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It's easy enough to say "If I have x kilometers to go, and y hours to get there, I need an *average* speed (taking into account acceleration and deceleration) of z kph to get there.

Welcome to calculus =)

But I don't know how to convert pounds of thrust into kph.

Well, in theory you wouldn't use pounds, but probably kilograms of thrust or Newtons. This is how large boosters are often rated (meganewtons of thrust).

One newton equals the force required to accelerate one kilogram of mass at one meter/second/second.

But only if I can do it correctly and nontediously.... Any suggestions? The details of determining how fast they can go and whether they will make it in time only affect a few pages out of the whole book, so it shouldn't be too much trouble to correct them, once I know how to word it.

It would take a while to compute everything out. Personally, if it's not particularly relevant to the story, I'd just fudge it and summarize.

-Hook