Kuiper Station, or the ‘buckle’ as space-farers call it, is the central hub of the Kuiper Belt mining operation, essentially a truck stop in space. It is primarily owned by the OMC, who also own facilities on Titan.
The Buckle is compromised of residential areas for the people who run businesses catering to the mining workforce, as well as freighter crews and anyone visiting the station.
Constant tracking pulses are sent out for ships to be able to navigate towards the station as it rotates around the solar system.
It is also the largest man-made orbital body.
Industrial Complex (though slowly becoming known as a well-established trade hub).
4000 residential, but as much as double that at any given time due to trade vessels etc.
Mostly English, but Russian an Chinese are also heard frequently. Most residents utilise various forms of voice translation technology.
Kuiper Station has the facilities for asteroid ore refineries, as well as those required for comet ice purification, melting and refreezing.
It also has vast metal works for the creation of construction materials and orbital storage facilities.
Ship manufacturers have representatives attempting to sell the latest models to various mining corporations and independents.
Kuiper Station grows year on year as more companies attach new refineries and industrial factories to the existing framework. This gives Kuiper station a very industrial and unplanned look as structures of different shapes and sizes have been joined together. The space port and habituation modules are located below the industrial area.
Vast orbital gantries surround the station which hold materials and ships in storage.
The interior is very utilitarian with there being no large, open areas, the largest being the recreational module which has the stations bars and various entertainment venues.
Corridors are cramped by large, wall-mounted pipes carrying water and oxygen.
In 2112 more habitation modules are set to be installed to increase the residential capacity.
The Kuiper belt has always been earmarked for mining operations after it was discovered that ice comets caught in the suns orbit where trapped in the belt and could be used to supply water to outer colonies, cutting down on shipment costs.
The OMC constructed the first refineries to be sent out to the Kuiper Belt followed by other major nations around the world. An agreement was made that the Buckle would fall under the OMCs jurisdiction, with other companies paying them for maintenance and security. This gives Kuiper Station a cosmopolitan workforce of many different nations.
Issues and Countermeasures
Medical staff on the station routinely test the residents, freighter crews and miners for the psychological impact of long periods in space, using the Bowman Scale. It is recommended that a test be taken every 6 months. Patients who are seen to be suffering from psychological effects are treated with therapy and medication and those whose conditions worsen are sent back to Earth.
Smuggling and Prostitution are another issue on Kuiper Station. Crews looking to make extra credits running illegal cargoes run the risk of imprisonment as well as the impounding of their vessel and cargo, be it legitimate or not. Prostitution has risen on the back of the increase in crews visiting the station after long journeys, or miners having a long shift in the asteroid field. While there are legalized brothels, the largest and most notorious being The Darkman (run by the equally notorious Mr Tembo), there are many illegal operations looking to make money off of the crews. Casino businesses are also proving lucrative as the prospect of improving on one’s mediocre mining income proves attractive to many workers.