Most starships' range of operations extend no more than three months away from their home ports. The dilemma is primarily due to the fact that the starship runs out of food and needs to be replenished, though fuel is also a problem. In order to increase the range of these starships, major empires early in their development began developing various designs for entire bases to be built in space or on planets. These bases would have the necessary space and materiel to not only replenish an exhausted ship's food stocks, but also the necessary tools to repair the ship, provide advanced medical aid, even going as far as having bases capable of refitting vessels. Many of these bases would become in their own right important centers of trade and commerce, so much so that a few of the most profitable bases with original military purpose have now become trading posts.
Bases which are located on planet or asteroid surfaces are known as outposts. Outposts can be very small, capable of handling on the most basic of mission tasks (such as monitoring communication and space traffic, emergency replenishment of food and light defense capabilities) or can in fact be quite large - the size of whole colonies. The largest of outposts tend to so heavily armed that it would take an entire fleet of starships to take them down. Throughout the Milky Way Galaxy there exist both civilian and military outposts.
Starposts have the same function as small-to-medium sized outposts, but are called starposts because they are in fact built in space. They are often situated strategically so as to protect the entrance route into a star system, though sometimes they are placed near borders so as to attract and monitor border traffic, etc. The largest star posts in the Milky Way Galaxy are the O.I.P. star ports, which in their own right should be called star bases. How much fire power it takes to bring down a star post depends on its size, often medium-sized star posts require as much as 200 star ships to bring them down.
Shipyards exist either on a planet surface or in orbit, though planet-based shipyards are becoming increasingly outdated. Shipyards are rated as either Level I, Level II, Level III, or Level IV. Level I shipyards are known as small shipyards, they are capable of constructing anything from shuttlecrafts to light cargo vessels. Level II shipyards are known as medium shipyards, they are capable of producing any vessel that isn't larger than frigates. Level III shipyards are known as large shipyards, they are capable of producing any vessel that isn't larger than cruisers. Level IV super-shipyards are the only shipyards capable of producing battleships. Most shipyards beyond Level II are directly controlled by governments.
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