Since it's late in the day already, we're gonna take a look at the upcoming Pumpkin-Suit's Manual. Hope you enjoy!
By far the most popular and revolutionary method of boosting mass into orbit is through laser propulsion. In the post-war era, this is synonymous with the L-Drive. L-Drive spacecraft use a small amount of carried propellant (Methane on Mars, Hydrogen on Terra) with air that is fed into the system via turbofan injection. This mix is then ignited by a high-powered laser, causing the mix to explode under the spacecraft and thrust it into the sky. For the majority of cargo lifted into space by L-Drive, the laser is located in a ground installation at an aerospaceport. This reduced the mass and cost of the spacecraft, making for the most economical type of orbital injection. Command modules and containers weighing up to 250 tons fly into orbit by the hundreds everyday all over Terra and off of it.
The disadvantage to this system of launch is that a dedicated facility is necessary, making take-off “in the field” impossible. Dependent on these dedicated facilities, with all of their bureaucracy and fees, makes the life transport crews frustrating, to say the least. In addition, perfect tracking of the spacecraft once it's in the air is needed, or the laser that propels the rocket will end up destroying it with a misdirected beam, or miss entirely, causing the craft to come crashing back to the ground.
In light of this, with the cost of transport at only $10.00 a kilogram, this is still by far the cheapest and most popular way to travel.
Description: “The high-pitched whine of the rockets on-board turbo-fans is obliterated once the laser begins to fire. A thunderclap jars your teeth and shakes you to your very bones – and it's followed with another, and another – coming so close together that the sound begins to override all sensation and thought. As the rocket slowly lifts off the ground on a column of burning air and light, you realize that this must be what the inside of a machine gun feels like.”
Laser propelled launch
Skill: Spacecraft Piloting: L-Drive
Failure: The launch is aborted with no damage.
Special: A 1 on the Wild Die resulting in a failure means that the launch laser misfired, causing 5D damage to the rocket. The launch take 1D hours to reset, not including the time it take to repair the spacecraft.
Failure by one Difficulty Level or more indicates that the laser guidance system loses contact with the rocket during its ascent. The rocket begins. to fall; A Difficult Spacecraft Piloting: COMM/AST Skill Check is needed to re-aquire the laser, while a Very Difficult Skill Check is needed to prevent the spacecraft from entering a spin and crashing. Mid-air abort is possible; this will save the passengers and crew but doom the cargo and the drive section of the spacecraft.