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Michael R. Smith (
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Aurora Stardrive Manned Testbed Vehicle - Draft
Aurora Stardrive Manned Testbed Vehicle - Draft
Aurora UNX-1 Stardrive Manned Testbed VehicleDeveloped for the United Nations Space Initiative as a joint venture between the ESA and Nippon General Orbital Manufacturing with assistance from the Meeranor corporation Mysrkrr Anyss LLC, the Aurora was the first manned spaceship developed by humanity with a functional stardrive. It launched in secret on April 1st, 1994 from the NGOM orbital factory NG-004 with Major Yelena Terekhov piloting the vessel. The Aurora first boosted to the pre-determined minimum safe distance from Earth and then initiated a "jump" to a point near the orbit of Mars. The initial test of the stardrive prototype took 5 minutes to reach the destination point and required a three-hour cool-down period before it could be activated for the return voyage. For reasons that ESA scientists still puzzle over the ship took 7 and half minutes on the return trip to the minimum safe distance. The pilot suffered no ill effects other than a slight sensation of vertigo during the trip and the scientific packages installed on the Aurora were able to provide the design team enough information to begin fabricating improvements.

The vessel had accommodations for one pilot with no amenities as well as a hibernation chamber located aft of the pilot's compartment in the event tat the Aurora had been unable to make the return trip safely. It used a fuel cell to provide power and a liquid hydrogen-oxygen blend for thrust to the ship's chemical booster. Most of the vessels mass consisted of fuel for the trip to the launch point and the stardrive (only capable of 0.005 pc/day compared to Meeranor drives). The Aurora had metallic laminate armor, exposed radiators that were retracted when the stardrive was initiated and an external clamp for attaching to the orbital factory (or for use in the event a recovery mission was needed). It was built with mostly TL 9 technology. It is presented below in GURPS Spaceships stats:

TL Spacecraft dST/dHP Hnd/SR HT Move LWt. Load SM Occ dDR Range Cost
9 Stardrive
Testbed Vhicle Aurora
20 0 / 4 12 3G / 1.89 mps 30 0.2 [1] +5 1 SV [2] 4/2/2 1x $978k
Length: 30 yd. (90 ft.)
Crew Requirement: 1 [3] Power
Points: +1 / -1 Air Performance: Speed: 4,300 mph / 3G / 1.89 mps Hnd/SR: 0 / 4
Space Performance:

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