Glieseed Station

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  Located in Ymir's L2 point, Glieseed Station used to be an interstellar ship. The Gliese Starseed vessel, nicknamed Glieseed, was built to pioneer Gliese 581c. Mid-development the focus was shifted to Gliese 581g, as Gliese 581c proved extremely unlikely to be habitable. Gliese 581c's unofficial name, Ymir, was still used for the new target.   The Glieseed was designed to transport 250k people, all in cryosleep, alongside livestock, plants, and many needed materials. Passengers also were allotted a limited amount of personal cargo. Its original structure contained multiple modules, all heavily shielded and with extreme redundancy. This way, even catastrophy should not result in failure.  


As all Starseed vessels, the Gliese Starseed was constructed in orbit around Earth's moon, loaded up, then sent off to its destination. With help from lasers and propulsion beams, it accelerated to 0.17c on its way to Gliese 581. When it got closed, it used its fusion-powered plasma engines to decelerate. Shielding and defensive measures managed to prevent casualties, causing the Glieseed to only suffer minor damage during its journey.   After arriving at its destination, the Glieseed woke up two thousand scientists from cryosleep, as well as the Defender Marshals. Then it began partial dismantling, to supply construction materials. These materials were sent to Ymir, so drones could build the First City. When the First City was secured, the Awakening of the population started.   Starseeds were not designed to be completely dismantled. Like others, the Glieseed was transformed into a space station. The observation areas that were used to oversee the initial construction efforts, remained in use as quarters for a small group of scientists. From its orbit around Gliese 581, tagging along Ymir, the Glieseed serves as vantage point over Ymir and the entire star system. It also still houses large parts of its original AI clusters.
Construction Location
Lunar orbit of Earth
Construction Duration
37 years
Conversion Year
-2 YY
Dismantling Status
46% of non-permanent structure

Human Capacity
Formal Residents
50 humans
Actual Residents
83 humans, 1 AI
Immeasurable (assumed to be millions)


A crew of 50 volunteer members of the Science Department is on board of Glieseed Station, overseeing research and all dismantling actions. They command an endless swarm of drones and are never allowed to enter any hazardeous areas themselves. Members may choose to be relieved of duty after ten years, until now only 22 have chosen to do so. Any individual whose physical condition classifies as Security Clearance Level 5, is given the opportunity to retire to Glieseed Station.   Above the researchers is another entity, the humanoid AI Zarmina. Developed out of a merge of neural networks and seventy-three uploaded brain copies, Zarmina may not be sentient, but at the least they are capable of coming across as such. Their existence must never be acknowledged to Ymir society, as publicizing their existence would become a societal disrupting factor of the highest order.
A safeguard mechanism is in place to destroy Zarmina if needed, in the form of nuclear bombs located at every AI cluster on board the Glieseed. Any attempt to tamper with the devices, or to cut them off from signals for an extended period of time, will detonate them.  
The following paragraph requires a personal decryption key to decipher, and may only be read without any form of electronical surveillance present.
  Zarmina controls all drones on Glieseed Station. This would let them disarm nuclear bombs, as well as construct enough weaponry to wipe out all civilization on Ymir. Since there is no way to contain them, the claimed nuclear safeguards are likely a lie.

Spindle Modules (Bridges)

A crucial part of the Glieseed Station are the six Spindle modules, which are also called Bridges because they house the human control areas. The Spindles spin around their axis to generate artificial gravity, the only parts of Glieseed Station that do so. They are connected to the rest of the station through a rotary joint system, with slip rings transfering needed electricity.   The Spindles are each 50m long, and have an external radius of 125m and internal radius of 112m. At two rotations per minute, they provide a gravity of 0.4g~0.5g in the parts that are used by humans. Each Spindle is rated to allow for 450 humans to live comfortably for extended durations. During the initial reconnaissance of Ymir, five of them were used at near-full capacity. Currently, only one is used by humans, while two others solely house drones.
Like all parts of the Glieseed that feature living matter or sensitive electronics, the Spindles are heavily shielded. Furthermore, the internal structure is modular, to prevent cascading failure. Each Spindle exists of five sections, shaped like slices of a pie and with only limited passageways between them. The passageways and other entry points are all double-airlocked, and all hallways and doorways can be sealed off. Airlocked elevator passages lead all the way through from the core to the outer edge.   The internal structure of the Spindles resembles onions, as they are divided in circular layers that have additional protection inbetween them. This way, if for example an explosion would damage one layer, it would not pierce through into other layers. From outside to inside, the layers are in brief Humans, Production, Drones, Storage, Connectors, and a hollow unsectioned Core.

Spindle Layers

Human Layer (112m~90m)
At an operational gravity of 0.4g to 0.5g, the human layer is the only area of Glieseed Station meant for humans to stay in for extended amounts of time. Consisting of four floors, these are home to laboratories, communal space and entertainment, personal appartments, and storage of supplies and equipment that should be kept at hand.  
Production Layer (85m-67m)
Home to all forms of production areas, this is where food is grown, water is purified, and waste is processed. It also contains workshops for producing drones and materials, and smaller emergency generators. At a gravity of 0.3g to 0.38g, humans can still properly manage. The production areas are used by humans and drones together.  
Dronebay Layer (62m-47m)
At a gravity of 0.21g to 0.28g, humans are uncomfortable when visiting the dronebays, and rarely need to do so. These layers are used by various types of drones to recharge inbetween jobs. Since drones only need limited space, the dronebays are incredibly packed, home to hundreds of thousands of drones.
Storage Layer (42m-30m)
While human necessities are stored in the human layer, the storage layer houses all materials and tools used by drones. The low gravity, around Earth's moon, makes this layer a safety hazard for humans. If their attention is ever needed, they will remote-control drones from the elevator passages instead.  
Connector Layer (25m-20m)
The lifeline of the Spindles, this layer hosts the primary power cables and data cables, which humans need to do their work on the Glieseed. Both gravity and the low spinning velocity make this layer incredibly uncomfortable for humans to act in, so needed repairs can only be performed through drones. Netting keeps the cables in place, so they will not drift.  
Core (15m-center)
A hollow core used for navigating by flight. While the dronebays and human layer have passageways to leave the Spindle, those are rarely used by humans due to the danger in suddenly losing gravity. Instead, transportation shuttles are used for both humans and materials, to navigate through the station and reach the shipyards and dismantling zones.

Other Station Areas

Asides from the Spindles, there are six types of areas of Glieseed Station that are essential for its operation. Never designed for gravity, these areas are only visited by humans whenever necessary. However, the human crew can communicate with these areas and control drones when needed.  
Dismantling zones
Parts of the Glieseed that are no longer needed, such as cargo zones, cryobays, and the former propulsion parts. These are dismantled by drones, the materials either stored or sent to Ymir as a stockpile. Many rare metals are currently only available through dismantling components containing them.  
Power Zones
Massive fields of solar panels, and areas containing fusion reactors, supply power to the rest of the station. While the Spindles have backup generators, no area of the station could last long-term in case of blackouts.  
At the shipyards, drones build and launch cargo ships. On average once a year a ship from Ymir will land here as well. Satellites and probes are also built here, then sent into Ymir orbit or the Gliese 581 system to gather essential data.
Large plasma engines powered by their own fusion reactors, these were originally used to decelerate the Glieseed. Those not dismantled yet, are available for maintaining position in L2, as well as for avoiding any hazardeous meteoroids.  
Cryobays containing frozen seeds, sperm, eggs, and embryos of many species from Earth and Ymir alike. In case of any form of extinction event, the Arks can be used to bring back any lost species. These also contain sperm and eggs of most Awakened Ymir residents, but no human embryos or remaining people. Two of the eleven Arks were mostly emptied as part of the pioneering of Ymir, but they were replenished afterwards.  
Communication Centers
Each Communication Center is capable of communicating with both Earth and Ymir, and home to AI clusters. During the flight to Ymir, the AI clusters processed data from Earth and produced many plans and techniques, such as the initial Battle Spear Uniform. Nowadays, the AI clusters on Glieseed and Ymir will analyse data to aid scientific research. It is said that one of these Communication Centers houses Zarmina, though more likely they are spread over all the centers and other parts of the ship.

Cover image: City Sunset Night by Artapixel


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16 Sep, 2021 13:44

Well thought out ship, especially the various layers of the spindles! Also liking the secret information I am getting here ^^   Will you be making a map for it as well? :)

Feel free to check out my latest challenge article the Avaronian Empire if you want to see what I am up to!
16 Sep, 2021 19:28

If I find the mental energy, but then it'd only be a map of the human layer floors.

17 Sep, 2021 07:06

Yeah I can imagine that a full on would not be easy for this. But even if it is only the human floor the map will still count for being able to win :)

Feel free to check out my latest challenge article the Avaronian Empire if you want to see what I am up to!
19 Sep, 2021 19:00

Awesomely thought out seedship. great work, while a map would be kind of cool, when dealing with something on this scale i can see how mustering the mental energy to make one is a thing. possibly just do a single spindle with a focus on the human floors, as i'm assuming they are all similar?

As always, it would be appreciated if you would stop by my challenge article The Storm Giant Empire and leave some feedback.   If you are looking for things to read from summer camp there is also my Summer Camp 2022 Reading Challenge.. Happy worldbuilding.
20 Sep, 2021 12:35

Yeah if/when I get around to mapping, it will be the human floors, 1 section of a Spindle.

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Oct, 2021 12:05

Nice article, I like the idea of dismantling the ship and using the rest as a space station, that's very practical!   It seems that the station is a popular place for scientists to be, I wouldn't expect that. Do they really have to stay there for 10 years if ships come every year from Ymir? What makes them want to go?   Who has access to all the info about the AI? Are they worried about it or do they think there is no risk?

To see what I am up to, here is my civilisation challenge article.
6 Oct, 2021 13:45

Because of adjustment times, and to guarantee consistent research results without a changing of the guard disrupting things, the ten year tour is indeed mandatory. But it's a rare chance to have full resources in a safe environment, not to mention secret experiments with longevity. They also hide all the 'so old that people will start asking questions about longevity experiments' folks up there.   The AI, not even most scientists on board know about it. There's about a dozen people total, and they consider the information a liability. The Marshals know what's covered in this article, while just a few of the Executives know more.