Just spitballing ideas for alternate universe settings. I've been pondering the idea of space habitats and other constructs. A simple Torus shaped station has the capacity to hold a fair sized population. Now with most sci-fi setting we assume the existence of some form of artificial gravity which could ease concerns over long duration habitation in space. Taking Mass Effect for example. A common metal rich asteroid would probably have orders of magnitude more material than is needed to fuel the industry to build a space station. Would it make sense for deep space industrial ships to have onboard manufacturing and refining capability. Enough to possibly bootstrap your way up to heavier construction. This would allow the quick, relatively speaking, construction with a simple infusion of minor resources to get access to a ship. Expanding upon the example, if a bunch of Quarians managed to acquire a resource ship they could find an unclaimed asteroid and build themselves a habitat. This would allow orders of magnitude more flexibility for their situation in space. A secure construction facility, expanded agriculture, medical facilities and a population expansion. Assuming of course the Council didn't just blow it up or steal it. But assuming for the sake of the argument would it be feasible for such deep space resource exploitation ships to exist. Deep space construction. Star systems with habitable or even terraformable planets would be the diamonds in the rough naturally. The most common systems would probably be worthless in the sense that they're full of gas giants or worlds that cannot be terraformed in any meaningful capacity to sustain a population. These would be the systems where it'd be more economical to strip mine them for usable materials. Now since a single standard asteroid belt would contain multiple quintillions of materials would it make sense for large scale stations to be built that could sustain a population over long periods. I'm thinking for stations with a couple medium sized drydocks for basic ship repair/construction as needed. Living space with 'outside' areas like small parks and things to combat the claustrophobia that comes with space living. Helium-3 refinery to fuel the ships and industry. Storage facilities for all the normal stuff. I'm thinking along the size of a Lucrehulk sized station only without the stupid opening in the front for the droid bays. Make it a full Torus, add in two or three more bridge ways to the center sphere to solidify it and that would probably make a great station in my mind. Also, would a space station built by an independent group belong to them or would it still be considered under their governments jurisdiction. Say an independent group, approximating Cerberus, built a self sustaining space station complex in an out of the way solar system would they have independence or would they have to turn it over to their government to run. I guess I'm picturing like someone building a version of my augmented Lucrehulk (from star wars) or something and just sticking it in orbit of a gas giant where it mines asteroids and harvests He3 to sell to passing ships or other mining groups to buy stuff it can't manufacture.