The Orbis starport is the oldest station design still utilized in the 34th century, having originated during the early years of the Federation and persisted over the centuries with minimal changes. It is a common sight in both well-established and newly-colonized systems.
The Orbis consists of a cylindrical main hub which contains the docking bay. Extending from the hub is a spire that hosts habitat rings, storage modules, solar panel arrays, and a reactor at the far end. Of the three main station designs, the Orbis is the only one capable of supporting 4-kilometer habitation rings in addition to 2-kilometer rings, with a single larger ring usually fixed around the main hub in addition to one or more smaller rings along the spire. The 4-kilometer ring enjoys a full 1 G, while the 2-kilometer rings achieve only 0.5 G's. A number of Orbis stations in less affluent systems only feature the smaller rings.
Despite their size, Orbis stations usually do not host large populations. Most permanent residents are maintenance and administrative personnel responsible for the day-to-day management of the station itself. Non-personnel with the wealth to afford it reside in the spacious habitation rings.
The independent construction company Kavanagh Spaceframes Ltd is known to specialise in modifying Orbis stations, and in September 3306 it began a campaign to upgrade a number of refinery outposts into Orbis models at the request of Brewer Corporation.
- The Orbis was first introduced in Frontier: Elite II.
- While the habitat rings of an Orbis are based upon the Stanford torus design, the hub of an Orbis was inspired by the O'Neill cylinder.
- The Orbis station length (5947m) is approximately 3 Farragut-Class Battle Cruisers.
- Orbis stations get their name from the Latin word Orbis, meaning circle. This is referencing the large Habitation rings featured in the design.