This is, for the record, the same universe as in Is space piracy orbitally practical? and How can I prevent Kessler Syndrome among space stations?.
In my world, circa 2100, space stations orbiting Earth, Venus and Mars provide transit hubs for the inner Solar System. Small shuttles take people to Low Earth Orbit, and larger ships ferry them from there to other destinations, following flights similar to kingledion's suggestion (from Earth to Mars, a 3.60 km/s burn, via Hohmann transfers). Currently, Pan-Solar Spacelines has commercial flights to:
- Earth, Venus and Mars
- The Moon
- The asteroid belt, once a month
- Flights to the Jovian moons, primarily chartered by major governments sending publically-funded exploratory missions.
My traveler is about to head to Mars from Earth, immigrating to the newest polar colony. However, his flight is delayed, because of [X]. I'm trying to figure out what [X] could be, in terms of a uniquely space-based delay. This should rule out Earth problems like normal weather and congested flight paths.
What are the main problems that will plague spaceliners in this world?
To be clear, I'm not looking for overly fanciful one-time-only disasters that could cause delays, but more normal and common issues. Suggesting the outbreak of war between Earth and Mars, for example, would not be a normal event and is not what I'm looking for.