One of the targets for the deep space exploration teams from alpha-base was the K2-18 system and here especially K2-18b. In 2019 it was concluded that K2-18b might have high amount of water in the atmosphere. This knowledge got forgotten during the exploration era and only after the science team on alpha-base was looking for potential expedition targets, K2-18b came back into the picture.
Thus an expedition was launched and indeed soon, it was confirmed that K2-18b is actually a water world, a single planet completely covered by an ocean. Additional research showed, that the waters but also the ocean floor was rich in minerals thus a pot. target for exploitation. Therefore it was decided to set-up a first base in shallow waters to further determine the potential of K2-18b:
The base is centred around the main lab with its drill to examine the ocean floor. One research lab is dedicated to examine the composition of the ocean in all details to see if a filtration and mineral extraction system could be run on a large scale. A 2nd lab is trying to see, if K2-18b could actually be home to plants from earth. Together with a small platform for atmospheric research as well as the power core this makes the base. Expeditions on the oceans are performed with the two Hoover units, each having its own docking station for re-fuel and maintenance. Several antenna towers have been installed to provide the necessary connectivity with alpha-base and for atmosphere research and observation of the red dwarf.
What was a bit unexpected are the weather extremes that can hit K2-18b at the selected location, from snow storms to endless rains and blazing sun, nothing is impossible on K2-18b:
The following pictures provide a good view of the station on K2-18b – The waterworld: