Columbia (Individual Altair-class spacecraft)
- This article is about the Western Alliance spacecraft. For other uses, see Columbia.
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. In 2026, 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 AS Columbia launched with a crew of twelve from Crippen Station on 12 October 2027. Taking one-tenth the time of any previous ship, the AS Columbia reached Mars orbit in under fourteen days. The success of the Columbia led to the Magellan Program.
- DropShips and JumpShips: ComStar Intelligence Summary, pp. 6–7
- DropShips and JumpShips: ComStar Intelligence Summary, p. 7: "Rise of the Western Alliance"
- Major Periphery States p. 140