The Uvoanian government, in a joint effort with NATO and the Warsaw Pact, in 1962, estblished the ISO- The International Space Organization, in order to help with the colonization of the planets of the Sol system. Their first venture had been to take over the vast number of nation-owned orbital stations, platforms, shipyards, and moonbases. Their next task had been unifying the hundreds of different orbital designs, into a unified orbital transport fleet. Rapid decomissioning, and then a quick rebuild, of the vast number of shuttles. Tugs and barges were commisioned rapidly, and then put into service on the long haul runs to the asteroid fields in order to serve as modernization forces out there.
However, the king of the brand new ISO was the 'Rhino'. The first true Orbital Ship. First rolling off the line on January 1st, 1970, this ship class, by 1985, would have 349 members to it's name. Of course, other ship classes would be estblished, such as the 'Planet' orbital dreadnought, the 'Elephant' class tug, the 'Warthog' passenger ship, and dozens of other small ships. But, despite all this? The crowning jewels of the ISO has been the Inter-Planetary Launch, and the Solar Colonial Effort.
We shall cover the initial one first- The Inter-Planetary Launch, or IPO, is an orbital service station which is used to refuel, repair, service, and commission brand new Orbital Ships. It is run by a joint crew of 5,600 people from every nation involved in the ISO. Construction started in 1967, and was completed by 1974, and since then, it has expanded to handle more and more diverse kinds of jobs. It's vast storage tanks are home to every kind of fuel a ship needs- Coal, oil, diesel, and whatever else a ship needs to thrive.
The largest, and most important, jewel in the ISO's crown, however, is the SCE- The Solar Colonial Effort. Starting in 1964, this effort would unify the far flung, and scattered, colonies. This included more colonies in the Asteroid Belt, turning the material left floating in space into more ships, cities, colonies, and into more money for a burgeoning economy. Even within the SCE, there are shining colonies which stand above all others- Port O'Neil, Mars, and the Deep-Horizon. Let us focus on these three-
Port O'Neil is one of the primary Asteroid Colonies, with over 1,750,000 people living within it's huge hull. Built between 1955 and 1957, by the North American Space Agency. It serves as a relay point on the run from Earth towards Deep-Horizon, and as a relay hub into the rest of the Asteroid Colonies. It's huge hull also serves as a freight relay, barges of cargo which tugs pull in being transferred to the larger bulk-ships. The large bulk-ships, which can't navigate the tight asteroid fields, than transfer their cargo to the barges. This process provides jobs, repair work, and a huge economic boost.
The Mars Colony, itself, is another critical venture. A series of small, orbital, colonies estblished between 1948 and 1964, was the first starting place. These smaller colonies served as mining ventures for their governments, and the rare private company, but were small. This changed in 1964, with the Mars Transformative Effort. Rings of super conductors, strung around the equator, helped to re-create the magnetic field. Advanced energy production facilities- Incredibly powerful solar arrays, provided power to an array of Splitters, which seperated the oxygen found in the martian soil, and spread it into the atmosphere. Than, by 1970, six years after the activation of the super-conductors, the thermal-plants started burning coal. The green-house gasses, primarily CO2, increased the temperature.
This meant, by 1972, Mars was declared a habitable planet. By the year 1980, over 47 Million people had moved to mars, into it's brand new cities, it's new farms, and the new age of the world. Further efforts, carefully cultivated by the ISO, began to plant vast forests, and encourage an earth-like eco system to thrive. By 1984, this earth-like eco-system was thriving, and even more vibrant than Earth in some ways. This encouraged huge economic boons, and Mars has become a combined bread-basket, and industrial hub.
The final, crown-jewel, to cover is Deep-Horizon. Deep-Horizon, placed 175,000,000 Kilometers away from the solar object Pluto, and is intended to serve as an eventual first step from Sol. It's huge metallic form was started in 1948, in the orbit of the Moon, and was then towed to it's position in 1954, and finished in 1977. The massive construct is composed of four rings- Each of which has a diameter of 7.5 Kilometers, and is is 2 kilometers in width, all rotate around a central station. This huge colony is intended to serve as a prototype for other colonies, which will be launched out to the stars by the year 2005, in order to colonize other star systems. Deep-Horizon itself, however, also serves as a scientific retreat. It's vast surface makes it perfect to run experiments upon, and study the stars which lurk outside our own system.
One of the other most critical creations of the ISO is the 'Main-Line', a 'Beam Transport Network', where freighters can be hooked up to a series of beam projectors, which connect Earth, Mars, and Port O'Neil. This wide-beam transport network is used to decrease the fuel a freighter needs to carry on a trip between these destinations, and thus decreasing the cost to travel the over-all network, as nearly anything being shipped on these networks will eventually run through the 'Main-Line'. Plans exist, by 1988, to expand the 'Main-Line' to all the major colonies, and plans even exist for a 'loop-line', which will run through the entire Kupier belt of asteroids. This extension ,the-so called 'Kupier Loop', is planned to be completed by 1992.
All of these colonies run critically to the ISO, and the vast efforts of humanity to expand it's reach beyond Earth, and Sol. It is estimated, with just these four colonies combined, pull in over 198 Trillion USD per Fiscal Quarter. The true economic impact of the vast web of colonies cannot be under-estimated, or under-stated.
How is power provided for spaceships, when nuclear reactors don't exist? Simple. Steam, Diesel, Bunker C Oil, or Bio-Fuel. In terms of exact details, let us focus on Steam. Huge steam-turbines will turn, converting steam into power, with steam being recycled as much as 15 times before it's finally vented. Similar systems are used for Diesel, Bunker C, and Bio-Fuel, expect replaced with slightly more conventional engines. As such, ships will often carry vast reserves of their chosen fuel sources, along-side their standard cargo-loads. In terms of the actual generation, the average set-up for a 'Steam-SpaceShip' (SSS) is 24 high-pressure (750 PSI) boilers, turning 48 turbines, rated for 120 Gigawatts each, on 5% steam. This power than moves onto the next process...
The powers then runs through conduits, and into 'catalysts', where it then powers multiple 'RCS-Thrusters'. These thrusters, mounted in banks of 2, 4, 6, and 8, act as all kinds of maneuvering, thrust, and speed for the ship. Through the use of variable nozzles, they provide a full 360 degrees of vertical movement, and up to 180 degrees of horizontal movement. This allows the ships a decent rate of acceleration, turning, roll, and other maneuvers. In terms of stopping, thrusters can be pointed 'forwards', or 'impulse-thrusters' pointed always forward, can be activated. These forward 'impulse thrusters' are packed with enough power to begin the ship slowing, and keep it slowing to the point where it's 'RCS-Thrusters' can stop it within 500 meters.
This system means that a ship is capable of pushing itself up to .040 C, but will maintain an average cruising speed of .035 C. In terms of fuel capacity, they will carry fuel for a 1.5 Billion kilometer round-trip, thanks to incredibly efficient generating processes. (Pushing near 95% thermal efficiency on all forms of power). It can also stop and gather other sources of fuel along the way, which means that a ship can, in theory, complete a full trip from Earth to Pluto, and back, without ever running out of fuel. Of course, theory and practice are entirely different things. Of course, in terms of efficiency VS weight, Bunker C Oil is the most preferred, but due to it's nature of clogging turbines very quickly, it's not as favored as treated coal, or conventional diesel.
This system is what has allowed the space-race, ever since the first 'SSS' was introduced in 1970, to grow far beyond the confines of the moon. The first expedition to mars, because of this, touched down on the surface of Mars on July 4th, 1971. This was followed by colonies in 1974, and 10 years on, 1984, over 20 permanent colonies have been established on Mars.
The Rhino class of transport is Uvoan's primary inter-planetary ship. These ships were started into construction as early 1963, in dedicated moon-based shipyards. The first, the Uvoanian Orbital Steam Space-Ship, UOSSS 'Victor', was launched on January 1st, 1970. She would complete her shake-down runs halfway through the year, and would depart with a joint Uvoanian-American crew. They would land on July 4th, 1971.
Coming in at 550 meters long, 120 meters wide, and 90 meters tall, they have a total cargo area of about 500x70x45 meters- With four 'fuel bays', of 100x20x20 meters each. In terms of crew, it takes 4,500 people to crew a single ship, with a total passenger capacity of 7,500. For transportation in and out of atmosphere, it has 48 drop-ships aboard. It terms of defense, it makes use of 6x M61A2 CIWS, 480 VLS tubes, arranged in 4 setups of 120, and 12 dedicated 'Orbital Fighters'.
An estimate 40 of these ships are in service- 10 with the Uvoanian Space Program, 5 with North American Space Agency, 5 with the British Orbital Program, 10 with the French Aerospace Program, and 10 with independent, non-government contractors. 8 of these are in service with mining programs, and the other 2 are in service with an interplanetary cruise ship company, which offers civilian service between Earth, the Moon, and Mars.
For the USP, 4 of them are in service with the Strike Kings Orbital Forces, serving as long range patrol and deterrent vessels, while the remaining 6 are in 'civil' service, hauling freight, people, and other miscellaneous goods out to the colonies.
The Orbital Dreadnought is a return to a far older school of naval thought, expect in space. It's also a highly experimental class, with almost no standard of design expect for it's primary, big-gun armament, a monstrous 1350MM (53") Railgun, spinally mounted down the core of 750 meter long ship.
In terms of other, semi-standard, weapons, it uses 203 CM (8") guns for it's defense, in varying amounts. In the image pictured above, the 'Earth' class of SSS-D, is armed with 8x 3 barreled 203 CM guns, with 6 forward (3 above, 3 below), and 2 aft. (1 above, 1 below). In terms of defense, it makes use of a variety of CIWS guns, but primarily still-standard SEARAM systems. Besides this, the class has a minimum requirement of 6 Orbital Fighters. Also standard is a minimum number of VLS tubes- 940. The 'Earth' arrays her in 5 banks of 188 VLS each.
In terms of speed, and power generation, the class makes use of 12 'Maximum Pressure' steam-boilers, feeding 48 steam-turbines. Crews can consist of anywhere between 2,300 individuals, and 3,200 individuals. The average speed rating is about .036 C, with some shake-down runs pushing specific members of the class to .043 C, a shocking speed record for any 'Big Ship'. 6 Members of the class are laid down- The Earth, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Uranus.