The number of command centers deployed in combat zones drove the development of standard schematics to upgrade them into a dedicated military role. One variant was the orbital command. The ATVX orbital command entered service following the Brood War and allows space assets to better assist ground forces; it includes a satellite comlink useful for reconnaissance.
An orbital command summons one MULE via drop pod. If the ability is targeted on a mineral patch the MULE will begin mining automatically, extracting 45 minerals per trip. The ability may be used only on areas uncovered by the fog of war.
ATVX now manufactures a satellite comlink that can reveal unexplored areas on the map. The comlink can also call down a MULE. A MULE gathers much faster than an SCV and can produce a major surge in mineral production. Because it is a prototype, the MULE will come apart after a short period of time, but it is still well worth the cost.
Orbital commands are exclusive to Jim Raynor in Co-op Missions. Unlike multiplayer it cannot deploy supplies, as Raynor has orbital depots by default from level 12. It can use Scanner Sweep and deploy MULE.
The orbital command calls down a MULE via Drop Pods. MULEs can gather minerals at a faster rate than SCVs, and last for 90 seconds. One MULE and one SCV gather from the same mineral patch simultaneously.
Originally named the surveillance station or surveillance center, it was renamed by February 2009. The Calldown: Extra Supplies ability increased supply be 2.
The orbital command's functions were originally possessed by the sensor tower (albeit prior to the conception of the MULE). Its design was carried out after that of the planetary fortress, and didn't undergo much variation.
StarCraft II beta patch 1 decreased the build time from 50 seconds to 35. Patch 2.5.5 in the Legacy of the Void beta removed Calldown: MULE. Balance Update #1 returned the ability, set it to autocast on nearby minerals, replaced the energy cost with a cooldown, added a max range of 30, and decreased the MULE's harvest amount from 45 to 40. The energy costs of Scanner Sweep and Calldown: Extra Supplies were also increased to 100 and 75 respectively. Balance Update #2 reverted all of these changes.