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The Martian invasion of 1901 (and its subsequent failure) resulted in a number of very significant scientific discoveries. The most important of these was the mineral cavorite, of course, which permitted vessels to shield themselves from the effects of gravity. The second was the alloy the Martian vessels' hulls were made from - the Germans were the first to duplicate this, naming it 'Wasserstahl'. Manned flight was suddenly no longer an impossibility, but swiftly becoming an everyday occurrence. The first voyager to orbit the Earth did so in 1905, and the space race was on.
The fleets of the great powers of Europe have, of course, been detailed elsewhere. The United States Navy's first Ether-ship was the USES Chesapeake. As a cruiser design she has proven somewhat imperfect, not being as swift or maneuverable as had been hoped, but her powerful armaments make up for the lack. A pair of eight-inch turret-mount guns provide her primary firepower, while lower-deck casemates add six five-inch mountings. A number of quick-firing lighter guns are scattered about the hull to provide security against small craft and space debris.
Significantly larger than comparably-capable European designs, the Chesapeake-class also carries a large Marine contingent and several small boarding boats. Since the US Navy considers space duty to be a hardship posting, considerably more attention is paid to crew comfort than in foreign designs or more conventional American vessels.