The Lone Starport

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Tom Kalbfus
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The Lone Starport

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:29 pm

What if there was a starport without mainworld, what if it didn't have a star or any other natural bodies nearby, someone just built a starport there because it was a convenient place to put one. The people who work at the starport also live there, lets say there were two worlds 4 parsecs apart,and someone built a starport that was halfway between the two, and it has a powerful transmitter, and the signal can be received at both worlds, giving away the location of the starport. There would be a brisk business in selling refined fuel at this station. The fuel gets ship in by tanker ships, usually coming in from one of these two worlds.
Hopeless
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Hopeless » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:39 pm

Like a Way station?

Could work as a jumping on or off point with convoys that otherwise don't visit either of those worlds, what about military or constabulary personnel?
Jeff Hopper
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Jeff Hopper » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:41 pm

Uneconomical.
Easterner
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Easterner » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:49 pm

There are fueling stations across Rifts. One showed up in the old SCOUT CRUISER from Trav 20 EPIC adventure series. And was described.


Oh in above example it takes 6.5 years for transmission to get from a planet to station.
Last edited by Easterner on Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reynard
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Reynard » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:09 pm

Thought of this years ago when I used the Near Star Map for Traveler and needed a more economical means to go between Sol and Epsilon Erindani Huge deep station with access to hydrogen fuel, services, shipping port and stay over accommodations.
Condottiere
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:32 pm

Dump a large asteroid there, which will give potential for natural growth and warehousing.

Or it could become the regional scrapping yard, which will give the raw material for further space station construction.

It's also likely outside most jurisdictions, so a centre for smuggling and other illegal activities.

Build a casino and they will come.

It could also lie along an interstellar border that's inconveniently placed so that traffic neigbouring two systems would normally need to either detour into foreign space or around a gap in their own territory that adds one or two months to the journey time.
Matt Wilson
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Matt Wilson » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:41 pm

Space Master had outstations, which served the same purpose. Waypoints, crossroads, etc.
clb13
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby clb13 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:53 pm

There are two that I know of in Reft Sector that allows Jump 4 ships to cross the Great Rift to the Islands Subsectors. These are listed in the "Reft Sector" book, thus canon.
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby phavoc » Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:54 am

Biggest issue is going to be fuel supplies. Everything else could conceivably be delivered via starship (some things like food could be offset by growing locally, and other things by recycling). You wouldn't need a powerful beacon, just a standard radio transmitter. Even if the planetoid or station or whatever it's built on is moving it would be no harder to arrive nearby than it would be to a destination in another star system.

If you had a large enough ice comet then you could use that for fuel for quite some time. But otherwise you are going to find the economics of such a station to not be self-supporting. However if a planet or some other organization was willing to subsidize the port then it could operate, even without a fuel source. As long as you are willing to pay to ship in everything that needs to be shipped, it can operate indefinitely.
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:31 am

clb13 wrote:There are two that I know of in Reft Sector that allows Jump 4 ships to cross the Great Rift to the Islands Subsectors. These are listed in the "Reft Sector" book, thus canon.
Yes, I know the one gap is 8 because it was used it in a game I've got going on RPoL in the islands.
Askold
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Askold » Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:48 am

Building the station and bringing more fuel would probably be costly, but if refueling at that station is the only way for some ships to pass that point then they can raise the fuel price high enough to make it profitable.

But the station really needs to create a new route that has high traffic to be able to justify the prices. "Do I spend X weeks by going the long route or pay the price for the shortcut?" Actually, going a long route will create costs as you need more fuel and other supplies to do it so even if you don't have a important delivery or other deadline taking the short cut might be worth it even if the fuel is expensive.
wbnc
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby wbnc » Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:49 am

Almost every star system has an oort cloud, even if there are not habitable worlds. Harvesting comets for fuel would reduce the overhead, allowing a small flotilla of ice miners/crackers to supply enough fuel for most needs.

the station could conceivably charge extra for fuel if it significantly reduced the distance and time ships would normally have to spend travelling though an area, or opened up an area beyond the reach of most shipping.

Of course the real problem would be building a station away from an inhabited world. Although I can see someone converting a couple of large star ships into a makeshift station, then adding on as they needed with more modules, or other hulls they acquire.

the biggest advantage would be the fact that the only local authority would be the station itself. It could operate with a radically different set of rules...of course obeying all relevant Imperium regulations of course.
Condottiere
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:10 pm

This is a case where you really do want to equip the tankers with drop tanks, so that you can maximize the fuel that they deliver.
dragoner
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby dragoner » Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:35 pm

IMTU, they are called "Fuel Stars", and there is a corporation that operate not just stations in an empty hex, but stations around gas giants.
Reynard
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Reynard » Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:51 pm

You don't normally hear about them but fuel tankers would be a natural sight around any starport delivering hydrogen from gas giants regularly like supertankers at seaports. Same for Deep Space Depots and Way stations.
Imeanunoharm
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Imeanunoharm » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:22 pm

dragoner wrote:IMTU, they are called "Fuel Stars", and there is a corporation that operate not just stations in an empty hex, but stations around gas giants.
This.

If it's not this, there's a good chance there's a mum and pop store trying to eek out an existence on some of the routes. Think about it. If the economy isn't exactly right, then arm-wave it. For prices add a bit for remoteness, just like we get in the outback. I wouldn't put one in every empty hex, but on some routes, there will be fuel station because it is economical to do so, and people will pay.

At bigger places, tankers etc are all part of the background, like Reynard says.
Condottiere
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:46 pm

It could be governmentally subsidized.

You could also have a large Scout base.
dragoner
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby dragoner » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:00 pm

Imeanunoharm wrote:
dragoner wrote:IMTU, they are called "Fuel Stars", and there is a corporation that operate not just stations in an empty hex, but stations around gas giants.
This.

If it's not this, there's a good chance there's a mum and pop store trying to eek out an existence on some of the routes. Think about it. If the economy isn't exactly right, then arm-wave it. For prices add a bit for remoteness, just like we get in the outback. I wouldn't put one in every empty hex, but on some routes, there will be fuel station because it is economical to do so, and people will pay.

At bigger places, tankers etc are all part of the background, like Reynard says.
Esp since a J1, doing a J2 route via a station is only an extra week, but for greater cargo and a cheaper ship, it makes economic sense for big freight haulers. The player's spec can feed off it too, plus real easy to set up with the space stations supplement.
Tom Kalbfus
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:27 pm

dragoner wrote:
Imeanunoharm wrote:
dragoner wrote:IMTU, they are called "Fuel Stars", and there is a corporation that operate not just stations in an empty hex, but stations around gas giants.
This.

If it's not this, there's a good chance there's a mum and pop store trying to eek out an existence on some of the routes. Think about it. If the economy isn't exactly right, then arm-wave it. For prices add a bit for remoteness, just like we get in the outback. I wouldn't put one in every empty hex, but on some routes, there will be fuel station because it is economical to do so, and people will pay.

At bigger places, tankers etc are all part of the background, like Reynard says.
Esp since a J1, doing a J2 route via a station is only an extra week, but for greater cargo and a cheaper ship, it makes economic sense for big freight haulers. The player's spec can feed off it too, plus real easy to set up with the space stations supplement.
Big freight haulers would want the cheapest Jump Drive available to them in order to maximize profits and cargo. One of the haulers would be a fuel tanker equipped with a Jump 1 drive and the remaining volume after life support and crew quarters would be devoted to fuel tankage, it would supply the Jump 1 Star Ports so other Jump 1 fuel tankers can refuel there. Better yet if a comet or other fuel supply could be located. My guess is the entire starport would be one giant Jump 1 Starship, that way it could be constructed some place convenient and then jumped to the location of a comet where additional fuel might be acquired and in the mean time it would just sit their in interstellar space servicing smaller starships (while still quite large in absolute terms) that pass through.

Imagine a Jump 1 Starship the size of Manhattan Island, and that would give you an idea of what such an interstellar starport would look like. the Starport would be a city in space, it would have people that live there, and making a living from the starships that pass through.
phavoc
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Re: The Lone Starport

Postby phavoc » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:18 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:My guess is the entire starport would be one giant Jump 1 Starship, that way it could be constructed some place convenient and then jumped to the location of a comet where additional fuel might be acquired and in the mean time it would just sit their in interstellar space servicing smaller starships (while still quite large in absolute terms) that pass through.

Imagine a Jump 1 Starship the size of Manhattan Island, and that would give you an idea of what such an interstellar starport would look like. the Starport would be a city in space, it would have people that live there, and making a living from the starships that pass through.
It would make more economical sense to build say a dozen or so large jump transports who's primary job would be to ferry in modules for the station (say 10k Dtons each). That way once the ships had moved the station modules they could economically be re-purposed to haul other large, outsized cargos. There actually is a similar industry today, with some very specialized ships that can haul destroyers, oil platforms, and all manner of oversized cargos.

Making one giant station would require building a drive to move that kind of mass, and once it was done it wouldn't (most likely) have any other purpose. A modular station would also allow for growth and reduction over time as needed, thus keeping the costs of this place down whenever possible.

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