Discovered in 2235 by URSS exploration probes Mintaka Prime or also known as Mintaka 9 was chosen by the Terragen Company to demonstrate their new revolutionary terraforming technology in the year 2349. 50 years after initial colonization Terragen moved their headquarters from Mars to the frontier world Mintaka in 2399 to be closer to their customers on the frontier.
Terragen used massive cargo ships to scoop Helium from the nearest gas giant, Mintaka 8, and dump the helium into the atmosphere. Terragen also used several thousand fusion reactor plants to seperate water and release O2 and He into the air. The adverse effects of a helium-oxygen atmosphere were considered negligible when compared to the speed at which the atmospheric density could be increased. Mintaka had started with an atmosphere that was almost safe. When the first colonists arrived all that was needed for outdoor operations was a respirator and a heavy coat. After 200 years the atmospheric density had been increased from 0.1 atm density to 0.6 atm density. While still potentially dangerous to outsiders, the atmosphere was now breathable by humans without the use of a respirator provided the inhabitants were wary of any altitude sickness.
In 2545 cities on Mintaka were exposed to the Mintakan atmosphere. Unanticipated psychological effects from high frequency sounds caused by the helium atmosphere began to become apparent in the year 2563. Most colonists were able to acclimatize but some suffered from severe psychological problems triggered by the higher frequency sounds on Mintaka 9. Resentment for Terragen began to grow. In 2601 the Mintaka Army for a Free Humanity (MAFH) began making terrorist threats and attacks on Terragen headquarters. URSS quickly acts on the growing terrorist organization and attacks cease. In 2645 Mintakan Colonists began rioting against Terragen's cheap terraforming techniques. Riots are met with a severe response from Terragen Security and URSS military. In 2660's riots continue to grow more and more violent. MAFH reapear and resume attacks on Terragen facilities. Riots spread throughout worlds being terraformed by Terragen. On March 4th 2679 conflict breaks out throughout Mintaka. What at first seemed like another riot quickly escalates. Members of the MAFH begin assault on Terragen Headquarters in Mintaka City. At precisely 4:27 PM local time MAFH forces detonate a nuclear warhead close to Terragen Headquarters. The command post for URSS forces and Terragen Security was completely leveled along with much of the city. Fighting continued throughout the planet and on other planets terraformed by Terragen.
Throughout the first rebellion Mintaka was used as a base of operations for the Army for a Free Humanity. The MAFH coordinated with other oppressed populations to fight for freedom. By the end of the war the URSS desperate bombard the planet with nuclear warheads. A nuclear winter occurred killing much of the newly introduced Terran life and cooling the planet once again. After the war little interest was given to the planet and the inhabitants were left to fend for themselves. Mintaka was not able to export anything for 200 years and as a result became a backwater world.
MoonsMintaka is orbited by seven moons. The two inner moons are known as Rama and Krishna. The largest and slowest moon in the sky is called Vishnu. Vishnu takes over a day to cross the sky. The next two moons are often seen together. They are known as Shiva and Parvati. The last two moons are also associated with each other and are known as Brahma and Hansa.
Mintaka was initially colonized in 2349 with the hopes of terraforming the planet to increase the air pressure to more tolerable levels. The Mintakan population continued to grow for 200 years. A 2550 census showed that Mintakan had 5.2 million inhabitants. In the late 26th century the planet experienced some of the fiercest battles of the first Rebellion. URSS forces bombarded the planet and killed a majority of citizens. The 2686 post-war census only counted 600,000 inhabitants on Mintaka. Only 11 percent of Mintakan Colonists survived the war and Mintaka was deemed non-self-sufficient. In 2900 Mintaka population once again broke 1 million. Currently in the year 10,000 the Mintakan population is at 30 million inhabitants and slowly growing.
Mintakans have a very distinct culture. They mostly originated as colonists from Mars who had signed up on Terragen's terraforming project. Mintaka's abundance in crystalline ores and the rapid terraforming process attracted many new immigrants from throughout the core worlds.
In 2545 Terragen announced that the planet was now suitable for human life and exposed most of the Mintakan cities. It was quickly evident that the Helium atmosphere created by Terragen was not ideal for their health. Many colonists began to have psychological problems due to the higher frequency sounds. This became known to the locals as "Sound Sickness". Though Terragen treated the most severe cases a majority of Sound Sickness victims went unrecorded and untreated. This caused a deep feeling of betrayal among the population against Terragen Co. and the URSS.
In 2600 many young Mintakan Colonists began enlisting in an extremist group known as the Mintakan Army for a Free Humanity. They began launching attacks on Terragen and were met with harsh retaliation. In 2679 the MAFH led an all-out rebellion against Terragen and the URSS. The rebellion was based out of Mintaka and a few other oppressed worlds for much of the war. At the end of the first rebellion the URSS ordered the bombardment and complete annihilation of Mintaka.
In the years following the first rebellion the Mintakan people were nearly driven to extinction. They were on a half-terraformed world experiencing a nuclear winter. Apart from a URSS military base they were completely cut-off from the rest of humanity and left to defend for themselves for over 200 years. The Mintakan grew hard, cold and independent.
Due to their violent and troubling past Mintakan people to this day distrust outsiders. Mintakan people have a very spartan lifestyle. Very few have personal belongings. Everything belongs to the community and is shared when needed. Mintakan people are extremely proud that they were able to achieve self-sustainability and as such the Planet has virtually zero imports.
The people of Mintaka have followed a Hindic-Tridevi religion that emphasizes Vishnu. The Vishnu Tridevi originated on Mars and was a major religion among Mintakan Colonists. The colonists have named their moons according to their religion. In Mintaka the roles of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva have been altered to fit the independent, spartan culture of Mintaka.
At the time of discovery Mintaka's average temperature was -20 degrees Celsius had an atmospheric density of 0.1. Exposure to Mintaka Prime's only required half an hour in a depressurization chamber, an oxygen tank and a thermal jacket.Over the next 200 years Terragen had introduced terrestrial alpine life onto Mintaka. Much of the introduced life flourished in Mintaka's climate. In 2545 when Terragen announced that the planet was fully terraformed the planet had an average temperature just above freezing at 2 degrees Celsius. It had an atmospheric pressure of 0.6 atmospheres. The planetary climate resembled that of the Himalayan Mountains.
Just after the war Mintaka experienced a nuclear winter. Much of the alpine life that had flourished died off in the radioactive winter. The planetary temperature again dropped to -10 degrees Celsius. To this day Mintaka is a very cold planet with sparse life descended from alpine earth species.
LifeLife on Mintaka was originally descended from genetically altered Earth plant and mammalian species built to survive harsh cold environments. The most common animal on Mintaka is a slightly altered descendent of the Himalayan Tahr. It is also the primary source of food and clothing for locals.