Planets provide a place for your colonist population to grow, and for planetary structures to be built. They can house native races, and they can build starbases.
Planetary status can be monitored and planetary orders can be given for any planet you control on the Planetary Interface Pane of the starmap. This pane may be reached either by selecting the planet directly from the starmap or from the Planetary List on the Dashboard.
There are three collapsible information blocks on the planetary interface: Buildings, Resources, and Colony; clicking the name once will collapse the block and clicking it again will reopen it. In addition, there is a graphical pane which should show icons for the planet plus any ships or starbase in orbit. At the top of this part of the starmap will appear buttons used for cycling through your planets in sequence, including a checkbox. This checkbox is used for marking planets as either Not Finished, Finished, or Ignore.
The Buildings block on the planetary interface shows the number of mineral mines, factories, and defense posts on this planet. In addition, each structure type can have a target to build to (shown in square brackets). These structures are built as supplies and MegaCredits allow (supplies are automatically converted to MegaCredits if needed). The defense posts target is satisfied first (up to the lower of the maximum allowed or the target quantity), followed by the factories target and the mines target.
In addition, there is a display containing the present planetary Friendly Code which, if clicked, will randomize the Friendly Code. It should be noted that a randomized Friendly Code could be a valid special Friendly Code. On the Buildings bar are buttons marked "Build" (which will open a pane permitting you to order construction) and "Friendly Code" (which will let you manually change the Friendly Code or select from a list of special Friendly Codes).
Under Resources is a list of the amount of neutronium, tritanium, duranium, and molybdenum that have been mined and is ready for use, as well as the amounts of minerals remaining underground and being produced each turn. Also shown is the amount of supplies as well as the amount of money (in MegaCredits) available on the surface. On the Resources bar are buttons marked Notes (opens a private note page for this planet) and Transfer (permits movement of resources to starships in orbit).
The colonist population, happiness and tax rate, and native race population, government system, happiness and tax rate are all shown in the Colony section. On the Colony bar are buttons marked Tax Rates (which permits you to either manually or automatically adjust planetary taxes ) and either Starbase (to access an active starbase) or Build Starbase (to build a starbase if there is none present).
If the planet has any Artifacts available, they will be listed in this section.