160C Nuclear Pulse Engine. The Diaspora III-B was intended as a refit for the earlier Diaspora II and Diaspora III classes, replacing their Spielmann-128C and Kirk-128C engines respectively with the Kirk-200C. By January 2054, sixty-two colony ships in total were in service, all but twelve of which were the smaller, earlier designs.

Diaspora V class Colony Ship      82,243 tons       546 Crew       2,796.5 BP       TCS 1,645    TH 3,800    EM 0
2310 km/s      Armour 1-168       Shields 0-0       HTK 158      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 21    Max Repair 100 MSP
Cryogenic Berths 150,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 8   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Kirk-200C Ion Drive (19)    Power 3800    Fuel Use 4.05%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 750,000 Litres    Range 40.5 billion km (203 days at full power)
SQR-2 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

Diaspora III - B class Colony Ship      40,263 tons       268 Crew       1,448.6 BP       TCS 805    TH 1,600    EM 0
1986 km/s      Armour 1-104       Shields 0-0       HTK 78      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 22    Max Repair 100 MSP
Cryogenic Berths 80,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 5   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Kirk-200C Ion Drive (8)    Power 1600    Fuel Use 4.05%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 400,000 Litres    Range 44.2 billion km (257 days at full power)

The Mars V was the freighter equivalent of the Diaspora V; twice as large as the first three Mars designs, but equivalent to the Mars IV except for the upgrade to ion engines. A Mars III – B fulfilled the same role as the Diaspora III – B, acting as a refit option for the Mars II and Mars III. Ninety-eight freighters were in service in January 2054, including twenty-eight Mars IV and four Mars V.

Mars V class Freighter      102,016 tons       450 Crew       1,519.5 BP       TCS 2,040    TH 4,600    EM 0
2254 km/s      Armour 1-194       Shields 0-0       HTK 165      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 9    Max Repair 50 MSP
Cargo 50,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 6   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Kirk-200C Ion Drive (23)    Power 4600    Fuel Use 4.05%    Signature 200    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 1,000,000 Litres    Range 43.6 billion km (223 days at full power)
SQR-2 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

Three new shipping lines were formed between January 2049 and January 2054; Blue Origin, the Sierra Nevada Corporation and OneSpace. Between the three companies, they had ten ships in operation. The original two civilian shipping lines, SpaceX and Boeing, each had forty-two ships in operation, for a total of nine-four civilian ships across the five companies.

The number of known systems increased from twenty-one in January 2049 to fifty-six by January 2054, with more systems discovered in the ‘Greek Arm’, compared to the areas named for Egyptian and Norse mythology. A connection was made between the Greek and Egyptian arms at the systems of Sekhmet and Hestia, which created a loop of eight systems, including Sol.



In June 2052, the Anubis system, comprising an orange K4-V primary and nine planets, was discovered at the end of a chain of systems in the Egyptian Arm. Except for Earth, Anubis II was the first non-terraformed planet with a breathable atmosphere. In terms of physical characteristics, the planet was similar to Earth, with a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 1.12 atm, gravity of 1.06G and diameter of 11,200 km. The major difference was the climate; Anubis II was a desert world with a temperature of 90C and small seas covering nineteen percent of the surface. As the planet was tide-locked, the temperature was less of an issue, resulting in a colony cost of 0.44. The planet had deposits of all eleven minerals, including seven million tons of accessibility 0.8 Duranium, sixteen million tons of accessibility 0.8 Mercassium and seven million tons of accessibility 1.0 Vendarite. At some point in the future, Anubis II would be a valuable colony for the Colonial Alliance. For now, it was six transits and seventeen billion kilometres away and lay outside the stabilised jump network.

Anubis II Survey Report
Duranium:   7,250,432   0.80
Neutronium:   614,656   0.60
Corbomite:   15,808,576   0.10
Tritanium:   112,896   0.10
Boronide:   8,809,024   0.10
Mercassium:   16,711,744   0.80
Vendarite:   7,225,344   1.00
Sorium:   15,366,400   0.10
Uridium:   8,809,024   0.10
Corundium:   6,927,424   0.10
Gallicite:   12,544   0.10

Other interesting systems included Tau Ceti in the Greek Arm, a yellow G8-V star with thirteen planets, the outermost of which orbited at over a trillion kilometres. Ragnarök, in the Norse Arm, had only four planets and ten moons, yet had six bodies with colony costs between 2.00 and 2.77, including a moon with a large ice sheet and substantial mineral deposits. The Zeus system, a trinary with a G5-IV sub-giant and two red dwarfs, had seventeen planets and more than a hundred moons, including seven bodies of colony cost 2.00. Although a geological survey was underway at the start of 2054, red dwarfs, which had twelve planets between them, were forty billion kilometres from the primary. Zeus-B had the only Lagrange point in the system, so Zeus-A III, a gas giant, would be the site of the first LaGrange point to be stabilised by the Colonial Alliance, opening up the B and C components to survey.
 
Ragnarök IV – Moon 10 Survey Report
Duranium:   6,624,800   0.70
Tritanium:   2,016,400   0.90
Boronide:   1,960,000   0.30
Uridium:   270,400   0.90
Corundium:   1,081,600   0.30
Gallicite:   1,600   0.40

The system of Beta Canum Venaticorum, six transits from Sol in the Greek Arm, was discovered in September 2052 by the survey ship Leif Erikson. As this was a well-known yellow G0-V star, there was no need for a new ‘Greek’ designation and it retained its pre-existing name. Five terrestrial planets and a gas giant orbited the star, along with eleven moons. Five bodies were colony cost 2.00 and ten more were 2.00 LG, leaving only the gas giant and the outermost planet, which was colony cost 4.96. Beta Canum Venaticorum V had a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 0.4 atm, including 0.036 atm of oxygen. With a temperature of -56C, an ice sheer covering eight-five percent of the surface and a diameter of 9200 km, it was a good terraforming prospect. The sixth planet, almost entirely covered in ice, had a temperature of -129C and a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 0.67 atm, including 0.24 atm of oxygen. The percentage of oxygen content was too high but as Aestusium would be required anyway to increase the temperature, it was also a good terraforming prospect. Leif Erikson headed in-system to begin a geological survey followed by a gravitational survey.

In June 2053, the stabilisation ship Bulwand Darwaza followed Leif Erikson into the system after completing the stabilisation of the far side of the jump point in the Astraeus system. She immediately detected the wreck of the survey ship between the orbits of the fifth and sixth planets. Bulwand Darwaza had no jump drive, so the only way out of the system was to stabilise the Beta Canum Venaticorum side of the jump point. After a tense five months passed without incident, the stabilisation ship transited back into Astraeus and raised the alarm via the stable jump network on November 18th 2053.

The news caused a huge amount of concern in the Council of the Colonial Alliance. The Colonial Alliance navy, known as the Colonial Fleet, had a considerable number of vessels in service, totalling over eighteen million tons of shipping and orbital stations. However, the only armed vessels were the fifty-five Cobra fighters of various types, totalling twenty-seven thousand tons; hardly a formidable force. Even the carriers required to transport them were unarmed. The Council resolved to focus research efforts on defensive technologies and begin the long and arduous task of forming a real navy, even at the expense of the colonisation effort. The only good news was the unknown hostile force was six transits away and had shown no interest in the Astraeus jump point during the five months in which Bulwand Darwaza was present in the system. Given sufficient time, the Colonial Alliance had the industrial potential to build a substantial force. The key questions were whether the Alliance had that time and what impact the diversion of resources would have on the plan to evacuate Earth.

Colonial Fleet – January 2054
3x Lexington II class Carrier: Lexington, Ark Royal, Akagi
20x Cobra MK I
10x Cobra MK II
15x Cobra MK III
5x Magellan class Survey Ship: Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, James Cook, Marco Polo, Sacagawea
4x Magellan II class Survey Ship: George Vancouver, Vasco de Gama, Yuri Gagarin, Zheng He
1x Agincourt class Troop Transport: Agincourt
1x Agincourt II class Troop Transport: Gettysburg
2x Agincourt III class Troop Transport: Stalingrad, Waterloo
4x Kamikawa Maru class Jump Tender: Kamikawa Maru, Kiyokawa Maru, Hirokawa Maru, Kimikawa Maru
2x Amazon class Tanker: Amazon, Nile
3x Rappahannock class Tanker: Rappahannock, Roanoke, Shenandoah
6x Gateway class Stabilisation Ship: Arch of Constantine, Brandenburg Gate, Bulwand Darwaza, Golden Gate, Ishtar Gate, Meridian Gate
30 x Diaspora - B class Colony Ship
1x Diaspora II class Colony Ship
16x Diaspora III class Colony Ship
3x Diaspora III - B class Colony Ship
8x Diaspora IV class Colony Ship
4x Diaspora V class Colony Ship
30x Mars - B class Freighter
6x Mars II class Freighter
24x Mars III class Freighter
6x Mars III - B class Freighter
28 x Mars IV class Freighter
4x Mars V class Freighter
63x Saturn class Fuel Harvester Base
4x Gaia class Terraforming Station
16x Gaia II class Terraforming Station

 

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