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June 20, 2013, 1:29 am

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Nkoloso Cosmodrome


The primary spaceport of the South African United Republics and the largest space port in Africa

The SAUR pulled off an impressive eye gouge during the Second Renaissance, they were the first resurgent power to return to space. During the Petroluem Era three powers had entered Space, the American Federal Superstate, the European Union, and The People's Republic of China. After the Petroleum Era and the Second Dark Age all of these space programs faltered and eventually failed. Space operations did continue, but it was the end of manned space travel for well over two centuries. The only things going into orbit were satellites. The SAUR had consolidated fairly quickly, and experienced a burst of nationalism and pride. The SAUR aerospace program for a short time was the best in the world as they mixed local resources and motivation with the 3rd generation of the CogNet. The Ymoja Missions returned man to space, or to be specific, woman to space. The SAUR Ymoja orbiter put three female South Africans into orbit for 6 days where they were cheered by some nations and decried by others for violating space sovereignty.

Nkoloso Cosmodrome

The Cosmodrome began it's life as a military airbase for South Africa. It languished unused through the Second Dark Age and saw itself reborn as a testing facility for aircraft development early in the Second Renaissance. The facilities were rebuilt, along with six massive runways capable of handling huge aircraft or aircraft with long tank offs and landings. The Rocket Facilities were added less than a decade later and were quickly put to work launching satellites for the the then growing SAUR. Support for the Cosmodrome came mostly from SAUR funding, but it was also supported by a consortium of SAUR corporations, the most prominent being KrugersCorp. KrugersCorp is best known for building civilian aircraft and zeppelin airships. KrugersCorp also happens to be a regular builder of rockets, and supplier of military engines, electronics, and military aircraft. Sisulu-Witwatersrand-Roodepoor (SWR) is the most powerful MegaCorp in the SAUR, and is mainly involved in banking, investment, and energy production, but has invested in Nkoloso.


The Command Information Center as Nkoloso is easily a match for Petroleum era installations such as NORAD at Cheyenne Mountain. The center is the central monitoring station for SAUR satellites and the collection of space stations and habitats associated with the SAUR. The CIC does triple duty, working also as the central coordination point for the SAUR aerospace military operations, and as the computer hub for SAUR civilian air transit. While it would seem counter intuitive to place all of these functions in one location, the threat of nuclear weapons is all but a memory, and for almost eight decades, the SAUR had no organized resistance until the Atlantic Federation reappeared to make it's territorial claims to Equatorial Africa.

The Aerodrome

The Aerodrome handles routine air traffic, starting with lighter than air craft like zeppelins that ran air convoys from Jo-Burg to Kinshasa and Lagos. The facility was renovated and expanded as electrofan aircraft entered service. Eventually the Aerodrome became a multi-purpose air hub, supporting commercial, cargo, and military aircraft. Zeppelins are still common, carrying bulk cargos across the continent, and the Indian ocean to points east. The aerodrome sprawls for miles, and is the largest air hub in Africa.

The Aerodrome is home to several launch pads where conventional rockets were fired into space, and after it's 20 year build project, the Shango Mass Driver. The Pads are still used as reinforced landing pads for heavy military airships, such as A-Pod levitating warships, and VTOL aerospace heavy craft. The Shango Mass Driver is used to launch cargo into space, where it is typically diverted to New Kashmir or the Mulungu-Davies Space habitat in geosynchronous orbit over South Africa.

Shango is one of the busiest mass drivers on Earth, as it is open to anyone with the credits to purchase a sling down it's rails. It handles almost all of the SAUR space payloads as well as firing loads into space for India, and subcontracting for the ACPS when it's mass driver schedule is backed up. Many megacorps will contract Shango to move their own cargos into orbit, rather than going through the customs departments and inspections that often coincide with using Federation or Alliance mass drivers.

The Tower

The Tower is the largest structure at Nkoloso. The Tower is a administrative/industrial arcology that supports operations at the cosmodrome, and is the salient structure on the base, standing a few dozen meters taller than the Shango Mass Driver. The workers of the Tower are housed in three demi-geofronts, one directly under the Tower and the other two connected to it by subsurface magnetic trams.


The Nkoloso Cosmodrome is home to the 2nd SAUR Aerospace Division, 4th SAUR Aerospace Division, and the 61st Airborne Ranger Wing. In addition to fixed wing and electro-rotor craft, the base houses a mechanized infantry brigade, and two mecha battalions.

The Cosmodrome is the home base for the SAUR 1st Naval Fleet, a grandiose name for the half dozen floating warships built by the SAUR. The Amerikka Command Revolutionary Fleet is also based out of Nkoloso, providing it with a large amount of firepower, especially from the battleship USS George Washington and the airborne mecha/aerospace fighter carrier, USS Valley Forge.


This might all seem rather odd, but it is drawn from a real world inspiration. In the 1960s, Edward Makuka Nkoloso was involved with Zambia and an African space program that was planning to send a rocket to Mars. There was a dream, and patriotism and it eventually faded but I was struck by the notion. And thus, from a dream of a nation that faded before I was born, is itself reborn in the Cosmic Era.

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Comments ( 4 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Forganthus
June 9, 2013, 12:00
I like Africa seeing some love. Like all the Scrastech stuff, this is well-written and beautifully thought out. The Cosmic Era is probably better described than a lot of real places.
June 20, 2013, 1:29
Update: Repaired and recovered from the Void
Voted valadaar
June 20, 2013, 9:15
A great background piece. Africa has a lot of potential and its nice to see you exploring it here.
June 20, 2013, 9:33
I've not delved into it, but Equatorial Africa, Kinshasa and Lagos are major economic and cultural influences on the Atlantic Federation.
Voted Murometz
January 18, 2014, 23:28
Couldn't agree more with above comments. Africa, so rife with potential for the Cosmic Era!! I wouldn't mind reading more, like the Kinshasa and Lagos stuff. I have a fascination with those cities, along with Brazzaville.

I like all the lingo and acronyms in this one. Zeppelins still floating in the skies is a great touch.



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