The Solar Sailors
How does it work?
Current magnetic and solar sail technology allows vessels to achieve a speed of near 6% of the Speed of Light. No attempts have been made to enhance this speed as it represents the maximum one can achieve and still avoid relativistic problems.
Each settled planet has a Sky Dock that connects to an orbital lift, carrying cargo and personnel from docked ships to the planetary surface. Larger, Explorer class vessels are equipped with orbital tether, allowing a ship to offload small cargo (no more than 6,000 lbs) and return it to the ship.
Life support systems on ships and sky docks use technology that has remained essentially unchanged for centuries. A [zeolite] removes some carbon dioxide from the air, creating Hydrogen as a byproduct. The air processer combines that hydrogen with excess CO2 in a chemical reaction to produce water and methane. The water partially replaces the water used to make oxygen; the methane is used to generate electrical power for the Catalytic Oxidizer.
Water is recycled through catalytic oxidation, creating an essentially closed system, reducing the need for large storage facilities. Instead each system that uses H2O maintains its own storage, connected by piping that can be quickly separated and individually filtered, drained, or shut down for maintenance. This is part of the daily On Shift duties of personnel on a Health and Wellness rotation.
Station temperature is regulated by insulation. Power generation and the thermal output of the human body are kept in, resulting in an environment that would quickly become uncomfortably hot without regulation. Cooling is achieved by running air outside of thermal insulators, allowing it to cool to extreme lows. The air then passes through the electronics section, keeping the area cool and dry, and absorbing some of the heat, to be transferred back into livable spaces.
The result is electronics bays kept just above freezing, and living spaces kept in a range of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.