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Space Boomers (draft)

The success of the early pioneering Earth ships had fostered deep public interest for civilian space travel by the 2080s, which the UESPA took advantage of with the Earth Cargo Service. The ECS was well received by the public and market analysists alike as it promised to rebuild Earth's economy and extend the privilege of space travel to the masses. The service answers to the Earth Cargo Authority, which enforces a licensing scheme aimed at fostering and maintaining Earth a good standing among the interstellar community whilst allowing civilians to take to the stars and conduct trade in the name of Earth.

The benefit of ECS registration cannot be overstated. For the ship crews, lucrative contracts could be made for transporting Earth trade cargo to and from Earth colonies and friendly powers in the Quadrant. For Earth itself, the threat of revoking ECS licenses could dissuade lateness, unfair trade, and hostility from Earth-registered ships without needing UESPA ships to 'police' Earth's space entirely. Interest in conducting trade crew rapidly in the 2080s and 2090s, with as many as two hundred civilian ships being added to the ECS register from 2086 to 2093 alone! Most of these ships, however, were barely adequate - most were either improvised designs or retrofitting older designs such as DY-100, DY-245, or DY-430 sleeper ships with unlicensed Yoyodyne-type reactor clones. It was widely recognised that some standardisation would be needed in the long run to ensure the safe operation of such a critical organ of Earth's recovery.


Ever since his achievement and the end of his initial involvement with early UESPA missions, Zefram Cochrane spent most of his time touring Earth as a planet-wide hero. Eventually reality kicked in through the alcohol and he eventually decided to become more involved with Earth's future, especially after being disheartened with that fact that the Cochrane-type reactor system was already largely phased out of UESPA service due to its immature requirement of six small reactors in series. Cochrane vowed to develop the first singular reactor powerful enough for starship use by itself.

Whilst such a reactor was an absolutely must for a ship design such as the J-class, the UESPA also had its sights aimed on such a development. In anticipation of his achievement, the UESPA began work on its next-generation explorer type ship.


Whilst Emmette-class production was underway, the UESPA return its attention to the J-class. Fitted with a Warp 2-capable Cochrane II reactor, the J-class proved superior to all current civilian ships by a long margin. The level of success also warranted the ECS to market a Warp 1.8-rated reactor (Cochrane IIa-type) for civilian usage, although it never sold well due to its high cost. Unused Cochrane IIa reactors had to wait several decades before eventually being fitted to the also famous (and very large) Y-class freighter.

During the next few decades, the ECS became Earth's merchant marine of sorts. The most ambitious of ECS-registered ship captains also undertook large journeys that eventually ensured that the ECS became Earth's largest presence outside the Sol system whilst the UESPA was exploring closer system and only sending its fastest surveyors on the frontier regions of known space. The long distances in travel also kick-started the formation of a large interstellar community commonly referred to as the "space boomers". Friends and family typically ran ECS ships, and friends became couples and families became larger during the long distance missions. Entire generations grew up on ships such as the J-class.