Stations as they exist currently in-game are a bit of an annoyance. They take up expansion positions, and trade with them is usually not worth the effort when internal and external trade routes are so lucrative. This applies doubly so in Rising Tide since trade routes with other civs will provide diplomatic bonuses. However the Rising Tide cinematic, the parts that leaked at any rate, did show us one rather interesting fact: space stations are very much a thing in Beyond Earth. That got me thinking about whether there might be a simple solution to making Stations less frustrating to deal with, indeed, making players want to see them show up. Why not put Stations in Space? Specifically, the orbital layer. The idea is that when a Station pops up, it shows up in the form of a Satellite. The affected area is open to debate, but I figured a 2 hex radius from the centre would be a good start. It could expand with Tiers. There could easily be a couple of different models of Satellite, just like there are in-game. City tiles that are under a Space Station's influence gain the trade bonuses of the Station. The existing bonuses would have to be tweaked, naturally, since 4 food on all tiles under one would be slightly insane (although it's worth pointing out that Stations are rare and fragile). If no tiles belonging to a Civ show up under a Space Station, it despawns eventually, just as they do now. If one does show up however, they improve in Tiers, providing bigger and bigger bonuses. Shooting them down is a simple matter of launching an orbital strike. This already exists in the game and gives players an easy way of ridding themselves of an unwanted Station. Instead of an abandoned settlement spawning, a crashed Satellite would. The advantages of this new system are numerous. Instead of using up potential expansion locations, Stations now make them better. Indeed, players would be eagerly awaiting the quest pop-up that told them what Station would be showing up near their territory, rather than dreading it. Stations no longer take up precious trade unit slots. The value of the Deorbit Satellites espionage option skyrockets, since a city with a Tier 3 Space Station over it is getting a huge bonus. Unwanted stations can be easily disposed of with a single artillery unit. The mechanics all tie into existing options in the game already. There's also a bit of a tradeoff; players can't put their own Satellites down where a Space Station is. Players are encouraged to expand outwards and claim distant colonies when Stations do show up, and then protect them; A Tier 3 station would likely be worth fighting for. I have no idea how difficult this would be to implement, but it does use mostly pre-existing game mechanics (which is another thing in its favour).