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Old January 25 2009, 10:54 AM   #53
Re: Launching the Phoenix

If you go for a technically conservative approach to the Phoenix considering the limited resources of Cochrane's team, then a Titan booster shell with the original internals swapped for some "high energy density" fuel rocket might have been the most cost-effective way to keep the operational envelope of the Phoenix itself close to the minimum required for a "proof of concept" flight.

A powerplant that would be compact and yet "exotic" enough for a quick warp 1 hop in something the size of the Phoenix in 2063 would likely be a gas core fission reactor. Leave the first use of anti-matter fuel to the unmanned "Friendship 1" of four years later for safety reasons (unlucky Delta quadrant races aside).

As for earth return, perhaps a detachable cockpit/re-entry capsule? I like letting what will later be bussard collectors at the front of nacelles function as ionizing plasma-sheath generators to help get the entire vehicle down, followed by chutes or more likely a para-sail, before a final landing thruster burst. A 20th century style landing would be in keeping with a 20th century style launch after all.

Once again, this scenario represents my idea of the most technically conservative explaination of what we see presented in ST:First Contact.

Last edited by shipfisher; January 25 2009 at 11:05 AM.
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