The First Starship
by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright March 2015
Mankind is not likely to initiate the Solar System's Interstellar Age. It is likely we will first be visited by an interstellar space ship coming to the Solar System to trade. Here are two axioms of this visit:
o This ship will be powered with a constant
acceleration, slower than lightspeed propulsion system -- this is a propulsion system today's physics can support, no wishing and hoping needed.
o It is coming to trade, not extend some kind of galactic empire. And what it trades for will not be anything as simple as gold, silver or water. It will come for interesting things which are much more complex -- much more manufactured -- a Big Mac is going to be much more interesting to these aliens than bars of gold bullion.
This is a story of how such a visit is likely to evolve.
Note that each chapter is split into two parts: An "In the trenches" part which talks about the personal experiences of people living during this time, and a "Big Picture" part which talks about the bigger historical and sociological and trends.
Timeline, useful information, and cast
- ---Time Line---
- 2459 first sighting
- 2462 Foursmoots predicts starship
- 2474 starship ETA at Earth
- 2479 the Year Five Crisis
- 2484 (Year 10, New Calendar) The Mirondian ships depart
- ---Useful Information---
- --Astronomical Distances--
- 8 AU = 1 light-hour
- Saturn orbit = 10 AU
- Neptune orbit = 30 AU
- Gliese 581, red dwarf star, 20 LY away
- --New Inventions--
- Spacenet -- the solar system-wide communications net
- ---The Main Cast (in order of appearance)---
- Anthony and Clairissa -- astronomers who first discover the approaching star ship
- John Foursmoots -- astronomy grad student who becomes an anti-Mirondian philosopher
- Myrtle Oprah -- talk show host
- Mirondians -- alien people, all their names begin with "Miro"
- Miro-Sam, Miro-Alex, Miro-Bob -- Mirondian negotiators
- Anna Hatchet, Paula Stove, Mickey Palusi -- Solar System negotiators
- Jason Furlong, Zeb Noches, Judy Alonzo -- workers on Earth affected by the "Mirondian Revolution"
- Miro-Robert -- Mirondian factory manager and spokesperson
- Charles "Good Time Charley" Monson -- president of the Moon Boosters