Sightseeing in the Cluster

Abandoned Astro Farm

astro farm 1

The abandoned solar farm orbits above Vahunomi VII.

Space is big. Really, really big. And it’s really easy to lose things in it, unless you remember to mark a location (anyone who’s ever lost a set of drones can testify to this). But because it’s so big and so empty, it’s often much easier to simply abandon things when they fail rather than cleaning them up in any way. Unlike on habitable planets, there are no environmental authorities to demand you clean up hazardous waste or litter or, well, anything (though the Friends of Nature probably would not mind that job if they had their way). Evidence of this inherent littering tendency can be seen just about anywhere these days in the form of abandoned colonies, stations, or research outposts. The major empires may even be the primary instigators here, as abandoned outposts of the major empires can be found far and wide in various systems.

astro farm 2

The solar harvester is not going to be having much luck this far out from the local star.

Today, though, I’m only focusing on a small abandoned outpost: the abandoned Astro Farm in Vahunomi. Frankly, the name leaves something to be desired. It reminds of those old scifi novels where the authors had to prove how futuristic something was by putting “space” or “neo” in front of it (my favorite that I’ve found was a “neosquirrel”). Once humanity actually took to space, we found out that we didn’t have to actually preface things with corny prefixes at all… except, apparently, in the case of solar harvesting farms. In any case, the term “astro farm” is fairly misleading because whoever the farmers were here certainly never grew stars. Perhaps this is just me being overly technical, but if you’re going to name something as an astro farm, I want to see some stars growing. But I suppose I digress.

astro farm 3

A Ferox-class battlecruiser has set up shop near one of the asteroids still bearing mineable materials.

As might be expected from an abandoned site, it was fairly run down. The most notable remaining piece of equipment is a radial solar harvester, which was used to capture and transmit energy from Vahunomi, the local class M star. Of course, the reason for why the farm was abandoned in the first place is fairly evident: given a class M star’s normal brightness and temperature, putting the harvester almost 2 AU’s away from the star was probably a poor business decision. Considering the fact that a class M5 star like Vahunomi only emits about 0.22% as much energy as a standard class G star (such as New Caldari), even putting a solar harvester at 1 AU probably would not have provided much in the way of usable energy levels. But at least Vahunomi VII has remarkably efficient greenhouse gases that keep the planet from freezing over.

astro farm 4

The entire site is surrounded by a golden glow

Beyond the solar harvester, there honestly was not very much to look at. Whomever had created the astro farm had apparently dragged a few asteroids to the site in order to provide the materials for construction. A number of those rocks remain near the site to this day, some with usable amounts material still there. Three people, all from the Angel Cartel, have set up shop here, looking for eager capsuleers to fulfill missions for them. As much as I have a distaste for the Cartel, their ships at least provided a little bit of scenery to break the monotony. Why they chose a Heron, a Ferox, and a Crow over standard-issue Angel ships is a bit of a mystery, but perhaps they were just trying to blend in. They appear to have rehabbed the local outpost near the solar harvester, taking over the minimal compartments and restoring many components, so the thing looked almost as good as new.

astro farm 5

The harvester isn’t even pointing the right way, which might have had something to do with it.

As you might have guessed, there really isn’t much to see here. Why CONCORD found this site notable or worthy of a beacon is honestly beyond me. Still, the golden hues of the local dust clouds do give an almost pleasant air to the entire site, and actually manages to hide the signs of decay and destitution that are oh so common at many of the abandoned sites. The few people who have decided to call this area home have at least managed to spruce the place up a bit, but frankly I’m a little surprised they even bothered, considering that they had all of space to settle in. After all, there’s plenty of other space in which to hide if you’re the Cartel. Space is really, really big, after all.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Abandoned Astro Farm
  • System: Vahunomi
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site. Furthermore, some asteroids here are capable of being mined.

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