It is the year 2055. Only 20 years after the devastating Third World War, humanity has united together to start a golden age. Overseen by a peaceful, ambitious, and global superpower called United Earth Republic, war has finally been eradicated. Technological advancement and exploration has skyrocketed to say the least. And most importantly, colonies have begun to spread like wildfire across Luna, Mars, and Titan.
However, in the wake of this exodus to across the solar system, we are in need of a new form of transport. The older, titanic colonial ships have become too slow, too crowded, too expensive and just too impractical to remain as the only link between planets. With thousands of people crossing the solar system each day, we need a transit system that could link the planets as easily as linking two cities.
As one the UER’s top architects, you have been put in charge of developing a mass transit network across the solar system dubbed “Project Voyager”. At your disposal, the UER Senate has provided you with an unlimited budget for resource mining, fuel, construction ships, and drones (alongside a huge human workforce ready for hire). However, there is a certain set of guidelines you have to follow:
• It has to move very fast, capable of traveling from the Earth to Mars at their closest points in only 2 days or less. Also even though we did crack FTL travel, it is way too expensive to scale up past individual star ships.
• It has to have a quick turn-around time, making it possible to unload its passengers and payloads, undergo a quick systems check, restock, reload, and depart in a matter of minutes.
• It has to be small, carrying only groups of 100 people each alongside a payload weight of only 5 metric tons each. For cargo only pods, it could go up to 10 metric tons.
• The UER is almost a type 1 civilization, so dyson sphere satellites and laser driven photonic propulsion are on the table (it’s not necessary, but recommended for cutting out fuel weight)
• Although the bulk of the colonies’ populations are planetside, there are O’Neil cylinder space colonies and space elevators around each of these colony worlds. So, the surface to ground and orbital infrastructures are already in place.
So, with everything ready to go, how do you plan to build this?