A planet home to a Federation research outpost, Darwin Station.
Gagarin IV is the fourth planet of nine orbiting a blue star, approximately fifteen light years from Andoria. As with most planets orbiting blue stars, the world is very young, and will not likely survive to evolve higher life forms in the future.
In many ways, Gagarin IV is a snapshot of the earliest stages of evolution on most worlds — as prokaryotic single celled organisms evolve into early eukaryotic organisms, designed to survive on carbon dioxide and expel oxygen.
Rain and storms come suddenly and often, but disappear as quickly as they come. In many ways, the planet’s geographic features are rough and new, without eons of wind and water erosion to soften and smooth terrain. However, the preponderance of green slime on all surfaces in temperate areas makes the rocks and terrain seem smoother from a distance. The “scum” is generally several inches thick along most river valleys, fed by the rainfall and waterways. Spores and buds fill the air as well, giving the sky a greenish cast, and even making the world look green from orbit. The percentages aren’t so great as to be a problem for breathing, unless someone is allergic. Still, Darwin station is careful to filter its air and water. The lack of sophisticated life forms makes Gagarin IV ideal for genetic research —the eukaryotic life means there is a breathable oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, but the lack of bacteria, viruses or organisms with complex DNA keeps the research from becoming contaminated.
The only population on Gagarin IV is at the Darwin Genetic Research Station, founded to be the Federation’s preeminent Life Sciences research facility. Darwin Station started as a humble building on the banks of a gorge. Later, as the Station expanded and research projects grew in scope and complexity, new, multi-level facilities were constructed on the opposite side of the gorge, with a transit bridge connecting them. Later construction expanded the facility to over sixty acres.