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Mini Solar Systems

10 Jan 2013, 04:07 UTC
Mini Solar Systems
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Mini Solar SystemsMost pulp science fiction of yesteryear relies on fast paced story lines that take place over a short time. Not plausible in our solar system where Hohmann launch windows are years apart and trip times between planets are months to years.A setting Retro Rockets suggests is a mini solar system where trip times and time between launch windows are on the order of days instead of months or years. The "mini solar system" proposed is a gas giant with a family of moons, all orbiting in a star's habitable zone.This is a plausible setting in my opinion. This spreadsheet shows travel between the moons of Jupiter or Saturn can occur at a good pace. The interval between launch windows is called "synodic period".The gas giants in our solar system have respectable families of moons and many are a comparable size to Mars and Mercury. Here's a graphic comparing some gas giant moons to rocky bodies in our inner solar system:Retrorockets notes that while mini-solar systems allow a story with an exciting tempo, delta v (needed change in velocity) is still high. But a setting with much less delta V is plausible.Many of the gas giant moons in our ...

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