Albatross Shipyard, Orbiting the Moon
The first of the moon’s equatorial skyhooks develops over the decades into the place almost all spacefaring ships undergo final assembly and fitting. Many of the asteroids guided into lunar orbit are then slowly nudged into its docks for processing into ship components and materials. Across from the docks is the first O’Neill cylinder in space, a rotating can shape capped with glass, surrounded by a fixed scaffold where all discarded slag goes. Inside this cylinder, technicians, researchers, and crews go about in a full Earth gravity. In the docks, robots clamber over everything, doing all the manual labor and inspection. Beyond the cylinder is a hollow globe inside which specialized microgravity manufacturing is done.
As spacefaring throughout the solar system grows, Albatross grows with it. The people who come and go from celestial bodies beyond the Earth and moon always arrive and depart from Albatross. Training for reduced and variable gravity environments all happens there, where it can be accurately simulated. Re-adaptation at Albatross for Earth gravity is essential to these people’s health and their very ability to return home. The O’Neill habitat at Albatross is the prototype facility for all future free space colonies. Development of construction and management for these colonies (here meaning any habitat designed for a permanent human population in free space) is all centered there.