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

"I took the Minnesota multiphasic profile test once, and I tested out as paranoid, cyclothymic, neurotic, and schizophrenic. But I also tested out as an incorrigible liar!"
- Philip K. Dick

Torchship  
  A spaceship capable of high acceleration.  

This word paints a wonderful picture; a rocket looks like an upside-down torch, rising on its tail of flames.

FORTY-SEVEN minutes later they were being packed into the scout torchship Salamander. She was in orbit close by; Joe, Kleuger, and their handlers came by tube linking the hub of the Station to her airlock. Joe was weak and dopy from a thorough washing-out plus a dozen treatments and injections. A good thing, he thought, that light-off would be automatic.

The ship was built for high boost; controls were over the pilots’ tanks, where they could be fingered without lifting a hand. The flight surgeon and an assistant fitted Kleuger into one tank while two medical technicians arranged Joe in his.

He held a torcher's contempt for the vast distance itself. Older pilots thought of interplanetary trips with a rocketman's bias, in terms of years—trips that a torchship with steady acceleration covered in days.

From Sky Lift, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Imagination in 1953
Additional resources -

Another (more complete) description comes from Heinlein's later novel Double Star:

"The Can Do - that's this bucket - is about to rendezvous with the Go For Broke, which is a high-gee torchship. About seventeen seconds and a gnat's wink after we make contact the Go For Broke will torch for Mars - for we've got to be there by Wednesday."

See Bussard ramjet for a form of propulsion capable of even higher speeds.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Sky Lift
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Sky Lift
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Articles related to Spacecraft
China Wants To Build Mega Space Ships
Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Used Dragon Cargo Spacecraft Will Fly Again
Laser-Powered Spacecraft To Explore The Solar System

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

San Francisco Wants ED-209, Or Maybe Robocop
'The Enforcement Droid series 209 is a self-sufficient law enforcement robot...'

Seoul Self-Driving 42dot Bus Unveiled
'Buses without drivers moved close to the curb and stopped at intervals.'

T. Gondii And The Leaders Of The Pack
'... infected males were more than 46 times more likely to become pack leaders than uninfected males.'

'Parastronaut' First Astronaut With Disability From ESA (Updated!)
'He had left Earth to get away from its gravitational field...'

MIT Self-Assembling Reprogrammable Materials
'Faster the cubes moved; faster the circle revolved; the pyramids raised themselves, stood bolt upright on their square bases...'

Mem, The All Your Memories, Super Note-Taking App
'Life experience is linearly additive, but the correlation of memory impressions is an unlimited expansion.'

Porcine Fat Cells For 3D-Printed Whole Pork Products
'I grabbed two Syntho-Steaks out of the freezer...'

LANIUS Loitering Drone Munition Scouts And Maps
'... micro-missiles proceeding at walking pace.'

Copilot Software AI Training Sued By Involuntary Contributors
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

Thin Film Dome Protects Cities From Nuclear Blasts
'What fabric can take that kind of a load? Synthetic spider silk.'

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.