Art Diary #8 - Orbital Stations

It has been a while since the last serious update, but to give an idea of some of the flashier things still being worked on, we wanted to talk a bit about not just ships, but stations. In the 25th dystopian future of ORG, the solar system is a playground not only for the interests of national polities, but also corporate interests, organizations, and even wealthy individuals. While ships may ply the empty black between the worlds of our natal solar system, permanent bases of operation dot that vast landscape, each a minute oasis used for refueling, resupply, manufacturing, military positioning, science, and sometimes, simply for the very isolation such positioning affords it.

Stations come in many different forms, but as with much amidst the worlds of ORG, functionality and practicality take precedence over purity of form. With nothing like true artificial gravity, any station designed for human habitation inevitably has incorporated into it rotational elements, though the precise form of these can range from narrow toruses to the broad breadth of entire cylinders.

The above flat rendering (shown here without final texturing) shows the dimensions and basic structure. The nested torus rungs at the head provide different G forces for different needs, with some being more convenient for manufacture, some for loading and unloading, some for habitation. Oval cylinders (shown in red) act as supply depots for fuel, while the rectangular manufacturing modules affixed to the innermost torus are constructed to allow for easy replacement, something that allows for convenient updating of equipment and even rental spaces.

Attitude thrusters and the stations power generator lie at the very bottom of the "needle" to minimize issues with accidents or heat exchange.

Here's another rendering that splits the station into pieces so it's easier to see the individual elements as they were constructed by the artist.

Another type of station configuration opts instead to leverage the existing rotational cylinder elements used by the dreadnought and super dreadnought military vessels. Note in the below image how the cylinder is literally that of multiple super dreadnought habitation modules configured here into a permanent station. The center of the habitation module has been replaced with a specialized joining structure, but the original form is entirely recognizable. In fact, this is not even a case of artistic re-use, but is fictionally exactly what happens, with retired super dreadnoughts being carved up for pieces, elements such as their habitation modules being repurposes for cheap station elements. An example of this can be seen in the covert research station that serves as the backdrop of the short story "Only Ever Backwards".

The tighter positioning of the fuel supply and attitude thrusters - not to mention the fact of its reuse as well - is an example of this particular cylindrical station type being something of a "budget" choice, and as such very popular in the outer reaches of the solar system. When manufacturing is distant and local supples unreliable, everything must be reused and refurbished if there is to be any hope of survival.