The guidelines are simple:
1. Must be Artificial
Planetary colonies are not allowed. Building habitats and structures on asteroids and very small moons (Phobos and Deimos of Mars come to mind) is allowed. Hollwing out an asteroid it absolutely encouraged. Colonies on sizeable planetary bodies is out, so things the size of the Moon and larger are out.
2. Must permanently house a sizable human population
Can house a few hundred to few hundred thousand people.
3. Must be a stationary structure
No space ships, but derelict space ships converted to habitats are acceptable. The reason for this is draw a line between functional vessels that have rotating crews and stationary structures and stations that are homes to populations.
4. Must be mostly self sufficient
The habitat must be able to maintain it’s own oxygen, water, and power supply without outside resupply. Most habitats can expect to import their food supplies, or to make a handsome living if they are in the enviable position of selling food.
Lets make some space stations.
Additional Ideas (5)
Haven of Voices: The hallmark of a new Alliance; a safe place for the men of words to meet.
I link the Haven of Voices here.http://strolen.com/viewing/The_Haven_of_Voices
Located in a backwater region of space, the station (CRN-13) once oversaw the terraforming and development of the world below for the Celian Republic.
Plunged into war, the interstellar state shattered and left the station unattended; in a bloody coup d'etat, the commander of the stationed navy forces took control. Now, fifteen generations later, the descendants of the rebels still rule the world from the station above.
Holding the colonists captive with threats of death from above and enticing the planet's mighty with promises of modern medicine and technology, the spacers live in opulence and plenty, attended by slaves and lacking nothing. Below, the landlubbers have to do with anything from medieval tech to industrial age machinery.
Disconnected from galactic society, Corona station faces troubles of its own - some systems that cannot be replaced locally have begun to fail, and the populace is growing more decadent and useless every generation.
A secret meeting place for rebels, dissenters and members of persecuted groups, this is quite a busy and exotic place: you can meet the last member of the Sankha, who were hunted to extinction, various weird pairings of species, rogue psions and underground artists, escaped political prisoners and members of strange religions.
Where is this place, you ask? Why, right in the belly of Apollo Prime station, above Earth, third planet of Sol, the busiest place in space. Hidden fortunately by a bureaucratic error and a faulty calculation from feet to meters, none would suspect the Candle's existence.
Its secrecy is maintained by Abu, the founder - an exceedingly cunning telepath. He will scan all newcomers, and subtly implant a suggestion in them: if they betray the sanctuary, they will forget any and all details about it.
Eden began as a standard ag station, just one of many bearing the same design and function across many systems with minimal habitable areas. This particular class of agricultural station was designed to produce food with great efficiency. Looking like a gigantic parabolic dish with a glass-like cone covering the concave side, they are little more than gigantic floating greenhouses, facing the nearest sun to collect and provide light.
Originally designated E115-G0532A and placed near a newly colonized world, Eden’s purpose was to provide food for the colony until it became self-sustaining; at which point it would be decommissioned. However, near the end of it’s designated life a group of dissatisfied colonists staged a nonviolent takeover of the station, proclaimed it Eden, and proceeded to build their own version of Utopia. They work by committee, grow their own food, weave their own clothing, and worship the Goddess of The Vine. Contact with the outside world is done through trade of foodstuffs. It is a well-known “secret” that they sell a range of natural narcotics. Mixed within the carrots, beets, and cabbages are a variety of consciousness-altering plants, tinctures, foods, and powders.
Post test. Idea seed - Massive Target ship (captured from enemy race) not destroyed by the experimental weapon used against it. The ship was crewed with synthetic creatures to assess the weapons' impact. The weapon both blasted the ship with exotic radiation, and displaced it both physically and temporally. Since the firing platform was destroyed in the experiment, the weapon system lost its funding, and the target ship forgotten.
It is now drifting about some armpit starsystem, populated by mutated synthetic creatures.