Star Frontiers Revisited
Volturnus (Zebulon star system)
MOONS: 1.) Leo: Completes one orbit every three days, reddish-orange in color 2.) Lulu: Completes one orbit every 27 hours, bluish-silver in color
CLIMATE RANGE: Hot, arid to humid
ATMOSPHERE: 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1% argon
DIAMETER: 12,895 kilometers
LENGTH OF DAYS: 24 hours, 03 minutes
AVERAGE SURFACE TEMPERATURE: 25 degrees C
COLONIZERS: Unsettled; presently claimed by the government of the Truane’s Star.
KNOWN NATIVE POPULATION: Unknown
PLANET HISTORY: Named after the Greek god of the southwest wind, Volturnus is a hot, dry world with many types of hostile terrain. The endless deserts, rugged mountains, volcanic wastes, and dangerous salt flats are constantly scoured by a strong southwesterly wind. Despite these harsh conditions, rare patches of forest and even a few lakes have managed to maintain a perilous existence.
The Zebulon star system was first investigated 20 years ago by an unmanned exploration probe launched by Truane’s Star. This probe indicated that Volturnus was the only inhabitable planet in the Zebulon system. It also indicated that great mineral wealth might exist on the planet in the form of molybdenum, tungsten, gold, and other heavy metals. Truane’s Star soon made a legal claim to the ownership of Volturnus, and completed exploration of a star route to the Zebulon system one year ago.
The government of Truane’s Star opened a star route to the Zebulon system recently, sending its first manned expedition, Volturnus Survey Expedition I to the planet nine months ago. The four member team of specialists was instructed to set up an outpost, gather data on the possible colonization and mining of Volturnus, and report back. Unfortunately, all communication with the starship ceased shortly after it passed into the system. No clues as to the whereabouts of either the crew or the ship have been found.
Because of the cost and time involved in preparing an expedition, nine months have passed since the original mission disappeared.