Atmospheric Engineering is a technology on the Exploration and Expansion technology tree with a research cost of 1800 . It unlocks one Colonization option and one Planet Improvement, requires research in Containment Fields or Baryonic Shielding, and allows further research in Low-Temp Hydration and Applied Atmospherics.
"Once a stable chemical balance is achieved in a planetary atmosphere, engineering cycles of wind, rain, cloud cover, etc. is the final step in creating fully colonizable or terraformed bodies."
- -100% on Population growth on Star System
"Asteroids, often mineral-rich, are settled in a process that is almost indistinguishable from mining. Habitats are drilled into the crust, air pressure and closed water systems are created, and the detritus is processed for metals and silicons."
- Remove the colonization penalty on that planet type
Sowers can always colonize any planet type, but suffer a penalty until they research the appropriate technology.
"A planet described as "barren" is generally devoid of air, water, and anything else that makes it habitable. Though this sounds unpleasant, there are worse places to live 'out there' and Barren planets also have their value."