AS Columbia was the first fusion-powered interplanetary spacecraft launched by the Western Alliance.
The advent of fusion power in 2020 led to the first fusion-powered interplanetary spacecraft, the AS Columbia.
The Columbia was the fourth Altair class transport and even though she was already eight years old, she was refitted to use the newly developed fusion drive instead of the traditional chemical reaction propulsion systems of her sister ships, the AS Altair and AS Procyon. Using an "open-air" architecture allowed major components to be easily attached to the skeletal structure of the spacecraft. This allowed easy modifications for her experimental maiden voyage to Mars.
The success of the Columbia led to the Magellan Program.
- DropShips and JumpShips, pp. 6-7