FANDOM



In the author's original timeline, Beta Station was founded in 2039 by ECS3 Argo as the fourth star station supporting the sublight "great circle" circle.  Beta Station is located in the Alpha Centauri star system, a trinary system 4.37 light years from Sol.  Alpha Centauri A is a G2 class main sequence star slightly larger than Sol; Alpha Centauri B is a K1 class main sequence star sliglhtly smaller than Sol.  The pair orbit each other with a period of 80 years, but the orbit is elliptical.  Closest approach for the pair is approximately equivalent to Sol and Saturn, with greatest separation approximately that of Sol and Pluto.  The third member, Proxima Centauri, is an M6 red dwarf orbiting the binary system at a distance of 0.24 light years.  Alpha Centauri is located generally in the opposite direction of the other so-called "Hinder Star" stations. 

Throughout its history, Beta Station's only trade is with Sol and Alpha Station (Barnard's Star). The last ship from Alpha, ECS7 Santa Maria, arrived in 2069, departing then for Sol. The only exception followed the establishment of Eldorado (UV Ceti/Luyten 726-8), 10.3 light years away, when ECS2 Valiant is sent from Beta to Eldorado in 2132. Until this, Valiant has been a primary link between Sol and Beta Station, cycling regularly between the two. After reaching Eldorado, Valiant begins a new cycle between Eldorado and Pell, never returning to Beta. Valiant is the last ship to trade with Beta Station. 

In 2157, a transmission from Beta Station indicated trouble aboard; ECS7 Santa Maria, dispatched from Sol to investigate, arrived in 2163 to discover the station deserted, although some dead are left behind.  One theory was that the station was evacuated, although no sign of the 300 colonists was ever found.

The novel Alliance Rising expands on Beta Station's mystery status, emphasizing that whatever happened to Beta--evacuation or not--was not merely a physical disaster. No ship ever visited Beta again because there was widespread belief that the colonists' disappearance was attributable to an interested third party--bluntly, alien involvement. The Cyteen novels support this theory, observing that following the Company Wars, Earth's attempts to expand in other directions ran into a xenophobic alien species. The Chanur novels suggest this would be the methane-breathing and utterly alien Knnn of Compact Space. The fear caused by the Beta disaster even kept the Earth Company from using that station as an FTL route to the beyond.

Following the end of the Company Wars, rampant speculation was that Mazian's fleet may have set up a secret base at Beta Station.  Presumably, no Alliance ships investigated these rumors in the years following the war, partly due to Beta Station's location, partly due to the obvious possibility of the nascent Alliance military running into the entire remaining Mazianni fleet, and partly due to the possibility of running into whatever force had destroyed the colony in the first place.

The novel Rimrunners states that the discovery of Gaia Point, off Bryant's Star, made Beta Station obsolete, along with three other hinder star stations.  However, later in the novel, it is clear that there is no Alliance presence at Beta Station.  This, combined with Beta Station's location, suggests that Gaia Point actually made Alpha Station (orbiting Barnard's Star) obsolete.