I'm halfway through drafting a science fiction novel called Lockbolt Station, and I'm thinking about the design of the station. I'll probably model it as some point, and it will appear in drawing/painting on the cover of the book. With the Firefly series I liked how the set design/spaceship design related to the plot. In watching we know where we are in the ship and where the characters need to go to do something. I'd like to have a similar relationship to plot and setting design in this book. I did the sketch after writing this message. Here's what I have about my space station. It's a Standford Torus(wheel shaped) which spin to create artificial gravity. I found a website, http://www.artificial-gravity.com/sw/SpinCalc/, which calculates size and rotation speed to produce natural feeling gravity. My station has a diameter of approximately 2 km and spins at a speed of a little less than a rotation per minute. It's made of nano-assembled fullerines and is self-repairing. People live and work on the inside of the rim, with the hub of the station perceived as up. Initially, the station was established as a base for space mapping explorations. It's not near a planet but orbits a star which is located near the warp rift. In my universe, superluminal travel occurs through this rift which meanders through space not through wormholes. The station is located to take advantage of the local characteristics of the warp rift instead of being located near mining or population centers. After a period of exploration, the station was converted into a Fed-Transit shipping hub. The resemblance to Fed-ex is deliberate. Freight comes to the station aboard space container ships. The freight, usually entire containers, is moved to different ships and sent out for delivery. The freight usually isn't take to the rim. It would be complicated and it's unnecessary. So the container ships are docked in zero-g. When the station was a research base, ships were docked at the rim. When the function of the station changed, a huge non-rotating dock structure was retrofitted onto the station hub. So think of the station as a big wheel on an axle which is the trunk of a Christmas tree. (The jelly beans in the photo are ships.) To connect ships to the axle the most efficient layout would be a Christmas tree shape with branches connected to the axle as pentagonal whorls. The docking structure would be conical in shape would give distal ships more docking space. I think the docking tree might be too big in the sketch and the branches should be angled. Sometimes freight needs to be moved to the rim so that the containers can be opened up and the contents sorted or inspected. To do this the container is moved along the branches of the docking structure to a clutch mechanics at the hub. (in the sketch the clutch is blue)The container capsule enters the clutch which spins to match the speed of the station. The container can then be moved along a spoke to the rim. The movement of the capsule must be careful coordinated with counterweights and movement of ballast so that the station doesn’t wobble, speed up, or slow down. If this were mishandled, the people on the rim would get motion sickness and barf. Although I'm not sure the wobble would be large enough to have this dramatic result. What do you think? Would inept freight handling cause widespread upchucking? Occasionally entire ships are docked on the rim. which would allow people to live and work aboard the ship with gravity. I think the station has eight spokes because this would be the simplest for handling counterweights. Four of the spokes in a cross shape are bigger with two of them, opposite each other used for freight movement. There corresponding cross spokes are used for counterweights. As freight goes down, a counterweight in the opposite spoke is also lowered to maintain the center of gravity. Other counterweights are raised on the cross spokes to maintain angular momentum. The other four spokes are used for passenger elevators (lifts? I'm not sure if I should use UK or US terminology) These spokes probably have conduits for power and communication lines. The power plant (probably fusion or fission) is at the hub opposite the docking tree. In the sketch its blue and behind the wheel. I think axes of the station is oriented perpendicular to the sun with the docks on the dark side. This would allow the sunny side to have solar collectors and mirror to direct light into the station for growing plants. I could put Christmas tree structures on both sides, the sunny-side all solar collectors. I'm not sure if this or a power plant would be a better solution. Maybe I'll just call it the power plant an not bother to say if it's a large array of solar collectors or if it's a nuclear plant. Another question is the number of rings. Maybe interior ring for movement of ballast and a ring given over to plants for oxygen and food production. This might be algae tanks. It might be possible to use the algae tanks as ballast. The tanks might be used as fish tanks to raise tilapia. The algae might be bio-engineered to produce sugar and carbohydrates which are then fermented for large amounts of beer. The station might use biological metabolism for self-repair. This might be a better way of handling power than burning something or busting atoms. If power is handle with metabolism, the power lines on the station might be veins carrying sugary fluid(sap?) not electric lines. Electricity would be generated only when needed. Movement of parts would be handled with artificial muscles not with servo motors. Oh wow! I just figured out a plot issue. If the station us using biological metabolism (Calvin cycle) then it has mitochondria. What if the mitochondrial DNA of the station matches the mitochondrial DNA of my heroine? Her mother was the genetic donor for the station. Either that or she was the genetic donor. Which means that the station is family to Dr. Clark. Wow! It's such a help to try to explain something to someone else. It makes a huge difference. Book description: After a test run of her ship’s new auto navigator, Dr. Ellen Bernoulli-Clark returns to a space station dramatically changed. The research station has been transformed into a Fed-transit shipping hub. Judging by the changes, centuries have passed. Surely her two young sons and their father are now dead. While scavenging to survive, she’s taken in by five men who have sought political asylum in space after challenging the matriarchy of their home planet, Fenria. Among them is Turi Idylko, maritime ship’s navigator. Dr. Clark fits Turi’s ideal of an attractive woman, an intelligent and confident scientist. He’s set on impressing her with his navigational skills and so win her love. Working together, Turi and Dr. Clark seek to determine the fate of her family and, in so doing, precipitate a revolution in space-faring social structure.