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"The whole problem of energy sources is going to be solved by little solutions, not by some big new piece of technology that does everything. We got into this crisis by believing that we had one big piece of technology that would do everything (oil)."
- Gregory Benford

Torchship  
  A spaceship capable of high acceleration.  

This word paints a wonderful picture; a rocket looks like an upside-down torch, rising on its tail of flames.

He held a torcher's contempt for the vast distance itself. Older pilots thought of interplanetary trips with a rocketman's bias, in terms of years—trips that a torchship with steady acceleration covered in days.
From Sky Lift, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Imagination in 1953
Additional resources -

Another (more complete) description comes from Heinlein's later novel Double Star:

"The Can Do - that's this bucket - is about to rendezvous with the Go For Broke, which is a high-gee torchship. About seventeen seconds and a gnat's wink after we make contact the Go For Broke will torch for Mars - for we've got to be there by Wednesday."

See Bussard ramjet for a form of propulsion capable of even higher speeds.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Sky Lift
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Sky Lift
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

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