Recommend clearance between spaceships


Banded Mongoose
What is the "recommendation" for the clearance between spaceships when travelling from the Jump point to Port?

What is the "recommendation" for the clearance between spaceships when travelling from the planet to planet within a system?

In other words, were cruising in space how close is too close?
Presuming that the ships are not known to each other or maneuvering as a squadron, it depends on two things:
- Is it a friendly
- Is it close enough to send a boarding party
If you see a bunch of skiffs speeding towards you on an intercept path.

Especially, armed.

Anything larger should keep a polite distance, until you are in earshot of the local starport.
So two ships who are unknown to each other, passing by, or travelling to the same location in open space (between planets) should keep a polite distance of??

Medium Range is less than 10,000km so ...
Or two ships who are unknown to each other, travelling from the jump-in zone to the spaceport should keep a polite distance of??
In my game, it would depend on the neighborhood. If it's a protected area (within 100km of a base/starport, 10km probably isn't that bad. If it's a busy, friendly part of space where 'trustworthy' third parties are nearby, medium range (10,000km) probably is probably ok. If it's an otherwise empty system, you had better be providing a damned good and damned convincing reason to be within 50,000km.

The odds of randomly getting closer than 100,000km travelling from the jump range or between planets is remarkably low, even if it's 2 ships going from planet A to planet B. In those cases, it is polite for the ship with the higher maneuver rating to give the slower ship its space.

Your universe may vary.
Where there's considerable traffic, definition may vary, the local authorities probably will channel it through specific lanes, and that includes arriving from, and departing using jump transitions.

I assume we'll all still be driving on the right side of the road.
Smart pilots will keep themselves far enough from other ships to not to provide an easy target and provocation...
Ships travelling to the same system are quite likely to follow the same path (departure and arrival areas within systems will be very similar). Space is vast and there is no need to tailgate. For safety reasons you'd want no other ship within a few thousand Km prior to jump, so anything closer than that (unless planned for) would be suspicious. The law level and history of the system would make ships more or less likely to be suspicious, though I can't see ships taking potshots at tail gaters in most civilized systems. That's too extreme.

I had come up with a set of rules for space traffic - ships arriving from any jumpable destination have specific arrival and departure zones, with large lanes between each 3D set of space that is set aside for ships. So expectation is ships would use these to leave orbit prior to jump and use them from arrival to proceed in an orderly fashion to the planet and its orbital infrastructure. The more complex the system infrastructure and the higher the traffic levels the more rules and structure in place. Patrols would be there to monitor things and enforce the rules. Minor systems with little traffic are more like wild-west and people are free to do most anything they choose - especially since no one is there to watch or enforce rules.
I wouldn't think the departure and arrival zones would be the same. While a navigator can "aim" for any point in a system that isn't shrouded, I agree that standardized regions for trade purposes are the norm (especially given how jump tapes work). This just has huge advantages for trade, like being able to put a fighter base on the periphery of these points instead of needing to have a 360 degree coverage of the homeworld at 100D.

The precipitation rules generally suggest you can't come out of jump on top of someone and minimizing any arrival collision risk from coming in close to someone is likely why merchants tend to jump with a 0 vector.

Only the most important worlds are going to have more than a couple ships arriving or departing at once using the trade rules. Only the largest trading ports (like Mora) would expect to have even as many as 10 ships arriving in a given hour.
I'm not at all convinced that you can predict your arrival location to any level of precision, given the vast distances involved. You're just counting on the incredibly small probability of arriving where another ship is.