I mentioned earlier that modern ships need antennas to send and receive messages from all over the world. On space ships it could be difficult to have antennas outside the ship as ships need to be able to move fast through space. Space stations don’t have that problem. Space stations are, by definition, stationary. For that reason we can have bigger antennas and clearer messages from distant planets while ships will need to find other ways to send and receive messages.
Since space stations are unable or very slow to move, they need to be protected. I mentioned ways of protecting planets in an earlier post and those are all good ways to protect a space station as well. Satellites a certain distance away from the station can create a defense grid or warn of an incoming attack. Huge weapon systems on the space station can cause massive damage to incoming invaders. A fighter wing of small ships can keep the enemy far enough away from the space station that it doesn’t get injured from the battle or buy time to activate the weapons on the station or satellites. During times of war a rotating battle group of ships could protect critical space stations. Half of the ships are docked at the space station for repairs and relaxation while the other half is on patrol around the station.
Space stations can have much of the same components as space ships, but they also have many unique needs which we have to keep in mind as we create our fictional space stations. As space stations are often strategically important locations for opposing governments, it’s best to provide heavy protection against losing control of the station.