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Asteroid Mining

Asteroid mining is an industrial activity that involves setting up mining equipment in order to extract the valuable resources that an asteroid holds. Unlike asteroid hauling, which is accomplished by anchoring a starship to an asteroid and towing it to a collection station, asteroid mining takes place on enormous asteroids that are unable to be towed by starship. This makes them ideal for permanent mining establishments.

* A starship capable of taking you into uncharted space.
* A vehicle docking bay.
* A vehicle docking bay ramp.
* An asteroid rover.
* Two asteroid stabilizers.
* Excavators.
* Storage towers.
* At least one cardenium reactor.
* A collection of power cables.
* A collection of tubing.
* A repair kit.
* Replacement parts.
* A mineral scanner.

Locating a Suitable Asteroid
First you'll need to locate an enormous asteroid. The procedure here is similar to asteroid hauling; you fly into uncharted space until you find an asteroid. SCAN it and, if it's classified as enormous, you're set. If not, continue searching until you find one. It's worth noting that enormous asteroids are typically located several lightyears away from the inhabited sectors, so you may have to travel farther than you would on a normal asteroid haul.

It's also important to note the composition of the asteroid that you scan. If you're interested in refining weapons-grade bardenium, you'll want to locate an asteroid rich in bardenium. If you're interested in cornering the market on fuel, an asteroid rich in cardenium will behoove you. Keep an eye on the materials necessary to build what you need and select an appropriate asteroid.

Selecting a Site for your Mine
Once you've landed on your asteroid, you'll want to step outside and do some surveying. You'll need a mineral scanner for this step.

When you first exit your ship, type USE MINERAL to use your mineral scanner. You'll be presented with a map displaying all of the detectable pockets of mineral in the scanner's range, along with a rundown of the appropriate coordinates. Once you find a nearby source, walk to it and USE the scanner again. This time it will display the type of mineral located where you're standing.

It's a good idea to look around a bit to find which mineral pockets interest you and create a rough map in your head of how your mine will be setup. You'll want everything to be easily accessible.

Stabilizing an Asteroid
Once you've located the minerals that you want, it's time to stabilize your asteroid so that it's safe to mine. It's important to remember that your excavators will NOT function on an asteroid that hasn't been properly stabilized.

In order to stabilize an asteroid, you will need exactly two stabilizers. Not one, not three, not four... two. These stabilizers must be placed at least 20 units away from each other and they must be powered.

To deploy a stabilizer, you must load it into your asteroid rover and DEPLOY it in the location that you desire. For more information on how to operate an asteroid rover, please see HELP ASTEROID ROVER.

Once you've deployed the stabilizer, you'll have to attach it to a power source. Since you can't take an attached power cable into a rover, this may require a bit of a walk. The procedure itself, however, is quite simple. You ATTACH CABLE TO STABILIZER, walk to your reactor, and ATTACH CABLE TO REACTOR.

Tubing and Wiring
Tubing is used to connect any two pieces of equipment that may want to share materials. For this reason, you'll want to buy one length of tubing for every two pieces of equipment you want to connect. The following situations may require a length of tubing:

* Connecting an excavator to a storage tower.
* Connecting a storage tower to a cardenium reactor.
* Connecting a storage tower to an asteroid rover.

Wiring is used to connect a cardenium reactor to a piece of mining equipment to supply power. You will need one length of wire for every piece of equipment that you purchase.

Once you have your tubing and wiring, you use the ATTACH command to attach them. For example, to attach a tube to a storage tower, you simply type: ATTACH TUBE TO TOWER.

To detach something that's attached to a piece of equipment, you use the DETACH command. For example, to remove the tubing we attached earlier, type: DETACH TOWER. You will be presented with a menu of things to detach, which will include (if applicable) what the thing is attached to on the other end so that you know what you're detaching.

To see what a particular piece of equipment is attached to, you use the CONNECTIONS <equipment> command.

Should you be wandering around aimlessly carrying an attached line or tube, you can type TRACE <line or tube> to locate its attachment point.

Deploying Excavators
Excavators are the machines that do all of the hard work in your mine. They're responsible for actually digging up the materials that you want and transferring them to the storage towers.

To deploy an excavator, make sure you're standing on a mineral pocket that you want by typing USE MINERAL. Once you're sure, return to your asteroid rover and type DEPLOY. Select the excavator from the list and wait for it to be deployed. NOTE: Make 100% certain that you've set a FREQUENCY in your rover's control room before you deploy anything. See HELP ASTEROID ROVER for more details.

Now step outside of your rover and ATTACH a POWER cable to the EXCAVATOR. Once that's done, you'll want to take a brisk walk to your cardenium reactor and ATTACH the cable to it. This will power your excavator.

The final step is to connect your excavator to a storage tower.

Deploying Storage Towers
The procedure for deploying a storage tower is mostly the same as everything else. You'll want to DEPLOY it from a rover control room, attach a power cable to it, and attach the power cable to a reactor.

Once that's done, you'll need to grab a length of tubing and ATTACH it to your storage tower. Now you'll need to take a brisk walk to an excavator and ATTACH the tube to it.

It's important to note that storage towers can only contain a single type of material at any given time. If your tower contains cardenium and your excavator is mining bardenium, the bardenium it mines will simply be discarded. To empty a storage tower, please see the section on emptying a storage tower.

Emptying a Storage Tower
There are two methods available for emptying storage towers. One wastes everything inside, while the other transfers it to safety.

Method 1 - Transferring
1.) ATTACH one end of a length of tubing to the storage tower and the other to an asteroid rover.
2.) Enter the rover and type TRANSFER.

Method 2 - Dumping
1.) Type DUMP TOWER.

Recharging Your Reactor
As you operate your mine, you'll quickly come to realize that your reactor's internal battery is not very large and you'll want to replenish it. Fortunately, the easiest way to do this is by introducing fuel into the equation.

Cardenium reactors are fueled by, you guessed it, cardenium. It's important to either have a surplus of cardenium stored in your ship or to find an asteroid where you can mine it. The easiest option, though perhaps not the safest, is to mine the cardenium directly and pump it into the reactor.

Method 1: From ship to reactor
1.) Purchase cardenium from another pilot.
2.) DOCK your asteroid rover in your ship's vehicle bay.
3.) Type TRANSFER in the rover control room.
4.) Choose the option to transfer cargo from the ship to the rover.
5.) LAUNCH the rover and navigate to your cardenium reactor.
6.) Step outside and ATTACH a tube to the reactor and to the rover.
7.) Enter your rover and TRANSFER again. It should recognize the reactor and begin the fuel transfer.

Method 2: Cardenium mining
1.) Ensure that your mine is producing and storing cardenium.
2.) Attach one end of a tube to the storage tower containing cardenium and the other end to your reactor.

Linking Droids to Communication Towers
Droids can be an invaluable resource when it comes to asteroid mining. With the additional of a communication uplink card, droids can link with a communication tower in your mine and relay important information to you as long as you and the droid are within the tower's broadcast range.

The first thing you'll want to do is purchase a communication uplink card for your droid.

The next thing you'll want to do is establish a frequency to use for your communications. If you choose a frequency that's already in use and within range, you may receive updates for a mine that's not yours. To set your own frequency, type FREQUENCY in your rover control room before deploying a communication tower. NOTE: It's very important to set the frequency in your rover BEFORE you deploy any equipment. If you neglect to do so, the frequency of the tower may not match the frequency the equipment is broadcasting on.

Finally, walk your droid to the communication tower and type USE TOWER. Your droid will now be linked to the tower. You can instruct your droid to inform you of its current uplink status, as well as receive the last few transmissions, by saying: Droid name, uplink. If you wish to clear the uplink buffer, say: Droid name, uplink clear.

Repairing Damaged Components
Almost all of the equipment used in asteroid mining will break down at one point or another. For this reason, repair kits are sold that will contain a number of useful items for maintaining equipment.

Due to the breadth of repairs available, this information has been put into a repair manual that you will find in your repair kit.

Miscellaneous Warnings
It's best to keep an eye on your equipment. You may not get warnings until things are in really bad shape.

It's also best to remember that mining cardenium and bardenium could be very dangerous. These are both highly combustible substances.

Equipment Summary
Docking Bay Ramp: Allows your asteroid rover to enter and exit the ship safely.
Asteroid Rover: A vehicle used for deploying asteroid mining equipment and transferring stored materials.
Stabilizer: A required piece of equipment that will ensure that the asteroid is properly stabilized for safe mining.
Excavator: Retrieves the minerals from the asteroid.
Storage Tower: Stores mined materials.
Cardenium Reactor: Used to supply power to all of the other asteroid mining equipment.
Communication Tower: Relays warnings and other information from your mining equipment to your droid. The droid required a communication uplink card.
Landing Beacon: Allows you to land at the coordinates the beacon is occupying. The beacon must be powered.
Power cable: Attaches all of the mining equipment to a cardenium reactor to allow it to be powered.
Tubing: Attaches two pieces of equipment to each other to facilitate a material transfer.
Diagnostic device: Displays warnings about damaged equipment when you USE it in the same room as a piece of equipment.
Microsealer: Repairs holes in storage towers as well as reactor coolant leaks.
Metal patch: Used to seal large tears in storage towers.
Reactor coolant: Replaces the coolant in a cardenium reactor to ensure it doesn't overheat and explode.
Squeegee / Brush: Used to clean solar panels.
Solar Panel Cleaning Gel: Used in conjunction with a squeegee to clean very filthy solar panels.
Drill bit: A replacement part for excavators when their drill bit becomes dull.
Antenna array: Replaces a damaged antenna array on a communication tower.
Mineral scanner: Locates all of the mineral pockets on an asteroid.

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