|SCSS Ad Astra|
Ad Astra landing at Kingsford-Smith Airport, 1999
|Base Hull||Airbus Concorde, production number 209|
|Drive Type||Reactionless thrusters|
|Drive Rating||Max velocity 0.05c|
|Flag of Record||Stellvia|
|Registry Number||F-BVFC (as an aircraft)|
L5-A-002 (as a spacecraft)
|Launched||July 9, 1976 (as an aircraft)|
October 6, 2009 (as a spacecraft)
|Purpose||Luxury passenger transport|
|Primary Crew||Star (ship's AI),|
three flight crew,
seven flight attendants
|Other Crew||up to 80 passengers|
Launched during a company's desperate effort to stay in business, Ad Astra is possibly the most exclusive passenger Fenship in the 'Danelaw.
Stellvia Trading's reaction to the Kaboomite Incident at Anticipation in 2009 drove most of the Fen trading business away from Stellvia and into Fenspace proper. Faced with bankrupcy, Stellvia Trading began an ambitious project of offering space tourism to the people of Earth. But to do this, they needed a passenger spaceship, preferably one with some cachet.
They found two in France - the two Concordes owned by the Airbus Factory. Purchasing one (and that's a story in itself), Stellvia Trading rebuilt and handwaved it into a luxury passenger spacecraft, removing one-fifth of the original passenger seats to provide a more luxurious (and more exclusive) experience and to make room for additional luggage.
The 'wavium process awakened the ship's systems into a true AI. Star presents herself as a sophisticated, attractive brunette Frenchwoman in her late-30s, and always has a French accent when speaking any other language. (She's fluent in English, Russian, German, and Japanese, just like the people who handwaved her.) Star is all business when flying or during maintenance, but otherwise loves reading romance novels (the more salacious, the better) and playing roleplaying games (especially In Nomine - she usually plays an Impudite of Andrealphus).
Christening the craft Ad Astra for the romance of the name and as a subtle reference to her AI, the company began offering weekly luxury transportation between Sydney's Kingsford Smith International Airport (now Kingsford Smith International Spaceport), Kandor City, and Stellvia. This proved to be more popular than anyone in Stellvia Trading expected. Ad Astra has been flying its weekly triangle run fifty weeks a year ever since its launch. (The weeks around the two solstices are set aside for major maintenance.)
- No boom today: While in atmosphere, Ad Astra never flies fast enough to create a sonic boom, no matter what the pilots try.
- Hello, good looking: When not working, Star is an outrageous flirt.
- British engineering enthusiast and "Top Gear" presenter Jeremy Clarkson was one of the first passengers on Ad Astra. Reportedly, he hit on Star during the flight and got shot down rather impressively, resulting in a bitter tirade regarding Noah Scott, the French and fen in general in the Sun the following week.