Most stations are located in orbit around planets, or in ( for mining stations ) in asteroid fields / belts.
Stations might be able to move a bit, but they're certainly not designed for that. Stations are normally built on their definitive orbit. Their thrusters are just good enough to maintain them on a stable orbit. If they were to move across a solar system, it'd take them days just to travel 1 A.U.Stations don't have FTL or even light-speed engines.
Some stations can be found in the upper atmospheres of some gas giants; those kind of stations are using anti-gravity generators and are the most expensive to run.
The most important aspect of stations is that they are a place where people live and work, so they must recreate natural gravity. All stations use gravity generators. Stations using circular profiles ( ala Star Trek / 2001 ) are usually preferable.
If the station is modular ( or built with many objects ), some sections can be rotating, and some of them can remain static. Don't forget to keep hangars in the static sections. If is recommended to place some vertical / down thruster(s) on the underside of the station ( with a similar design than those in the back of ships ), that will help the station to maintain its altitude / orbit.
Stations use hardpoints just like ships, so do not forget to place static hardpoints on large, flat surfaces in strategic locations, so that it is able to defend itself.
– They can be slightly asymmetrical
– All stations should have a pretty large hangar ( or many of them ), able to hold tens of small or medium ships. See the hangars section for more informations.
– Large ships will dock externally to the station, via docking ports. See the section below about docking ports. Don't forget to keep a distance / separation large enough between many docking ports on a surface, to allow ships to dock without hitting each other. It is recommended to use distances matching the width of existing garage classes ( see garage specifications ).
Types of stations: not an exhaustive list:
– Outposts ( usually pretty small )
– Detection or communications stations
– Civilian stations
– Industrial / mining stations
– Scientific / research stations
– Trading / commercial stations
– Space cities ( basically, a city under a dome that is floating in space )
– Military / battle stations