Ceres, officially the Ceres Mining and Habitation Outpost, is a large municipal station located on Ceres, a large planetary body in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter inhabited by a people commonly referred to as "belters." While no longer a major mining facility, it is now the site of Falco Designs premier shipbuilding facilities.
Ceres station was originally set up for mining in early 2134. It was later expanded for long-term habitation and eventually evolved into a city-like complex consisting of numerous districts, each connected via the Ceres Pod Tram system. The Medina district was eventually expanded and became a central marketplace for the fledgling colony. At this point, Ceres had several thousand permanent citizens.
During the mid 2250s, population growth began straining the infrastructure of Ceres station, and many districts were overcrowded which led increased tension and violent crime and - eventually - severe structural damage. Fortunately, much-needed investment saw rapid expansion and modernization to Ceres station, including significant increases in habitation areas. This relief of the housing shortage led to the station's situation normalizing.
Ceres stations importance as a mining colony diminished as the SCG has expanded and, as a result, the nature of Ceres changed. Violent crime rates dropped dramatically - however, unemployment continued to be a serious issue, with little in the way of work outside of highly focused mining operations and maintenance and logistics work in one of the numerous dockyards. To adapt, much of Ceres manpower became structural, maintenance, and electrical technicians and engineers, with much of it is focused on the maintenance, construction, and repair of the station itself.
Then during the mid 2290s, the entire asteroid was purchased from the SCG by Falco Designs owing to a lack of need for a government-owned mining operation in the Sol system. While ownership of the colony is now retained by Falco designs law enforcement and defense remains in the purview of the SCG. In three years, Falco designs built an entire extended shipyard with the capability to manufacture numerous craft of differing sizes and requirements simultaneously and full-fill the interstellar markets demand luxury spaceships. Ceres' mass unemployment and low economic value came to an end with Falco designs providing work for the majority of Ceres residents.
Ceres station is commonly a stop for trading ships, and a home for thousands, a multicultural mix and the manufacturing home of the galaxy's finest spacecraft. It continues to be a major center of vessel construction.
Ceres station is controlled by Falco Designs who own the asteroid itself following its purchase from the SCG. All of the essential systems is maintained by Falco Designs itself while many non-essential systems are subcontracted. The only real remaining SCG Presence is that of its law enforcement and judicial system, tasked with ensuring public safety.
Ceres station has a self-contained atmosphere and goes deep into the surface of Ceres with areas divided into districts. Mining areas are less frequently traveled along with official, restricted, areas such as engineering, water, and atmospherics. Many lower class districts are overcrowded and difficult to move through. The Medina district is full of apartments and a large marketplace area where numerous private enterprises exist. Much of the Constructed Ceres area is actually infrastructure, piping, and electrical systems, with habitable space being a premium.
A large shipyard was built in 2293 by Falco Designs. Built as the first - and primary - manufacturing center of Falco Designs spacecraft with the drydocks of the shipyard encompassing much of the view from the interior of the station.
The culture of Ceres is composed of numerous old Earth cultures combined and modified to form what is commonly referred to as "Belter" culture. Sports are composed of zero-gravity versions of sports from Earth, such as football, hockey, and baseball. Belter culture has recently been influenced by the myriad alien cultures the SCG is in contact with.
Many belters speak Old Earth Cantonese, Zurich Accord Common and Spacer. Belters are wary and exclusionary of purebred humans born on Earth and Mars.
Ceres station still undertakes mining operations, however, this has slowed down in recent years due to the majority of useful mineral deposits having been harvested. Ceres' lower class citizens spend much of their time in the Medina district because of the market, home to numerous private enterprises and corporations. Quite recently, a rising trade in Ceres has been artistic engraving, where amateur and talented artist alike make engravings in rocks or minerals native to Ceres that otherwise lack economic value.
Ceres primary income stream is Falco Designs' shipbuilding. The main source of employment for many native belters, it is the source of many of the SCG's merchant, private and government fleets in recent years. Falco Designs, having a monopoly on the luxury ship market and growing needs and the location of its shipyards within the sol system and its proximity to Earth and Mars has seen major investment flow in from Falco to improve and expand the shipyard massively, including equipment, working conditions, and numerous additional docks for spacecraft construction.