The Planetary Defense Network, your guard against the perils of space.
The Planetary Defense Network is there to save you and your colonists lives. That is a pretty dramatic way of putting it but is also exactly what it does. Whichever faction you choose to be part of, when terraforming a new world you will want to make sure to invest in this device.
Over 65 million years ago Earth was minding its own business. Happily going about its day with a whole world of fauna, oceans and dinosaurs. That was until a humongous asteroid impacted the surface and changed the course of Earth’s history for ever. The dinosaurs and other life on Earth hadn’t invested in a Planetary Defense Network. Sure, the technology wasn’t there, nor was the concept of space… but if they had invested in one they’d still be here today.
The Planetary Defense Network defends the world you’re terraforming from rogue asteroids, meteors and other dangerous threats to the surface from the depths of space. At the basic level the system tracks and monitors threats as they get near to the terraformed world. At the more engaged level, should a threat be more direct and potentially damaging to your world the planetary defense network will intervene and neutralise the problem.
Ever since 2016 teams of scientists and astronomers have kept a weathered eye on the skies and space around Earth, watching for life threatening celestial issues. When a potential issue is spotted it is logged and then monitored. As of 2019, that catalogue sits around 15,000 logged potential issues, with roughly 1500 added each year. That’s just for Earth, that doesn’t include newly terraformed worlds, worlds which are potentially in an even more dangerous position.
Whilst the Earth bound monitoring system was a useful beginning the question was always asked, “What would happen if one was on an imminent collision course with Earth?”. The answer was pretty grim reading… mankind essentially became extinct.
If you’re after some slightly worrying reading head over to NASA’s own Asteroid Watch website. They regularly post about inbound objects, their size, how close they’ll get to Earth and even the date that they’ll pass. The handy approximate size chart measures in house, bus or plane sizes. Their podcast also shares thoughts such as “What would happen if an asteroid hits the Earth?” and other happy questions. Now if that doesn’t fill you with existential dread then nothing will…
Thankfully, that dread and fear is something of the past for those colonising and terraforming new worlds. With an investment into a Planetary Defense Network your faction and colonists can rest assured that their world is safe. At least from asteroids.