• Member Since 14th Jul, 2012
  • offline last seen 4 hours ago


Nothing special here, move along, nothing to see, just ignore the lump under the sheet and the red stuff...


With the Storm King defeated, a large portion of his military equipment was stacked into munitions dumps for later disposal.

Skyswirler saw this as an opportunity to skywrite higher than any other hippogriff had ever gone. After all, the solid rocket boosters used for rocket-assisted airship launches were just sitting there. Nogriff would miss one or two. Dozen.

Enormous credit to Xepher and his Iron Author contests, as well as Kris Overstreet, creator of the epic Changeling Space Program and The Maretian.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 22 )
Georg #1 · Apr 6th, 2021 · · ·

Happy First Contact Day! When a bunch of misfits patched together a pile of junk and launched it, resulting in a meeting with powerful aliens that would change the whole world.

As I said before, an enormous amount of credit for this story belongs to Xepher and his Iron Author contests, as well as Kris Overstreet, creator of the epic Changeling Space Program and The Maretian. And Steppenwolf, of course.

Originally, this was a contestant for the Iron Author contest on May 20 of last year, but it didn't get done until this month, so maybe I can turn it in for partial credit? I really wanted to write it as a launch sequence for The Maretian, but Kris did it far better (go read it).

Consider also other space-based stories such as:
The Golden Alicorn of the Sun
Kill The Bugs
Luna's Federation

I think they'd fit right in at the CSP.:rainbowlaugh:

Magic Carpet Ride... I could hear it in my head. Fun story!

Seeing that clip, I was suddenly struck by how similar the command module of Phoenix (presumably the escape/reentry section since it carries the crew and Phoenix has nothing resembling any kind of aerodynamics, thermal protection, or antigravity to permit the entire upper stage to land) is in appearance to SpaceX’s Dragon 2 capsule — which didn’t fly until over twenty years after ST:FC was released. I mean, the proportions, the four strakes down the sides… I know quite well how the real laws of physics (as opposed to Hollywood’s) dictate the appearance of some things, but it’s still kind of eerie.

The idea of yetis in fighter planes is frankly terrifying.

It was time for a thinking meeting with ice cream sundaes out on the floating dock where Starswirl’s uncle kept his speedboat.

As much as I like the idea of Starswirl's uncle being a cool, irresponsible Time Lord, I'm pretty sure this is a typo, as is the one a bit after it.

There was a tree in the South Jungle that the natives called boom fruit, because it developed a volatile chemical compound as it ripened, and when it fell, the resulting explosion scattered the seeds.

As far as the ecology of this world goes, this makes perfect sense.

It was such a bright shade of red that it went faster than any other speedboat.

I didn't know Skyswirler's uncle was an ork. Or possibly a Gundam pilot.

Fun fact: Out of the thousands of songs on my playlist, my iTunes started playing "Danger Zone" as they ran down the checklist. You know a story's good when even the computer is engaged.

Delightful stuff from start to finish. The next generation of steely-eyed missile mares has to come from somewhere. Thank you for a fantastic look at one of the sources. (Also, what did Skyswirler manage to write?)

Wub Drive, for when you want the Bang Bang plate to push YOU.:pinkiecrazy:

A very good start indeed, next time, maybe consider combining cooling flow for the amp with preheat or reheat depending on fuel temps and amp parameters?

Apart from that, nice to see pretty much the whole history of launch used. From Otto Lilienthals Red Rocket Glider, Water launches, etc


As far as the ecology of this world goes, this makes perfect sense.

Not a new idea; read Larry Niven’s “A Relic of the Empire” sometime. “Stage trees” are an important plot point.

You will not go to space today. :rainbowderp:

An absolutely hilarious read. These kids will go far!

It was time for a thinking meeting with ice cream sundaes out on the floating dock where Starswirl’s uncle kept his speedboat. Various plans were drawn on the dock’s picnic table, then wiped away while the boat was out in the bay, pulling a water skier.


10757385 10756977 Oh, that's what Fan was talking about. I swear, my fingers just cruised on by that. Fixing.
10757293 The Integral Trees are my favorite plant plot, other than Pyrrus in Deathworld.
10757140 Ah, the shuttle. A beautiful idea, given to NASA. Sigh.
10756997 Magic thrusters with an attitude.
10756842 Makes you wonder how many ST:FC geeks there are in the design bureau.
10756697 The song makes it.
10756652 Like a house on fire.

I always wanted to see more stories set in the Smoke Ring, but it’s been over thirty years since the last one and Niven is now past 80, so I’m not holding my breath.

The Space Shuttle, as built, was always going to be a disaster waiting to happen, and every shuttle astronaut worth his or her salt knew it. There were too many “black zones” during ascent where a failure would result in the loss of both vehicle and crew — every launch abort scenario basically didn’t start until both SRBs burned out! The thermal protection tiles were the best available solution at the time for the reentry heat loads involved, but their fragility was well-documented even before Columbia’s first flight. The design decisions were not entirely under NASA’s control, however, as in return for their political support of the program both the Air Force and the then as-yet-undisclosed National Reconnaissance Agency added requirements that led to the final heavy lift vehicle concept. Scott Manley has an interesting video on the subject. But none of that excuses NASA’s increasing complacency with the risks with each successful launch and return.

Regarding Dragon 2, the strakes are there for a very sound reason; they accommodate the Super Draco engines used in the event of a launch abort. SpaceX also originally planned to use the Super Dracos to make propulsive landings (link to the Dragon 2 hover test video), but work was abandoned relatively late in development as the schedule continued to slip and it became readily apparent that it would be a hard sell to NASA for human rating certification (I can’t imagine why :twilightoops:). So the Crew Dragon winds up hauling its launch abort system all the way up to orbit and back, while the Cargo Dragon variant has it completely stripped out to gain payload mass.

10757497 Re: the Shuttle, the original concept was NASA's... but it was NOT a shuttle from surface to orbit and back. The initial concept for a shuttle was as a relay between LEO and lunar orbit as part of a permanent lunar exploration and colonization effort. NASA wanted to continue using heavy-lift disposable rockets from the surface for the foreseeable future, but that ended when Nixon pulled the plug on all Apollo construction.

Spaceplane ideas came over from the Department of Defense, and they were effectively imposed on NASA by a Nixon administration which said, in essence, "This, or NOTHING." And then the designs kept getting compromised further by demands from outside NASA for various uses. So don't blame NASA for designing a horse that smelled suspiciously like a camel.

Yes, it’s been fascinating to learn of the behind the scenes political manipulation of the U.S. space program by agencies other than NASA (primarily the Air Force, the NRO, and other intelligence agencies) as more and more information from the ‘70s and ‘80s is declassified. Interagency turf wars, budget apportionments — it makes one wonder if there’s anything similar occurring with the Senatorial Space Launch System, despite the projected low launch cadence and the apparent lack of payloads beyond the Artemis program.

... I am very tempted to get on my knees and beg for a sequel.

Welding on four would be better.

It was at this point that I was reminded of Estee's "Pony Go Boom."

“Throttle back the Wub,” shouted Skyswirler. “We’re at near maximum pitch and we don’t want to break the sound barrier while we’re burning off fuel. The rams will take us up from here.”

Are they "rams" or "whams"?

Well, that was exciting! :D
Also a bit insane.
But quite fun! :D

What a delightful bunch of delinquents! These kids are gonna go far.

I hope that speedboat's speed-enhancing paint job remained intact.

And what did they manage to write?

10769673 go far and FAST!

“You hit Cloudsdale.” Princess Celestia looked down at the four cringing youth, who had carefully filed out of their spacecraft after it had been lowered safely to the ground.

“It didn’t move out of the way,” said Skyswirler.

Great comeback, that. :rainbowlaugh:

The whole premise, especially the part of them building their craft out of essentially junkyard parts (even if military grade) reminds me of the 1984 movie "Explorers," a movie I've long dearly loved, so to me that's just an added plus. :raritystarry:

Login or register to comment