While almost all Jupiter moons were settled and occupied by the end of 2220, the first manned expedition to Jupiter itself was not undertaken until 2226 by the then newly founded Union – Science Corps. While the expedition was a scientific success and hailed as a milestone in engineering as Captain Montehue stepped onto the the 15,000 degrees hot Water Ice in a modified Gargantuan Enviro suit after diving for 153 days through liquid metallic hydrogen; it was of little economical importance. In 2227 the Company Shell in association with Exxon filed claim to the entire planet at the regional Union Court and since no one objected, the claim was granted. Shell introduced the very first Refinery -Floating City (floating on the Liquid Hydrogen Layer) and refining the virtual limitless Liquid Hydrogen into MOLCH Fuel. The process was simple and the resource as pure as possible, the ever growing fuel and energy demands made this an enormous profitable venture. By 2400 over ninety floating Refineries existed on Jupiter, with similar ventures on other Jovian Planets. When Shell became SII Fuels, the number of Floating cities tripled and Jupiter Fuel is to this very day an enormous operation with gigantic Tiny Tim freighters shipping MOLCH fuel mainly to Ross 248 and Blue Moon, but also to a thousand other destinations. 270 huge Cities float all across the immense surface of the Planet. Other products are Ammonia, Phosphine, Ethane ,Acetylene Methane and Water. There are algae farms producing a special genetic engineered algae that floats in the upper regions and is a rich source of protein and a variety of Food products. The residents of the Cities are called Floaters and they associate themselves with their cities and not with the Planet and the term Jupiterian is not used. The Oldest City is called “Luftschloss” and is the seat of the Corporate Board government. The Cities hold City Beautification Contests every ten years which are huge tourist attractions and the Judging contest is a source of local rivalry and transmitted via GalNet Union wide.
Jupiter is the largest planet in the Sol system with a diameter of 142,984 kilometers, it has 1330 times the volume and 318 times the mass of Earth. Jupiter is 816 million kilometers from the Sun and appears as the fourth largest object in the sky as viewed from Earth (Sun, Moon and Venus are brighter).
A Jovian year consists of 4333 Earth days, although a day only lasts 9.84 hours. This rapid rotation combined with Jupiter's very active atmospheric weather pattern gives Jupiter a very violent appearance. Pioneer 10 and 11, and Voyager 1 and 2 all made close up fly-bys between March 1972 and July 1979. Jupiter does not have a solid surface or a molten core, but rather it is gaseous and has a small, solid core. Above the core is a sphere of frozen water combined with frozen ammonia that is 6880 kilometers thick, which is kept frozen by immense pressure rather than temperature. This enormous block of ice averages 15,000 degrees C. Above this is a layer of liquid metallic hydrogen 46,000 kilometers deep, topped by a 16,000 kilometer ocean of liquid hydrogen. The temperature of the liquid hydrogen is 150 degrees C. Above this is the planets turbulent atmosphere. It's atmosphere contains acetylene, ethane, methane, ammonia, carbon monoxide, phosphine and even water.
The most outstanding feature on Jupiter is the Great Red Spot (GRS), First recorded in 1664 by Robert Hooke. It is three times the size of Earth, and is a giant cyclonic storm. It rotates anticlockwise, and makes a complete rotation every six Earth days.
In 1979, the Voyager 1 spacecraft discovered a distinct ring system. The Jovian rings are very thin compared to Saturn's. The ring system is divided in two parts that begin 46,000 kilometers above Jupiter's cloud tops. The two parts are a faint band 5000 kilometers across, feathering into a brighter band 800 kilometers across. The rings are composed of dark grains of sands and dust, and are probably not more than 1.6 kilometers thick. The Rings are harvested by Scooper Ships of the SII Fuel Company.