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"Science fiction has gotten more accurate as we've gotten closer to the present, because science fiction stories have not only attracted, but also generated current scientists."
- Larry Niven
||Venus Equilateral Relay Station
||A converted asteroid that served as the relay station for telecommunications throughout the solar system.
|The Venus Equilateral Relay Station was a modern miracle of engineering if you liked to believe the books. Actually, Venus Equilateral was an asteroid that had been shoved into its orbit about the Sun, forming a practical demonstration of the equilateral triangle solution of the Three Moving Bodies. It was a long cylinder, about three miles in length by about a mile in diameter...
This was the center of Interplanetary Communications. This was the main office. It was the heart of the Solar System's communication line, and as such, it was well manned. Orders for everything emanated from Venus Equilateral.
There was little of the original asteroid. At the present time, most of the original rock had been discarded to make room for the ever-growing personnel and material that were needed to operate the relay station. What had been an asteroid with machinery was now a huge pile of machinery with people. The insides, formerly of spongy rock, were now neatly cubed off into offices, rooms, hallways, and so on, divided by sheets of steel. The outer surface, once rugged and forbidding, was now almost all shiny steel. The small asteroid, a tiny thing, was far smaller than the present relay station, the station having overflowed the asteroid soon after men found that uninterrupted communication was possible between the worlds.
Venus Equilateral rotated about its axis. On the inner surface of the shell were the homes of the people — not cottages, but apartmental cubicles, one, two, three, six rooms. The rotation made a little more than one Earth G of artificial gravity. Above this outer shell of apartments, the offices began. Offices, recreation centers, and so on. Up in the central portion where the gravity was nil or near-nil, the automatic machinery was placed. The gyroscopes and the beam finders, the storerooms, the air plants, the hydroponic farms, and all other things that needed little or no gravity for wellbeing.
|Technovelgy from QRM - Interplanetary,
by George O. Smith.
Published by Street and Smith in 1942
Additional resources -
Here's another image:
This image is from the original publication of the story:
(Venus Equilteral Station from 'QRM: Interplanetary')
Compare to the Interplanetary Radiograph Station from On The Martian Way (1907) by Harry Gore Bishop and the
messagecraft from The Faithful Messenger (1969) by George Scithers.
As a space station, compare to the brick moon from The Brick Moon (1869) by Edward Everett Hale, the city of space from The Prince of Space (1931) by Jack Williamson, the New Moon Casino from One Against the Legion (1939) by Jack Williamson, the asteroid space station from Misfit (1939) by Robert Heinlein, Wheelchair from Waldo (1942) by Robert Heinlein, the space transfer station from Between Planets (1951) by Robert Heinlein, the Sargasso Asteroid from The Stars My Destination (1956) by Alfred Bester,
the tether space station from Tank Farm Dynamo (1983) by David Brin and the high orbit archipelago from Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) by William Gibson.
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