Star Ports

jedion357's picture
March 21, 2011 - 4:47pm
picked up a book at a going out of business sale on space

interesting that they listed 20 launch sites around the planet Earth- some I new of and others were a surprise to me

it occured to me that a planet with a world government would not have that many, perhaps 2-4

at least one near the equator to take advantage of launching payloads to orbit with the extra speed the spin of the planet will impart from the equator and at least 1 more that would be more suitable for launching payloads into polar orbits.

naturally the state of the art in space launch of the frontier would be such that ships could land and take off from anywhere but established star ports would date back to the days that rockets needed all the help they could get.

I suspect then that Port Loren is close to the equator on Gran Quivera, at least I never really had the impression that it was a water port but rather a star port. that said I would guess that there is a secondary launch site that is more about bulk cargo and yet another port in the northern or southern latitudes serving the needs of launching to polar orbits.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Deryn_Rys's picture
March 21, 2011 - 5:16pm
I've always envisioned any spaceport being built along a coastline if the planet has significant amounts of water, with buildiing a port on a pininsula being the mosp preferable set up, simply because water landings in case of an emergency would be preferable to landing a craft on hard earth. of course on a planet where there is little significant water spaceports would be built several kilometers away from a colony or settlement to reduce the risk of a malfunctioning ship crashing into a building. Generally the port authority would probably provide ferry services from a space port into town.

I use a table which rates a planet's spaceport, which I adapted from Traveller that covers space ports  ranging in size from just an area of flattened fusion formed earth, to bustling spaceports with private docking bays, repair and construction facilities for space craft, warehouses, customs facilities, Star Law offices, hotels, spacer's bars and vehicle rental services. 
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rattraveller's picture
March 23, 2011 - 1:34am
I think the spaceport location would have alot to do with the type of ships used. Traveller ships need hydrogen so being around water makes sense. If the ships were more likely to explode or have radiation leaks then far out in a desert would be better. In a universe like Firefly where the ships just park anywhere they want to than close to population centers without extensive facilities works. Of course planets with space elevators or maybe a little paraniod might just keep everyone in space and have only space stations for space ports.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?