Orbitals are huge constructions that are placed in orbit around a planet or moon. These are stationary structures that are guided by the gravitational rotation of the parent body. These facilities fulfill a variety of roles, which include scientific, industrial, residential and farming. It is estimated that fifteen thousand are in operation today throughout human space.
Science and research orbitals are the most common in use. They can be found in both inhabited and uninhabited star systems. Their primary responsibilities include the collection of data from local stellar bodies, the cataloging of local life forms and the mapping of local planetary bodies. Cadres of scientist and researchers courtesy of the dozens of research organizations work and live onboard these facilities for months to years at a time. These stations on average can house up to 1,000 individuals which includes the science team, support personnel and families.
Another common construct are the industrial orbitals which are commonly located around dead planets and moons. This is a common strategy used in order to optimize the purity of the bio spheres of habited worlds. Orbiting factories tend to be huge in size and fully automated. Planets that have large populations may have a dozen of these factories catering to their needs. The importance of the factories is so valuable to the growth, development and viability of the these worlds, that local garrisons are tasked with providing security to these facilities. Companies that wish to use the factories make arrangements with both the local government and virtual shopping network(VSN) to initiate the process. Once approved, the factory will build the products according to contract and transit the finished items to the local star port or client's orbiting storage facilities. Other orbitals include farming and power production. Similir to their industrial couterparts, they are coded as "essential" level facilities, these automated platforms receive the same level of protection asthe latter.
The latest census estimated that nearly sixty million people live in residential orbitals throughout the Tellusian controlled space. Most of these stations are located in systems that already have planetary populations. However, some of these orbitals can be found in uninhabited ones. The average community orbital houses anywhere from fifty to two hundred thousand residents. They are equipped with every modern conveniences that their planet side counterparts have. Everything here is recycled including air, fluids and waste. Several habs serve as way stations for tourist, travellers, entertainers and merchants.