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Old 04-05-2022, 01:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Salt Lake Cityish, Utah
Default Space Logistics: Space Distances and Comms

I've recently dusted off my Transhuman Space books to run a small campaign, and I've run into a couple minor snarls. The plot I'm working on relies on the timing of information and travel times from various places, but I realized that I don't have a solid way of determining relative distances between objects in the solar system at an arbitrary time... and further, that travel is typically an intercept with an orbiting object, which requires another calculation. The default action will be rolling my own calculations for the relevant celestial objects (including but not limited to Titan, Ceres, and some of the Trojans) using R and some orbital physics stuff grabbed from wikis and educational websites, but if there's a solution in a box I'd rather just open the box. Ideally, I'm looking for something where I can punch in an arbitrary date and get the positions of every major object in the solar system at that date, and then a program for calculating travel time for intercepts.

I just bought GURPS Spaceships for use with the Transhuman Spacecraft supplement if that's of any help on the second question.

Also: In regards to TS communications technology, the most powerful communications laser listed in the book has a stated range of 2000 miles, with 10x for vacuum for a total distance of 20,000 miles effective range. The strongest mentioned radio has a pretty small effective distance as well. Is it just assumed that ship and large, institutional comm lasers and radios have much higher effective ranges? In 2013 NASA used a laser to transmit information at around 239,000 miles, and of course people on Earth communicate with the rover on Mars via a combination of radio and xband. Also, are there any good rules for using a comms laser as an improvised weapon?
And men forget their passions in dread of this desolation, and all hearts were chilled into a selfish prayer for light... -Lord Byron
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