|Library Data Index|
Oxygen is frequently present in the soil of barren worlds, locked in chemical compounds. The airplant absorbs large quantities of solar energy, including ultraviolet and gamma rays, which power its enzyme systems and break the bonds of these compounds. If the planet's gravity is strong enough to hold the liberated oxygen near the surface, a light but adequate atmosphere builds up over the centuries.
To speed the terraforming process after introducing the plants, domed areas may be constructed to hold the oxygen in higher concentrations, allowing human settlement that much sooner. The smallest worlds rarely hold hydrogen in their formation, so is still non-existent in such places. But hydrogen can be brought in and burned in fuel cells, producing both energy and water for a colony.
On its home world, airplant is part of a small eco-system
of bacteria and lichens which requires almost no water and derives what
it needs from the breakdown of minerals. The population of Saandeth is
clustered into a few dense population centers, leaving most of the surface
undisturbed. -core TD 10