Age of Cosmic Exploration

Author: Zhttty

Translators: EndlessFantasy Translation , Lonelytree, _Dark_Angel_

Editors: EndlessFantasy Translation , Lucas


Chapter 138: Hope Calendar Year 0006

It was the New Year of the Hope’s 6th year in space. Everywhere you looked, people were laughing as they went about preparing for the New Year. Wearing clothes newly bought by their parents or given by the government were the children running up and down the Hope with not a care in the world. Their younger siblings still had to be cradled in their parents’ arms. The lowest 4 levels on the Hope were decorated with New Year paraphernalia, suffused by an atmosphere of joy.
It has been 4 years since the infiltration, and much has happened within these 4 years.
First, the construction for a basement and the 7th floor was completed. After connecting them to the main ship, life-support and an anti-gravitational system was added. After that, 3 more months were spent to design their layout. Finally, half a year later, the Hope had 8 levels in total. With a height of 500 plus meters and tens of thousands meters in length, the Hope still looked pretty boxy, but with the extra height, it had a more solid look.
Within that same period, the propulsion system for the Hope had changed from the traditional rocket fuel jet apparatus to the new corpuscular stream apparatus. It could reach up to 60 kilometers per second, and if pressed, it could maintain a short burst of speed at 80 kilometers per second!
Not to be overshadowed was the Hope’s new defense system. It was updated with an electromagnetic shield and 42 new large Gaussian cannons as secondary turrets. These were heavy weight weapons that could make quick work of the original the Hope!
However, the scariest addition was the Hope’s main cannon!
Placed right in the middle of the Hope, this singular cannon took around 3 months to complete. The construction time would have taken longer if the cannon wasn’t built from the main cannon salvaged from the alien battleship.
Officially named the Supermagnetic Planet Annihilating Rail-Cannon, it had a medium-sized polymerized reactor as a power supply and had a 60 second charging time. Despite what its name suggests, it understandably couldn’t blast through a whole planet with 1 shot like how it was often portrayed in most sci-fis. Nevertheless, the cannon’s initial emission velocity could reach up to 16,400 kilometers per second, meaning its speed was a jaw-breaking 50 percent of light speed!
Even though the bullets were only 120 grams supermagnetic metallic balls, the preserved kinetic energy within each of these balls was almost as powerful as any weapon of mass destruction. As previously mentioned, it couldn’t one-shot a planet, but it could definitely bring down satellites with a single shot, so even though the name should be understood in hyperbolic terms, it was also not that far away from the truth.
However, the process that went into constructing this cannon wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. Unfamiliarity with the alien’s technology had provided many a roadblock, but those were thankfully expediently solved by Bo Li’s Whisperer power. If not for Bo Li, it was highly unlikely that the cannon would ever see the light of day.
Other than that, the Hope’s electromagnetic shield was at least 10 times more powerful than a normal shield. Under certain conditions, it could even refract light, meaning it had a certain degree of defense against laser weapon. The newly improved supermagnetic scanning system, if not blocked by the creator’s particle, could come up with a rudimentary surveillance result on everything within a 1 light speed area, and a complete scan and lock on for everything within a 1/10 light speed area!
Ever since Yao Yuan’s speech on the New Year party 3 years ago, the Hope had seen many new products from the 4th industrial revolution. However, since the Hope wasn’t a scientific expedition, most of the new technologies were Hope-focused because the ship’s safety was first priority. Therefore, comparatively speaking, public science saw only a few new additions, the notable ones being the genetic mesomeric resonator and a few other devices from the fields of genetic electromagnetism and electromagnetic biology.
Unsurprisingly, most of these new designs were unveiled by Ivan, the Hope’s second whisperer. His top expertise in the field of biology was once again showcased when he managed to include electromagnetism into biological research. He introduced new changes to the biomes which greatly increased the harvest rate for many plants. Grains could be harvested every 40 days while the growth rate for luxuries like tea, coffee, cocoa, and hops increased by at least 3 times compared to when it was on Earth!
Theoretically speaking, because the time flow in space and on Earth were completely different because they were affected by factors like travel speed and gravity, scientists during the 3rd industrial revolution had predicted the growth rate of plants changing in space, they just didn’t have the technology to control the rate of change. By manipulating the string, Ivan managed to create supermagnetic fields that were conducive for plant growth. However, even for the alien race, this technology was still new, so Yao Yuan was wary of its usage, ordering Ivan to limit his practice to the biome plants and leave the animals alone.
The 4th industrial revolution was still going, but Yao Yuan knew they were at the end of the initial burst phase. They had reached their limit for understanding the science. What awaited them was in-depth study of new theories or new data, but either way, the result wouldn’t be noticeable within the next few years. In other words, the days of exploring the junkyard were reaching their end.
"Team 2 scheduled to return soon, reaching the hangar in 20 seconds. Opening the second airlock…"
Gathered at the bridge, Yao Yuan and a few Barracks authorities sighed in relief. Guang Zhen nodded. "That doesn’t look so bad, better than the 2 times before this."
Yao Yuan shook his head. "It’s still not good enough. They’re familiar but not proficient; I’ve noticed at least 2 pilots still unable to get used to the high speed."
Ying added, "You’re being too harsh on them. These are Virus X survivors. According to the AI, as cosmic adapters, most of them are at Rank C and B with a few among them at Rank A. Of course, they aren’t comparable with the Rank S Homo Evolutis, but they are already good enough to be able to complete these feats."
Yao Yuan frowned. "Looks like the jet still needs to be installed with artificial aid to help the pilot get used to the speed. 150 kilometers per second… is indeed too fast for normal human beings."
This was the start of year 0006. The Hope was in the middle of conducting its third Space Combat Jet Prototype 003 drill. Compared to the previous 2 instances where there had almost been an accident, the pilots had gotten pretty much used to flying the jets, but of course, they still hadn’t reached Yao Yuan’s expectations.
The combat jet had experienced multiple design changes in the past 3 years. Its original form came into the world 2 years ago. It was a super jet that could reach up to 340 kilometers per second, had Gaussian railguns and miniature Gaussian cannons with 3 seconds charge time, as well as an internal polymerized reactor to support up to 140 hours of continuous combat.
Tweaking had to be done for mass production though. Until today, the combat jet had seen 3 different iterations. The first was the original, which the Hope only had 1 of so far. After that there were the Homo Evolutis jets that could reach up to 200 kilometers per second, armed with Gaussian railguns and miniature Gaussian cannons, a dual-tier high-power electromagnetic device, and upwards of 8 hours combat time. The last was the Virus X survivor jets. Those could reach up to 150 kilometers per second, had Gaussian railguns, a single-tier electromagnetic device, and could maintain a 6 hours combat time.
Of course, with the lowering of features, the price and resource requirement had a significant decrease as well. With the removal of the polymerized reactor alone, the production cost was slashed by 40 percent. With other changes, the final cost for the Homo Evolutis jet was reduced to 1/10 the cost of the original jet, and the cost for the Virus X survivor jet was 1/30 the original cost.
Today, the Hope had 25 Homo Evolutis jets and 120 Virus X survivor jets!
Watching the fleet return to the hangar, Yao Yuan sighed. "You’re right. They’ve given it their best, and I shouldn’t forget that before this, they’re still normal civilians… I am being a bit too harsh. Let them have a good rest. They’ve trained hard for 3 months in preparation for this 3rd drill. They deserve a half-month holiday. Well then, we should start discussing our next course of action."
Everyone was stunned, and it was Guang Zhen who came forth and asked, "Ol’ Yao, what do you mean by next course of action? Do you mean a fourth drill or a fourth landing operation simulation for Black Star Troopers?"
"Neither, I’m talking about space warp."
Yao Yuan continued seriously, "From my conversations with a few of the top Academy leaders, I was told that we will need at least another 10 to 15 years of study before we can reach the mid-point of the 4th industrial revolution, and another 30 to 50 years before we can reach the height or the end of the revolution. This has nothing to do with how many alien products we can salvage; the data collected needs time to percolate, that’s all. In other words, the Hope is slated to enter the mid-point of the revolution, and in fact, I believe we’re extremely close to it. We have the weapons for both space combat and landing invasion, the Hope has seen many upgrades, our agriculture has undergone massive leaps, we have longer life expectancy, and even have access to engineering robots.
"But make no mistake, this is not meant to be our home!"
Yao Yuan announced as he pointed straight at the dark space outside of the window.
"Let’s not forget our goal. We’re looking for a planet with a blue ocean and open sky, and this is not it!
"So clear your schedule for a conference on the next space warp!"