Planetary Traffic

Planetary traffic is defined as vessels moving into, out of, or within a space traffic control zone. Prior to their entry into an STC zone, vessels are required to notify the STC center of their arrival. All vessels entering planetary STC zones perform orbital insertion into high polar orbits before being directed to lower orbits by controllers. Vessels are required to follow the instructions of the STC controllers: while the filed flight plan will give the vessel’s orbital insertion data, the controllers may designate new orbits based on traffic and the vessel’s final destination within the zone. Automated beacons located throughout the STC zones act as sensor platforms for the entire system, and are also bearing markers for directing traffic.

Vessels performing gravity whips or aerobraking are given priority clearance, provided the maneuver is indicated on the vessel’s flight plan. Military vessels are given priority clearance for these maneuvers automatically, though they must still notify the STC center to ensure orbit conflicts are resolved. Vessels may request permission to perform these maneuvers even if the maneuver is not indicated on the flight plan, but must be prepared to receive a less than ideal orbit, risking the need to burn more reaction mass.

Planetary Traffic

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