The stars have always been the goal of humanity. Now those shining balls of gas are within humanity's reach. If you pay the price asked. Companies developed rudimentary spacecraft that can shuttle humans across the planet in an hour or two rather than fourteen to sixteen. However, the price is not cheap, only the wealthiest humans able to afford the tickets. This technology's main use does not lie in this however, the military of the Eastern Defense Bloc and the United Americas Federation seizing upon this technology to destroy the satellites of the other. This also led to attacks on the ground from undetectable craft orbiting far above the battlefield.
Used by commercial companies to shuttle passengers around the Earth quickly. Used by the military to spy on, strike, and eliminate threats to their nation.
The craft is relatively simple to produce once all the parts are assembled, but the manufacturing of the parts is the hard part. The cost of refining the Epherium is higher than any other material on Earth. The engines are Saturn VIII's, using a fuel enriched with a liquid version of Epherium. Many other instruments. including the artificial gravity, is created by bombarding the Epherium with neutrons, creating exotic matter, a substance capable of effecting gravity itself.
Access & Availability
This technology is open information, as far as the passenger version goes, to the public. However, the complexity of the parts limited the construction to only a few companies, and the ticket prices prevented anyone but the wealthiest businessman from purchasing a ticket. The military does guard its use of similar craft closely. The public knows that the militaries of the world use these craft, but no one knows what exactly they are loaded with or where they are going.
These craft are extraordinarily complex, requiring the refining of a fuel enriched with Epherium, and the construction of plates of steel, lined with the same mineral. These refining techniques are only possible in specialized furnaces which simultaneously heat the mineral while exerting extreme pressures onto it.
This technology was secured due to the discovery of a mineral deep within the Earth's crust, Epherium. This mineral, when refined, could block the cosmic rays that previously bombarded these craft with toxic particles. This opened up the space ways to the wealthy businessman, and the determined military general.
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