These pages are based on Thargoid's Story article.
The universe of Pioneer is big, because of the time needed to travel from system to system. Typical travel times are a couple of weeks in-system, and could be even weeks or months for interstellar travel.
There is no direct broadcast FTL communications, only hyperspace capable couriers carrying messages between star systems, and specialized hyperspace drones transporting and broadcasting communications. Which means that the speed information spreads is as fast as the ship or drone can traverse hyperspace. This is an important fact that shapes interstellar trade, governmental protocols, diplomatic relations and warfare.
Spaceships are relatively big, so they can provide accommodations for longer trips, but also typical space-faring people are trained to bear long stretches of idleness and boredom. A lot of these people are avid readers, writers, poets, musicians, fine artists. Meditation and similar mind practices are also widespread among them.
Solar Federation, or SolFed for short, is a centralized imperialistic democracy, keen on expansion. Established on the ruins of the uprising that forced Haber Corporation out from Sol. It's in a solidified cold war with CIW these days.
Tight, but less centralized democratic alliance founded by nine independent systems after SolFed tried to annex them forcefully. Born after the War for Hope which ended the long SolFed occupation of Epsilon Eridani. It's in a cold war with SolFed in the 3200's.
Haber Corporation is a rigid, hierarchical corporate faction that once ruled Sol. It's reign was ended with a full scale uprising which forced Haber's remnants to flee and start over in a distant system almost from scratch. Every Haber citizen is an employee, and the corporation controls every aspect of life in it's territory. Haber secretly longs and plots to regain their rule of Sol and by extension SolFed, and preferably all human-occupied space too. Their rigid structure won't really make that ever possible.
There are several shipyards in the universe of Pioneer. The ones listed here are companies which are not just manufacturing, but developing new ship designs, and sell manufacturing licenses to other yards throughout the inhabited galaxy.