It Was a Dark and Stormy Night....
The sat-skif settled into a slow decent toward Saturn's E-ring ...
Me: Wait- which ring has the smallest particulates? Lemme go look.
The dark side of Tethys emerged from Saturn's horizon...
Me: Hang on. Which moon would be tidally locked and in a position for her to see the dark side? I'll Google search for a diagram of Saturn's moons.
This is dance I find myself in nearly every time I sit down to work, especially now that I am writing a science fiction novel. I realize it is FICTION (as my youngest son likes to point out), but I'm a science teacher by day and when all is said and done, the numbers need to add up. But do they really?
Pierce Brown's Red Rising series is a beautiful example of how to utilize tech/science that is, most likely, impossible and get away with it. I mean, let's be real. There is NO WAY Mercury can be habitable by humans. It's just not gonna happen. But Pierce's application of technology that he specifically created for the world of Darrow and his Howlers works because it is consistent.
The bottom line here: make up your rules and stick to them.
I need to decide what is acceptable in my future-world and run with it without questioning every turn. Does it need to at least have some plausibility? Yes. In my world, that is. That is the fiction part of science. But like Star Trek's communicators-turned-flip phones, I want my tech to be aspired to in the future.
OK, then! Look out for a lunar ice mining corporation coming soon near you!