By and large the greatest technological discover by man kind was of course the tachyon particle. If there were to be a close second, it would be terraforming. Terraforming quite literally means, "Earth-shaping", or making a planet more like Earth. There are three major contributions to the habitability of a planet: gravity, climate, and atmosphere. Gravity isn't changeable in any way due to its relation to a planet's mass. If the gravity is greater than 5 tmes Earth's gravity, we can't live there. Our heart has trouble pumping blood to our veins and we experience G-LOC (gravitational loss of consciousness), followed quickly by death. If brown-outs and tunnel vision aren't your thing, you may want to restrict yourself to a ceiling of about 2-3 G's. Over 2 G's, your average person begins to have trouble walking. There is no lower limit, but there are medical complications that can occur if you spend too much time on a lower gravity planet than you are accustomed to, such as muscle atrophe. It also becomes difficult to maneuver in ways you are accustomed to when the gravity is too low.

Climate is much simpler in comparison. Humans thrive between 15 to 30 degrees celsius with little effort, but can live anywhere from -20 to 50 degrees celsius with the proper equipment. This can be modified with solar mirrors or sunshades, which can change the temperature plus or minus up to 50 degrees.

Atmospheric pressure, density, and composition are the most stringent complications for Human habitability. The simplest is atmospheric pressure; If the pressure is less than 25% of Earth's, you can not get enough oxygen to breathe. A human can withstand roughly 10 Atm of pressure, but any more than that and there are severe medical implications. Not to mention that over 10 Atm of pressure the most atmospheric components are toxic. Raising the atmospheric pressure is easy enough, just slam a comet in to the planet. The pressure will raise as water vapor disperses and combines with other elements. Solar reflectors or catcher help as well, as per Gay-Lussac's Law. Unfortunately, this does not lower pressure very much…

Atmospheric composition on the other had is quite complicated. In general there are 3 types of atmosphere: breathable, unbreathable, and toxic. Toxic atmospheres contain chemicals that react with human tissue and cause severe pain, and burning or melting such as chlorine, flourine, and pure hydrogen. Toxic atmospheres require a fully contained environmental suit to maintain life. Unbreathable atmospheres contain no oxygen, and mostly comprise of noble gasses - there are no dangerous gases present. Unbreathable atmospheres simply require an air source to maintain life. Breathable atmospheres are the class of atmospheres created by basic carbon based life, which turns into the foundation for more complex life. Breathable atmospheres contain mostly nitrogen, with a splash of oxygen, and a pinch of argon. No life support is necessary in breathable atmospheres.

Changing the composition of an atmosphere is a simple task really. The only reason it takes billions of years for a breathable atmosphere to form naturally is because that is how long it takes for carbon based life to evolve to the biotic stage and start turning carbon dioxide and ammonia into oxygen, nitrogen and water. If you happen to have a few million vats of genetically tailored micro-organisms and coat the planet surface generously, between 50-100 years you'll have a breathable atmosphere (depending on how much and the quality/variety of the specimen used). It's not quite Earth yet; sure the atmosphere is right but if humans start to colonize immediately without bringing a lot of plant life, eventually they'll breathe all the oxygen out of the atmosphere. Most terraforming crew pepper the planet with a variety of plant seeds along with the micro-organisms to mitigate this fear.


It is sad to say that despite many thousands of years of living together, the one thing still on man's mind is how to kill his neighbor and take his swag. Fortunately for the common man, a more efficient way to kill your neighbor hasn't really arisen. Laser technology has indeed gotten to the point where there are hand held pistols that could burn a hole in plate steel, but due to the immense power required and miniature circuitry they tend to be one or two shot wonders unless made with nano-superconductors. Offensive laser weapons need to be starship sized in order not to burn up upon use if made from common materials. If you have the credits, you can get a laser-rifle made from nano-materials but they suffer the drawback of needing capacitors to be charged very often.

Most colonist, pirates, and even military personnel still use good old solid slug projectiles propelled by a solid combustible. The only difference between weapons of the early 21st century CE and modern firearms are the widespread use of caseless rounds. The immense popularity of the Heckler and Koch G11 prototype was mainly due to the increase in rounds per second, secondarily because of the reduced ammunition weight.

Other popular modern weapons include electro-propellants, otherwise known as gauss-guns or rail guns. These guns use electricity to accelerate projectiles at bullet speeds, sometimes beyond. The gauss rifle is a popular choice among pirates and colonists because they have near constant access to charging stations for the weapon's capacitor banks. The military never adopted this technology because infantry in the field rarely had enough access to charging stations long enough to charge the capacitors. But if you don't mind charging the weapon after each use, and know you have hours between uses, you can save many credits on ammunition using this weapon. Rail guns on the other hand the military did adopt. They are generally used as one-shot throw aways much like the LAW rockets of the 21st centry CE, and served the same purpose near that era. The difference is a rail gun could fire up to five times before the barrel was destroyed, so a soldier could carry one launcher and many rounds - an efficient improvement. Extended use rail guns do exist, but due to the massive power requirement a full backpack of capacitors is necessary that takes many hours to charge, and the barrel must be made of very heavy and very expensive material. If you can afford the set, there is no better weapon on the market.

Starship weapons come in three main varieties: laser cannons, rail cannons, and tachyon cannons. Laser cannons are the most expensive to buy but simplest to maintain. You can buy one of these and, as long as you got sufficient power, fire it til the sun burns out. They burn right through armor like a hot knife through butter. This is the favored weapons of pirates, who want to put a hole in the hull to kill the crew, but leave the ship mostly intact. Rail cannons are quite the opposite. Cheap to buy, hard to maintain, and requires ammunition. Due to the obscene acceleration speeds of the projectile, the barrel of a rail cannon needs constant maintenance or it will wear down very quickly. Expect to replace it every few years. But if you're looking for a gun that will hit the ship with the momentum of a small planet and send it spinning out of control, this is the gun for you. Finally the tachyon cannon - when you absolutely, positively have to kill every mother fucker in the room, accept no substitutes. You see that ship over there? ::Click:: What ship? You mean where that debris field is? Very big, very expensive, very energy inefficient, and very very illegal. Only the largest military vessels can power one of these bad boys.

Laser-Fusion Power

By and large laser-fusion power is the preferred type of power across the galaxy. This is mainly due to the fact that it does not take a large amount of energy to initialize the fusion reaction, which in turn produces far beyond the energy put in. This could be used in any variety of shape and orientation to power anything as small as an escort naval ship, to an entire planet with one power plant.

There were many experiments to miniaturize laser-fusion power plants, and they were indeed successful, to a degree. You could have your own private laser-fusion generator in your home and it takes up the amount of space equivalent to your average refrigerator. The main deterrent in doing this is that the generator would produce enough energy to power a city block - so why have one? Electricity became so cheap that cities and suburbs needed only one to power all the needs of it's citizens, and then gave it away (well, there was a small tax of course).

The invention of nano-batteries is what made portable power what it is today. On most starships, the FTL module is powered off the battery packs, and the time between jumps is determined by how fast the generator can recharge them back to full capacity.

Artificial Gravity

There are many ways to reproduce gravity, and some ways are better than others for reasons of efficiency, energy use, and practicality. It is possible to generate a magnetic field strong enough to repel any matter - since on the atomic level all matter is made of positively charged and negatively charged particles. This has the unfortunate side-effect of disrupting any and all electronic equipment on board. You could also replace gravity with centrifugal force. If you spin a cylinder, and you spin with it, you experience force equivalent to gravity. Most ships use this method - gravity rings of varying depth spin in hull disks kept in place by magnetic forces. Since all network communication is wireless, the gravity disk need not be physically connected to the hull. Due to this design, most ships appear as disks connected by spanners, or various other polygons attached at the sides.

Other starship engineers decided that gravity is a luxury in space travel, and some people prefer to travel without it due to the ease of work conditions in zero-g, so they simply have no artificial gravity. Be careful though - if you are floating around in zero-g and something hits your with a lot of momentum, if you're not strapped in you're going to get very close and personal with a wall that you had better pray is padded. Oh yea, and long periods of time without gravity causes muscle atrophy…

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