Maersk Line Orbital Tug

Maersk Line Orbital freighter in Neptune orbit. Powered by eight VASIMR plasma driven engines (variable specific impulse magnetoplasma rocket), the freighter moves bulk cargo from low orbit to high orbit where it’s transferred to larger interplanetary freighters.

The VASIMR engine is highly efficient compared to a traditional chemical engine able to move 34 metric tons of cargo to a higher orbit for only 8 tons of expended fuel. However the trade off is that it’s incredibly slow taking months to achieve this rather than days.

Therefore crews in the haulage business will typically sign up for a 12 month round trip tour. Although this type of work does not pay very well compared to the 10+ year interstellar tours, the trade off is that you always get a good view and are no more than eight hours from a conversation with home.

December 12, 2017