Permanent Population: ~6,500
One of the first tasks undertaken by the Unified World Government after its formation at the start of the 21st century was the establishment of permanent human settlements off-world. The first stop was the Moon, where construction of the Luna-1 base (now known as Apollo base) began in early 2000, followed by the construction of the Copernicus and Archimedes bases over the next few years. By 2001 construction had begun on humanity's first colony on another planet, Mars Base Sara. The Mars Base was attacked by the Zentraedi when the aliens first arrived in the Solar System in 2009 but was rebuilt starting in 2016, and work was begun on a second base, Mars Base Langford, as well. That same year construction began on the civilian research station ALuCE-1 on the Moon. Earth's influence spread its furthest with the establishment of Jupiter Station Io, built to serve as a vital communications link between Earth and the departing Robotech Expeditionary Fleet. Since the REF's departure, expansion into space has halted, mostly due to the lack of a stable world government. All of the off-world bases are allied with the United Earth Government and the Army of the Southern Cross, though the EBSIS has established a major spaceport at Baikonur and the Soviets are shifting their space program into high gear.
Permanent Population: 250
Prior to the First Robotech War there were innumerable unmanned satellites in orbit around Earth, and one manned outpost. Disputes over the international space station known as New Frontier were some of the initial causes of the Global Civil War. With the establishment of the United World Government, New Frontier became the primary orbital facility for the planet. It was soon joined in orbit by the RDF's orbital ARMD space defense platforms and other military facilities. During the First Robotech War all of Earth's manned orbital stations were destroyed by the Zentraedi. In 2013, RDF forces captured a Robotech Factory Satellite and moved it to Earth orbit; and a few years later a second factory was captured, which became Space Station Liberty. With the departure of the Robotech Factory shortly after the REF's departure, Liberty was left as the sole permanent manned orbital facility, though there are several spacecraft that regularly patrol the area around Earth and the Moon. Today the region around Earth is dominated by the debris ring, an artificial ring encircling the Earth consisting of the remains of the millions of Zentraedi ships destroyed when Dolza's armada was annihilated at the end of the First Robotech War. The debris ring makes the establishment of new manned facilities in Near Earth Orbit a difficult prospect.
Space Station Liberty: Earth's only permanent orbital facility, Space Station Liberty is the hub of interplanetary and interstellar communication for the planet. Situated at a stable LaGrange Point beyond the orbit of the Moon, Liberty is the primary communications link with the Mars and Jupiter Bases, as well as acting as the relay station for deep space communications and the main hyperspace communications link with the REF. Space Station Liberty is a captured Zentraedi factory satellite, heavily modified for human use that, in addition to its communications role, serves as a ship construction drydock facility and transport hub for inner Solar System space travel. It maintains space dock facilities for the United Earth space fleet and is manned by members of the Cosmic Unit as well as some Expeditionary Fleet personnel.
Permanent Population: 5,000
Even though humanity first reached its closest neighbor in 1969, it took the crash of an alien spacecraft 30 years later to provide the impetus to establish a permanent human presence on the Moon. Today Earth's satellite is the site of several major installations boasting a permanent population in the thousands, and a transient population many times that.
Archimedes Base: the main lunar military base. While the other off-planet bases are primarily dedicated to scientific research, Archimedes is a dedicated military facility established by the UN Space Command (later the RDF) and is under the control of the Southern Cross Cosmic Unit and Tactical Armored Space Corps. There are over 2,500 military combat and support personnel posted to Archimedes Base.
Copernicus Base: a scientific research facility on the dark side of the moon, home to a rotating crew of just over 100 scientists. The majority of the research at Copernicus is in astronomy and astrophysics.
Apollo (Luna) Base: the first of the lunar bases constructed by the Unified World Government, Luna base, also called Moon Base Apollo, is the largest of Earth's civilian off-world colonies and is home to well over 1,000 workers and their families.
ALuCE-1: the Advanced Lunar Chemical Engineering research base is partially funded by private enterprise and so has a large civilian population, including some families.
Permanent Population: 1000
The next stop in humanity's expansion into space, construction of a permanent Mars facility began as soon as launch facilities were in place on the Moon to provide easy transport to Earth's planetary neighbor. Today the population of Mars is a fraction of what it was during the heyday of Mars colonization, just prior to the departure of the REF fleet. The cost in time and resources to expand humanity's presence on the fourth planet makes Mars a low priority for the UEG and the Southern Cross.
Sara Base: the first permanent human colony on Mars, Sara was primarily a scientific research station, but was also a secret military research facility (a fact unknown to many of the base's inhabitants). In 2005 Anti-Unification forces killed the crew of Sara Base with a hijacked Oberth-class space frigate. The base remained abandoned for several years until, during its return journey to Earth, the SDF-1 stopped at Mars Base Sara to re-supply and were forced to destroy the base to escape a Zentraedi ambush. After the end of the First Robotech War, Mars Base Sara was rebuilt, this time as a purely scientific research center.
Langford Base: constructed at the same time as Mars Base Sara was being rebuilt, Langford was an RDF military installation. The new base was involved in testing and development of new mecha and weapons for use by the Robotech Expeditionary Force, and was also a training ground for Expeditionary Force troops to test personnel and equipment in non-terrestrial environments. While military testing has ceased since the departure of the REF, civilian and scientific testing has continued and Langford Base is home to a number of research and military personnel.
The Solar System's largest planet is the site of the most remote of Earth's space bases, Jupiter Base Io. The base is home to a skeleton crew and a handful or scientists, a far cry from its relatively large population in the early 2020s.
Io Deep Space Relay Station: the Jupiter Base was established in 2018 during the final planning stages of the Robotech Expeditionary Force. The base was originally set up as a major testing and training facility because the REF's intended destination was the Robotech Masters' homeworld of Tirol, an Earth-like moon orbiting the planet Fantoma, a gas giant similar to Jupiter. Though the base shares its name with one of Jupiter's largest moons, it is not located on Io as the volcanically active moon is far too dangerous a site. The base is actually a space station occupying an orbital path approximately duplicating that of Tirol's around Fantoma. Since the departure of the REF, Io Base has been reduced to the role of early warning system and deep space communications outpost, and not even a vital communications outpost since Space Station Liberty in Earth orbit has deep space communications capabilities and is the primary hyperspace communications link with the REF. The crew of the isolated Io Base is rotated on a regular basis, with about 1/3 of its regular complement changing every six to twelve months. In addition to its communications and threat detection functions Jupiter Base Io also performs scientific research on the Jovian system.
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