ByRichard, writer at
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." Black Cloud Studious™ - independent game developer.

Daedalus Space Station (DSS) is an international space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Venus orbit. Its first components launched into orbit in 2089. This update is devoted to the science behind its construction.

Patreon link to root game:


GENRE: Interactive Movie, Adventure.

Platforms: Windows, Linix Mac OS X.

Players: Single-player

Atmospherically, it is inspired by: Solaris (by Stanislaw Lem), The Invincible (by Stanislaw Lem), Echopraxia (by Peter Watts), 2001: A Space Odyssey (by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Clarke), The Ego Tunnel (by Thomas Metzinger).

Daedalus Space Station (DSS) is an international space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Venus orbit. Its first components launched into orbit in 2089.

Daedalus serves as a research laboratory in which crewmembers conduct experiments in biology, physics, astronomy, and performs studies of the Venus’ atmosphere and surface as well as research on the Sun. The DSS is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to Venus’ low orbit. Daedalus maintains an orbit by means of reboost maneuvers using its engines or that of visiting spacecraft. Based on the active number of research projects, Daedalus is able to maintain a range of orbits from 0 to 24.04 per day. Daedalus construction was launched decades before the United Governments emerged, by the 12th countries with the largest Space Programs.

DSS purpose

According to the original Memorandum of Understanding between NASA, ESA, Roskosmos, CNSA, ISRO, JAXA, CSA, UKSA, CSAE, CSIRO and ISA, the Daedalus Space Station was intended to be a laboratory, observatory and factory on Venus orbit. It was also planned to provide transportation, maintenance, and act as a staging base for possible Venus terraforming and future missions to Mercury and fossil asteroids. With the United Governments formation, it become the impersonation of the union and globalization as well as the symbol of the Golden Era of humanity.

Main purposes:

  • To study the extremophiles life forms of Archean structure with СО and SO2 based metabolism in the Venus’ atmosphere.
  • Terramorphing experiments and research of behavior of various genetically modified microorganisms and self-organizing nanoparticles in the Venus atmosphere and on its surface environments.
  • Research of the Sun: including solar winds, sunspots, solar flares, brightness, and composition.

After the UG formation in 2109, starting from Daedalus-20 mission, the main purposes was extended with:

  • Orbital assembly with Experimental Fermionic Printer.

And starting from Daedalus-22 mission in 2111 the main purposes was expended with:

DSS structure

The DSS is much more bigger than our modern International Space Station (ISS): DSS's pressurized volume is 16,320m3 (versus 931m3 of ISS nowadays).

Pressured parts of the station consist of Universal Spacecraft Pressurized Nodes (USPN). Here you can get get more better realizing the size of the station through sizes comparison of USPN.

DSS can maintain orbit height might from 250km to 800km (versus 400km for ISS nowadays). Bear in mind that below 150km down to 50km there are sulfuric acid clouds layers with -112(°C) - +50(°C) temperature and 0.00002660atm to 1.066atm atmospheric pressure:

Science advisor insights

Sebastian Tivig, our current and long time supporter who generously offered his help and knowledge as a science consultant in aerospace engineering. Here I'd like to share his ideas as well as they lead us to the interesting and realistic options for the gameplay and storytelling.

About Ventilation System:

In a space station without gravity, there is nearly no gaseous exchange by itself; sure, relative pressure of gases will lead to a slow exchange, until the atmosphere is relatively equilibrated; but, just as in an airplane and any other closed system, Co2 and other gases tend to accumulate. This can lead to an interior, where there is ostensibly sufficient oxygen, but where there are pockets of highly dangerous gases. As long as you have gravity this is somewhat (though not completely, cf. airplane) compensated by the difference in weight of molecules, leading to a slow migration of heavy gases.

In order to cope with this topic, all closed systems have strong ventilation requirements, measured in air exchanges per minute. This is usually be done by simultaneously pushing (blowing) air in on one side and pulling (sucking) air out on the other side; in an aircraft, fresh air comes from the top (along the side wall linings) and goes down (left / right near the seats); in a space station, you would do a similar flow. In addition, you need to have sufficient airflow to cool most of your electronics.

What this means for gameplay is, that there is a constant flow of air in a single direction. Thus, everything you leave floating around will, after some time, migrate slowly but surely towards the air suckers; unless these are completely blocked (unlikely), a space station which has been unused for some time will not display anything floating around (if the ventilation works), but rather will display a great heap of stuff near the air suckers. This also goes for bodies etc. – in fact, mass is not relevant, since there’s no gravity.

About Fire and Burning:

Fire behaves completely differently in space than on earth. On earth, warm air is lighter and thus immediately rises up, thereby creating under-pressure and pulling fresh air into the flame. Hence, a flame always goes upwards, always burns brighter below and always has sufficient air to burn (at least in small scale fires). Hence, as long as there is fuel, the fire is self-sustaining.

Now, this is entirely different in 0g environments. As nothing “pulls” the flame upwards, the flame will burn around the original source, effectively depriving it from oxygen relatively quickly. So what you have is much less open fires, but slow creeping fires, along main ventilation lines; because, if you have a flame inside a ventilation air draught, you will effectively push fresh air into it. You can check this YouTube link; in the description there’s a tons of links towards the true science behind fire in space:

About Shattered Glass & Momentum:

We are so used to seeing glass shatter outwards and then seeing a huge cloud of debris around it, that we rarely think about it twice. However, as I wrote in one of my previous mails, 0g does not impact momentum at all. So, what does this mean?

Direction of Movement – If you shatter or break something, it will continue its original movement, with all pieces revolving / moving around a virtual point which is the item’s original centre of gravity; unless, of course you induce a momentum / force, which may change this movement; example: glass can only shatter outwards, if there is an explosion from inwards (from the screen); as there’s nothing really which can explode in a LED screen, this simply cannot happen (unless something behind the screen went really, really wrong)

Security Glass – All glass used on a space station would most likely be security glass, meaning that there is a thin layer of adhesive foil beneath the glass. If, for any reason, the glass shatters (explosion inside), the individual pieces of the glass would still remain glued to that foil, i.e. you’d have no splinters flying around, nothing.

Typical Break Case – Normally glass would break due to a hit from the outside towards the glass (in the direction of the screen behind); this would mean, that the glass would break, maybe the LED panel behind it too, but this is it. The broken glass would stay in place

In a space station, broken glass is deadly! – Imagine all these tiny, tiny broken glass shards that you have to vacuum out – remember how badly they hurt in your feet? Now, we’re in space, they don’t fall down, they float gently in the air, mostly invisible due to their size, meaning you can actually breath them in – and they’ll happily cut their way through your respiratory system. Yay.

Airflow – See above, if ventilation is working, all debris would likely be slowly be sucked away into some poor filter.

I hope you like that space station concept. Most of its architecture I've made not from point of view of a designer but as the engineer. There draft began from the purpose of the station, resources of the humanity, strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats of the mission, PEST factors in the world of After Reset setting by 2089-2111.

One of the major challenges were: microgravity issue, radiation issue, heat extraction, environmental control and life support system. I will write about them in further updates. Once again, much obliged to guys from NASA's Reddit who helped me to sort all those things out, gave me relevant links for study and corrected my calculation.

And you, guys, who are rooting the project right now, thanks for your support on Patreon! And stay tuned for more hard sci-fi and space science content coming :)

Sincerely, Richard.


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