outside storage (n.): Also cold storage; vacuum storage.
Among the things space has in plentiful supply are volume and insulation. The former affords a bounty of available space for various usages; the latter ensures that items occupying it require relatively little protection to be safe from environmental influences. Many habitats throughout the Worlds make use of this for storage. Once chilled down, a package can simply be wrapped in a K-blanket (for micrometeoroid protection, if the storage volume itself is not shielded as a whole) and reflective foil, tethered to a convenient truss, and airlocked. The space environment will protect it near-indefinitely, at minimal if any cost.
NOTE: On many habitats, the prevalence of this technique is such that the phrase “thrown out” now typically implies storage rather than disposal.
Ice Bitch’s Hell, the (n., slang): Also Frozen Death, the
; Slow Death, the; long, cold wait, a; suspended internment; cryostatic indigent holding. As previously mentioned, one endemic problem faced by many drifts is the build-up, over time, of indigent floaters. Due to the cost of interstellar travel, individuals travelling without guaranteed-passage tickets or reflux bonds may find themselves stranded on a distant habitat without means to depart, and with depleting funds.
This naturally poses a problem for drifts in Second Tier and Emerging markets, which can afford neither the cost of deportation nor the life-support overhead of maintaining an indigent population that isn’t paying hab fees, yet which would prefer on ethical grounds not to simply march them out the airlock, and which cannot rely on the limited resources of distressed spacefarer’s organizations. One widely used solution, of uncertain provenance, is to place indigent floaters in cryostasis, remove them from the cryostasis capsule, then package the corpsicle for and place it in outside storage – thus eliminating the associated life support costs, et. al. Many drifts have thousands – even tens of thousands, in the case of major transit points – of frozen floaters in long-term outside storage awaiting someone willing to pay for their cryorevival and transportation.
Rumors of long-term storees being sold off to slavers or organleggers by certain unscrupulous storage authorities or station management remain largely unconfirmed at the time of writing.
– A Star Traveller’s Dictionary