A planned real-world test of a reactionless thruster. These loomed large in Larry Niven’s Known Space series. If this technology proves true we’ll have the solar system at our feet.
Below the fold an excerpt from my forthcoming novel “Worlds Without End”…
The hatched closed. The three humans slid across the deck of the small compartment, pressed against a wall.
“Apologies,” the ship’s officer said. “We are leaving up and out… with haste.”
Gary noted that beyond the slight sound of the HVAC system, the ship was completely silent.
“When,” he asked, “are we arriving at our destination? The South China Sea was mentioned.”
He watched as she raised her hand to a door that looked like an airlock. With a slight hiss, it swung open.
“Allowing for positive and negative acceleration for my passengers, a tiny bit under two hours. Please excuse me.”
With a tiny bow of her head, she passed through and out. The door remained open.
So we are not prisoners. Against the still slight acceleration, Gary stood and walked to where Tracy had slid against the wall. He noted his uncle stood as well.
“That’s something around fifteen thousand miles in under two hours, Mister Rigó,” Gary observed with his traditional deadpan. “That is remarkable.”
“The raw idea for reactionless thrusters was developed in America just before the Breakup, nearly fifteen years ago,” Rigó said, watching closely how the boy raised the girl to a sitting position against the wall and systematically checking that she was well. He was convinced that for less than a second her eyes tracked to him before returning to her blank stare.
“That research was picked up by both China and Japan, and, from what I learned in Vienna, very closely held!” He laughed a little. “There is a new space race on, and us Whites are kept out of it!”
“You Whites, you mean; I am a mongrel.”