Monday, September 19, 2016

Aurora, a planet in the Terran League


Princessa, Gamma Volcak

PIC: 42n844444

            The planet Aurora is a temperate world long settled by STL colony fleet shortly before the invention of the sub-hyperspace overdrive and is one of the major trade hubs of the Terran League.
            Fourth planet of an F9 star, Aurora has one large moon (dia: 3,160 miles) and is known for gentle seas and rolling hills.
            Aurora has a large metallic core that produces one of the strongest magnetic flieds from a Terra-type planet.  This strong field brings the auroral lights as far south as the equator.  New Horizons Tours offers 7 and 14 day packages for trips to Aurora just for those displays.
            The large moon, Corazon, is well cratered and carries a thin carbon dioxide atmosphere.  It is home to a few research facilities and astronomical science labs.  One of the largest radio telescopes is based at the DeGrasse Center, measuring over 10 miles across.  It is used to study the Volcak Cloud and the center of the galaxy.
            One of the features of the night sky on Aurora is the Volcak Cloud.  Princessa is on the opposite side of the Cloud from Demion System.  About four times the apparent size of Corazon, the Volcak Cloud makes a magnificent backdrop for romantics from all over the galaxy.
With predominately Latin settlers, Aurorans speak Spanish, Portuguese and English interchangeably.  Place names tend to use the “el” and “la” of Spanish with the name itself in English.  This has lead to a linguistic situation that is an issue to teachers and linguists across the galaxy.
            Gamma Volcak was “explored” by long range telescopes and very early FTL robotic scout vehicles in the late 2200’s.  Shortly there after, STL colony ships were launched.  The colony ships are still in orbit, being used as museums and tourist attractions.  The ships FAR HARBOR and DISTANT SHORE are showcases of the European Development Corporation technology for cryo-sleep and long range fusion drives.
            Aurora is larger and denser than Earth, having a larger percentage of heavy elements.  This gives Aurora a gravity of 1.15g.
            The day is 27 hours 45 minutes and 33 seconds long.  The 45 minutes are usually used as an extended lunch / break / rest period during the day.
            Being farther from its bright primary, Aurora has a rather long year of 630 days.  The Auroran year was broken down to six day weeks (there is no Monday) with 15 months and seven weeks per month.
            The Auroran calendar is unique in that they put the months back in their proper order, as follows, while adding three new months.  The new months are Tritember or Tresember (for the number three), Dosember (for twelve), and Diosember (from the Spanish word Dios, or God).  They are usually shortened to Trese`, Dose`, and Dios.  Those that wish to, celebrate Christmas in Diosember, at the end of the Auroran year, after the traditional Thanksgiving feast in November.  Landing Day is the first day of January.  The Aurorans do not sync their calendars with any other planets.  They do use Terran dates in official paperwork as they are part of the Terran League.

1                    January      1 Jan = Landing Day
2                    February
3                    Tritember / Tresember
4                    March
5                    April
6                    May
7                    September 2nd Saturday = St. Brigitte’s Day
8                    October
9                    June
10                December
11                July
12                Dosember
13                August
14                November 4th Friday = Thanksgiving
15                Diosember 25 Dios = Christmas Celebreation

            The length of the month is not tied to the orbital period of Corazon.

The City and Starport of Castillo de Estrella

            Castillo de Estrella (shortened to CdeE and pronounced say-day-eay, Spanish for ‘Castle of the Stars’) is on the eastern coast of Aurora’s north continent, Rancho Grande, providing excellent launching for both equatorial and polar orbits.  Also being on the edge of a circular bay allows ships to land offshore if too large to land in the starport or in an emergency.
            CdeE is a bustling city of about 200,000 people with a definite Spanish / Latin flair.  As in 21st Century Spain, just about everything in the city shuts down for at least two hours, except the starport.  “Siesta” is a time loosely defined as being between noon and 4PM.  Most businesses close and employees go home if they live nearby for lunch.  Businesses open late in the morning, 8 to 9AM, and stay open later in the evening till around 9PM.  Restaurants and other gathering places stay open till well after midnight.
            People are friendly and helpful.  Everyone is welcome and made to feel at home.  The streets are clean and well maintained and buildings are a colorful and eclectic mix of styles from across Western Europe and South America.
            The climate is warm winters and warmer summers with the occasional thunderstorm.  Hurricanes are rare and usually strike land hundreds of miles to the north of CdeE.  Fog is occasional and mostly in the valleys along the mountains.  Rain is during the Fall and Spring.  Much water control has been done with the Arroyo Grande for flood control, notably on the Puerta Sur side of the river.
            Castillo de Estrella is powered by four fusion reactors.  The starport has its own power supply and is independent from the city though each power system can augment the other.  Power for ranches in the Dragonridges is provided by solar, wind and some small hydro-electric generators.  Water based power generation in the bay would be difficult with multi-hundred thousand tons starships setting down.
            Avalon is an island about 15 miles off the coast of Puerta Sur.  On this island are large, rolling ranches with large homes, usually covering hundreds of acres.  Many “old” families on Aurora have owned land there for hundreds of years.
            The Dragonridge Mountains to the west are nearby for hunting, fishing, camping, skiing and many other outdoor activities.  A few thousand people live among the mountains and in the foothills just to the east.
            Other large cities on Aurora are:  Alta Mesa, Guadalupe, Los Alamos, Los Osos, Keller’s Corner, Palm Desert and Nueva Barcelona.
            The average Auroran enjoys excellent medical care and can expect to live about 120 years (without CD activation).  They tend to be fun loving and positive and enjoy seeing the beauty of “the big picture” of things. They enjoy life without the “over the top” celebrations of “Festival and its “Year of the…” parties.
            Aurorans are of mixed ancestry, with the majority being from Western Europe, South American and southern North America.  Spanish and Portuguese last names are common with the occasional Anglo name for something different.
            Most males tend to be under 6 foot, and women under 5’ 9” though people of both genders over 6 foot are not unheard of.  Hair is dark brown to black and brown eyes with some blond hair and blue eyed child Spanish ancestry.  Red hair and freckles are not seen unless someone immigrates to Aurora.
            Few Aurorans desire to move off-world.  They are very happy with their home and few planets offer better living.  With the wonder of the Volcak Cloud just a few light years away, the wanderlust to join ORAC or the Space Patrol is low.

System Information
Primary:           Princessa “Princess” Gamma Volcak), type: F9

Planets:            Pocahontas 1   Moons:            Fueza               “Strength”
Anne 11                                  Honor              “Honor”

                        Cinderella 5                             Fe                    “Faith”
Esperanza        “Hope”

                        Aurora 4                                  Corazon           “Heart”
                        Fa Mulan Asteroid Belt

                        Ariel 9                                     Cantar                         “to sing”
                                                                        Belleza            “Beauty”
                                                                        Amor               “Love”
                                                                        Acarice            “Cherish”
                                                                        Alma               “Soul”
                                                                        Verdad                        “Truth”
                                                                        Crea                 “Believe”
                                                                        Agraciando     “Graceful”
                                                                        Amiga             “Friend”


Place Names around Castillo de Estrella

Spanish                                                            English

Azul Sea                                                          Blue Sea
Maricopa Reina                                               Butterfly Beach
                                                                        Calm Sea
Oso Mille                                                        Thousand Lakes
El Dorado Lake                                              Lake of Gold
                                                                        Secluded Cove
                                                                        Griffin’s Bay
                                                                        Val Verde Holler
                                                                        Dragonridge Mountains
Castillo de Estrella                                          Castle of the Stars, major city
                                                                        Defender Beach
                                                                        Emerald Forest
Arroyo Grande                                                Big Ditch, major river
Rancho Grande                                               Big Ranch, northern continent
Santa Lucia                                                     Saint Lucy
Puerta Sur                                                       South Port
Muy Grande River                                          Very Big River
Rancho De La Marron                                    Brown’s Ranch
                                                                        Dusty Roads
Ranchoe Sestro de Caballos                           Resting Horse Ranch

McKeesport Station

            Orbiting Aurora is McKeesport Station, a starstation that caters to travelers from across the League.  At nearly four miles in overall length, the station can clearly be seen from the surface.  Being a quasi-military post, many ORAC vessels can be seen departing or arriving on a regular basis.  There is also a small ORAC fleet assigned to the station under the command of Commodore Antonio Reyes, aboard his flagship, the heavy cruiser TEMANACTLAN.
            McKeesport can repair and refit many ships to about 2500 feet in length and about 1.5 million tons in mass.  The station can also build small auxiliary vessels such as shuttles and work pods on site and to custom specifications.
            A few civilian craft make their home port here.
            McKeesport is quite capable of defending itself if the need arises with a formidable array of weaponry from MAD cannons to torpedo launchers and railguns.
            A STAR FORTRESS class vessel usually visits once a week.  No FORTRESS is assigned to the station, though one can be called upon at a moments notice.

Admiral Carol O’Hern
            She has been in command of McKeesport Station since 2994.  She is from Terra and was born on the east coast of the North American continent, near what used to be a small cargo port for mines, which McKeesport Station is named after.  The southern Pennsylvania area is now reforested after all industry was moved off Terra to the Asteroid Belt.  Many Lunar and Belter miners can trace ancestry back to this area.
            Admiral O’Hern is minimal nonsense person; she doesn’t tolerate wasteful actions or ideas.  She has read The Book, wrote parts of it, and is willing to throw out or downright ignore parts she doesn’t like or agree with.
            She is a small woman, standing about 5 foot 4 inches, with gray hair and green eyes.  She is perpetually in need of sunlight as she spends way too much time about the station.
            Carol likes old novels from the 20th century, mostly science fiction.  Over the years she has cultivated a network of knowledgeable book specialists.



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