From publisher blurb:
Orbital is a science fiction setting for Traveller with a fairly realistic (TL 9) feel that is set within our own solar system. The Earth us locked in a Cold War with the people of Luna. Both face off, 400,000 km apart, threatening mutual annihilation whilst they compete to colonise the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Older colonies such as Mars and Mercury are independent and caught up in this struggle for solar system supremacy. Spacecraft use nuclear thermal rockets and create gravity by spinning pods or centrifuges, this is spaceflight as envisaged today!
In keeping with the near-future and hard-science fiction themes, role-playing campaigns focus on real people doing real jobs. The game has rules, technology and advice to allow scenarios based around deep space haulage, asteroid mining, salvage, rescue and exploration.
Should the referee and players decide to stick with the default campaign premise for Orbital, then the player characters will be spacers, the rough and tough crew of a deep space vehicle owned by a corporation that leases its spacecraft out to agencies, individuals and corporations. Like the crew of a salvage or heavy lift ship today, the characters will find themselves engaged in diverse, challenging and dangerous jobs with every mission.
One month may involve dropping a cargo of habitat modules into the Martian atmosphere, a few months later it could be salvaging a robotic drilling rig in the asteroid belt that has come to the end of its useful life. The emphasis is on ‘being in space’, working in space and dealing with all of the challenges that operating in the solar system throws at them. The referee can put all kinds of obstacles in the way of PCs, making the outcome of a mission always uncertain. It will be ingenuity, resourcefulness, skill and bravery that will see them right in the end – or alternatively, asphyxiated, frozen, irradiated, boiled, depressurized or out of a job!