Places to go in the Cosmic Era Solar System

Places to go in the Cosmic Era solar system


Solar Orbit

The solar orbit technically denotes anything orbiting the Sun inside the orbit of Mercury. There are no rocky bodies in solar orbit, but there are a small number of research and science facilities.

Sample Facilities

Icarus II Station - an Atlantic Federation solar research station, Icarus is involved with stellar geography, studying the Sun's magnetic fields, and is a leading center for the study of star lifting. Rather than 'picking up' a star, this is the field of study around harvesting raw materials from a star, notably hydrogen and helium isotopes. The Federation is not content with maintaining it's dominance over spaceship fuel with it's Jovian refineries, and is looking to the future.

Icarus IV Station - an Atlantic Federation deep solar research station, Icarus IV actually sits in the upper layers of the solar corona. This station has one purpose, and it's dropping probes into the Sun to learn more about not just the properties of our host star, but to investigate the strange things that have been found there.

Helios - A Pacific Rim Coalition station, Helios is a solar power research and logistic center halfway between the Sun and Mercury. The PRC isn't developing new photoelectric panels or cells, they are working on developing a device they call a Solar Amplifier, and it is basically a lens to focus the energy of the sun into a beam. This beam would strike a high intensity collector or a solar sail and act as propulsion for a small craft. There is strong opposition to the Solar Amplifier as it has been correctly pointed out that the device could be used to cook any planet it was pointed at.


A small, rocky world, Mercury is the site of extensive mining operations. There are very few people living on the planet, the majority live in orbit above it. The main occupation is heavy metals mining, with extensive numbers of robotic mining operations occurring. The planet is almost 100% DFE free, as the main source of power is solar.

Sample Facilities

Vulcan Installations - the Vulcan installations are a series of geofront dug into the Mercurian surface. These underground fortresses are radiation shielded and laser cooled. Comparable in size to terrestial geofronts, the Vulcan installations house automated mining operations, and a small populations of scientists, engineers, and miners. The installations are also the Federation's claim to the planet, as there are more Vulcan stations than anything else on the planet, and represent 75% of the population on planet. One Vulcan installation is operating as a triple max prison for the Federation. It houses the worst criminals from across the solar system.

The Thermometer - the Thermometer is the tongue in cheek name for the lone space elevator on Mercury. The elevator carries extracted metals to a hub sitting in a low geosynchronous orbit, where it is hauled away by cargo ships.

Hermes Prime - the largest thing in Mercurian orbit is the Hermes Prime space port. Hermes Prime is a projection of Federation power, allowing them almost complete control over the planet, as well as the ability to move close to the Sun quickly. There is a large shipyard at Hermes capable of servicing the Federation's battlestars as well as building ships up to cruiser in size, and non-military ships such as cargo haulers of greater than Terramax size.

Terramax is the largest size a ship can be built and still land and take off from Earth, the same applies for Aresmax (Mars) and Lunamax (the moon). There aren't gauges for other planetary bodies in the solar system, a Terramax can land and take off from any planetary body in the solar system, Aresmax can do the same with the exception of Earth, and Lunamax can do the same, minus Earth and Mars.


There are currently long term plans for terraforming Venus, but there is no chance these will see fruition for hundreds if not thousands of years. The inhabitants of Venus occupy space stations around the planet, and aerostats floating in it's dense atmosphere. Initially based around resource collection and scientific observation, Venus is host to a large number of social deviants who volunteered as colonists to get away from the restrictive societies on Earth.

Sample Facilities

Ishtar and the Seven Sisters - the Seven Sisters are aerostat colonies sitting in the Venusian atmosphere, and are predominantly involved in gas mining and terraforming operations. The bottoms of the aerostats suck in the Venusian atmosphere and process it, extracting sulfur and other volatile compounds, and sequestering carbon dioxide in a carbo-ceramic material. These are useful as fuels, reactants, and building materials. The residential sectors of the Seven Sisters are inhabited by a non-conformist pocket society. Completely part of the Federation, the Seven Sisters are allowed their deviances (atypical family planning, extreme genetic modification, neo-gendering, etc) as a social relief valve for the Federation. Ishtar is well known for producing strange and existential entertainment feeds, new biomods, and independent social commentary and satire.

The Hebrides Habitats - a trio of stations: Calpurnia, Hippolyta, and Cleopatra, the Hebrides Habitats are the offworld holdings of New Themyscira, and the location of a small portion of the 'amazon' population. These stations consist of an O'neil cylinder, a Bernal sphere, and a Stanford Torus, and are all retrofit stations. As such, they are smaller than modern stations, only one counts as a megastructure. On the other hand, all three are significantly more mobile, and can be moved by a group of tow ships.

The Stanford Torus

Also known as a wagon wheel station, the Stanford torus has a central hub, and an outer ring, and generates gravity by rotating. These stations went out of vogue early in the Second Renaissance as they are difficult to dock with, and are considered difficult to build and maintain because of rotational stress. The Stanford torus was originally designed in the 1970s

The Bernal Sphere

The sphere has many advantages, the most important that the sphere has the largest internal volume versus surface area, and can be made much more strong than other shapes. Most modern space stations utilize a bernal sphere structure, with arcology sized modules build around a central core. These modular stations are typically 2-3 miles across, and are built around an asteroid core. The New Themysciran Cleopatra station is just 525 meters wide.

The O'Neil Cylinder
O'Neil cylinders are functionally giant drink cans in space. These stations are still in use, with the most popular operation being space docks and transit hubs.


Home to the vat majority of the human race, Earth is studded with arcologies, arcoplexes, geofronts, seacologies, and surrounded by a large number and variety of space stations, habitats, and artificial moons. The Earth has demonstrated that with it's relatively high gravity and comparatively thin atmosphere, it has been largely unsuitable for building proper space elevators, non-novel aerostats, and limits the size and shape of the ships that can land and take off from it's surface.

Sample Facilities

The majority of entries in the Cosmic Era Locations region would fit here.


Also known as Huo Hsing, as Mars is predominantly controlled by the ACPS/Chinese, Mars is one of the few planets not controlled by the Atlantic Federation. The main occupations on Huo Hsing/Mars are mining and agriculture, with local geneticists engineering new strains of plant life that are tolerant of the planet's thin atmosphere, cold climate, and lower levels of sunlight.

Sample Facilities

Phobos and Deimos Bases - the two Martian moons are under the tight control of the Federation, putting the red planet in a perpetual state of demi-blockade. Deimos has been explanded out into a full fleet tending facility, including handling the Federation's battlestars. Phobos has also grown into a major science and research center. Formerly it was involved in terraforming operations on the planet below, but on losing their foothold, it is now involved in high risk arcanotech research. There have been accidents

The Shiluo zhi Cheng - also known as the Lost Cities, SzC is an underground complex of geofronts. These warrens are burrowed deep into the martian soil, and house a large percentage of the Chinese population of the planet. The complex is the industrial might of Huo Hsing, and produces the food, weapons, and tools the ACPS uses to maintain their control over the planet. SzC was constructed under armor plating, rendering orbital bombardment largely ineffective.

Galatea, Astrakaszy, and Harlech - a trio of neighboring surface cities, these are the remnants of the Eurasian Alliance, the Atlantic Federation, and the Pacific Rim Coalition's attempts to hold the planet. The tri-cities hold each other as allies more so than their terrestrial counterparts, remaining cordial even when their respective nations have gone to war with each other. As such, they are more a quasi-independent power. As such, they are favored by mercenaries, people looking to lay low for a while, and are collectively considered the biggest hives of scum and villainy in the solar system (excluding the hives of scum and villainy on Earth) Galatea is Federation, Astrakaszy is neo-soviet, and Harlech is PRC.

The Asteroid Belt

Contrary to the image of the ship dancing between giant space boulders crashing into each other, the belt is a wide, largely empty area of space. This is in contrast to the completely empty expanses of space between the other planets. There are far more machines in the belt than humans.

Sample Facilities

Ceres Metals, Home of the 5 Metal Dragons - the asteroid Ceres was colonized by machines. Initially launched by the Federation, the mission succeeded, and a cluster of sentient L/AISCs made their home there. This would grow out into a major industrial center in the belt, and a focal point of mining operations. Dozens of drone mining ships call Ceres home, and recognize the Metal Dragon L/AISCs as their leaders and not anything organic. Human ships can transit through the station, and are more than welcome to buy and trade goods with the Dragons. The Dragons are on very friendly terms with the Seibertronians, and are aware of their attempt to build a robot homeworld.

Yukon Lattice - a manned space mining operation, the Yukon Lattice is a mobile city in space. Several hundred people work on the ship, and man it's mining suits and small craft. The ship is older than most in service, and sees more work as a search and rescue ship, picking up long range ships that break down in the vicinity of the belt.

Skull Island - a mined out asteroid of moderate size, Skull Island had the misfortune of looking somewhat like a human head if viewed from a certain direction. The asteroid now serves as a shore leave destination for belt miners in it's general vicinity. It houses a large non-mining population that includes a good number of sex bots, pleasure parlors, and other establishments devoted to vice and depravity. It is an independent station that was abandoned after the metals were mined out.


The biggest planet in the solar system is a busy place, the second busiest place. Only Earth is busier. There are facilities floating in the atmosphere of the gas giant, colonies on all four of the Galilean moons, and numerous stations and habitats around the planet. This is the great stronghold of the Atlantic Federation, and the center of Seibertronian protoculture.

Sample Facilities

Bahamut Gas Refinery - sitting in a relatively calm portion of the Jovian atmosphere, Bahamut processed the atmosphere of the gas giant, extracting heavy elements and valuable volatile elements. The main product of Bahamut is spaceship fuel, deuterium and tritium. The Atlantic Federation jealously guards Bahamut, and the refinery, and its associated and allied facilities typically have regular cover from the Federation navy. There are dozens of such refineries above the planet, Bahamut is simply the largest and most productive of them all.

The Europan Consortium - the small moon Europa is covered in a crust of ice over a relatively warm liquid ocean that covers it's entire surface. Under the ice there are a number of science installations that are involved in creating cyrophilic plantlife and simple organisms to provide food and bioforming of the Europan environment. These stations have moderate sized civilian populations, and aquatic biomods are relatively common.

Ganymede - aka New Seibertron. The moon is barely recognizable after just shy of a century of Seibertronian occupation. Giant pits have been dug into the surface, some miles deep, to house massive exposed fusion reactors. The surface is covered with solar collectors, antenna, and architecture suitable for a machine race. Automated mining ships travel to and from from Ganymede, offloading cargos that are turned into new ships, mecha, and the every growing shining megacity of the sentient robots.

The Deep System

Beyond the orbit of Jupiter, there are ships and stations, and a scattering of colonies. These are few and far between, as the distances involved are larger and larger. Ships moving to and from Earth can reasonably reach points across the inner system, and while distant, Jupiter can typically be reached in a non-hibernation trip. Reaching the outer planets can take weeks, even when planetary alignments are right for convenient slingshot acceleration. The colonies and operations in the deep solar system are largely self sufficient, or are reliant on regular automated cargo ships visiting them. As such, these are small, non-commercial ventures.

Sample Facilities

Gantris Technologies - GT is the cutting edge research branch of Union Aerospace Corp, and it's primary research facility sits in a polar orbit above Saturn. At such a remote location, the facility is largely free and clear to conduct it's arcanotech propulsion systems tests without the threat of shadowrunners interrupting or infiltrating the facility. With a six to nine month round trip transit time, it is simply not worth the money fixers are willing to pay for jobs against it. The facility has a small shipyard for building testbed vehicles, a Propulsion Test Center, and a variety of high power computer systems.

Deep Horizon Observatory - a multi-national venture, Deep Horizon is a galactic telescope and processing center that is well known for continuing the ancient SETI doctrine. A centerpiece for cryptoconspiracy theorists, Deep Horizon has been detecting anomalous activity in the Oort cloud for decades, which most serious scientists discount as EM noise from the inner system bouncing off of metallic objects in the cloud. Listening to echoes and calling them aliens is a hallmark of Deep Horizon skeptics.

The Wreck of the Antares - A deep system exploration ship, the Antares was lost after a critical engine failure released a Dimensional Fatigue Event. The ship is easy to find, and is the subject of horror stories and ghost stories. Are there echoes of the dead crew, do the corpses of the crew still crawl around and chew on each other? Has anyone decrypted the hysterical glossolia of the first officer before she committed suicide?


Empty Space

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? Responses (2)

Goto Author

Very interesting although it is unfinished.

Goto Author

CE is coming together here quite nicely..