A while ago I asked a question concerning a plausible Room Temperature Superconductor. This question is about the on site industry needed to support a significant extraction and logistics afford.
About 100 years ago, in 2200, the IRDG (Interstellar Resource Development Group, a multinational company oversee by the IDPA, Interstellar Development and Preservation Authority, tasked with supplying Petramene to a list of "member states" which pay the IDPA a literal ton of money to fund the IRDG. The IRDG is not expected to make money, just supply Petramene, the RTS.) landed on the exoplanet Hela. Hela is younger than Earth which is why she still has vast Trivesene deposits underneath her oceans. Trivesene being the primary compound needed to make Petramene.
The IRDGs primary objective is to supply Petramene to the member states, for a token price (10€/kg). For this they need to maintain a interstellar supply chain which starts by extracting Trivesene, converting it to Petramene, shooting it into Orbit and then to Earth.
Petramene is send back to Earth using light sails at around 0.1c. The ITS´s (Interstellar Transport System) Slow Lane. Personal and new Hardware is using the Fast lane at ~0.5c. Every day 3-4 Light Sail ICVs (Interstellar Cargo Vehicle) departure caring 500 Tons of Petramene. While every 6 Months one ITV (Interstellar Transport Vehicle) lands and launches, caring up to 512 personal and 20000 Tons of cargo.
From the above, we can already make a few assumptions about the operational scale at hand. Specifically what sort of capability Leavenworth as the main base of operations on Hela needs;
Infrastructure to build and support large extraction platforms, think Troll, Ships as well as various other types of machinery like DSVs
Significant Chemical production capability for refining Trivesene and making other components.
Infrastructure to keep a fleet of 60+ plane SSTOs operational, as those carry the ~600.000 tons of Petramene to orbit annually.
Infrastructure to maintain the various orbital assets, including the capability to make fuel for the ITVs, in this case around 600k Tons of bomblets.
Industry to maintain, build and operate the various support vehicles like trains, helicopters, ships, rockets and spaceships.
Infrastructure for the on site personal numbering in the 1000s.
What i have thus far
This is Leavenworth´s rough layout (1 pixel = 1 meter). The size of all facilities is loosely based on real world equivalents. Naturally a lot of the design philosophy for such compounds does not translate to Hela, due to the differing atmosphere. The general goal was to make sure you dont have to go through decontamination within a single facility. This is just Leavenworth, and ill try to give a breakdown of the total infrastructure available to the IRDG, as quickly as possible;
Antimatter Factory; ITVs are Project Orion type vessels which use antimatter catalyzation for their bomblets. Each ship needs about 0.5-2 kg per flight.
NPP; For a stable energy supply as solar is iffy in the region they are in.
Water Purification Plant; A lot of industrial processes need water. Leavenworth gets her water from the nearby Pantoran river via pipeline.
Petrochemical Plant; A Petrochemical Plant can produce chemicals such as solvents, basis of plastics etc. From what i understand it is the foundation further processes.
Modular Chemical Plant; The MCP is, in my conception, a generalized Plant which can be reconfigured for a given process. Similar to how you might use glass wear to make a distillation setup. You lose efficiency, but gain capability.
Petramene Plant; This is an example of what a dedicated plant might look like. Its huge and only does one thing. Take liquid Trivesene and turn it into solid Petramene bars.
Metallic Hydrogen Plant; Metallic Hydrogen, is the fuel used by SSTOs and rockets. My math indicates an SSTO needs to carry its payloads weight in fuel to reach orbit, so roughly 40 tons.
Aerospace Plant; This is where we see the SSTO production line, Helicopters and other vehicles including Rockets. This might also serve double duty for composites.
Semiconductor Plant; I think this is fairly straight forward.
Arms Plant; The reason this plant is hopelessly oversized is because it used to make Bombs and Missiles due to for this discussion irrelevant historical context. These days it double serves as a tooling plant to make machines.
Secondary Manufacturing Plant; Here we see primary production, such as metal sheets, being turned into useful stuff like machines or a Cola Can.
Steel Mill; This is part of Leavenworths primary production cycle, Iron ore is taken in to make steel sheets. Though other processes are included as well, such as Aluminum production.
Concrete Plant; The entire facility is by weight mostly concrete which has to come from somewhere. The plant is also part of the primary production loop as is indicated by the rail tracks.
Electronic Parts Plant; A single Semiconductor does not make a computer, or socket. This plant would take say plastic from the Petrochemical plant, cooper or Metallic Petramene from their respective plants and maybe a few semiconductors to idk make a relay ? They are not building iPhones but more basic parts.
Pharmaceutical Facility; Big Pharma has gone interstellar. In order for our immune systems to not nuke ourselves in the sterile environment, or in reaction to alien pathogens, this plant produces Med´s cooked up on Earth.
Cultivation Plant; This is where the
Culture War is cooked upfood is produced. The idea is they have genetically modified fast growing crops and 3D printers which can make food.
To cap of the ground side of operations, there are the two locations connected to Leavenworth by rail.
Pantoran River Mine; North-East the track splits in two. Water pipelines head east for ~20 kilometers towards the Pantoran River. Two tracks go further North-East upstream some 200 kilometers towards a Mine. The Mine is so remote because it is a pretty unique geographic location which offers basically all raw resources they need. From easy Iron, Cooper Ore and Aluminum oxide to nice fine river sand for concrete and semiconductors. It also produces Uranium or the NPP.
James Collins Shipyard; The JCS is about 15 km North-West right next to the Besselian Ocean, where all offshore activity takes place. From the offshore installations they get Hydrocarbons and other junk. Their rocket launch site is also near the JCS.
Finally, the orbital infrastructure.
Grootje EUVD Lithography Plant; A EUVD Lithograph (Extreme Ultraviolet Vapor Deposition) is a machine which can produce both small and big structures using either Ultraviolet Lithography, Vapor deposition or both. Grootje ("Big little one"), was initially used by the IRDG to set up industry, and nowadays builds the Bomblets for ITVs. The plant gets its resources from an Asteroid. I should note, in world EUVD Lithographs are not universal printers, and they are kind of garbage for most tasks. Grootje has also been at it for nearly 100 years.
Perseverance OLC; Finally, there is a Space station which serves as a orbital logistics center. This is where they patch up ships.
But what is missing ?
While working on this, i mostly got what i was aiming for, a sense of "industry" and how involved this would be. Both in terms of resources and physical scale. Leavenworth is huge, around 50 km², and very dense in terms of industry. Not to mention, in keeping with this sites recent obsession, i got to include Trains.
However, i also cant shake the feeling i am missing something obvious here. Either in terms of my approach towards what industry is needed on the ground, or in me failing to include some vital hardware.
I am aiming for a Hard ish setting. Getting Project Orion to 0.5c is... optimistic and obviously neither Petramene nor Trivesene are things which could exist. Which is fine, the story is hardly about those. But i do think it is important to accurately convey the scale of such an undertaking. Also be aware, the IRDG is not fighting any insurgency or similar, the base is protected by a questionable fence. The weather is a far bigger issue than any creatures.
So the core question is, well what am i missing in terms of on site industry considering the task at hand ?
A related, but secondary, question is if the presented industry makes sense given the task at hand. Note, this is not a settlement afford. Though they do plan to build a 2nd base partially because the Weather keeps shutting down their air traffic and people back on Earth want slightly more Petramene, approximately 10x more.
So, this is pretty lengthy and i tried to compress stuff as much as possible. While this question certainly touches many individual subjects, i hope i have limited it to the industrial side enough.
Thanks for reading, and have a nice day !