In my novel, I want to feature a large (>5km) centrifuge space station that was built on/into a comet, and is in the comet’s tail whenever it passes close to the sun. It is home to many criminal elements and is generally regarded as a lawless place, but is also a safe haven for political dissidents who would be persecuted in other parts of the system and in other star systems. However, more than those plot elements, I just think it would be really cool to have a station in the tail of a comet.
However, I also want most things in my novel to have an element of believability, and this station is no exception. So how could I explain why this shady space station is in a comet of all places, and why part of it sticks out into the comet’s tail? What practical advantages would this location have, and what disadvantages might it also face, if any?
Another thing to consider is that the setting of my novel is based on 70s retrofuturism, and cannot go too crazy with technology, especially not in terms of IT and computation where it is basically still stuck in the 70s. Otherwise, any modern or near-future technology could be used help explain the practicality of this space station.