Beyond the Gate
Colony World (Khemel Alpha) - World Information
A Terran-type planet, similar in size to the planet Venus. Has a gravitational field of 1.31G at ground level, possibly due to a core of superdense materials (exploration required).
The planet has two orbiting satellites – Khemel Beta is a large planetary body – approx 1/4 the size of Khemel Alpha – with a thin atmosphere, and Khemel Delta is an asteroidal body that orbits Khemel Beta.
Rotational speed gives a day length of approximately 40 hours, with an annual orbit of 572 standard days.
The atmosphere is a rich oxygen/nitrogen mix, with trace elements of mercury and carbon monoxide, and high concentrations of carbon dioxide, with an air pressure of 1.96 atmospheres. Most transhumans are easily adaptable to these conditions with a simple adjustment of their biomods, and biomorphs adapted to the martian environment can survive without modification.
PCI testing has rated this atmosphere at 68% compatibility – a rating of 88% is required for mass habitation.
Orbits an F-type blue star, at the outer edge of the habitation green zone. High concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere allow for a generally warm environment, however high cloud cover causes a lot of stellar radiation, light and heat to be reflected into space. Temperature at ground level (in the colonisation zone) can fluctuate by as much as 15 degrees based on the current level of cloud cover.
There is a low level of precipitation, but the average rainfall level is quite high due to lengthy periods of rain – easily lasting 48-60 hours. This rain is unsafe for long periods, due to slight corrosive properties and traces of mercury in rainwater – rainstorms often contain hail or sleet, as well, the cloud cover decreasing the temperature greatly. There are frequent storms, generally without rain, that cause ionic interference and disrupt unshielded systems.
Several dozen species of flora have been catalogued in the colony zone, including grasses, flowering shrubs, and trees. Most of these species are extremely large due to the carbon-rich atmosphere and high air pressure. Only a few species of fauna have been identified, several varieties of insects and two kinds of birds. The climate and plantlife suggests much greater support for wildlife, but as yet more have not been found.
The presence of local microlife has been confirmed, however none have been surveyed.
Note: to date, surveys have been extremely limited, due to a lack of resources and other environmental difficulties. This data reflects information gathered by the Khemel AGI using colony sensor splines.
Initial resource surveys revealed several unknown elements and heavy metals, as well as extensive deposits of alum, iron, zinc, and palladium. More surveys are required, but these results are enough to justify a more extensive resource exploitation mission.
Of special note:
A strange kind of ambient radiation is present in the geosphere, which has a disruptive effect on nano-scale technology, wireless transmissions and computer systems. Shielding is of limited use. Further research into this radiation is high priority.
Colony Site Geography
The Khemel Alpha main colony complex consists of five buildings surrounded by metal fences and barriers. All plantlife within the fence and for 25m outside it have been removed, the ground levelled and sterilised, and hardened with aggregates.
The Pandora gate is located at a 100m distance from the main colony structure, inside a secured, reinforced warehouse building.
A small resource outpost is in the process of construction several kilometres away, with another planned.
The colony complex is located within a valley between two ranges of tall hills. A small river runs through the valley to a lake at the far end. The valley is forested, ranging in density from patchy in some areas to dense in others, and clearing in the upper slopes of the hills and towards the lake, where it becomes more swampy.
Brief aerial survey has shown the wider landscape to consist of hills, mountains, plains, and more forests. No visible evidence of civilization, cultivation, agriculture, construction, roads, or industry.