Hobo's Dome Habitability Tutorial

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Your dome must be built, have power, and accuracy counts. The Dome Console is unforgiving of incorrect case, omitted spaces, and misplaced decimals. It is also important to enter each command separately on its own line.

We'll come across a little mathematics in this tutorial, but don't worry - it's all basic stuff. A few of our numbers will carry out more than twenty places to the right of the decimal, but we only need a precision of three places. It's okay to round to thousandths here.

So, with the formalities out of the way, let's dive right in. Open your dome's console by clicking on the object in the middle of your completed environmental dome.


The console reveals current information about the dome's environment as well as any current instructions (we have none):


We need to mimic Earth's environment inside of our dome to make it habitable. We'll do that by modifying the gravity, temperature, amount of radiation, and atmosphere inside the dome.


Modifying the gravity of your environmental dome is trivial. Your environment's gravity is modified with the command modgrav:

modgrav <value>

Positive values increase the environment's gravity and negative values decrease it. The goal is to simply bring gravity to one. For example, to change the gravity from 3.192 to 1, we subtract the excess gravity:

modgrav -2.192

Similarly, we can increase the gravity from 0.0277 to 1 with:

modgrav 0.9723

The base gravity of our example dome is 3.738. We can bring it to an acceptable level with the command:

modgrav -2.738


Notice our gravity is now 1, which the console indicates is ideal.


The polarize command controls how much radiation enters your environmental dome. As with modgrav, the goal here is to bring radiation to one. The command is:

polarize <value>

In order to determine the best value for your situation, take your target number and divide it by the current radiation. As previously stated, our goal for radiation is 1. So, with a radiation level of 56.838011, we find:

1 / 56.838011 = 0.01759385985551112969100906785778

Rounding to the third decimal position gives us 0.018, and the command to bring our environment to an ideal radiation would be:

polarize 0.018

As we can see from the dome console, the base radiation is 90.612164049957 and we'll use the same formula to determine the correct amount of polarization:

1 / 90.612164049957 = 0.01103604588285378832614871990686

We'll round it to 0.011 and enter polarize 0.011 into the console. Our radiation is now ideal.



The temperature inside your dome is controlled with the conditional commands heat and cool. The temperature is measured in Kelvin (K), and 290K is approximately 17° celsius (62° fahrenheit). I like to keep my cardboard box right around 295K with the following commands:

heat temp < 294 cool temp > 296


The commands modgrav and polarize have an instant effect on your environmental dome. The other commands we'll use (including heat and cool) work slowly over time to bring your dome's environment towards habitability. Don't expect the temperature to change suddenly!


Here is the big topic that requires a bit more discussion. The types and percentages of gasses you'll want in your environmental dome will be the same for each environment, but the types and amounts of gasses available from the planet's atmosphere will vary. The goal is to mimic Earth's atmosphere which is comprised of 78.084% nitrogen, 20.946% oxygen, with other gases making up the remaining 0.97%. I use the following amounts:

   78.084% Nitrogen
   20.946% Oxygen
   0.4% Carbon Dioxide
   0.25% Ammonia
   0.25% Methane
   0.07% Water Vapor

The environmental dome console will allow us to specify the quantity of gasses by tons but not percentages. Therefore, we will need to do a little mathematics to come up with our target numbers.


Based on Prior wiki knowledge, we know our dome holds approximately 430,000 tons of gas, for this example we will use 428,821 tons of gas.

  • Domes can hold more or less gas than these numbers, but it will effect the total pressure in the dome. The goal is to have a pressure of 1 in every dome.

By multiplying the total volume by the percentages listed above, we can determine how much of each gas we want:

   428,821 * 0.78084 = 334,841 (Nitrogen)
   428,821 * 0.20946 = 89,821 (Oxygen)
   428,821 * 0.004 = 1,715 (Carbon Dioxide)
   428,821 * 0.0025 = 1,072 (Ammonia and Methane)
   428,821 * 0.0007 = 300 (Water Vapor)

In order to attain the desired amount of gasses, we may intake available gasses from the atmosphere, split and combine the gasses into the gasses we need, and vent the excess gasses.


The planet in our example has plenty of water, methane, ammonia and carbon dioxide. There's a little bit of nitrogen and no free oxygen roaming around. We can either intake the nitrogen from the atmosphere in order to get the large amount we need for our dome, or we can intake ammonia and split it into nitrogen and hydrogen. Your own planet may not have free nitrogen, so we'll use the latter option to get the nitrogen we need.

First, we will intake ammonia if our dome does not have at least 334,841 tons of nitrogen. Why? Because we're getting our nitrogen (N2) from ammonia (NH3), and we want 334,841 tons of nitrogen. Here's the command:

intake nh3 n2 < 334841

As with the temperature commands, intake is conditional. The above command will cause your dome to intake NH3 as long as the amount of N2 is under 334,841.

Now we need to manage the amount of nitrogen and ammonia in our dome. Our target values (from the calculations above) are 334,841 tons of nitrogen and 1,072 tons of ammonia. We'll accomplish this by splitting ammonia in excess of 1,072 and venting nitrogen in excess of 334,841. Remember each command must be entered separately:

split nh3 nh3 > 1072 vent n2 n2 > 334841


We have addressed our dome's nitrogen and ammonia needs. Let's move on to oxygen and water vapor:

intake h2o h2o < 350 split h2o h2o > 300 vent o2 o2 > 89821

Once again, each of the commands must be entered separately. We're bringing in the water vapor (H2O), splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen and venting the excess oxygen. Some of you may be wondering why I'm bringing in more water vapor (350 tons) than I need. The reason is I need the excess vapor to meet my oxygen needs. If I only brought in 300 tons of water vapor, I run the risk of not having excess H2O to split into O2 long before I have 89,821 tons of O2. The intake command can be removed and/or replaced once the appropriate amount of oxygen exists.

Based on what we've learned so far, managing our methane and carbon dioxide is fairly straightforward:

intake co2 co2 < 1715 split co2 co2 > 1715 intake ch4 ch4 < 1072 split ch4 ch4 > 1072

Finally, we need to address the carbon we've split from carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). We also need to do something about the excess hydrogen derived from splitting ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4), and water vapor (H2O). Carbon gas should not be confused with the mineral and it has no use at this time, so we simply vent it:

vent c

Hydrogen, on the other hand, is used to fuel hyperdrives. If you have a warehouse connected to your dome it may be collected with the store command. Remember to vent what isn't stored:

store h <amount> vent h

Otherwise, we'll simply vent it without storing any of it:

vent h


Finally, I want to mention atmospheric pressure inside the dome. If you correctly measured the volume of your dome (and they should all be the same at 428,821) and the target amounts of your gasses all add up to something close to the volume of your dome, the pressure will stabilize without any additional effort on your part. The short answer is: don't worry about it.


Your dome will take a day or two to become habitable after you have setup your commands. Once it becomes habitable, you may remove the gas related commands if you prefer, as it won't leak. You should keep your modgrav, polarize, heat and cool commands. Continue to intake and split water vapor, ammonia, or methane if you want to generate hydrogen for fuel. Just remember to keep the excess byproducts such as carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen in balance.


Now you know how to make a dome habitable, and knowing is half the battle!


Retrieved from: Ascent forum

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