How close are orbital starports?

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Re: How close are orbital starports?

Postby phavoc » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:35 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:26 pm
Anyone can build a spaceport, presumably, in the Imperium.

Starports are administered by the Imperium itself, and probably with a little bit of arm twisting, aren't limited to a single dirtside facility and one orbital satellite.

Though I wonder if that authority is systemwide, or only per planet.
The Imperium would build the Imperial starport (both ground and orbital) for a system. A planet with a large population, decent tech base and large amounts of shipping would have multiple orbital facilities as well as ground ports. And there would be additional ones spread throughout a system to support colonies and other remote facilities.

It's actually an interesting question. I've not seen much literature that talks about orbital facilities and what to expect.
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Re: How close are orbital starports?

Postby paltrysum » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:28 pm

In Mongoose's Trojan Reach setting, many of the starports of the Void were built by the General Development Company. Their motives (other than profit, which I would be dubious of in the Void) is shrouded in mystery and addressed in the Pirates of Drinax campaign. The Void starports exhibit a broader range of ownership/administration than in the Imperium where all (or most?) are said to be administered by the Imperial government.
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Re: How close are orbital starports?

Postby dragoner » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:34 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:00 pm
I'm sure this would vary a lot from system to system, but typically how close would you imagine an orbital starport to be to the system mainworld? Surely inside 100-diameters. Inside 10 diameters? Inside 1 diameter?
Using Earth as an example, from 30 to 60 thousand kilometers away, probably at the end of a tether/space elevator.
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Re: How close are orbital starports?

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:20 pm

Another option would be to use natural LaGrange points if the world has a moon. The L4 and L5 points (60-degrees ahead and behind a moon's orbit) are naturally stable and would not require thrusters or a drive to keep them in place.
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Re: How close are orbital starports?

Postby Condottiere » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:34 pm

Terra was under Solomani control during the Rim War, but I recall mention of three separate Starports, or at least, ground facilities.
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Re: How close are orbital starports?

Postby steve98052 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:57 pm

The only difference between a starport and a spaceport is the presence of administrative facilities to process visitors from other systems. So an "E" starport is a level patch of rock or concrete with a customs and immigration shack and a marked extraterritoriality line, while the corresponding spaceport is a level patch of rock or concrete without the customs and immigration shack and extraterritoriality line -- but maybe a similar shack and line equipped only for intra-system traffic.

There aren't many space elevators mentioned in canon, because in the Traveller technology scale gravitics arrive fairly early, and extreme tensile strength materials arrive fairly late.

The idea of multiple highports just inside the 100 diameter limit of the main world or star is somewhat appealing, but a more practical alternative would be high-G lighters or module tugs (and fuel tankers) stationed in anticipation of scheduled super-freighters or giant liners. Those would serve the goal of keeping the expensive jump ships operating with less time in normal space.

I would think that the range of planetary defenses would influence positioning of highports, since they're juicy targets in time of war.
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Re: How close are orbital starports?

Postby Condottiere » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:02 am

Transport infrastructure can sort of be divided between most efficient, least resistance, and promoted, not necessarily the same thing.

If you have government subsidies and tax benefits for building space elevators, lobbied by vested interests, you'll get beanstalks.

But our manoeuvre drives that you get in an early prototype form by technological level seven tends to allow direct access to space from any point on the surface, with presumably the only requirement being a firm landing surface, or even just plopping on calm water.
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Re: How close are orbital starports?

Postby GypsyComet » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:57 am

phavoc wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:12 pm
From a pure safety standpoint you'd want orbital warehouses and stations at the 99D limit rather than at the 100D or beyond. The reason for that is safety, and security. It means that a ship exiting jump space would not be an immediate hazard to a station.


While speed and efficiency are the wherewithal of any merchant line, safety and security trump them.
Which is why I think stations will be in lower orbits, to be honest. The difference between 99 diameters and 100 diameters is negligible in space combat. A station at 1 to 5 diameters is easier for the planet to defend, while 99 diameters is roughly twice as far out as Luna is from Earth.

The safe answer is, of course, "it depends". On system topography, political and traditional thought, aggressive vs passive stance toward the universe, the nature of the neighbors, and other things.
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