I haven't played Starblazer Adventures, though I've just gone and read the bits on Aspects to see how it handles them. The version of FATE that I'm familiar with through play is Diaspora, and there's a lot of variation among different implementations of FATE.
In Diaspora, implicit Aspects are baked right into the rules. The "Full of columns" Aspect can exist just so long as it's reasonable for a player to assume it exists based on the GM's descriptions or drawings of the scene or location, even if the GM never thought to write it down in the adventure notes. In Starblazer Adventures, the closest thing called out in the rules I can find is the idea of hidden Aspects, which seem to be explicit Aspects that the GM keeps secret. A hidden Aspect can be used by the players if they guess that it exists and pay a Fate point to tag it for effect or bonus, or if a character Assesses to discover the Aspect.
I'm going to suggest that, given your particular dilemma, thinking in terms of implicit Aspects would be a useful addition to your FATE toolkit.
The difference between the hidden Aspects written into Starblazer Adventures and implicit Aspects is that they're treated mechanically as if they were stated up-front. They don't need to be discovered, just used. They're not free-taggable like a just-Assessed hidden Aspect because no player has done anything to bring the Aspect into play—it's just always been there.
Your "Full of columns" Aspect is a great example of an implicit Aspect: it's obvious from the scene-setting that it could be an Aspect, and there's nothing special the players need to do to reveal it (by Assessing) or to apply it to the scene (such as through a manœuver). It's just there.
However, implicit Aspects are like anything else, and only have an effect if a Fate point is spent on them. The saving grace is to remember that Aspects are only tagged/invoked/compelled when they're needed, and they can be used in unpredictable ways in the heat of the moment. So the characters don't all need to spend Fate points and tag "Full of columns" as soon as they take cover. Instead, positioning themselves in the area with columns sets them up so that afterward they can use the "Full of columns" implicit Aspect at all when they try to do something like hide, evade incoming fire, topple a column on an enemy, etc.
So although it might seem like an unreasonable Fate point expenditure just to get what seems like should be a free defense bonus, that's not how FATE does things. The defensive bonus is just assumed to be there in the fiction, but to get it out of the background fiction and affecting the story, Fate points are spent when the columns matter. It's entirely possible that the defensive nature of the columns only comes into play (and is paid for in Fate point) for one character during the scene. That doesn't mean that the other characters aren't benefiting from the defensive position, just that the difference in "defensiveness" of the location didn't matter to their particular actions. If it could have, it was there for them to tag.
Since Aspects are only paid for with Fate points when needed, implicit Aspects like your "Full of columns" are considerably cheaper than they might appear on their face.