Glossary

Aerobic
An environment with oxygen gas (O2).

Aerobraking
To use the atmosphere of a planet to slow the velocity of a descending object.

Albedo
The reflectivity of an object. 0 absorbs all energy, 1 reflects all energy.

Anaerobic
An environment lacking oxygen gas (O2).

Allopoiesis
The process whereby a system produces something other than the system itself. An assembly line and asteroid mine are examples of allopoietic systems.

Android
A robot or other artifical being made to resemble a human. (Chambers Cyclopedia, 1727)

Ansible
An instantaneous communication device, not limited by the speed of light (LeGuin, 1966)

Aphelion
Maximum orbital radius for a planet around a star.

Apogee
Maximum orbital radius for a moon around a planet.

Astrogate
To navigate in space (R.A.Heinlein, 1941)

Atmospheric engineering
The engineering of a planets atmosphere.

Autopoiesis
The process whereby a system reproduces itself. An autopoietic system is an autonomous and self-maintaining unity which contains component-producing processes. The components, through their interaction, generate recursively the same network or processes which produce them. An autopoietic system is operationally closed and structurally state determined with no apparent inputs or outputs. A cell and an organism are examples of autopoietic systems. The Earth as an autopoietic system is referred to as Gaia. Humans are the component-producing processes that will use the raw materials of other planets to create new worlds, reproducing Earth.

Belter
A person who lives in an asteroid beelt (Larry Niven, 1966)

Bioform
A biological organism genetically modified to suit an alien environment (Michael Bastion, 2006)

Biogeochemistry
The cycling of chemical elements and compounds between the living and non-living parts of an ecosystem.

Biogeoformation
The biological creation of geological structures. (Michael Bastion, 2006)

Biosphere
The volume of space occupied by life. It is not necessarily spherical.

Black-panel
Similar to a solar-panel except it's near 100% efficient. It absorbs almost all light that fall on it and converts it to electricity. (Michael Bastion, 2005)

Blue-skying
The deconstruction of a worldhouse or domed structure. The enclosed environment is opened into a planetary atmosphere, and space beyond.

Bubbleworld
A spherical environment is space, enclosed by a membrane and supported by a higher internal pressure. Prone to bursting so they're only useful as storage facilities for non-living material.

Caeliforming
The creation of an Earth-like atmosphere on a foreign planetoid. It's not dependant on an Earth-similar gravity. (Michael Bastion, 2005)

Clarke's Third Law
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Cloud-skimmer
Cloud Skimmers are streamline aerospace craft. They plunge into the upper atmosphere of a planet, filling their tanks with compressed atmospheric gas, before returning to orbit. (Michael Bastion, 2005)

Cold sleep
Suspended animation, with the subjects ket very cold or even frozen (R.A.Heinlein, 1941)

Coreward
Towards the center of the galaxy

Corpsicle
A corpse, cryogenically preserved in hope of future revival (1966)

Cyborg - CYBernetic ORGanism
A living organism with biological and machine components (1960)

Dayside
The daylight side of tidally locked planet (Catharine L. Moore, 1942)

Diamond-duster
An atmospheric converter which produces diamonds, or diamond dust, instead of carbon powder. (Michael Bastion, 2005)

Dyson sphere
Fictionally, a giant sphere with a radius of one Astronomical unit. At it's centre is a sun and the inner surface is capable of supporting billions of Earth-size populations.

Earthlife
Any lifeform which evolved on Earth. (Michael Bastion, 2006)

Ecliptic inclination
Orbital inclination.

Ecoformation
To genetically modify the biological components of an ecosystem to be suited to an alien environment or species. (Michael Bastion, 2006)

Ecogenesis
The creation of a stable ecosystem of Earthlife on a terraformed planet. (Michael Bastion, 2006)

Ecopoiesis
The creation of any stable ecosystem, where one did not previously exist. (Haynes)

Ecoside
The destruction of an entire ecosystem.

Ecosystem
A partioned environment. It includes the interaction between a living community and it's non-living environment.

Exobiology
The study of non-terrestrial life.

Gateway
A portal allowing travel or communication between dimensions or alternative universes (Paul Edmonds, 1942)

Graser
A gamma-ray laser

Greenhouse effect
The increase in temperature due to the insulation of atmospheric gases.

Habitable terraform
A planet where terraforming is incomplete. The planet is adapted for human habitation but uses artifical shortcuts and needs maintaining. (Birch)

Homunculus
An intelligent, mechanical humanoid.

Hydrosphere
The volume of space occupied by liquid water. It is not necessarily spherical.

Interworld
Between, or occuring between planets (Hal Clement, 1946)

Kuiper belt
A comet and asteroid belt beyond the orbit of Neptune.

Light-sphere
Similar to a Dyson-sphere except the central sun is replaced by large high-luminosity lights on the inner surface, similar to searchlights. The light is directed at the opposite side of the sphere, producing an artifical daylight. Reflected light would bounce around inside the sphere, creating a ball of light. As the lights are artifical they can be turned on/off for a coordinated day/night cycle, or up/down to replace lost light eg. photosynthesis. (Michael Bastion, 2005)

Lunagenesis
The complete formation of a Luna-similar moon. (Michael Bastion, 2006)

Magnetosphere
The volume of space containing the magnetic field.

Marsjar
An artifical environment designed to simulate the environment of Mars.

Neutronium
Matter composed entirely of neutrons (Jack Williamson, 1931)

Offworld
Being away from a planet of origin (B.I. Kahn, 1950)

Oort cloud
The spherical region surrounding the solar system. It contains numerous long-period comets.

Ozone (O3)
An atmospheric gas that shields against harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Parraterraformed
An incomplete stage of terraforming. At this stage, environmental conditions on the surface are suitable for domed bases. The bases must confine their own atmosphere and mainitain internal heat. Any colonisation of the surface is only prudent when caeliforming and/or ecogenesis are the only process(es) left to complete.

Perigee
Minimum orbital radius for a moon around a planet.

Perihelion
Minimum orbital radius for a planet around a star.

Planetary engineering
The large-scale modification of an entire planet. (Jack Williamson, 1936)

Planet-buster
A weapon capable of destroying a planet (F. Herbrt, 1959)

Planetoid
A planet, moon or large asteroid, capable of holding a gaseous atmosphere by gravity.

Planetological terraform
A planet where terraforming is complete. The Earth-like planet is stable over geological eras without further human intervention. (Birch)

Plasteel
A material with the strength of steel but the weight of plastic (H. Ellison, 1956)

Psychohistory
The theory that the history of large populations is statistically predictable, based on psychological theories of human and social behaviour (I. Asimov, 1942)

Ramscoop
A method of space propulsion using electromagnetic fields to scoop up interstellar material as reaction mass and/or fuel (Larry Niven, 1965)

Rimworld
A planet orbitting a star at the edge of the galaxy (A.B. Chandler, 1959)

Sidereal period
Orbital period.

Soletta
A giant orbital magnifying glass used to intensely heat a planets surface and atmosphere.

Starbase
A facility or location which is a strongpoint or station for intersteller military or commercial aactivity (R.M. Williams, 1944)

Stargate
A location or device in space, by passage through which instantaneous travel over interstellar distances is achieved (A. Norton, 1958)

Sublight
Speeds below the speed of light (J. Chalker, 1976)

Terraforming
The process of transforming a planet into one sufficiently similar to the Earth to support terestrial life. (Jack Williamson 1942)

Terragen
A human with Earth ancestry.

Terragenesis
The complete terraformation of an Earth-similar planet. (Michael Bastion, 2006)

Topside
In orbit

Vitaforming
Planetary engineering with the purposeful end-result of a habitat capable of supporting life, not necessarily Earth-life.

Worldhouse
An entire planet, or moon, enclosed in an air-tight glasshouse structure.

Xenoanthropology
The study of extraterrestrial cultures. (S. Hawke, 1994)

Xenoformation
To genetically modify a biological organism with alien DNA. (Michael Bastion, 2006)

Xenology
The scientific study of extraterrestrial phenomena. (R. Heinlein, 1954)