Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I share the view of Pythagoras that the world is number. The ultimate substrate of the universe is math. There's no way to test that - it's pure metaphysical speculation."
- Bart Kosko

Jet-Down  
  A spacecraft able to explore planetary surfaces.  

Seldon panted, facing a tree, holding it closely, embracing it. He watched for the flying object to make its appearance again so that he could back about the tree and hide on the far side, like a squirrel. ...

He saw it again. It was not a hypership, nor even an ordinary air-jet. It was a jet-down. He could see the faint glow of the ion trails coming out of the vertices of a hexagon, neutralizing the gravitational pull and allowing the wings to keep it aloft like a large soaring bird. It was a vehicle that could hover and explore planetary terrain. ...

The jet-down was closer now, but it couldn't hide from him, either. The rumble of the engine gave it away and they couldn't turn that off, not as long as they wished to continue their search. Seldon knew the jet-downs, for on Helicon or any undomed world with skies that cleared now and then, they were common, with many in private hands. Of what possible use would jet-downs be on Trantor, with all the human life of the world under domes, with low cloud ceilings all but perpetual--except for a few government vehicles designed for just this purpose, that of picking up a wanted person who had been lured above the domes? ...

The jet-down was even closer now, nosing about like a blind beast sniffing out its prey. Would it occur to them to search this group of trees? Would they land and send out an armed soldier or two to beat through the copse? And if so, what could he do? He was unarmed and all his quick-twist agility would be useless against the agonizing pain of a neuronic whip. It was not attempting to land.

From Prelude to Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1988
Additional resources -

Compare to the shuttle ship from Robert Heinlein's 1951 novel Between Planets.

Thanks to Connor Lawrence for writing in with this item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Prelude to Foundation
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Prelude to Foundation
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

Articles related to Spacecraft
Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Used Dragon Cargo Spacecraft Will Fly Again
Laser-Powered Spacecraft To Explore The Solar System
SKYLON Space Plane Gets Boost

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.