The mysterious disappearance of actor Consuela Knight and the crew of her yacht has affected confidence in commercial space travel.
Independent newsfeed The Sovereign reported:
“Consuela Knight’s empty ship pulling into port has caused unease in consumer markets. Rumours of abductions and disintegrations while in hyperspace have negatively impacted many businesses.”
“Ship manufacturer Saud Kruger has said that sales of customised luxury yachts, such as Ms Knight’s, have plummeted. Cruise bookings with Astrogator Tours are being cancelled, while commercial operators have reported a drop in passenger numbers.”
“Plans are underway for a memorial service to honour Consuela Knight’s career. But her real legacy is the fear that her fate could befall any interstellar traveller.”
Since the Pilots Federation endorsed passenger flights and the Beluga luxury liner entered the market, the tourism industry has boomed. Commander Duck of Death, a seasoned explorer, took this reporter on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the far side of the galaxy.
Our journey took us to the Black in Green Nebula, Sagittarius A* and the Red and Green Glory Nebula, as well as a planetary ring with a staggering 54 million kilometre radius. But that wasn't all.
"I've been planned to go to Beagle Point for a few months," said Duck of Death. "Since I'm on the original roster, I feel I have an obligation to complete the expedition."
Spirits were high as we traversed the abyss and entered the Solitude Void, but as the bright lights of the core dwindled I could sense the primordial fear building. Finally, we reached Beagle Point. Before us was the entire Milky Way, farther away than ever, and behind us...the rest of the universe. We were standing on the edge of infinity.
Freelance Reporter, Elite Travel Writers' Cooperative
Following the recent retirement of the last Saud Kruger Narwhal from the presidential fleet, critics of the Hudson administration have commented on the decision to make use of two Core Dynamics Farragut-class battle cruisers as presidential transport vessels.
In an interview with the Federal Times, Congresswoman Kristine Lasky said: "These aren't industry-standard ships that can be purchased from the market. These are mainline warships – the largest in the Federal Navy's inventory. That the president intends to make use of not one but two of these ships should seriously concern taxpayers."
"Is it necessary for the president to deploy a battle group every time he visits a foreign dignitary? What message does that send to other heads of state? It looks less like a matter of security and more like a show of force!"
Congresswoman Lasky announced that she will call upon the Federal Accountability Office to investigate the acquisition and deployment cost to the taxpayer, and put forward a measure to limit the president's use of the ships to a handful of occasions per fiscal year.
For the past six years, the Federation has used a pair of customised Saud Kruger Narwhal Liners (upgraded variants of the successful Beluga Liner) as the personal vessels of the Federal president. Last year, one of these vessels was lost in a tragic accident. Today, the remaining vessel will be retired.
Bexley Jones, a spokeswoman for President Zachary Hudson, said: "It is of the utmost importance that the ship bearing the callsign 'Starship One' can function as a mobile base of operations for the president, providing him with everything he needs while off-planet, in addition to offering him total safety. Given the Beluga's primary designation as a passenger vessel, we have decided that it is unable meet these demands."
Jones confirmed that the remaining Narwhal will be replaced with a pair of modified Farragut Battle Cruisers, a mainstay of the Federal Navy. The formidable vessels are equipped with an extensive array of heavy weaponry, and are capable of transporting multiple Federal Corvettes and a large F63 Condor squadron. "In these dangerous times, it is essential that the presidential vessel be able to offer comprehensive military support, and the Farragut Battle Cruiser can do just that", said Jones.