Following the emergence of the Howarth Fusion Plant as a viable propulsion system in the early 22nd century, helium-3 mining on an industrial scale became economically viable. Vast mining complexes started dotting the Jovian skies, their collection heads extending miles down into the upper atmosphere. Extending up from this, vast cracking towers boiled and separated the constituent gases for reprocessing.
The construction of these mining complexes, when taken with shipyards of Mars and the terraforming of Europa constitutes the crowning wonders of the age. However, these wonders could never have been conceived of, let alone completed without a vast flotilla of vessels and equipment first constructed on the Moon, then Mars, then the freespace arcologies of the asteroid belt. For while humbler in scale, this ocean of anonymous vessels embodies the hidden wonders behind the greater wonder.
The Voland HVX-3001 is an good example of one of these 'lesser wonders'. It is a modular construction ship, consisting of a spun nanocarbon frame bearing drive, powerplant, and pressurized crew sections as well as fixtures which could accept a wide variety of equipment. The narrow width of the vessel is the result of dual requirements from both how they were stowed and for the occasional need to operate within the outer atmosphere of Jupiter itself. The construction manipulators fitted here are typical. The 3001 series contained a number of innovations, including one of the first modern antigravity suspensors as well as being one of the first civilian vessels to be designed from the bottom up with the Voynich-Harden Telepresence Rig in mind. While commonplace now these were once innovations that revolutionized not only microgravity construction, but the very nature of space travel itself.
The example seen here was built by Feng Long Heavy Industries in 2206 and served on the construction of the Acadian Queen complex, among others. She was retired after two decades of service when it was found that her nanocarbon frame had been significant weakened due to an infestation of self-replicating prions. She was subsequently sold for scrap and now serves as part of an orbital squatting community near Io.