Secret British mining colonies are set up on the Moon to provide iron and other minerals.
The problem of communicating between Voidships in the vastness of mere orbital space is a magnitude worse than the same problem in the ocean.
Finding how to get where you want to go isn't easy when you're in space and there's no radio.
Tesla working with Rutherford achieves the complete nullification of gravity and with it develops the gravity sail. The discovery is made a military secret.
The ship smuggling Tesla, incognito from the USA, docks at Liverpool.
In 1893 Rudolf Diesel provided the alternative power supply that Germany needed for its Zeppelin fleet.
Von Zeppelin gains government support for his work and the first Zeppelins are produced for military and commercial use.
What do you when space is big and radio doesn't reach very far?
In response to British expansionism and imperialism, the US government begins construction of a new navy from the keel up, incorporating the Faraday Principle.