Saturn

Saturn Before and After
Image from Steve Bowers
Saturn's Rings are just a shadow of their former glory, due to industrial exploitation over ten thousand years

Giant Planet in the Old Solar System; rich in resources, with numerous icy moons including the large moon Titan (an important population centre and source of nitrogen for export), Enceladus (the moon where Geoflex Computing was first attempted) and Iapetus (believed to be the original home of the secretive Dogmen).

The glorious rings of Saturn were used in innumerable images and graphics as a symbol of planetary exploration, and as a shorthand for space itself; a simple ringed planet icon based on Saturn is used in many writing and ideographic systems and in heraldry. The dusty rock in the rings was in some ways the most valuable, as it was used as ballast to generate energy from the Saturnian magnetic field using electromagnetic tethers. Unfortunately this process de-orbited the solid material from the rings (which were only ten metres thick), and this material was lost forever into the giant planet.

Meanwhile the deuterium and helium isotopes were being extracted for fuel, and the depleted water ice was used for propellant and life support throughout the outer system. By the time of the Version War the rings were mostly gone.

As an attempt to recreate their former glory (and to facilitate more energy generation and ice extraction) a number of icy satellites have been moved within their Roche limit over the last few millennia with varying degrees of success.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers

Initially published on 31 December 2007.