Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it."
- Robert Heinlein

Spaceplane (Clarke-class)  
  An inexpensively powered flight to low earth orbit.  

Building One's doors slid open ponderously when Prince Harry pressed the button on the pedestal, somewhat predictably a band struck up the 'Zarathustra' theme, and the Clarke-class spaceplane emerged into the afternoon sunlight, escorted by a troupe of engineers in spotless white overalls. It had a swept delta planform with a fifty-metre span, sixty metres long; the metalloceramic hull was an all-over frost-white, except for the scarlet Dragonflight escutcheons on the fin. Three streamlined cylindrical nacelles blended seamlessly with the underbelly, air-scoop ramps closed; reaction-control thruster clusters on the nose and around the wedge-shaped clamshell doors at the rear were masked by protective covers, remove before flight tags dangling.

Julia clapped along with everyone else, impressed despite herself. The spaceplane was giga-conductor powered, the first of its kind, capable of lifting fifty tonnes into orbit without burning a single hydrocarbon molecule to injure the diseased atmosphere any further.

From A Quantum Murder, by Peter F. Hamilton.
Published by Tor in 1998
Additional resources -

It was efficient in terms of the cost of space flight:

"As it says quite clearly in your information kit, operating costs for the Clarke-class spaceplane work out a four hundred pounds New Sterling per ton lifted into low Earth orbit."

Compare to the shuttle from Stars are Styx (1950) by Theodore Sturgeon, the shuttle ship and Winged Rocket Shuttle from Heinlein's 1951 novel Between Planets and JAL shuttle from Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer.

Thanks to Fred Kiesche for pointing this out.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Quantum Murder
  More Ideas and Technology by Peter F. Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to A Quantum Murder
  Tech news articles related to works by Peter F. Hamilton

Spaceplane (Clarke-class)-related news articles:
  - Could Increased Space Rocketry Damage The Ozone Layer?

Articles related to Engineering
SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
Experts Decry Planet-Scale Schemes To Limit Global Heating
Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
The Mojo Smart Contact Lens Experience

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

CyberOne Robot By Xiaomi vs. Optimus Robot By Tesla
'I shall introduce myself... I am a robot.'

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to 'help them out.'

'Ring Nation' Show Predicted By William Gibson In 1999
'... you had your trademark Lucky Dragon Global Interactive Video Column outside.'

SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
'It's an Indian Air Force drone; its solar cells could power an entire farm.'

Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
'A robot may not injure a human being.'

Virtual Co-Embodyment - Two People Control One Virtual Body
'... we were supposed to be forming five unit composites first."

The Wanderer: Eyebot From Fallout, Eye From Zelazny
'We send our eyes on their appointed rounds, and they can hover or soar or back up...'

Experts Decry Planet-Scale Schemes To Limit Global Heating
'Light from the sun hit those little spheres and bounced.'

OrganEx Revives The Organs In Dead Pig
'Wakened into half-life activity one hour a month...'

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.