by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker
edited by Tim Wing
- Factory Satellite reference file
- Factory Satellite gallery
Designation: Frakhla-Morath 2,714,676th Zentradi Fully-Automated Armory Planet (commonly called the Robotech Factory Satellite; pre 2013), Space Station Equality (post 2013)
Names and disposition:
Though the Robotech Factory Satellite was the largest, it was not the only orbital production facility produced by the Robotech Masters. These orbital production facilities could be largely split into two sub-categories: the larger Armory Planets and smaller Weaponry Production Satellites. The following list includes all known orbital production facilities.
- Worquli-Quatafilla 755,819th Zentradi Fully-Automated Armoury Planet, disposition unknown
- Frakhla-Morath 2,714,676th Zentradi Fully-Automated Armory Planet, re-designated Space Station Equality, in service, location a highest-level state secret.
- Spoltra-Shifd 18,899,550th Zentradi Fully-Automated Armoury Planet, in-service, Tirolian Republic, location un-disclosed
- Velquel-Quettereul 49,377,325th Zentradi Fully-Automated Armoury Planet, disposition unknown
- Geteulmaqulla-Zollia 4,146,163-53,717,550th Zentradi Fully-Automated Armoury Planet, disposition unknown
Weaponry Production Satellites
- Boquomouxy 2,117,334th Zentradi Fully-automated Weaponry Production, disposition unknown
- Esbeliben 4,432,369th Zentradi Fully-automated Weapons factory, in-service, Tirolian Republic, Tirol
- Roiquonmi 330,048,902th Zentradi Fully-Automated Weaponry Development and Production, destroyed 1855 AD.
- Toximble 469,416,416th Automated Repair Facility and Dry Dock, re-designated Space Station Fraternity, in service, Terran Federation, Glorie
- Ectromelia 979,972,010th Zentradi Fully-Automatic Weapons Factory and Development, disposition unknown
- Flemenmik 7,721,242,921th Zentradi Fully-automated Weapons Factory, Development and Production, disposition unknown
- Quimeliquola 74,710,020,692nd Zentradi Fully-automated Weapon Development and Production, in-service, Tirolian Republic, Tirol
- Crew approx. 10,000,000 Zentraedi of all types and ages.
- Life support limits were for about 15,000,000 Zentraedi.
- Crew approx. 50,000.
- Population approx. 2,500,000.
- Life support limits are for about 10,000,000 micronian sized people, however this can be expanded to a functionally unlimited extant.
- Length: 1,579,500 meters main body, 2,996,000 meters overall
- Height: 795,600 meters overall
- Mass: 7.59 × 1022 kilograms
Note: for the sake of scale, the Earth’s Moon has a diameter of 3,474,000 meters and a mass of 7.35 × 1022 kilograms.
- Main power system: Craft specific Protoculture-fueled Reflex furnace clusters. At full capacity, these Reflex furnaces provide enough power for the satellite to operate at full production capacity and to execute spacefold operations as needed.
- Secondary power system: Craft specific conventional fusion reactor clusters. Though the secondary power system was capable of providing power sufficient for normal production and operations, they did not generate sufficient power-generation capabilities for multiple spacefolds within a short period of time. A power surplus must be generated and stored within the satellite’s capacitors over a period of around three weeks in order to carry out a successful fold. This period is extended further if the satellite continues with normal production during this time.
- Space Fold: Craft specific spacefold engine clusters. Although the fold is conformal to the bases’ surface, starships can be carried inside the Satellite.
- Manouvering thrusters: Craft specific, very extensive, plasma attitude and low speed propulsion system. The thrusters are distributed around the factory.
- Planetary Capabilities: None whatsoever. The Satellite cannot approach Earth sized terrestrial bodies within 10,000 km without fatal tidal stresses on the connecting stalks between the ancillary bodies and the main body.
Endurance and mobility limits:
The dry stores endurance is effectively infinite; the Satellite is a production center for dry stores.
The mecha consumables supplies (mainly missiles) are effectively infinite, as the Satellite produces mecha consumables in very large numbers.
The missile magazines for the ship’s own launchers are effectively infinite, as the Satellite produces missiles in very large numbers.
The Reflex furnaces can function for about 40 years at normal usage levels before an energizer rebuild is necessary.
The conventional fusion reactor clusters can function for about 15 years at normal usage levels before a rebuild is necessary. As the satellite has multiple fusion clusters, no significant degradation is caused by individual clusters being down for rebuild.
The fold systems were not designed to be used for folds of distances greater than approximately 10 kiloparsecs, for safety reasons. If longer voyages are required, the Satellite must conduct multiple fold jumps.
- Defensive fleet: A Zentraedi defense fleet was permanently assigned to the Satellite. This fleet included originally over 300 monitors, 3000 heavy cruisers, 600 command battleships and 8 flagships. In addition, several thousands of other Zentraedi ships were usually nearby for pre- and post-deployment supply and maintenance. This defense fleet was mostly drawn into the Grand Fleet prior to the Zentraedi Holocaust, and during the Terran assault on the Satellite no monitors and only one flagship were available, in addition to a small number of heavy cruisers that were limited operational due to protoculture shortages.
- Touwhaug Rasar 481 (3000): A missile launcher mounted in a pop-up turret, firing anti-mecha/missile missiles, though the projectiles can guide on point-blank enemy ships. When the missiles are released they are already on their intercept vectors, or very close to them. Each turret has a reload time of 3.6 seconds and a magazine with a 100 round capacity. They are mounted for spherical coverage. The missile system used is the SAA-1 Granite (Gliquoun Touwhaug), a weapon with a conventional blast fragmentation warhead of 278 kg and an atmospheric range of 112 km at a speed of Mach 7.5.
Electronics and special equipment:
- Starship manufacturing facilities: The Factory Satellite contained extensive starship production facilities. There were 18 building docks of 5,000 meters length, 648 building docks of 4,000 meters length, 636 building docks of 3,000 meters length and 1200 building docks of 1,000 meters length. In total, over 2500 starships could be under simultaneous construction, although this was rarely ever achieved.
- In sustained maximum production mode the Factory Satellite could build and equip in two weeks: 3 Nupetiet-Vergnitzs flagships, 36 Queadol Magdomilla command battleships, 72 Quiltra Queleual general purpose vessels, 100 Thuverl Salan heavy cruisers, 6 Rineunadou Lojmeuean monitors and 200 Tou Redir picket ships.
- Starship repair and refit facilities: The Factory Satellite contained extensive starship maintenance facilities. A total of 2500 starships of all classes could be contained in the various individual docks and the large communal docking holds. The throughput of ships differed with their damage or disrepair, but typically 4500 ships could be refitted and repaired in one week.
- Naval Auxiliary production and maintenance facilities: The Factory Satellite contained sufficient production lines for Auxiliaries to equip and restock all starships under construction, repair or refit with their allotted numbers of Auxiliaries. In one week, these production lines could built 10,000 total Quell Quallie recon and assault carriers, Frand’lar Tiluvo re-entry pods, Reg Elgan shuttle craft, Onyap Recuno recovery pods and Fub Relau tankers.
- Mecha production lines: The Factory Satellite could produce sufficient mecha to equip the new construction, restock the ships under repair and refit and replace attrition in large areas of the Robotech Empire. In one week, the mecha production lines could produce 1,250,000 mecha of all types, although the Glaug and the Quaedluun-Rau mecha were not among the types that this facility was outfitted to produce.
- Ammunition production lines: The Factory Satellite contained extensive ammunition production lines. For example, over 50,000,000 missiles of all types could be produced in one week.
- Zentraedi production facilities: The Factory Satellite contained sufficient cloning chambers and first stage training facilities to produce one third of the Zentraedi population expansion and replacements.
- By 2013, all building docks were still in various stages of dysfunctionality after extensive battle damage. Over the years, the United Earth Defense Forces and the Expeditionary Forces refitted a number of the smaller docks for use as shipyards and repair docks.
- Several production lines were set up to produce Terran auxiliaries and mecha by the United Earth Defense Forces and the Expeditionary Forces.
Air group and mecha complement:
- There was no organic mecha complement. However, many mecha could in an emergency be manned and launched from the Satellite.
- There was an extensive mining and prospecting fleet based on the satellite.
The Robotech Factory Satellite consisted out of a main body, housing various ship yards and mecha production lines and the mining fleet, as well as the major service systems such as the Reflex Furnaces, secondary fusion reactors and the drive system, and four ancillary pods. The largest of these ancillary pods housed the cloning and training facility, the three smaller pods, the 1200 building docks for Tou Redir class scouts and the various ammunition manufacturing facilities.
The main body had one access way as large as the access way installed in the Homebase, which opened on the main docking bay. This bay housed incoming vessels prior to assignment to a repair dock, and newly constructed vessels in the final stages of fitting out. All construction and repair bays in the central body (3800 total) could be reached from this bay. However, auxiliary access doors were located around the periphery of the main body. These were not as capacious as the main access doors, however. Mecha production was located above the shipyard, with most lines being dedicated to the Regult Battlepod, and other mecha.
The lower levels of the Satellite were dedicated to the hangars for the mining fleet, raw material storage, ore converters and heavy industries. Produce from this level was used in all other sections of the Satellite. Two service levels were located between the lower levels and the shipyards, and a third service level was located between the yards and the mecha production lines. These levels housed the furnaces, computers and engines of the Satellite. Large reinforced stalks connected the main body with the ancillary pods. Through these stalks the raw materials were shipped to the production centers in these secondary asteroids.
There were no major defensive installations installed on board, the Factory Satellite was always meant to fold if attacked, leaving the defense to its defensive fleet. As a consequence, the Satellite only mounted anti-mecha and anti-missile defense systems.
It is estimated that in its lifetime the Factory Satellite produced circa 13,250 Nupetiet-Vergnitsz flagships, 160,000 Queadol-Magdomilla command battleships, 440,000 Thuverl-Salan heavy cruisers, 320,000 Quiltra Queleual general purpose vessels, 26,500 Rineunadou Lojmeuean monitors, 885,000 Tou Redir pickets, 88.5 million naval auxiliaries and a staggering 11+ billion mecha. This all in addition to munitions, crew and all other items necessary to man and fight this war machine.
The Robotech Factory Satellite began its life as asteroid QDFG85638205 consisting of iron, silicates, and some amounts of rare Earth metals such as titanium, molybdenum and vanadium. This asteroid was discovered by a Tirolian prospector team in 1678 AD as one of a great number of asteroids in the system known as F875485. The system contained a number of Ganymede-sized planets, three gas giants and the aforementioned asteroids. There were no habitable worlds, but the lifeless rocks were very rich in metals, and the gas giants could be mined for hydrogen and hydrocarbons. In addition, the system was out of the way of the areas hit by the Disciples of Zor, and thus became a prime candidate for and finally the site of a Tirolian mining and manufacturing operation. The system, renamed Frakhla, specialized in Zentraedi equipment ranging from starships to boots.
In 1760, the asteroid that would become the Robotech Factory Satellite had been mined for several decades, the process hollowing out large fractions of the rock. At this time the Masters, reasoning from a viewpoint of efficiency and security, decided to concentrate the manufacture of Zentraedi warships larger than a Thuverl Salan heavy cruiser as well as the Rineunadou Lojmeuean monitors in one easily defended spot. With the shipyards would come ancillary production lines that could produce 33% of the Zentraedi mecha, as well as one third the Zentraedi cloning capacity and the main Zentraedi repair base. Only the main production lines for the Thuverl Salan cruisers, Quiltra Queleual vessels and Tou Redir pickets with their required mecha factories were to remain distributed around the Empire. In addition, rare designs such as Border Fleet vessels would continue to be produced in Tirolian facilities and their annexes. After an inventarisation, the asteroid chosen as the site for the new facility was QDFG85638205.
Though there was a multitude of “Armory Planets” already in operation around the Tirolian Mercantile Empire at this time, Frakhla-Morath facility was by far the largest. The total mass of the main asteroid, when combined with its ancillaries, was greater than that of the Earth’s Moon (due in large part to the fact that it was iron in composition). Other armory planets were positively dwarfed by this new construct. The next largest production facility was the Worquli-Quatafilla 755,819th Zentradi Fully-Automated Armoury Planet, which was the originating producer of the Nupetiet-Vergnitzs-Class Fleet Command Battleship, and it was “only” a third of the size at 912,000 meters in overall diameter. The majority of armory planets, however, were in the 400,000 meter range. Smaller than the armory planets, the weapons production satellites were more numerous. Their size tended to be in the 50,000 to 100,000 meter range.
The asteroid, now known as the Frakhla-Morath 2,714,676th Zentradi Fully-Automated Armory Planet, was hollowed out further, covered with armor plating, and its chambers equipped with the machinery necessary for its operation, such as life support, engines, reflex furnaces, internal transport and product storage and manufacturing sites. (The numerical designator 2,714,676th did not actually imply the existence of millions of armory plants, but was equal parts serial number as well as a way to instill a sense of immense scale upon the Zentraedi warrior slaves.) In 1807, Frakhla-Morath became operational when the first Queadol Magdomilla command battleships slipped its moorings and joined the fleet, although most of its manufacturing capability still remained under construction. In the following centuries, Frakhla-Morath produced most of the Zentraedi flagship, monitor and command battleship strength, in addition to what still amounted to a sizable fraction of the Thuverl Salan heavy cruiser, Tou Redir picket and Quiltra Queleual GP vessels, though the FS was not the main contractor for these classes. The Factory Satellite also served as the repair and scrapyard center of the Zentraedi war machine, and produced half of the Zentraedi themselves, although their training had to take place on training planets or in the Homebase. In 1890, Frakhla-Morath was expanded upon by the addition of four smaller asteroids, connected to the main body by reinforced stalks. These sub-bodies concentrated the cloning facilities in the largest sub-assembly, and the ammunition and Tou Redir lines in the other assemblies, leaving the main body free to concentrate on the larger vessels and their auxiliaries.
In 2013, the Factory Satellite, as all other Imperial installations, was suffering from a combination of protoculture depletion and general disrepair. The first services that failed were the cloning and repair facilities, shortly later followed by the internal maintenance. What remained operational degraded at a fast rate after that. The production lines (and the defending fleet) were wrecked beyond the capability of the Tirolian Mercantile Empire then to repair by the time the remaining Zentraedi forces were fleeing the defeat of Dolza by Breetai and the people of Earth.
In 2013, a UN Spacy operation under the command of Breetai Kridanik commenced to seize a Factory Satellite. Like most Zentraedi prior to human contact, Commander Reno’s defense fleet maintained strict separation between male and female genders and had never been contaminated by micronian culture. As such, they were easily shocked by transmissions of music and male/female contact. So extreme was the Zentraedi reaction that some ship captains destroyed any other vessels they deemed “contaminated” by culture and thus Commander Reno’s flagship was destroyed by friendly fire. With the garrison forces in complete chaos, Breetai’s Nupetiet Vergnitzs command ship along with several squadrons of UN Spacy Veritech fighters armed with nuclear anti-ship missiles destroyed or disabled the fleet. Soon after, Breetai docked his ship inside the Factory Satellite and preparations were made to space fold the facility back to Earth.
The Factory Satellite was successfully placed near Earth at a Lagrange point in November 2013. So large was the Factory Satellite that the naked eye could see it from the surface of the Earth, though the distance made the satellite appear noticeably smaller than the moon. Because of its prominence in the night sky, it acquired the nickname “Little Luna”. Once examined closely, the Factory Satellite’s diminished production capacity and general state of disrepair was discovered. Worse still, the facilities protoculture reserves were nearly depleted completely by its fold to Earth. Eventually, the Factory Satellite would be made largely functional and was instrumental in the defense buildup of the United Earth Defense Forces and Expeditionary Forces in the post-war period. Once in the hands of the United Earth Government, the Factory Satellite was re-designated ‘Space Station Equality’, although the nomer ‘Factory Satellite’ has remained in almost parallel use to this day.
Because the Factory Satellite was all but completely depleted of protoculture, the facility’s secondary conventional fusion reactor clusters were reconditioned and expanded in number. This allowed the Factory Satellite to operate without the need of protoculture, but in a diminished capacity. These fusion reactor clusters were capable of providing power sufficient for what would become normal production and operations, but they did not generate sufficient power-generation capabilities for multiple spacefolds within a short period of time. A power surplus had to be generated and stored within the satellite’s capacitors over a period of around three weeks in order to carry out a successful fold. This period would be extended further if the satellite continued with a normal production schedule during this time. Additionally, these newly expanded fusion clusters took up over three times as much volume as the much more efficient Reflex furnaces. Still, inefficient as these reactors were, they allowed Space Station Equality to remain operational.
Shortly after being declared fully operational, the production systems of the Factory Satellite were changed to manufacture Veritech fighters, Destroids, Earth reconstruction materials and capital ships. The Factory Satellite completed construction of the second largest orbital facility used by the people of Earth, Space Station Liberty, in 2024. Space Station Equality was also instrumental during the colonization of the near Earth colonies of Eden, Liberty and Glorie. During their initial colonization, the Factory Satellite folded into orbit around each of them in turn, transporting colonists and vast quantities of supplies.
Though many more Factory Satellites are known to exist, only one, the Toximble 469,416,416th Automated Repair Facility and Dry Dock, re-designated Space Station Fraternity, has been acquired by Earth Forces. In 2024, after the departure of the SDF-3 Pioneer, the Factory Satellite was loaded with additional supplies, and then folded with Fraternity to a deep space rendezvous with the Pioneer mission fleet, to serve as a space habitat and production centers for the Expeditionary Force. Throughout the Sentinels Campaign and the Invid Occupation of Earth, the Factory Satellite served the United Earth Government in the same way that it had served the Robotech Masters: as a massive, mobile production facility.
Currently, the location of the Factory Satellite, Space Station Equality, is considered one of the most sensitive secrets of the Terran Federation. Now that it has been re-equipped with protoculture powered Reflex furnaces, the Factory Satellite is able to conduct spacefolds on short notice. It is speculated by defense analysts that the Terran Navy uses this ability to change location on a regular basis, though this is not confirmed. Regardless, Space Station Equality remains the most important strategic asset in the known galaxy. As such, it is guarded jealously by the Terran Federation.
Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (R) is the properties of Big West Advertising and Studio Nue. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.
Original artwork by: Shoji Kawamori, Miyatake Kazutaka, Haruhiko Mikimoto and Hidetaka Tenjin
Acknowledgement is extended to the work of Egan Loo and the Macross Compendium. Egan Loo is given all credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the Macross Compendium that has been utilized in this publication.
Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized in this publication.
Images from – Macross Perfect Memory (1983), Kazutaka Miyatake Design Works Macross & Orguss (2005)
Content by Pieter Thomassen with Peter Walker, edited by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing