The EAV (Earth Alliance Vessel) Genesis is unlike any craft humanity has built before. In the 100 years after the ending of the space shuttle program, space craft design really had not advanced all that far until The Givers sent their message. Mars was the farthest that any manned vehicle had ever gone, and even that took almost a year under existing technology. The Genesis would be traveling to another solar system, and at a rate nearly eight times as fast. At the time it was being constructed, much of the technology wasn't even understood by the people carrying out the job. In time, humanity unlocked the secrets of the science behind the tech, and by the time the ship was completed most of its systems and functions were at least familiar enough to operate and repair if not fully understood.
The EAV Genesis is far larger than any craft ever built by man - larger than aircraft carriers and battleships. Its design consists of five major sections - four population stasis tanks that resemble massive, round-ended tubes that hold 25,000 people in stasis chambers each - and the ship's central core, which contains engineering, the bridge, a self sustaining hydroponic farm and the stasis chambers for the 220 crew members as well as quarters and all the necessary facilities for when they're not in stasis.
Each of the four population stasis tanks can detach from the ship's core, and while they have no means of propulsion can maintain all necessary systems to keep the 25,000 passengers alive indefinitely without outside support, in essence making them giant floating hibernation tanks capable of waiting quite a long time for someone to rescue them. Inside, they are little more than mile long tubes containing row after row of stasis chambers and all of the required systems to maintain them. It is in these chambers that all of the men, women and children of the civilian population are frozen in time, perfectly preserved without a second of aging, their metabolisms slowed to a near standstill and their muscles and bones stimulated regularly to prevent atrophy.
A much smaller stasis system exists within the ship's core, containing the 220 crew members' individual stasis chambers that function in exactly the same way. Only when they leave the chambers to attend to the ship's needs do they begin to age and feel its effects. Quarters, a dining hall, a medical bay, a recreation center and a self sustaining hydroponic farm exist for any crew to use while they're not in stasis. Ideally, the entire trip will be made without a single crew member having to be brought out of stasis, but both The Givers and the men and women who built the ship from their plans knew better than to expect everything to go exactly as planned, and so the ship was designed to allow the crew to travel the entire journey without stasis if necessary. All of their needs can be met for well over the 10 years that the trip is expected to take.
Aside from the needs of the crew, the ship's core, which rests at the center of the framework connecting the four population stasis tanks like the joining point of an X, houses all of the ships propulsion systems, engineering, navigation and communications needs. Like the rest of the ship, it is designed to operate automatically and indefinitely, but can be switched to manual control should the need arise.
While it does not travel faster than light, the solar powered propulsion engines that propel it could theoretically go beyond such speeds - every inch of the exterior surface collects solar power from every single star that it's exposed to and uses that energy like the wind in a sail to push it along at a faster and faster rate. This rate is capped off at its current level because the shields that protect the ship from the sheer force of such speed cannot resist the pressure created at higher speeds. Put simply, if it went any faster the ship would break apart. The rest of the collected energy is used to power the shields as well as all other systems within the ship. As long as there is a star still in space, the ship has power. The collective capabilities of the solar paneling that covers the ship allows the city of New York to be powered by a little more than 500 square feet of material. The ship contains over 10 square miles of this material.
The design also came with multiple shuttle vessels capable of carrying small numbers of crew back and forth between the ship and a planet or other vessel, along with suits capable of sustaining life in the vacuum of space. One last element of the ship's design, the one that caused the most controversy and debate among the scientists and engineers who deciphered the plans and built the technology is the ship's weapons systems. With the shields the ship already is equipped with, the need for such weapons to repel asteroids, comets or other debris from the ship's path would appear to be nonexistent. Why then, many wondered, would there be a need for guns? As the broadcast that brought the designs to earth was just that - a broadcast - no answer was ever found. Still, figuring that The Givers had their reasons, they included the weaponry in the final construction of the ship just to be safe.