Crystal Blossom, The

Crystal Blossom 1
Image from Chris Shaeffer
The Crystal Blossom

Built in 9958 a.t the Crystal Blossom may not be unique in function, as many other airships exist within the Utopia Sphere and elsewhere, it is simply one of the more famous; made so by its inhabitant / designer the eccentric artist-philosopher Aura Ghami.

The craft serves its owner in multiple roles as sculpture, vehicle, laboratory and home.

Main Vessel

The outer hull is primarily constructed of transparent diamondoid and pandifico with a touch of programmable matter to enhance certain visual effects.

The Crystal Blossom is held aloft by 96 40-meter vacuum balloons while four electrically driven props provide propulsion. Balance is maintained by careful control of the vacuum balloons located in the lower section, keeping the craft slightly bottom heavy. In its entirety, the craft masses 3760 tonnes and has a top speed of 184kph. Altitude is generally maintained between 2400 and 3000 meters, although it has been known to travel much lower over oceans and other scenic areas.

An onboard fusion reactor provides primary power, although a short-term nano-flywheel back-up battery is also available. This system, which is capable of providing far more power than the craft requires, was arranged due to Aura Ghami's desire for independence while traveling.

A circular, 20-meter diameter, landing platform is located 70 meters above the main habitat section. A dome of smart matter is used to close it off from the environment when not in use. A small omnicraft is kept there for when a more conventional means of travel is required.

Crystal Blossom close
Image from Chris Shaeffer
The Crystal Blossom; a closer view

Habitat Section

The habitat section consists of 18 12-meter spheres connected by 3-meter diameter tubes. The outer hull of the habitat, as well as the engines and other non-transparent sections, is covered in a layer of programmable matter. This programmable matter is used to complete the visual effect that the entire craft is made of transparent crystal.

Inside, the habitat provides over 16,000 m3 of utility fog assisted living space. There you will find nanofabs, virch systems, and a host of other items common and uncommon that its owner might find useful in eir endeavors.

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Development Notes
Text by Chris Shaeffer
Initially published on 23 October 2006.