In the game Elite, these are the dodecahedrons that you land on in order to trade.

Perfecting docking is one of the most important skills you can learn in the game, at least until you've made enough credits to buy a docking computer.

A very good way to rack up experience in the game is to perform 'crazed gunman' assaults on Corioli (?).
This prompts the station (which is indestructable) to launch swarms of police ships, which you can then pick off from outside. (An early form of camping, I suppose).

This has the disadvantage of making you a galactic fugitive - it's a good idea to fit your ship with a galactic hyperdrive before this career move.