Jupiter’s Ghost is a podcast set aboard the Terra IX, a civilian starship in the year 3017. It is told from the perspective of the official mission logs as reported by Space Cadet Ada ‘Jupiter’ Grayson, as well as the personal logs of various crewmembers.
The official mission logs are scripted, the personal logs of the other crewmembers are crowd sourced from the members of this site.
About the Space Corps
The space corps is a volunteer, non-military program, run by the solar alliance. It promotes cultural exchange, and exploration.
The Solar Alliance is the primary governing body of the Sol system, .
The Space Corps Occasionally works alongside the Space Patrol (the Peacekeeping arm of the Solar Alliance) and/or the Solar Guard (the domestic branch of the Space Patrol, which serves the Sol System specifically.)
Space Corps vehicles are often retired military craft, refitted for civilian exploration. Most of their weaponry is removed (with the exception of basic lasers, which all interstellar vehicles carry to help prevent damage from space debris.) They have heavy shields, extensive scanners, advanced medical equipment, shuttles, and an array of technologies, including communication, fabrication, and transportation equipment.
The Space Corps is a civilian research organization that was founded in the 2960s. It’s now just over 50 years old. It’s one of the few civilian organizations to regularly undertake research and exploration missions in to deep/uncharted space. Most Space Corps missions are between one and three months long, with some expeditions lasting over a year.
The main responsibilities of a space corps vessel are:
- Star Charting
- Scientific Investigation of Space Phenomena
- Xenobiological surveys
- Exploration and Classification of previously unknown planets
- Disaster relief
Lots of different kinds of people join the Space Corps! Since the late 2890s, capitalism has been mostly eradicated from the Sol system, through a combination of robotic automation and the resource abundance afforded by essentially free energy, coupled with faster than light travel. As a result, people are now free to pursue work that they find meaningful. Many people find that meaning in the Space Corps. Others take it as a good excuse to see the galaxy. (Plus, it’s a great place to intern for a few college credits.)
You can Join the Space Corps, too!
About the Terra IX
The Terra IX was the flagship Space Patrol battle cruiser for 15 years. It was refitted into an exploration vehicle ~10 years ago. It is the largest and fastest ship in the Space Corps, but it is starting to show its age. This means that things break down often, and the engineering team is more or less constantly repairing something.
The Terra IX has a regular crew of 60, but can play host to as many as 200 people comfortably. 15, or so, are Cadets like Jupiter, who are volunteering with the Space Patrol to log Star Hours for academy credit. The rest are scientists, engineers, and explorers, and occasional religious nuts that think they’ll find god in the stars.
About the Universe
It’s 3017. The Earth is mostly covered by a patchwork of giant domed cities. After centuries of global warming, the major land masses have been partially reshaped by melting ice caps. The global ecology is, simply, wrecked. Humanity has survived, and has begun to reverse the worst of the effects of centuries of unchecked global warming, but the damage is done.
The disasters brought about by global warming reached their worst in the early 2400s. At this point, many people took to space in sub-light ships, and the first human colonies were established on the moon and on Mars.
In the late 2400s, Humans working from the Lunar Academy discovered a method of faster than light travel. It took them years to perfect it, and further years to discover a way to turn the physical properties that allow for FTL travel in to an abundant source of clean power. Earth resisted this new, free energy.
As a result, human colonies throughout the Sol system joined together in to a government they called The Solar Alliance. The Solar Alliance was, at this point, a loose federation of human colonies operating on an economic system that fell somewhere between Space Communism and Space Bartering. They had abundant clean energy, and they could quickly and easily trade with one another, but Space isn’t exactly the easiest place to farm, and without the support of Earth, The Solar Alliance struggled.
Eventually (in the 2890s), Earth finally gave up on capitalism and joined the Solar Alliance. The unification of the Sol system came as a direct consequence of first contact with the Verbenubi, who could not understand why it had taken earth so long to get it together, and essentially shamed the government of earth in to treating its people well.
The ~130 years since then have been an incredibly prosperous time. There is abundance. Food can be synthesized from basic raw materials, most material goods can be produced on a standard printer.
Much of the worst damage on Earth has been contained, and conservation efforts, bolstered by cloning have rescued dozens of species from extinction, including Bees!
Humanity now has outposts on every habitable rock in the Sol system, as well as most of the habitable rocks in the four nearest systems. There are even some remote human outposts distant enough that the space buses take weeks or months to get to them.
Faster Than Light travel is common enough, and fairly widely accessible. It is largely handled on a Mass-Transit style system, with Space Buses serving every human outpost in the Sol system and the surrounding systems, as well as regular stops in the home systems of the Randross and the Verbenubi.
Personal space travel is largely limited to more primitive, slower ships. Though these vessels do travel faster than the speed of light, they are significantly slower than the mass transit voyages, with a journey to the Alpha Centauri system taking ~40 hours to complete.
In spite of this, some foolhardy humans do undertake exploration missions of their own, essentially committing to spending the rest of their life in a jump ship. By and large, however, any excursions in to uncharted space are handled through The Space Corps, or the Space Patrol.
- The Solar Alliance does not officially impose a governing style or an economic system that the colonies must use internally, but does specify fairly elaborate rules for inter-colony disputes and trade.
- This means that each colony can adopt it’s own internal governing system, and can have it’s own internal economy.
- This is most significant for the most distant colonies. The colonies of the Sol system are all close enough together that they operate, essentially, in unison
- The basic technology that powers Jump Ships was also the technology behind most early human space exploration, up through the 2770s.
- Today’s Jump Ships are more reliable, and slightly faster, but the core technology is the same.
- The Solar Guard, even today, mostly use single person Jump Ships for patrol
- They do this mostly because Jump Ships can be controlled by hand, with minimal computer navigation, as opposed to larger FTL ships which are almost entirely computerized
- Yep, it’s a dumb macho thing, even in 3017
- The Space Buses and the Space Corps/Space Patrol Ships use a different kind of FTL technology, that was first experimented with in the 2750s, and has been refined and improved upon since then.
- It requires a physically larger vessel, and the reactions involved must be calibrated and tuned by one (or more) experienced engineers regularly. This is why most civilians still rely on Jump Ships.
- Human Equivalent AI exists, and has existed for at least 100 years
- Everyone “knows” this, but no one thinks about it often
- There are some robots and androids in service in the Space Patrol, but mostly AI is reserved for keeping Space Buses from exploding, and making sure that everyone has enough food.
- Some humans are really horrible!
- Pirates are a thing, and they are mostly humans.
- People will also sometimes intentionally destroy power plants or food synths.
- When super bad stuff happens, either man made or naturally, the Space Corps is usually the first to respond
About the Crew
The crew of the Terra IX can rightly be described as Ragtag. They are an odd mishmash of folks from dramatically different backgrounds, and of wildly varying levels of experience.
Crew Breakdown Crew Breakdown
- Jr. Volunteers – Low ranking, fresh faced volunteers. Many of them are Space Cadets from the Solar Guard Academy or the Space Patrol Academy, working in the area that they have been studying. Some of them are space cases, who’ve turned to the space corps to fulfill some kind of sense of place and purpose.
- Senior Crewmembers – Each of whom is able to make executive/command decisions.
- The Commander of the vessel – Jackie Jones: Female, 30s, Former School Teacher
- The First Officer – Cheryl Fontana: Female, 25, Gifted pilot, Vehemently anti-military/pacifist
- Chief of Technology – Theodore Busby (Buzz) Bernhardt, Male, 40s, Constantly doing ridiculous shit to keep the Terra IX flying, Forgetful
- Head of Medicine – Liza ‘Muscles’ Hatfield, Doctor, 30s, Good at Doctoring, Shouty
- Chef – Chef Martinez: Plans meals, is somehow a command officer in spite of being the chef, shady backstory.
- Engineers – Responsible for keeping this ancient rust bucket in the air, and making sure that nothing else breaks down.
- Scientists/scholars – (linguists, biologists, botanists, zoologists, astronomers)
- Lab techs/assistants
- Navigators/helmsfolk/bridge crew*
- Medical staff*
- Becca the ‘Bot – Former maintenance bot, rescued from an abandoned theme park. ~80 years old. Mostly works with the engineering team.
Because Space Corps ships often operate in deep space, far from any members of the Space Patrol, interacting directly with previously unencountered and potential hostile civilizations, and occasionally venturing near contested expanses, they do receive self-defense training, and keep a basic armory of stunners on board.
The armory is rarely required, and most of the members of the ship are avid pacifists.
When entering in to a potentially hostile situation, it is the policy of the space corps to practice deescalation. In the event that force is required, they are able to call upon the nearest Solar Guard or Space Patrol unit. They rarely do so, as the Solar Guard and Space Patrol have a tendency to be xenophobic and cavalier, often adopting a “shoot-first-ask-questions-never” attitude.
About the Podcast
Jupiter’s Ghost is a largely participatory and crowd sourced endeavor. We want you to join the Space Corps.