Day One Thousand
The Archimedes class explorer was the first spacecraft designed for repeated expeditions to the outer planets. The Archimedes, Tsiolkovsky and Goddard completed seven missions to four gas giants, including the only antebellum explorations of Uranus and Neptune. A fourth vessel was planned, but a collapse of international agreements prevented the construction of the last ship. It was just as well, since its eventual replacement, the Thule, proved to be a more capable and much faster vessel.
In the 30's and 40's missions to the outer system lasted years. Jupiter was three hundred days away, Neptune about a thousand. The Goddard's mission to Neptune, including the delayed return and rescue necessitated by the failure of its primary reactor, lasted over seven years.
Excerpt from The First Century in Space, Janek
Trudeau, editor, Lassiter Press, 2070
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