“The Envoy-class starship has a net weight of one million tons. Its main engine is a high-power nuclear fusion engine, with its secondary engines utilizing ion propulsion technology. Its maximum cruising speed, in theory, can reach one-thousandth of the speed of light. The relative distance of 100 million kilometers, the starship can reach Mars in a week in cruise mode.” Jiang Chen stood in front of the window in the control tower as he gazed at the magnificent celestial ship; he looked proud.
Now the relative distance between Mars and Earth was still around tens of millions of kilometers, but by the beginning of the second half of this year, this distance would exceed the 100 million kilometers range.
Aside from the LightSail that could in theory reach one-fifth the speed of light, the Envoy-class would be the largest and fastest manned spacecraft in human history.
It was a glory to be able to witness this very moment.
Not to mention he was the chief designer that personally made this project from just drawings into a reality.
“This is too massive…” Lu Hao stood beside Jiang Chen as he also examined the Envoy-class. After a long silence, he finally let out a sigh. “I’m afraid that only the Ford-class aircraft carrier along with all the ships in the battle group connected form end-and-end can be comparable to its length.”
As the admiral of the Hua National Navy, the former captain of the Nanning destroyer, he had seen many ships in his lifetime and even went to inspect the Liaoning aircraft carrier. He vaguely remembered that the last time he made a similar remark was when he participated in the UA Pacific Joint Military Exercise as an observer where stood on top of the deck of the Eisenhower nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
It was also the time when he was firmly convinced that that he must do everything to convince his superiors to develop nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
Today, many years later, he once again felt the same way.
But more than his feelings, he did not know how he could catch up. Celestial Trade’s effort to help allowed all member states to make rapid progress in aerospace technology. Now, at least in the field of space mining, the member states could independently complete mining missions without the need for Future Mining’s technology consultants.
However, compared to the development of Celestial Trade, the word rapid must be placed inside quotation marks. Since compared to Celestial Trade’s leap forward, their progress was like a snail crawling.
When he thought of this, he cursed at the politicians in Wanghai countless times in his mind.
How stupid do you have to be to force such a talent to leave?
But it was only an afterthought.
“Is it big?” Jiang Chen laughed, narrowed his eyes as he examined the starship once again. “It’s indeed big, but in our space defense plan, this is not the biggest ship.”
“How much bigger can a ship get?” former ESA Director Anthony Leibniz, a representative from EU, stared at Jiang Chen, and asked incredulously, “You mean, this is not the biggest?”
“Yes,” Jiang Chen said with certainty. “The Envoy-class is only a million tons. There will be a Constitutional-class, Lord-class, and Emperor-class… Our ultimate goal is to build a billion-ton starship, capable of hosting 100,000 crew members and allow one hundred percent material circulation inside the starship with sufficient energy.”
Looking at the dumbfounded expression of the representatives, Jiang Chen smiled and said in a joking tone.
“Of course, we still have to do this step-by-step. With our current progress, the million-ton class is more than sufficient. By the time we finally achieve our ultimate goal, we’ll probably have all turned into dust…”
Everyone laughed in good faith.
After a pause, Jiang Chen said.
“The Envoy-class starship has the same meaning for us as the first aircraft carrier. The purpose is to gain experience and lay the foundation for the future construction of a large-scale fleet. The only attack weapon on the starship is the mass transmitter that runs through the entire ship’s hull, mainly used to launch Stingray X-1.”
With 2,000 soldiers on board, all officers and soldiers were ready to set sail.
The soldiers already received six months of adaptive training at the Moon Military Base and understood their role on the starship. A thousand of the soldiers were reserve officers and crew members of Celestial Trade while the remaining thousand were “volunteers” from the Earth Defense Alliance member states.
The allocation of the thousand spots involved a series of heated debates around the negotiation table. After all, it was the first battleship of the Earth Fleet, even an ordinary crew member would become an officer or instructor in a few years
These future officers represented the future status and voice of the member states in the Earth Fleet, or even in the Earth Defense Alliance.
Therefore, the number of spots within the first crew was vitally important.
Because of the many secrets involved, the ceremonial ship launching of the Envoy-class starship was very simple, far simpler than the original shipyard completion ceremony and construction ceremony. Future Heavy Industries CEO, Yang Guanglei, represented the shipyard and handed over the information of the starship, the portfolio of various certificates, and a contract to Jiang Chen.
Then the representatives of the member states signed the contract in turn, and military uniforms and certificates were given to the soldiers waiting for boarding. The national anthems of the member states played in series, and the national flag of each member state was first placed in the boarding bay and sent abroad the Envoy-class starship.
Immediately afterward, the officers waiting to board the ship lined up and entered the starship through the electromagnetic track.
“Unfortunately, I started my career in the Army, or I really would want to follow them,” Wu Changfeng said with emotion while the officers boarded.
“Even if you wanted to, I wouldn’t send members of the Earth Defense Alliance on the starship.” Jiang Chen laughed, then said with a relaxed tone, “Although not on the front line, you play the role of commander. Each of your decisions will impact the life and death of everyone on the battleship.”
Wu Changfeng shrugged and joked.
“If we can live to the day of the battle.”
“You will,” Jiang Chen gently said with a confident but mysterious smile.
Just then, Jiang Chen’s wristwatch began to ring.
It was Kelvin.
Jiang Chen excused himself and walked aside. Then he put in the Bluetooth headset into his ears, opened the holographic screen, and picked up the phone.
“What’s the matter?”
Kelvin did not attend the ceremony today as the excavation work of Mine 071 already reached the most critical stage. As one of the project leaders, he must be in the space command center.
A call from him was not a good signal.
Sure enough, Kelvin’s first words made his hunch into a reality.
“Project 071 encountered a special circumstance.” Kelvin gulped and without giving time for Jiang Chen to ask any questions, he quickly articulated, “Our Marines were attacked by an unknown underground creature when we reached a depth of ten kilometers… and the creature was not the Devil Worm!”