Headline:Timeline of Iliad 07
Date:Sunday, December 29, 2019
Posted By:Plaid Hatter Games

This entry continues on with my thoughts in Pencils down, Technology Freeze, only instead of technical details, this will cover historical events and the timeline of this specific mission prior to the start of the game.

Historical Events

The story takes place in an alternate timeline where nuclear power was discovered in the 19th century. The first world war included nuclear powered battleships and nuclear weapons.

  • The "Great War" in this timeline happened earlier and lasted longer.
  • The Prussian Empire managed to conquer the Russian Empire. The massive empire collapsed after the war, and reorganized into the military socialist state known as Kraznovia.
  • There was no WWII, and instead the world found itself involved in a centuries long Cold War.
  • The automobile was not a commercial success.
  • Commercial flight never quite took off.

Mission Timeline Events

Iliad-01 (EV Ovid / PY11202102)

Iliad-01 was a technology demonstrator, adapted from a Gilgamesh class deep space mining vessel. It never left the Sol system, and had only enough agriculture and manufacturing infrastructure to conduct feasibility studies. The ship continues to serve as a fuel mining/processing vessel, with most of the facilties reverted back to its Gilgamesh class designs.


Block 1 had sufficient space to take 300 crew several light years and back. It had farms on board, but lacked the room to accommodate population growth and genetic diversity for an indefinte mission. It was designed with a return trip in mind.

  • Iliad-02 (EV Aristophanes / PY1103122) - a mission to Alpha Centauri and back. Distance: 4.36 ly. Mission length: 16.4 yr (ship), 26.0 yr (Earth)
  • Iliad-03 (EV Lucian / PY1200401) - a mission to Bernard's Star and back. Distance: 5.95 ly. Mission length: 18.2 yr (ship), 32.6 yr (Earth)


Block 2 was the first attempt to make a vessel that could handle longer range missions. The Krasnovian empire asserted control over any star system within 10 ly of Sol. Vessels had to target systems outside of that range. Block 2 started as an enlarged design of Block 1. Two ships were planned and laid down. By the end of the construction of the first vessel, it was apparent they would be uneconomical to produce in bulk. The supersized bearings between the habitat ring and the could withstand prolong rotation, but not prolonged thrust, thus limiting the vessel's operating life to less than 30 years.

These vessels were equipped with fuel processing facilities, and thus could scavenge the outer Sol system (or a remote star system) for their own fuel supplies instead of becoming a strain on ISTO logistics.

  • Iliad-04 (SCV Herbert George Wells / PY1104750) - a mission to Xi Boötis and back. Distance: 21.89 ly. Mission length: 26.8 yr (ship), 97.0 yr (Earth)
  • Iliad-05 (SCV Jules Verne / PY1201405) - a mission to Beta Hydri and back. Distance: 24.32 ly. Mission length: 27.6 yr (ship), 106.8 yr (Earth)


Block 3 was fresh design incorporating all of the lessons learned in Block 2. These craft, with missions lasting hundreds of Earth years, had to be able to operate indefinitely. Among these lessons:

  • The central bearings on the block-2 designs were showing wear in excess of projections after arrival in their remote systems. While they functioned for the mission, both ships bearings were ceased by the time the vessels returned to Sol.
  • The location of the docking facilities was sub-optimal. Large transfers of cargo required the use of elevators to get material to the habitat areas. The elevators created a bottleneck which was compounded by the tendancy for them to break down under high utilization.
  • Cracking and fatigue on structural elements were above projections.
  • The mission craft and the main vessel utilized different power generation and propulsion technologies. After decades in storage the engines on the mission craft were hard to start, compounded by the engineering staff having to essentially re-learn how to use them.
  • To eliminate bearing issues, the entire craft would spin
  • Redesign of the mission craft to double as the ship's main engines.
  • Instead of the main vessel chasing large comets, the support craft would do the chasing while the main vessel remained at a strategic location.
  • Cargo handling would take place on a single level on a docking ring.
  • Support craft would utilize docking clamps. The clamps simplified the geometry of docking. Their design could also pivot to provide the interior of ships with working gravity when the main ship was in rotation. The new arrangement also allowed outbound craft to be accellerated by the rotation of the station on launch.
  • Support craft location permitted easy access to engineering staff to facilitate maintenance and repairs.
  • Support craft were now larger and included crew accomodations for long duration missions.
  • The accelleration of the vessel was reduced from 1g to 0.8g. This lengthend the travel phase from 15.1 years to 17.8. But it reduced the overall stress on the vessel, as well as fuel usage. Crew were not expected to make the return trip to Earth, so maintaining 1.0g was no longer a requirement.
  • A new cellular structure simplified internal arrangments and allowed for major elements to be fabricated in more austere facilties.
  • Heavy water processing could now reprocess insulation, ballast and potable water. This facilitates a single stream system for water processing. And addresses issues of radioisotope accumulation in potable water reported on earlier Iliad missions.
  • Replaced the dedicated impact structure/Bussard ramscoop with an ablative armor layer covering the entire surface of the vessel. The larger reactors on the vessel
  • Reduced the number of habitat spheres from 6 to 3. Spheres were enlarged to provide equivilent volume and floor area.
  • Added 3 dedicated fusion reactors onto the main structure. Reactors sized to allow the entire colony to operate from one facility. Magnetic fields produced also provide a magnetic particle shield for vessel.
  • Centralized ballast control system to eliminate wobble from mass shifting due to cargo handling, docking operations, and concert let outs.

Notable vessels of the class, to date:

  • Iliad-06 (SCV Isaac Asimov / PY1105120) - sent to Mu Cassiopeiae. Distance: 24.63 ly. Travel Time: 15.0 yr (ship), 53.9 yr (Earth)
  • Iliad-07 (SCV Arthur Charles Clarke / PY1201730)- sent to 18 Scorpii. Distance: 45.3 ly. Travel Time: 17.8 yr (ship), 95.3 yr (Earth)
  • Iliad-08 (SCV Robert Anson Heinlein / PY1300017)- sent to 47 Ursae Majoris. Distance: 45.9 ly. Travel Time: 17.9 yr (ship), 96.5 yr (Earth)
  • Iliad-09 (SCV Ursula Kroeber Le Guin / PY1105132)- Under Construction TBD
  • Iliad-10 (SCV 佐野 昌一 (Sano Shōichi) / PY1201742) - Under Construction TBD
  • Iliad-11 (SCV Stanisław Lem / PY1300029) - Under Construction TBD
  • Iliad-12 (SCV Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain) - Ordered TBD

Iliad-07 Vessel History

  • 2069 - Construction begins
  • 2072 - Core structure and propulsion completed
  • 2073 - Builder's trials
  • 2074 - Agriculture and Cattle established
  • 2075 - Crew Introduced, Training begins
  • 2076 - Fuel Gathering Mission - Departure
  • 2078 - Character Born (colonist)
  • 2079 - Fuel Gathering Mission - Arrival
  • 2080 - Mission departure
  • ____ - MYZ+9 - Deceleration Phase Begins
  • ____ - MYZ+12 - Incept Date (Specialist)
  • ____ - MYZ+16 - Start of the story
  • 2175 - MYZ+18 - Estimated Arrival time at 18 Scorpii