"It is a great satisfaction to watch a ship being built by the Network. I sometimes am distracted from my duties as administrator to just watch."

The Martis Shipyard Construction Network is largely an automated network of shipyards that construct ships for the Federations of United Star Systems.  As of 100,000, though, it is nearly completely automated, with the UFSS only hiring 2 computer specialists to take care of the main "core" of the network.  This core is responsible for 21 seperate shipyards orbiting Phobos, each capable of completing 2 battleship class vessels per day.  In peacetime however, the shipyards usually produce much smaller pleasure craft in much greater numbers, with the occasional military vessel being ordered.


When Humanity turned their eyes toward Mars for colonization, the moon Phobos was the first stop due to its low gravity, and ease of launching Mars surface missions.  The moon soon became more than just a moon; in the latter half of the 22nd century, it became the counterbalance to the Martian Space Elevator, which necessitated that Phobos be used for far more than a simple start point.  Phobos eventually became a small trading hub, which put pressure on the higher ups to construct a shipyard, for both military and financial reasons.  The first berth of the shipyard went online in 2460, and was not automated as it is today.

Currently, the Shipyard hosts 43 berths per seperate shipyard, spread out in orbit around Phobos, and is almost entirely automated; it requires only 3 people.  One as an administrator for the entire system, and 2 to watch over the core of the system.

The Core

The core of the system is a customized wetware "brain" that calls itself "MARTIS".  The core was grown from just a few hundred neurons specifically chosen for their resistance to emotional stimuli.  Thanks to this, the chance of MARTIS rebelling against its creators is almost 0%.  The "brain" is similar to the honeycomb on a honeybee hive frame, and links up to the system through a custom connection port in the shipyard's core building.  Being wetware, it is required to be well-oxygenated at all times, or the wetware itself can "die".  This nearly happenned on one occasion where the oxygenation pumps supplying the nutrient bath it is submerged in went offline, and was not noticed until a very strange-looking ship was produced by the shipyard, indicating MARTIS was in distress.  The problem was promptly found, corrected, and now an array of redundant pumps supplies the nutrient bath MARTIS is housed in.  Most likely no one was within the vicinity of the main control room, or they would have heard warning klaxons.

MARTIS can communicate via text, or through a synthesized voice, but it prefers to do so through text.  The reason for this is not well understood.  It is thought that perhaps the method used to grow it works only too well. 


At any given time, most of the shipyard's 43 berths are being used for the construction of ships.  If needed, it can also create station parts, surface base modules, and even spare parts for surface dwellings.  MARTIS itself is known to be very picky about what it creates, only preferring to build spacecraft, and has to be convinced to build anything else.  If forced to create something the shipyard is not explicitly designed for, MARTIS can go unresponsive for up to 6 hours, and production stops.  Shipyard personnel are briefed on this, and are explicitly told not to upset MARTIS during busy periods.

As stated, at peak production, the Network is capable of producing 2 battleship-class vessels per day using a modernized version of a fairly old technology called "additive manufacturing".  When the method was invented, what was being "printed" had to be mounted to a stationary platform, limiting feasability.  As of 100000 CE however, specialized robots do all the work, forming shapes out of molten metal located in a tank which is also part of the robot.  They just need a very flimsy scaffolding to guide them, which is built by another specialized robot.  The robots that actually build the ship then follow this rough guide, and what they end up with is a collossal lump of blocky metal that needs to be hollowed out.

At this point the robots change their build mode and fine-tunes the ship to specifications by hollowing out rooms, corridors, command areas, etcetera.  They are small enough to fit in corridors wide enough for a single human, so they can work seemingly without difficulty.  When a ship is finished, MARTIS itself hacks into the propulsion system and moves the ship in question elsewhere in Phobos orbit, then notifies the person who ordered said ship to retrieve delivery.

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