NOTE: This page is considered part of the Byzantine Federation's history, but is a seperate page due to it's length.
Until Marin 200401, when the city of Thyrm was officially declaired the capital of the Byzantine Federation, making the Byzantine officially a space-bound country, it had a very interesting space program, based around it's forward-thinking leadership.
In 200394, Derek, OverLeader of the Byzantine Federation, formed a division of the government called Space Exploration Group, or SEG. This group would be similar to NASA or the ESA, and would lead the Byzantine's new space program. To lead this program, SEG purchased a Soyuz capsule from Russia, and modified it for repeat use. After a period of two vetamarins, the newly renamed "Zirconium" was ready for use. It was mounted atop a massive Byzantine-designed rocket, the Quark-12b, a four-stage monster designed to get Zirconium to Mars. The so-called "Eliminator", due to it's aggressive appearance, was first launched from the Byzantine's launch island in the Pacific Ocean in late 200394, and re-entered the atmosphere a few colomarins later. Since the rocket was reuseable, it was quickly refueled and prepped to launch an unmanned equippment craft called Lansit 1 to Earth's moon, in preparation of a full-scale colony on that entity. Meanwhile, another Quark-12b was being prepped for launching Zirconium to the Moon. Also, a Quark-13a was being built to launch a new type of craft, the Vista Shuttle/Lander, to Saturn's moon Iapetus, starting the Minerva Program. SEG's rapid progress was mystifying the rest of the world by this point, and numerous Quark rockets were either in service or under construction in Mongolia.
By mid-200395, SEG had established colonies on Earth's Moon, a handful of near-Earth asteroids, and had Minerva 5 on it's way to Iapetus. Mining had begun on numerous asteroids, with the intent to gather metals to make more rockets, as well as monitor asteroids that were a possible danger to life on Earth. The SEG colony of Hestia was the first time humans had gone to the Moon since the USA's Apollo Program from the Earth Decades 1960s and 1970s. Also, a new colony known as "Thyrm" was planned for Iapetus. Within 2 vetamarins, the construction of the first Quark-13c made exclusively of metals from asteroid mines was started. Starting with this new type of Quark, they would no longer be interatmospherical rockets, just boosters to make interspace travel faster. By 200398, the Byzantine was proposing leaving Earth entirely, and had strarted construction of a massive rocket called the Supurbia Launch Vehicle, or SLV, which would carry the vast majority of Byzantine property into space in one landmark trip. The biggest vehicle ever made by mankind, it would over a mile in diameter and would have a massive cargo area. The idea was to fly the SLV to one of the gas giants, probably Saturn, and place in orbit of that planet until a more permanent home of the Byzantine could be found (or made).
The Era of Thyrm
In 200400, the Byzantine left Earth permanently, as the SLV and a dozen Quark-12c's made almost simultaneous launches from the Byzantine Rocket Launch Island, as well as from various other facilities around the world. By this point, Thyrm was well established and thriving off material imports from mining asteroids. However, the infamous Deron-Razon War had also just started, and space travel was made much more dangerous. However, with the creation of the A-Fighter, the Byzantine had a distinct advantage as Marin 200401 began.