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