Just to continue with my whole Halfway Space Station train of thought - I see this as a place that a company (I'll use JMC from Red Dwarf as a placeholder name)
towed out from the Federation when they could see what was happening with the prospectors and realised that there was money to be made with such an enterprise.
The station itself is an old refinery that was broken down into modules for the journey and reassembled on the outskirts of the Cimmerian Cluster - acting as the changeover point where ships on the 'asteroids-Halfway'
leg drop of their passengers and cargoes to be collected by ships who do the 'Halfway-Federation'
leg of the journey.
Halfway Station is essentially the only safe haven between the Federation and the asteroid-field - if your ship has a problem there are no habitable planets to seek refuge on - the whole region is a vast, uninhabitable realm. The JMC employees running the station have a vague
idea of what ships are destined for Halfway via representatives at the asteroid-field and on the closest Federation outpost that is the 'staging ground' for these prospectors when they set out, but vessels are known to go missing during both legs of the six-week voyage.