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This Twenty-seventh Century spacecraft was the first vessel type to employ the Atiyah Slipdrive. Early Slipdrives could only produce a field of one kilometer in radius. When compared to the size and capacity of a slowboat Lightships were very expensive to construct and equip. One slowboat cost the same as three Lightships, but could carry eight times the tonnage of the Lightships combined. However, the Lightship could make multiple round trips to a star system in the time it took for a slowboat to go one way.
The Lightship made ‘foldspace travel a practical reality for any destination where the slipspace exit points were known. The Atiyah Slipdrive made ‘foldspace travel to a range of 25 light-years possible by the mid-2560s. The Charter Convention of 2550 CE approved the construction of five Lightship fleets. Each fleet was to consist of an administrative flagship, three passenger transports, three heavy-lift freighters, and two astrodetic Surveyships. In addition, The Convention agreed to finance additional freighters for the individual Corporations through participation in the profits obtained from the sale of the vessels’ cargo.