The second largest planet in the system is a much more favorable habitat for transhumans than Jupiter. Saturn’s lower gravity and milder magnetosphere are a boon to gas mining operations, and for resource-hungry habs, the rings are a feast (literally, in the case of the new Hamilton cylinder type habitats). Hypercorps have a presence here, but any major expansion by the Planetary Consortium is kept in check by the anarchist stations of the rings and the technosocialist commonwealth of Titan.

Because Saturn is so distant from the sun, solar power generation is extremely inefficient. Growing photosynthetic plants with sunlight is impossible without large arrays of mirrors to focus the light. The abundance of water and volatiles makes the rings ideal for both scum barges and Hamilton cylinders. Gas mining is vital to the survival of almost every habitat and moon settlement in the Saturnian system, so habitats located further out from the planet that wish to be self-sufficient almost always maintain their own gas mining stations close to the planet. Security for these installations and the atmospheric skimmers and tankers they dispatch is tight, and it is never advisable to approach one unannounced.

Resources and Economics

Gas mining on Saturn supplies 30 percent of the system’s reactor mass. This role is expected to grow as helium-3 deposits in the Lunar regolith become less accessible. For ships traveling to the far reaches of the outer system, Saturn is an important alternative to using Jupiter for gravity assists. Less restrictive than Jovian regimes and richer in resources than the Trojans, Circumsaturnine habs and settlements are important innovators in habitat design and cultural organization. Since the discovery of the Pandora gates, the Titanian Commonwealth is the only entity actively pursuing interstellar exploration through conventional means.

The Rings and Classical Minor Moons

Saturn’s rings are made up of countless small icy objects, most of which range in size from dust specks to boulders 10 meters in diameter. The rings are designated by the letters “A” through “F” in the order in which they were discovered. They vary in thickness between 100 and 1,000 meters and in width from 20,000 kilometers down to just meters. In places there are gaps between rings. The widest, the Cassini division, is 4,000 kilometers across.

Saturn has over 60 satellites, a number that jumps into the hundreds if one includes the uncounted objects less than a kilometer across orbiting in the A ring. Most of Saturn’s moons are small, rocky, ice objects less than 100 kilometers in diameter. The smallest of the classical moons, Pan, is only 10 kilometers across. The first eight moons, from Enceladus inward, lie within the ring system. Atlas, at the edge of the A ring, and Prometheus and Pandora, which flank the thin F ring, are known as the shepherd moons. Several of the moonlets occupy Lagrange points relative to larger moons. Telesto and Calypso share the orbit of much larger Tethys, while Helene trails another large moon, Dione.

Body Atlas

Volkov, a Slavic energy cartel, controls this tiny moon. Volkograad is a beehive habitat with about 50,000 residents. Much of the moon is given over to skim- ming, refining, and shipping infrastructure. A cloud of wreckage trailing the moonlet by about 100,000 kilometers serves as a reminder of the Atlas Incident, a brief but massively destructive battle that erupted when Fa Jing attempted a buyout of the moon. Tinkers from Phelan’s Recourse still salvage the oating derelicts regularly.

Body Dione

Dione’s main settlement is Thoroughgood (population 350,000), a hybrid beehive and orbital cluster habitat set on a plateau amid a dramatic range of ice cliffs. Dione hosts the Long Array, a 150 kilometer- high communications spar ascending from the surface settlement to an orbital station that acts as a counterweight. The Long Array’s sheer size is something of a publicity stunt, as the bulk of its capacity goes unused.

Body Enceladus

Rich in organic compounds, Enceladus is a biochemist’s playground. Profunda (population 850,000) is the major settlement, a beehive dug into the moon’s surface capped by domed parks and clusters of sleek, translucent minarets—well protected from collisions by an aggressive satellite defense network. The lower levels, stretching deep into Enceladus’s icy silicate mantle, include a prospecting operation that extracts carbonaceous soils in search of exotic compounds.

Body Hyperion

With its chaotic, virtually unpredictable rotation, Hyperion is a dangerous place to land ships. It remains uninhabited.

Body Iapetus

Iapetus is one of Saturn’s larger icy moons and once boasted a population of 200,000 living in the dense warrens of Analect, its main settlement. Probably because it is one of the few large moons of Saturn that contains sizable deposits of silicates and minerals in addition to ice, Iapetus was a target of the TITANs during the Fall. After enslaving a tenth of the populace as worker drones and using the rest as seed stock for tissue cultures to feed their fellows, the TITANs began to build what appears to have been a Jupiter brain, turning the entire moon into a computational structure.

Habitat Meathab

The full name of this unique habitat is Turn Yourself Into a Giant Mass of Space Meat for Art!, and as the name implies, 90% of the habitat’s structure consists of fast-cultured vat bacon, battened on the abundant resources of the ring system. MeatHab started out as someone’s art morph, but then, against all expectations, squatters moved in. MeatHab now has a population of 500. Similar to a Hamilton cylinder, the kilometer-long habitat harvests and processes ring material to grow itself.

Habitat Mimas

Led by legendary Chinese dissident poet Hao Lin Ngai, Harmonious Anarchy broke from the Fa Jing cartel during the tumultuous years prior to the Fall. Hao sought to create a society in the spirit of the ancient Taoist state of Great Perfection that existed in Szechuan 1,700 years earlier—with considerable updates from modern thought. Harmonious Anarchy is an Extropian mutualist society heavily involved in software engineering, logistics, and relocation of metallic asteroids to the outer system.

Habitat Pan

Volkograad’s closest competitor is this anarcho-capitalist outfit, most of whose founders were South African. iZulu has a somewhat lower capacity than Volkograad but will ship reactor mass to unusual locations like the Trojans and the Kuiper Belt. iZulu is a very crowded beehive with nearly 400,000 inhabit- ants and an unusually large number of infugees.

Body Pandora

The Gateway settlement, on Saturn’s outer shepherd moon Pandora, holds the first publicly known wormhole gate. The Gatekeeper Corporation keeps the gate open as a means of exploration and scientific investigation for all factions and powers. Gatekeeper was originally a Titanian microcorp but is now independent. The Commonwealth of Titan still holds a major stake in it, though not a controlling interest. Granting autonomy to Gatekeeper Corporation was a diplomatic maneuver made in response to Planetary Consortium claims that the Titanians sought hegemony in the outer system.

Habitat Phelan’s Recourse

Phelan’s Recourse (usually just called “Phelan’s” by inhabitants) is the largest nomadic settlement in the system, with a population estimated around 250,000. Phelan’s is a swarm of some 10,000 small craft and tin can habitat modules that orbits Saturn along a highly elliptical path somewhat inclined to the plane of the ecliptic. The swarm’s orbit is calculated to maximize the number of encounters with near moons and sta- tions, providing a six to eight hour window in which craft can leave the swarm for trade.

Habitat Prometheus

Marseilles (population 80,000) is a beehive habitat operated by the Titanians. It is rumored to harbor an antimatter factory, a theory supported by the large number of skimmers that arrive from the surface relative to the number of tankers that leave.

Body Rhea

At a 764-kilometer diameter, Rhea is Saturn’s second largest moon. Composed almost entirely of ice, Rhea’s surface is sparsely inhabited, but a population of over 800,000 dwells in Kronos Cluster, a major habitat in orbit. Kronos Cluster’s mass-microfactured violet spherical modules make it look like an immense, irregular bunch of grapes suspended in space, an impression added to by the winding space dock (nicknamed the Vine) extending from the wider end.

Body Tethys

Composed almost entirely of ice, Tethys is one of Saturn’s larger moons and the site of Ithaca Chasma, a 2,000-kilometer long valley covering three-quarters of Tethys’s circumference. Fifteen years ago, prospectors from an ethnically Indo-British autonomist collective called the Rioters touched down on Godwin Head, a projection in the chasm wall so named because it resembles a headland projecting out into the sea. Instruments on their ship, the Caleb Williams, had detected what looked like mineral deposits in the ice, rare on Tethys.

Body Titan

Saturn’s largest moon is shrouded in a permanent orange atmospheric haze, hellishly cold (averaging 180 degrees below), and whipped by winds produced by tidal forces four times stronger than those influencing Earth’s climate. On its face, it appears even less hospitable than the airless balls of ice and rock comprising every world between Titan and Mars. The meager sunlight reaching its surface is insufficient to grow any but the hardiest plants, the mostly nitrogen atmosphere is dangerously toxic, and the surface is dotted with lakes and seas of liquid methane.

Zone Twelve Commons

These twin small, icy moonlets share virtually the same path around Saturn, orbiting within 50 kilometers of each other. Set between the F and G Rings, the moonlets form the center of Twelve Commons, a neighborhood of small and mid-size habitats arranged in a flat cloud about 20,000 kilometers in radius. About six million people live in Twelve Commons. Habitats in Twelve Commons range in size from Dang Fish Echo, a tin can hab housing about 60 eccentric aquaculturists, to Janus Common, a beehive occupying much of Janus with a population of 900,000.