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Very few large spacecraft are built planet-side, with the exceptions in under-developed civilizations attempting to leap a few steps ahead on the technological curve. Most ships are constructed in orbital facilities. These, like their surface-vessel counterparts, are called shipyards.

A space shipyard functions much the same as a marine yard. It is usually attached to or part of a working port, but has additional heavy machinery, equipment, and facilities to accomodate repair of construction of ships.


Space-based shipyards are an important step up the ladder of development. Since launching materials from the surface into space is extremely difficult, time-consuming, and risky, every civilization attempting to reach the stars will, at some point, construct spacecraft in space.

Low-orbital shipyards are usually the first stage. These are often little more than primitive space stations where ships are assembled alongside, from modules pre-fabricated on the ground. Higher orbitals are next, though the first large shipyards are typically built either in lunar orbit or at LaGrange points.

The primary step between a space-assembled manufacture and a real starship yard comes when most of the raw materials are mined or otherwise collected in space, refined in space, and assembled in space. The next step comes in building shipyards closer to supplies of natural resources, etc.

Notable Yards

The Gudersnipe Foundation operates some of the largest and most sophisticated shipyards in explored space. Its primary yard is Utopia Gregaria, where the bulk of the Foundation's capital-class starships are constructed. The Naupactus yard at nearly the opposite end of the verse is the other major producer, and is also home to a sizable Ghost Fleet. The highly specialized Grumman Facility is where the initial construction of Mercury Ships begins.

The Alliance's Athenaeus Yard is notable for being the oldest space-based shipyard in the Alliance, dating back to A.Y. 2113.


Roughly analogous to the drydock in surface shipyards, a stardock is a compartment on a space station where ships are repaired or constructed. Though not a pressurized, shirt sleeve environment, a stardock is wholly or mostly enclosed to protect equipment and personnel from stellar radiation and external debris. They are usually well-lit, peaceful environments. Machines, construction equipment, and workers in hard-hat suits are found inside. In facilities where ships are being constructed, large-scale equipment is used to move around ship sections and components. Unfinished hulls will usually be fixed with docking arms to keep them from moving.