Laplace was intended to be an orbital bridge between the Earth and outer space. Two optical disks at the top and bottom provided solar power to the central donut-type residential block (Stanford Torus type). The residential block rotational period was seventy-five seconds, allowing it to generate a gravitational force similar to that of the moon.
A ceremony heralding the end of the Common Era calendar and the beginning of the Universal Century was held in the Laplace Space Colony, at the prime minister's residence on the night before UC 0001. Inside the space colony, Ricardo Marcenas was delivering a speech, stating the new charter of the Universal Century. During the ceremony, he declared each law from the constitution, while a machine carved all the laws of the charter on a stone tablet using laser technology. During Ricardo Marcenas's speech, a terrorist group, hired by George Marcenas, reprogrammed panels of the upper optical disc to concentrate solar rays onto the residential block. As a result, the wall of the residential block melted and ruptured, destroying the colony by explosive decompression and killing everyone inside. The terrorists themselves were killed when their shuttle exploded, likely due to sabotage. Only one survived: Syam Vist. Syam saw the stone tablet drifting in space and it came into his possession.
A section of the residential block remained partially intact for the next nine decades, passing latitude zero, longitude zero, and altitude two hundred kilometers once every day. In UC 0096, a battle between the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam and the MSN-06S Sinanju resulted in the destruction of the station's ruins, which burned up in the atmosphere.
Spoiler Warning: Spoiler details may follow.
Even though many replicas of the original charter were placed inside government buildings, one modification to these replicas was made. This modification was the removal of one law stating that, "In the future, should the emergence of a new space-adapted human race be confirmed, the Earth Federation shall give priority to involving them in the administration of the government". This modification was due to the conspiracy of the extreme right-wing conservatives, led by George Marcenas, Ricardo's son. This one event completely changed the meaning and history of the Universal Century. The original intent of space colonization was out of kindness, with hope that eventually space colonists would evolve and guide the entire human race onto the right path.
There were two major outcomes of the attack on the Laplace Space Station. The first one was that George Marcenas successfully became the prime minister of the Earth Federation government as he had planned. The second one, being more influential, was that the people on Earth completely lost trust in the spacenoids and favored the right-wing conservatives.
Eventually, the prime minister's residence was declared a forbidden location in space and harsh restrictions limiting the rights of spacenoids were passed. All space colonies were forced to be under the auspices of the Earth Federation. This not only made space colonization seem as more a forced deportation of people as the Earth became overpopulated, but also bred resentment between Side 3 and Federation officials on Earth.
The original charter was later called "Laplace's Box." Syam blackmailed the Federation with the existence of the box and started the Vist Foundation. The box itself was at first the only evidence that could expose the conspiracy of those who sought to exclude spacenoids from the Earth Federation government. It had limited effect on the Federation until about half a century later, when Zeon Zum Deikun presented his theory of Newtypes to the world, stating that every single spacenoid will eventually evolve into a Newtype. This brought significantly more political pressure against the Federation, but the debate did not end there since the theory could be easily challenged, as there were no known Newtypes yet, or rather no real way to determine a Newtype.
With the outbreak of the One Year War and appearance of Newtypes like the famous ace pilot of the RX-78-2 Gundam, Amuro Ray, the decision was made to conceal the contents of the original charter. Not only did the document lend credence to the idea of spacenoid self-governance, but in the post-war era the revelation of the secret could have potentially sparked another conflict between the Federation and Neo Zeon remnants more devastating than the first, with each refusing to forgive the other for actions taken during the war.
Syam even killed his own son for trying to open the box, and decades later, Cardeas Vist was himself killed by his son, Alberto Vist, for the same reason. The Laplace Box began a cycle of patricide and filicide for both the Vist and Marcenas family; the only people who knew the secret of the box. The box itself became a symbol of power within the Vist family, as whoever had the box had the control of the Foundation. To the Federation, ironically, hope for better future became a curse that lasted for a hundred years.