03 January 2014

Re-Entry

The drives on a Traveller ship are immensely powerful.

Interstellar Wars equivalent to the Type-A aka Beowulf is the Hero Class (Vilani Siigiizuni).

It pulls 1.5g acceleration and can do so for many, many days (the primitive early designs get two years on the power plant and that's what drives the maneuver drive later plants run for 200 years).

At any rate, this means there's no need for aerobraking on re-entry.

Real world spacecraft use aero-braking because it's free delta-V and the rocket equation is merciless so every gram you don't have to carry in fuel is precious.

When you can pull 1.5g for a minimum of two years, the energy budget is changed just a bit.  You're probably not going to see much use of Hohmann transfer orbits in a Traveller setting.  Breaking physics rocks!

The re-entry profile for a Traveller ship is going to be the same as its launch, except mirrored.  The Traveller maneuver drive is unidirectional so you let the hull weathervane and power your way down to a soft touchdown.

What this also means is there's no such thing as a ship that cannot land if its drive can pull more thrust than the local surface gravity, it just changes the profile if it's unstreamlined because the air speeds must be kept lower.  Whether the designer of the unstreamlined ship bothered with landing gear or not is another matter.

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