On Midway

Out of curiosity, I set out to find just how big Midway space station might be. Because of reasons.

The one decent picture I can track down of Midway is above. It has the Stargate in the centre, held in place by what appear to be eight bars of equal length, forming eight compartments that appear to be roughly each the same size across as the Stargate itself.

According to the Stargate wiki page, the Stargates are 6.7 meters - or 22 feet - across. Assuming that the rods holding the Stargate in place are about the same length as its diameter, this means that Midway is 66 feet wide. Going by sheer guestimation, I would say the station appears to be 5, maybe 6 Stargates across. We'll call it 5.5, making it 110 feet long.

So Midway is 66 feet wide and 110 feet long. But what good does knowing that do us?

Surprisingly, a lot. Particularly when you add in what we learn from the station's wiki page....

Structurally, the station was built around the two Stargates, and its interior was dominated by a single, expansive gate room. However, isolated rooms had been installed along either side of the structure, divided into two floors. The gates themselves were located in between these levels, accessible by ramps like in Stargate Command. Due to the two gates were in such close proximity to each other, a work-around had to be created so that the Pegasus gate would not supersede the Milky Way gate, allowing both to dial. The other rooms included small living quarters for the personnel and travelers between the galaxies as well as at least one weapons room. Stargate operations were monitored by a control room on the upper level of the station. There was also an airlock which included Space suits and a Puddle Jumper in case of an evacuation.

So we have a two story station roughly 66 feet wide and 110 feet long. How many people can that hold? How much in the terms of armaments and space ships - we know from "Midway" that there's at least one puddle jumper docked there, but the question remains in AJ if it would still be there, given tensions between Earth and Lantea at the present point in the story.

So I went looking for things in RL to compare it to. Submarines seemed like the logical first step, but it has proven incredibly hard to find one of similar size - or even volume - to Midway. This is largely because Midway is very wide, whereas submarines rarely are. In the end, I decided to call it about two thirds of the UK's Trafalgar-class subs, which are 32' wide and 280' long and have a capacity of 130 people. They also have a whole lot of weaponry that Midway doesn't have, not to mention a nuclear engine, which Midway definitely doesn't have. But, then again, the sub also doesn't have a massive double Gate Room at It's centre, so I think we can safely say that forty people would probably be pushing the station's capacity.

In fact, I'd say that 20 people would probably be pushing capacity, just by looking at the picture a little more. All the housing and whatnot seems to be build around the Gate Room, which is easily 30 feet across - if not 40 - and runs the whole length of the station. Meaning that you get a lot of narrow rooms and some lovely bunks for the poor enlisted sods stationed aboard.

I've stolen some pics from the Sunday Mirror for illustration, but you can be assured that hideous interior design remains a constant throughout various militaries, though I can only hope that someone involved in the SGC would at least find it in themselves to order carpet that is less pea green, or at least chairs which don't jar so terribly with it. Petty, I know, but it is a hope.

Most likely, though, the folks aboard Midway get a little more space than this. As my father was fond of telling me before the whole Navy thing went up in smoke, hit E-6 and you become god. Which is to say, once you hit Chief (in the Navy) or technical sergeant (Air Force) or Staff Sergeant (Army/Marines), you get privileges. Particularly in the Navy, because there are relatively few ever, but still. He has a point. And when you consider that most people who are going to be stationed in a place like Midway are going to be highly-trained professionals - that is to say, NCOs, or more likely officers (who have even more privileges) or civilians (who put up with less shit than military does, usually), that is almost a guarantee of more space. Ie more like below, which is the officer's quarters from an Indian frigate. Probably a LT's, if I had to guess, since it seems to be double occupancy.

The point I'm trying to make here is that, while Midway may be bigger, it also requires less people to run, as it doesn't go anywhere or really do anything besides sit in the void between galaxies. It's sort of like a trading post in the middle of nowhere or, I dunno, a toll booth on a highway. There's not a lot of room, but there's enough that people have a little bit of space - particularly if they're echelons above reality enough to get a deep space posting.


Midway is likely 66' x 110', with a permanent crew of approximately 20 with overflow capacity no greater than 43. It will never be Deep Space Nine, but it gets the job it's asked to do done.