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Briefing on Voyageur Extrasolar Vessel Project
This document is for the eyes of only the most trusted personnel. Contents may be divulged only on a need-to-know basis. This document and all associated information is the intellectual property of the Interstellar Trust. Improper acquisition of this document or any of its contents may result in civil or criminal penalties.History:
The final merger of worlds complete, Dr. Rara and Mrs. Nanjyoin's Nanjyo Foundation created the Interstellar Trust as the organization concerned with all fundraising, contracting, and administration associated with the effort to create the vessel, and administer it once constructed. Partnership with various governments was considered but dealbreakers soon presented themselves. Dealbreakers ranged from disputes over transferring artifact technology to certain governments, to allegations by the governments that Trust plans to equip the vessel with weapons amounted to militarizating space.
Fundraising was carried out through various community outreaches, grassroots organizations, and publicity firms. Assembled funds finally met budgetary needs. Contracts were awarded, and production begun.
Some difficulties were encountered, due to the absence of artifact technology in this world. This was partially rectified by many people retaining memories of artifact technologies from assimilated universes. Consequently, the entire world attained a higher technological level, making construction of the vessel and associated mecha much easier.
Control systems proved to be an unanticipated but fiercely contentious part of the design. All parties involved experienced fierce partisanship over who should be leader of the organization. Compromise was finally reached. Dr. Rara and Mrs. Nanjyoin invested equal amounts of money in the Interstellar Trust. An Executive Committee was formed as the shipboard leaders of the expedition. Once the vessel is underway, the Executive Committee will have final authority, due to a communications lag with Earth even within the solar system.
Final decisions have been made on: Crewmember selection, television/newspaper/radio/weblog/podcast interviews, product licensing and endorsements, and book contracts. No further requests or appeals will be heard.Destination
Recently discovered Earthlike planet approximately 60 light years from Earth. Atmosphere presumed to be thin or otherwise unable to support human life, diameter is slightly smaller than Earth, gravity estimated to be 90% of Earth's. Planet has been named Loki and star Imanuel by expedition.Objectives
Mission objectives are to survey this planet and learn everything there is to know about it.
To this end, direct observations from the vessel will be supplemented by exploratory mecha as well as humans, robotic probes, and satellites.Duration
One month will be spent in orbit of Loki.Economics
The expensive fuel necessary for the faster than light travel is necessary in large quantities, as a safety margin to ensure the ship can return to Earth even with the loss of some fuel. The expense of the fuel, as well as the astronomical costs involved in constructing the vessel and associated mecha and shuttles, means that any return on the investment in the project is out of the question.Proposals for Future Missions:
The next planned mission is to return to the planet to collect data robotic probes will have retrieved during interim. Data cannot be transmitted to Earth directly due to extreme distances involved. The vessel will therefore return on the next mission to retrieve all data stored on probes.
Long range proposals include possible colonization by constructing a human-habitable structure upon the planet. Terraforming may be possible, especially if technological advances of artifact weather-controlling robot could be perfected in modern human technology. Said robot is now nonexistent and few of its operational principles are known; even if they were, far more information on biology and physics needs to be accumulated.Design Committee:
Co-chairs: Dr. Ken Sanada and Dr. Hiroshi Rara
Artifact Technology Consultant: Dee Sanada
Spacecraft Design Subcommittee Chair: Dr. Ken WaraiSubcommittee Members:
Atmospheric Subcraft Subcommittee Design Chair: Dr. Choi Hae-rimSubcommittee Members:
Executive Committee members are authorized to give orders to all non-committee personnel. Executive Committee members are the only persons authorized to fully utilize key vessel subsystems, including: life support, engines, weapons, shields, communications. Other personnel may access only the specific controls necessary to perform their duties. Committee members may only access one subsystem at a time, and exercise complete control over that subsystem while they are logged into it. A delay was built into the system so that any committee member wishing to switch from one subsystem to another must wait several minutes without access to any subsystem at all.
Revocation of Executive Committee member status may only be accomplished by a supermajority of viable and competent Executive Committee members, with a quorum of ten members. Authorization of votes in favor of revocation are accomplished by accessing a specific computer located in a secure room within the vessel. To prevent fraud, only two of the votes may be cast from terminals outside the secure room.
Co-Chairs: Dr. Hiroshi Rara and Dr. Ken SanadaFitzgerald, Mena
Crew members were selected through a process that matched rigorous screening with the need for Executive Committee members to attend to other details of the project. A contract with a large human resources firm was secured, which then handled the job posting and background screening. The best candidates were referred to the Executive Committee. All the members of the committee read the resumes, and a minimum of two members were required to be present at each interview.
In a combination of coincidence and intention, some of the crew members were part of the Earth Defense Force in other universes, others were part of the RaRa Army in other universes, and other crewpersons weren't affiliated with either army.al-Rashid, Habib
Many names were suggested for the name of the interstellar vessel. Heads of state, the rich and famous, and schoolchildren all clamored to name the vessel after a spouse, a friend, and even a toy poodle. All this pressure was as nothing compared to the pressure inside the group to use one of the names that certain Executive Committee members had suggested.
Several months into the process, Dr. Warai found the word "voyageur" amongst documents from a conference Dr. Sanada had attended in France. Group consensus was eventually formed around this name, and the vessel was officially christened "Voyageur."Armaments:
Armaments were secured for the vessel despite international pressure and doubts among some in the Interstellar Trust that there would be any need for their use. Growing pressure caused the Design Committee to unanimously pass a resolution. Resolution stated that all members, from the beginning, agreed to include weapons on vessel, and refused to deviate from that design requirement. Dr. Sanada would later defend the decision publicly by saying, "We'd rather have weapons and never use them, than not have them when we need them."
The vessel has been equipped with laser weapons based on artifact technology. Weapons were selected based on their efficiency and because they do not require ammunition.
Combat mecha are stored and maintained within a hangar suitable for vacuum and atmosphere deployment. Mecha weapons are stored within an armored munitions compartment adjacent to mecha hangar.
The vessel is enclosed in heavy combat armor. Radiation protection is provided both by layers of lead sandwiched between armor plating and by an energy shield developed from Zinv and other artifact technology. Shield can be configured to block and even destroy physical objects, as well as halt many radiation and energy pulses.Engine:
The main engine is based off of some of Zinv's most advanced technology, which allows it to travel between dimensions. Theoretically, these transitions take no time to occur, although Zinv has been observed to be absent from a universe for several seconds before returning. While the main engine is in use, the ship does not travel anywhere in space: it simply leaves the dimension at one location and reenters at another. The vessel can therefore travel any distance on the same load of fuel, and do so in an instant.
The main limitation on the vessel's range is the expense and volume of fuel necessary for even a single transition between dimensions. A short distance to traverse requires the same great amount of fuel as a long distance. The main engine is therefore used only for interstellar travel. For most short-distance applications, thrusters and a reaction control system (RCS) based upon artifact technology will be employed.Associated Mecha
All combat mecha on the expedition have been outfitted with thrusters to allow for maneuverability in the vacuum of space. Attempts using conventional rockets were abandoned in favor of Dr. Hayase's concept of directly channeling energy from the robot's power generation systems. This concept was incorporated into every robot except the exploratory mecha, which are not equipped to operate in space's vacuum, and Zinv, who has been equipped with an artifact-based thruster backpack similar to that used by modern astronauts and the RCS on the vessel itself.
In addition, all combat mecha have been certified for operation in outer space. The exploratory mecha are for planetside operation, and are not capable of operation in space.
The mecha are all intended for planetary exploration. Combat mecha can retrieve from ship's stores heat shields for planetary atmosphere entry and ascent rockets to return to outer space. Exploratory mecha are delivered to planetary surface via modules which, upon landing, will be reassembled into ascent stages for exploratory mecha as well as geological surveying and drilling equipment.
Combat mecha have access to the armored munitions storage compartment adjacent to the hangar. All of the weapons for Zinv, Himc, and Jewel-Cannon are part of the mechas' bodies. Their weapons require no ammunition. Core Robots retrieve from munitions storage a combination submachine gun and grenade launcher. Said weapon was selected for compactness, high amount of damage, and cost-effectiveness in light of budget limitations. All weapons are rated for vacuum, thin- and normal-atmosphere combat.
Construction, technological, and budgetary constraints have impacted mecha control systems. All mecha utilize standard Life Sympathy controls, information from Dee Sanada ensuring that limitations to male pilots were not applied. Much of the advanced technology available to male pilots on artifact weapons, however, cannot be replicated even by modern artifact-enhanced human industry. Zinv is therefore the only mecha with nano-fiber self-healing system and significant speed increases. All other mecha produce vestigial light-hawk wings, dimmer than standard wings. Slight speed increases under vestigial wings have been measured but are considered negligible.Combat Mecha:
The only robot on this expedition that was originally found in the artifact. Zinv is therefore the only robot on the expedition containing the artifact technology allowing for full light-hawk wings, nano-fiber self-healing system, and mini-black hole generation. Zinv's standard gravity crushing and gravitational shell weapons are also intact.
Zinv is theoretically pilotable by any qualified pilot, but it is generally considered most efficient and safest to allow only Kazuki Yotsuga to pilot Zinv.Himc:
A human-built copy of the original Himc, sans golden sheath and associated tentacles. One tentacle remains, as well as medium-range beam and high-energy bullet, though all at far lower power levels than Himc from artifact. Himc size also has been reduced by 15% for economy and greater maneuverability. Incorporated into expedition over objections by all Mitsukis, Yayoi Schwael, Dee Sanada, and even Kent Slade. Himc retained due to expressed need for another heavy combat robot to round out force.
Selection of a designated pilot proved difficult. While current model does not have the original's tendency to reject pilots, no one wished to pilot it. The three Mitsukis hold the highest known Life Sympathy values in it but adamantly opposed piloting it, preferring to hold out for Core Robots. Slade has expressed disappointment in this incarnation of the robot, or in his words, "...my poor little uberweapon is stripped bare." The robot was therefore made available to any pilot, should any pilot be convinced to actually use it.Core Robots:
All the Core Robots on the expedition had to be remade completely from scratch, as they no longer existed after the worlds were merged. The new Core Robots have thrusters built into their bodies, and are slightly smaller than previous versions, for greater maneuverability and reduced cost of manufacturing. Experience and enhanced human technology has allowed for greater power than previous versions.Core Robot Unit 1:
It was decided not to waste the simultaneous-piloting training of these three pilots. This robot, one of the few to require simultaneous piloting, was therefore constructed. Maneuverability generally on par with Core Robots. Armament consists of three laser cannons similar to standard RaRa Army Jewel-Cannon robots. This model is slightly smaller than standard RaRa Army type for greater maneuverability in space and reduced monetary cost. Power gains similar to those of new Core Robots have been acheived with enhanced circuitry.Exploratory Mecha:
All five exploratory mecha are for planetary surface use only. They are constructed to allow pilots to withstand minimal-atmospheric conditions indefinitely, but survival time in vacuum is rated at nil. For safety purposes, pilots will wear spacesuits during mecha operation. These robots possess neither armor nor weapons and are designed with reliability and speed in mind. They are three meters (approx. nine feet) tall and follow humanoid design principles. Life Sympathy utilized for control of mecha. Pilots are located in small torso cockpit in sitting position.Alpha Team:
Should any pilot be unable to fulfill their duties, or have logged 20 or more hours piloting time in two days, the backup pilot will temporarily replace the designated pilot. Backup pilots and full pilots will reside in temporary habitat when planetside to facilitate quick pilot changes.Karapetof, Peter
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