Developed by the Terra Nova Consortium in the mid-Twenty-third Century, the slowboat was a colonial transport that enabled a Corporation who had been deeded a colony world to transport population, materials, equipment and supplies to the world in one mission. The Winglee Slowboat employs an asteroid as a spacecraft. The Pantheon-class spacecrafts were built by tunneling compartments into C-type (carbon-chondrite) asteroids having a major axis of greater than 20km and a minor axis of more than 7km. Later classes of slowboats were much larger.
The Winglee Model 4 drive was designed to produce three magnetic fields. The plasma sail when fully deployed was 100,000km in diameter. A secondary field only 5km in diameter deflected micrometeors and dust from the surface of the spacecraft. The third field was focused aft of the slowboat to capture interstellar hydrogen in the primary magnetosphere’s eddy current for deployment as plasma in the sail. The Model 4 drive produced a peak acceleration of 327.4kps and a velocity of .36C or 108,000kps.
The early slowboats were designed to transport 250,000 colonists in hibernaculæ, herds of livestock, and other Terran fauna were also transported as embryos for gestation during the braking phase of the voyage. Construction materials, operating equipment, initial supplies and foodstuffs to support the colony for the first few seasons were also packed into the spacecraft. Power to operate the drive and spacecraft was supplied by triply redundant fusion reactors.
Several command crews were also onboard. Most slowboats would require two or three crews to complete the voyage. When the first crew reached retirement they would be placed in hibernation. And the second crew would take its place. If a crewmember were disabled or killed on the voyage, their replacement could be taken out of hibernation as needed.