Name: Venus Station
Permanent Population: Around four billion souls
Imports: Food, Raw materials both organic and non-organic, prefabricated starship components.
Exports: Starships (both sub-luminal and super-luminal).
While the Earth Ring Station is the largest man-made structure in teh Sol System, The Venus Station is by far the oldest, and densest. What started off as a simple way-station in orbit around Venus has, over the past 5 centuries, transformed into a small, artificial moon! The core of the station is hollow, and attached to a large shaft that connects it to empty space outside. This shaft is home to thousands of landing pads and docking stations for cargo and transport ships of all sizes, while the hollow core serves as a zero-gravity construction yard for ships ranging in size from simple shuttles, to the large capital ships used as military flagships.
The shaft and shipyards are kept pressurized, which allows workers to build vessels in zero-G but not have to worry about wearing pressure suits or other zero-atmosphere protective gear. This atmosphere, combined with the minor variations in gravity from place to place along its length, creates eddies, currents, and even dangerous wind storms all along the opening. These winds create navigational hazzards that make traversing the shaft difficult for some pilots who may never fly ships in atmospheres of any kind, let alone in wind storms. The other, and more desireable effect of this, is that all along the shaft there is a continual supply of fresh, cool air.
There are hundreds of hotels, bars, and other hospitality facilities all along the shaft, and some of the best shopping deals in teh system can be found here as well, provided shoppers have weeks to peruse the literally thousands of nooks and crannies that shops can be squeeezed into.
The interior of the station is composed of layer upon layer of corridors and cavities, some of which contain whole cities filled with actual buildings (with metal ceilings overhead and walls surrounding them). A series of public transportation systems, consisting of monorails, escilators, and elevators allow travel between levels of teh station, but can make navigation extremely difficult, and even hazardous, to those who don’t know exactly where they are going. In fact, many people can, and do, go their entire lives without seeing any more of teh station than the small, self-contained city they are born in!
In terms of demographics, the closer one gets to teh surface of the station, the wealthier they tend to be, with the one exception of those that live around the very core. Skilled shipwrights make an excellent living, and like to stay close to their projects, so there is a high degree of wealth concentrated in and around the core as well.
Features/Places of Note