Earth is the home of Humanity. Among other things, it is home to Sigma Shipyards, the Bounty Hunters Guild, and is the capital of the Federation. Its most notable feature may be the Kane Band, an enormous artificial ring that circles the entire planet.
The hypergate system originated here during the days of the Colonial Council and served as the primary means of interstellar travel until it was destroyed by the Armetis terrorist group. After that, the Council disintegrated and the galaxy fell into a dark period in which much technology was lost. Eventually, scientists on Earth developed the jump drive, and Earth forces began recontacting old colonies which had been lost to them for decades. This led to both the first major war with the Auroran Empire, and the losses inflicted by the Polaris. After both debacles, the Federation as it is known today was largely formed and the Bureau came into being.
The Kane band is named after Omata Kane, the creator of the hypergate system. It is an enormous ring attached to the Earth through six space elevators that begin on the Earth's surface - these elevators are colloquially known as "Kane's Ladders". Virtually all starships are launched from the Kane band – most of Earth's warships are built there, and many corporations have facilities there as well. One of the largest is Sigma Shipyards, which owns 62 percent of the Kane band's surface, granting it impressive starship construction and repair facilities. The headquarters of the Bounty Hunters Guild may also be found here.
As one of the most bustling ports in all of known space, the Kane Band offers all manner of amenities to visiting ships and crews. There are bars and lodgings to suit all taste, though some have become particularly famous due to their esoteric nature. For captains looking for work, there are few better places to get started, as one may be approached at any time in the hectic docking areas by clients who figure the Band offers the largest selection of ships and captains to choose from. Even the most powerful and prestigious company of the Kane Band, Sigma Shipyards, may at times have need for the services of an independent operator.
Naturally, a planet with a population and economy the size of Earth requires a lot of commodities of all types. This is good news for freighter captains as practically all generic cargoes are traded here. Additionally, there is strong demand for anyone bringing in shipments of the Duranium Alloy used by the shipyards in their never-ending construction of new vessels.
|Low cost||Medium cost||High cost|
|Medical Supplies (600 cr)||Food (75 cr)|
Industrial (350 cr)
Metal (200 cr)
|Luxury Goods (1125 cr)|
Duranium Alloy (1125 cr)
|112.3||Port Kane (Kania)||2||Medical Supplies||337|
|112.3||Kinike (Sanddown)||2||Medical Supplies||337|
|75.0||New England (Wolf 359)||1||Medical Supplies||150|
|50.0||Kolan (Sanddown)||2||Medical Supplies||150|
|37.5||Tidal (Kon)||3||Medical Supplies||150|
|225.0||Europa (Sol)||0||Luxury Goods||225|
|101.3||Herald (Avalon)||3||Duranium Alloy||405|
As can be expected, Earth boasts a good availability of ships for sale. These include the entire line of Federation civilian vessels, as well as certain Sigma Shipyards designs that are only found for sale at Earth. These are made available for captains which have served Sigma enough to earn access to their designs.
As with the shipyard, the outfitters of the Kane Band offer the full selection of Federation outfits for civilian ships. Additionally, certain special upgrades are offered by Sigma Shipyards, completed by their most talented engineers in their state of the art facilities in the Band. Of course such signature service costs a bundle, and is only available to Sigma's trusted captains, but it can ensure your ship beats any stock vessels out there.
Never take a mission to Earth unless you intend to start a storyline mission. The mission that starts the Vell-os storyline will appear at the top of the Mission BBS, will be titled "Delivery to Earth" and will involve moving less than 10 tons of cargo. If you accept this mission, you will be presented with the Vell-os choice; if you refuse it, all Federation ships will immediately attack upon takeoff. (This also leads to the Polaris mission string.) Because pilot files are automatically saved on landing, there is no way out of this. However, the total hostilities are caused by a single Federation Carrier that will chase you. When it goes hostile to you, all other Federation ships will go hostile. One can retreat to Auroran space and allow their warships to destroy the Carrier. After this point, Federation vessels will stop attacking you on sight.
Depending on which storyline one takes, Earth will either fall under the control of the Rebellion, or will remain under Federation control. This is purely from a storyline perspective, as Earth's in-game government will not change.
Most planets have 120 ships in their defense fleet, but Earth is the only planet to have 600.
Earth is one end of an excellent trade route: buy medical supplies there, sell at New Ireland, buy luxury goods at New Ireland, sell at Earth. While not the absolute fastest or most profitable trade route in the game, it is reasonably safe, can be accessed right from the start, and can still generate more than enough credits after some time for the player to buy whatever they need.