"Did I sound like I was complaining? The fact we turned a 200 year old weapon of war into a space bearing machine by ourselves in the matter of about a week, is beyond impressive. Heck, it’s downright stupendous! When I woke up in bed before all this, I never thought I’d ever do anything even remotely close to this. If this is a dream, I wouldn’t be too surprised, which isn’t saying much considering that I don’t think anything would surprise me at this point."
If this is low expectations for her, I wonder what an ideal rocket would be like? That thought both intrigues me and chills my bones. There’s no way somepony could be so advanced without some sort of baggage. This may be more than Twilight’s influence on her. If this Celestia can build an impromptu rocket out of spare parts, then why couldn’t our Celestia run her country let alone space travel?
"Well, no reason to continue wasting time talking about this thing, give me the grand tour! I want to see this for myself!
The Princess nods before beginning to lead the unicorn around the space craft, introducing her to the systems one at a time.
"Well, I am happy to see your enthusiasm, Velvet. I just hope the grand tour does not disappoint. This rocket is still a staggering eighty five percent liquid fuel in relation to its total mass, that is even despite a reduction to the overall size of the fuel tank in the conversion. Being as that is so, there is not much to specifically tour through in terms of its innards. As I have said, cramped would be an accurate description of the rocket’s interior. That said, I have installed interior maintenance sections that can be navigated in an emergency, and have eliminated half of the exterior access panels in favor of a design that more roughly approximates a uni-body.
To that end, the hull of the craft is significantly thinner now. At a mere fifty percent of its original thickness, the new approximated uni-body is significantly lighter and more rigid than the old rocket frame. All of which was completely unavoidable, as the upgraded internals more than make up for the difference in mass. In fact, this rocket is now nearly three times heavier than it was before thanks to the addition of several revised internal systems, including a simple avionics package, a backup power system combined with a revised reactor, several new emergency systems, the addition of on-board oxidizer, a relatively simple flight computer, and the addition of a comprehensive life support system.
To put it simply, this design is far less than ideal, but still far better than it otherwise would have been should we have left it unchanged. At the very least, riding it will no longer result in a dramatically decreased life expectancy for the passenger. Still, the details likely are interesting to some degree. Take for instance the reactor. The old one had some minor /leakage/ which I have solved with some electronically conductive magnetic shielding. This shielding converts the radiation leakage into electricity for the purposes of torque-fill on the electric generator. That, and the heat exchanger wrapped around the engine bell has been added into the system, so that burning the engine will generate further electrical power.
Excess power is stored in a standard ninety cell micro-battery and excess heat is bled off on the ship’s massive exterior copper fins. Temperature regulation and climate control occurs through heat exchangers and compressors connected in the fins as well. Of course, that’s just the overview. See in these access panels here? I now have all the wiring properly shielded, color coded, and grounded too. Shockingly, the original design did not, it also refused to use copper for some unfathomable reason, which I have also corrected. All contact points are now gold plated as well, and all steel components have been made to be stainless, In a few places nickel plating was used to help with resistance to oxidation or other discoloration issues on certain key metal surfaces. Of course, other than the new oxidizer tank, this brings us to the real interesting component of this ship.”
The tour finally brings the two up to the top of the rocket, and the all too important crew compartment.
"Here we are, home sweet home."
The alicorn insists as she squeezes inside and shuffles into one of the two available seats. As she had stated twice before, cramped was not an incorrect descriptive term for their predicament.
"So, as you can see, there are indeed two seats. They both have a six way safety harness, head rest, and sub-optimal leg room for a pony of my size. Still, that really cannot be helped. The system in front of us is a very rough flight computer. It is likely the heaviest component in the top half of this rocket, and it is quite basic at that. It really is little more than a calculator when you break it down. Most of the switches are not really all of that exciting. It is worth noting that I did indeed include some windows here, a front and one side window for each chair. Other than that, we only have the one CRT screen for a display, and the throttle is a bit cobbled together.
To be blatantly honest, I did not spend too much time up here because of the size limitations. I did the best I could, but I fear I will be ducking and banging my head through most of our travels in here. It may be wise for me to invest in a helmet, but I simply lacked the raw materials.”
Celestia looks to Velvet with a small smile, a look which looked rather comical considering how she was practically tucked into a ball trying to fit in here.
"Well? What do you think, Velvet? This is it, everything and all that it is. Do you approve?"