FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

Amalthea is the third moon of Jupiter, and is the largest of the inner satellites and is in a close orbit within the outer edge of the Amalthea Gossamer Ring, which is formed from dust ejected from its own surface.

From its surface, Jupiter would be an astonishing sight in its sky, appearing 46.5 degrees in diameter.

Amalthea is irregularly shaped and reddish in color. Its surface features include large craters and high mountains. Originally thought to consist of porous water ice with unknown amounts of other materials, unmanned probes and later manned expeditions found to have a small conglomerate rocky core overlaid by a very porous ice layer.

Amalthea is irregularly shaped, with the best ellipsoidal approximation being 250 146 128 km and has relief ranging up to 80km in difference, typically the result of large impact craters.

While situated deep within Jupiter’s radiation belts, this moon provided a perfect platform form close observation of Jupiter’s atmospheric activity and by the late 21st century a series of networked robot observatories were landed here to monitor the atmosphere as well as monitor radiation storm surges that Jupiter gives off in a limited way - mild compared with the Sun, but still devastating to manned ships operating in the region. Th synchronous orbit of the moon relative to Jupiter made it a perfect observation platform.

By 2110, after a handful of radiation hardened manned expedition made it to the rear side of the moon, a decision was made to set up a small manned scientific station buried deep with the rear side to coordinate a more complete scientific observation network and work towards being a staging post for launching unmanned probes in the Jupiter atmosphere as part of a longer term exploration programme.

After the Tilfigur disaster of 2134AD when a European transport vessel to Callisto had an engine failure and spiralled towards Jupiter and the radiation fried the crew after their valiant efforts to survive, the Europeans, Americans, Japanese and Chinese backed the formation of a UN coordinated search and rescue service with the aim of saving lives in similar disasters in dangerous corners of the Solar System.Amalthea’s facilities were expanded to include a hospital facility, emergency quarters for rescued ship crew and the permanent inclusion of a rotated shift of a search and rescue team, doctors and a heavily radiation shielded rescue tug.

The team based here has been called 4 times since to assist with drive repairs and orbital boosts for ships in distress and have rescued the crew of a Europan orbital transfer vehicle which suffered a control system misfire of its main orbital life engine.

While the service is deemed expensive, the cost in lives and material saved so far almost justifies the expense and the personnel based on Amalthea contribute in their efforts to the ongoing science work.

Categories: The Solar System

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