The Lewis and Clark was the first human spaceship to use an atomic-powered engine to achieve constant acceleration. It was built in top secret by converting a former American orbital space station and was sent to the asteroid belt in 1963. Lieutenant General Charles Healey was its first commander. Walter Stone and Mickey Flynn were its original pilots; they were joined by Glen Johnson, who more or less stowed away aboard the ship.
The Lewis and Clark took and used one of the asteroids from the belt and weaponized it, by launching it toward Mars.
The ship was as large as a ship of the Race's Colonization Fleet. The ship was well armed for the time, equipped with two dozen nuclear tipped missiles of the same type as the Peregrine type shuttle, 5 nuclear mines of the highest yield that could be produced by the United States, and a number of machine guns, probably for point defense.
The Fission atomic-powered engine, while laughably obsolete in comparison to the Race's Fusion engine, was a revolutionary step forward in space travel. Able to achieve an acceleration of 1/100 of the force of earth gravity, or 0.01g, the engine was could increase the Lewis and Clark's velocity by 4 inches a second per second and run for days at a time. After one day of acceleration the Lewis and Clark gained 5 miles a second to its orbital velocity, easily breaking free of Earth's gravity.
A significant drawback of this engine was the amount of radiation produced, requiring it to be placed on an extended boom away from the rest of the ship. Enough radiation was released that not only could the Race detect its use but travel within even half a mile of the engine compartment would kill even a human in a ship shielded from normal radiation in low earth orbit.
- Charles Healey - Commandant
- Walter Stone - pilot
- Mickey Flynn - pilot
- Glen Johnson - pilot
- Danny Perez - radioman
- Liz Brock
- Chris Harper - doctor, transferred from the Columbus
- Miriam Rosen - chief medical officer
- Lucy Vegetti - geologist