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Jupiter and Saturn are generally lumped into one category in Vast Worlds, both have large complicated gravity wells, more moons than anyone knows what to do with and in the case of Saturn, a huge ring of space ship puncturing debris. This is why they tend to get ignored by the general populous, some of the moons are habitable and house small colonies, and orbital deuterium refineries skim the surface, but little trade occurs, save for the hydrogen tankers.

Mostly this occurs because the moons make the planets a navigation hazard. Jumping in is okay, usually you can plot a nice safe entry point a good few hours from the planet and then fall the rest of the way. Any closer though is a risk because it is quite easy to overshoot and end up much deeper into the gravity well than you thought. This is rarely fatal though, as most ships carry enough thrust to pull away, or at least push themselves into a sling orbit, but expensive if you mess up. Leaving the planets is much harder, the large central gravity well and multiple orbiting moons makes the jump calculations complicated to say the least, and most ships will be delayed for weeks while they work out the optimum, or they’ll just burn fuel and make the first hundred thousand kilometres slower than light, which is not a preferred option for most captains.

Because of this, bother Jupiter are Saturn are quite isolated, even more so than the asteroid belt ironically, and for any serious interstellar travel people will go to Neptune and Uranus. Thus, most of the assets in-well are corporate, save for a couple semi legal of mining rigs and a few orbiting habitats. None of the moons are colonised except for a few mining and re-supply bases for the rigs, all in all, quite a boring place to visit, though far more exciting and treacherous if you happen to live on said rigs.

Actually, as there isn’t much else to talk about, I might as well say a few words on the rigs. From their name you may infer that they are quite like terrestrial oil rigs, though due to the gap between the decline of the oil industry and the rise of deuterium the old sea based designs were largely glossed over as irrelevant. Ironic really seeing just how much cross over there is, both are a large, isolated, industrial complexes stuck in an overtly hostile environment. Deuterium rigs are a little more complicated as they rely on lifting gasses to keep from plummeting, and need to be navigated to the pockets of the best deuterium, and need to have their own life support systems, but at heart the principal is the same.

Random Fact: Europa is technically a wildlife reserve.

Authors Note: These areas do actually pick up a bit by 2200, with the increased computational power allowing people to jump in and out more easily, but for now they’re fairly boring.


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