Posted this in its own topic, but had forgotten this one was already here! So deleted and replied here to further discussion. Curious to what your sources are? Googling doesn't bring many of them up for me like Eminar or Nibia Prime.
According to Wallace in 2049, humanity is only on 9 "worlds." If we take that to be figurative, there are 9 Off-World colonies by that point in time. If we take that to be literal, then 9 planets have been colonized but there may be additional colonies on space stations, moons, etc. Either could make sense, but I don't see Wallace as a pedantic guy who would casually dismiss colonies on moons as not counting as a human achievement. So I certainly prefer the former.
According to the timeline in the core rulebook, the Off-World Emigration Program begins in the late 1990s with the moon and Mars. Then, between all the various sources I've noted and that are listed online, we have the mentions of:
- Calantha/Kalanthia exists by 2007 with the Seige of Calantha
- By 2018, we have Dominguez, where the Nexus-6 mutiny happened
- By 2019, we have Shimata, wars on Phobos, the Battle of the Gemini, the battle off the Shoulder of Orion, the wars near Jupiter, and a conflict on the Argentine moons. Of those, it seems like Shimata and the Argentine moons are meant to be colonies, while Gemini, Orion, and Jupiter are likely just battles. Wars on Phobos is a tossup, but since Phobos is only 7 miles wide, it doesn't seem like an ideal place for a colony if a single city on Earth can take up a good chunk of the Western seaboard of the United States
- By 2019 we also, of course, have the Tannhauser Gate, which I don't think anyone should touch, because describing it at all would destroy the poetic mystery surrounding it. That being said, the comics did have a warp gate which seems to imply that the Tannhauser Gate is some sort of warp structure which allows ships to travel interstellar distances
- By 2020, we have Arcadia, the Cerium Belt, and Vidar, which all seem like they're intended to be colonies
- In 2020 we have a battle at the Fields of Calantha
- By 2020, we have Mesa Echo Erebus, which seems to be a colony
- By 2025, we have Rakenu, which seems to be a colony
- By 2029, we have Heidecker-Vostro, which seems to be a colony. We also have Ramanuja, which is described as a waystation rather than a colony.
Now it could be that the mining colonies are not, despite the name, counted as true colonies, and that Wallace is only referring to planets/moons with terraformed atmospheres which I think would be fair. In that case, our moon doesn't have an atmosphere but is theorized to be able to hold one for at least a few hundred years, so it's a possibility. Calantha had an atmosphere that even replicants had to wear helmets in, so it doesn't seem terraformed. That being said, because it was named on screen in 2049 it definitely feels like it is one of the Off-World Colonies. Dominguez and Shimata are explicitly referenced as being Off-World Colonies. Phobos is far too small to hold an atmosphere so it's out. The Argentine Moons we don't have enough information to say one way or the other, but they were likely intended to be an Off-World Colony (Colonies?). Arcadia is a definite. The Cerium Belt seems like it's referring to an asteroid belt so that would be out. Freysa was on Vidar for four years and it was being taken over by another faction, so it really seems like that was a colony of note. Mesa Echo Erebus has no atmosphere, so it's out. Heidecker-Vostro clearly isn't terraformed, so it's out.
1) The Moon
6) Argentine Moons
Talk about destroying the poetic mystery, there's no dang colonies left to define! But since we're in pedantic mode here, I think it's interesting that it was pretty easy to narrow it down to 9 which fit some loose criteria. Obviously the folks at FL can pick and choose what makes the most sense to them and what makes the best game. Certainly I don't feel like they should be forced to stick with these just because another author chose a name at some point in the past (especially since Arcadia is a Soldier tie-in). But if there needs to be a starting point to springboard off of, this seems like a decent list. Plus, there may be stuff I'm missing here since I only read through the comics once and I'm leaning a bit on the Off-World wiki here.
While we're here, though, it also may be worth mentioning space travel. We've got mention of "attack ships" "gypsy ships" and "shuttles" in the first film, and we know that Roy Batty was in battles both within our solar system near the moons of Jupiter, but also near the "shoulder of Orion" which would logically mean either Betelgeuse or Bellatrix. The former is 500-600 light-years from us, and the latter is 240-260 light-years from us. So that means if Batty and crew escaped in 2018 and made it to Earth by late 2019, and if Dominguez is at a not-dissimilar distance, their shuttle is capable of traveling at least 20 times the speed of light, depending on what month they escaped. This would presumably be through one of the warp gates that we saw in the comics, which means that it could have taken significantly less time. Roy and crew didn't necessarily come straight from the Dominguez mutiny to Earth, but I'm not sure what else they'd be getting up to in the meantime that would be higher priority than getting more life. So it seems like interstellar travel might take a decent amount of time.