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Conventional Habitat Designs
Aerostats – Supported by a balloon ballast made to float on a dense atmosphere, aerostats are the only viable option for bio-life on Venus.
Bathyscaphes – Superficially similar to clusters, these habitats are anchored to a sea bed and float on top of liquid oceans.
Beehives – Built by tunneling into asteroids or moons, these underground habitats take advantage of the natural shielding the rock provides.
Bernal Spheres – These are hollow, spherical space habitats. They are inefficient at providing gravity, since it decreases close to the poles, but the hollow interior can make great use of solar panels. For small populations that don’t mind micro-gs, this is also one of the least resource-intensive habs to construct.
Clusters – A series of linked-together purpose-driven modules and small habitats, these are used most commonly by small groups of anarchists and brinkers for their unrivaled modularity.
Domes – A high-tensile plastic mesh seals the area around a planet or moon installation, and is kept taught by internal atmospheric pressure. These are common on Mars, Luna, Titan, and anywhere the native conditions permit.
Nuestro Shells – Nuestro shells link together modules by connecting them to central rings and spokes, and protect them with a spherical shield. This is the most common design for large space habs, because of its extremely good scaling and efficiency.
O’Neill Cylinders – A cylinder, spun on its axis, can create artificial gravity easily, and can be linked end to end if need be. This was the earliest design for a stable, self-sufficient habitat, and many stations still follow this model.
Tin Cans – Small, bare bones modules shacked together, these do fine for individuals or small families and communes, but scale extremely poorly. Most commonly used by individualists and Brinkers.
Toruses – Essentially a spinning wheel on spokes, these are popularly designed to spin at Martian gravity for improved energy efficiency. They do no accommodate population growth or high traffic well, and so find limited use, mainly as Consortium outposts and research stations.
Variant and Exotic Habitats
Biological Habitats – Made up of a programmed organic matter, most often wood or a jellyfish-like membrane, anchored to a rocky body these are still in the proof-of-concept stage, and mainly serve small groups.
Carousel – A modular re-design of the Taurus, it is based around having domes attached to spokes spinning around a shared axis, with each dome having system independence.
Cole Bubbles – By encasing a metallic asteroid in a spherical centrifuge, and heating it to melting point, it becomes a Bernal Sphere habitat in a fraction of the time.
Hamilton Cylinders – A bold embrace of nano-technology, this new hab grows an O’Neill cylinder over time, as the population demands. They are gaining popularity, but because of the need for abundant, immediate resources for it to work, are limited to Saturn and Uranus’ rings.
Matrioshka Sphere – The idea is to have a large central reactor, and to build layered spheres around it, to capture the escaping heat. This is a promising design for a smaller, high-efficiency hab, but is still experimental.
Processor Loci – Essentially made up of one or more shielded computing centers, these habitats are meant for infomorphs exclusively. They are extremely space and energy efficient, but their inherent limitations mean they see very little use out side of mercurials.
Reagan Cylinders – An asteroid is hollowed out, and the slag is used to balance it for a stable spin. These are exclusively used by the Jovians, due to their need for massive radiation shielding. They are otherwise horribly inefficient, and are derisively called ‘sarcophagus habs’.
Spacecraft Swarms – Large, self-sustaining space crafts are not common, being as they are essentially mobile tin cans, and are used mainly by the nomadic Scum fleets.