During the third day of the four mining days, I met my fellow pilot Skywayter, who was busy at mining Bauxite as well. After an hour of doing so together, I made the calculation and found: the spot we were working at, was not as rich as the claim I found for myself. So we discussed that matter and were swapping over to the mining location two jumps further out (one jump for CMD Skywayter using his Anaconda with a longer jump range than the Beluga).
After about ten minutes Skywayter having gained nearly 20 tonnes Bauxite confirmed a much faster mining process. Due to some real life responsibilities, I had to leave and landed the Beluga one the innermost moon to the gas giant, which is following the edge of the ring.
The small moon at the edge of the ring: a welcome resting place: https://imgur.com/bmwPNAX
This day of me as a miner was nearly finished. I followed Ratchat, the IRC the Fuel Rats establish their communication with. I was following the chatter on this channel, when a case came in: It was a LRR case. LRR is the Fuel Rats abbreviation for ‘Long Range Rescue’.
The client in this case got stranded deep into the Formidine Rift, a region I had visited a few weeks before: a couple of days after the DW2 CG at waypoint 2, Omega Mining, was finished.
There was only one rat assigned for this case, NivisOwl, a young rat, a rat, who just had joined the squadron, on his first LRR, being about to travel these regions for his first time.
The Formidine Rift is the contrary to the core regions: very less star systems and a lot of perm locked systems. CMD NivisOwl was clever enough to ask about some support for the route plotting due to the fact he was searching for the entry into the Formidine and a workable route. Nivis used an Imperial Cutter with a jump range of 45.8 ly, which was not making the job easier.
I gave him all the information about the perm locked systems as well as the entry and exit systems I did find before. In addition I sent him the URL to my EDSM travel map to guide him through the dark regions he had to travel.
As well I showed and explained the spansh-route plotter to support him further on but did not forget to mention, the plotter might fail due to the nature of The Formidine Rift with its low star field density and probably vast unexplored and locked areas.
Also I gave him the essential information of how to ride a neutron’s cone to supercharge the FSD drive, including the YT-link of CMD Exigeous very well done training source “Tutorial: Neutron Star Jumps & The Neutron Superhighway”.
It turned out, the fellow rat was not carrying an AFMU, which shall be used to maintain the FSD, which suffers during the process of super scooping. On the other hand, I plotted a route using Spansh’s index plotter and found out, there were only six neutrons for one way, resulting in probably 12 neutron jumps, which might not tear the FSD too much down – less than 90% integrity should be avoided while super scooping. As well, there always is the possibility of plotting a route using the GalMap without the option of neutron cone boost.
As a matter of fact, the route plotting through The Formidine Rift always is a challenge, even to the most experienced pilots. Due to this, during the following night I supported Nivis with the route plotting: one of his problems were some glitches of the index plotter making an easy plotting impossible.
So we stayed in contact during the next hours (from around 01:00 until 10 past five, when I was sure Nivis were able to manage on his own, which he perfectly did during the coming hours.
The next day, when I asked, if Nivis were good, he first sent me the GalMap screen shot showing his position in the target system, where the client was saved:
-- (log transmission) --
_Aldarion_3TwoAlpha Hope you could manage the navigation through the Formidine Rift. It is different from navigating in areas with average or high star field density - it always is challenging.
NivisOwl[PC] https://imgur.com/a/FcdNkrw thanks to you :D
Aldarion_3TwoAlpha I'll check, gimme a sec, pls - I just returned from work and had a too short N8 :)
NivisOwl[PC] no hurry :)
Aldarion_3TwoAlpha Well done, you reached the client. :DD \0/ \0/ \0/ \0/
NivisOwl[PC] now i just need to wait for them to show up, got 4 more hours :D
Aldarion_3TwoAlpha Yeah, that is common for LRR... I am happy you made it :)
NivisOwl[PC] wouldnt have made it without your help :D NivisOwl[PC] thanks a lot :)
Aldarion_3TwoAlpha Plus, one thing of ED: one always is learning something new in some place one never thought of before :)
NivisOwl[PC] this is true :) Aldarion_3TwoAlpha I might be a slow rat with not too many first limpets but I have my moments, some stuff I know from playing the game for a long time - literally since 1986 :)
NivisOwl[PC] :O you played the original? one sec, ill be back :)
Aldarion_3TwoAlpha So, being a FuelRat, I try to support, that is true for fellow rat as well - I support you as a fellow plus I take a part in rescuing an explorer, who is scared to death to loose all that valuable data he or she gathered during days, weeks, maybe month.
It is worth the effort, even though I did not hear the alarm this morning :) So we - the FR - did manage to save one more soul and keep a player in game :D NivisOwl[PC] \o/ thanks for your support :) hopefully the rest of the rescue goes by smoothly
Aldarion3TwoAlpha Let me know, when you are back, safely, pls.
-- (end of log transmission) --
As a remark, last night NivisOwl returned to the bubble safely.
The proof only could be achieved by using the Beluga for the mining mission.
The hard points are restricted to the use of class 2 modules, which could mean a disadvantage but I use three class 2 mining lasers and one abrasion blaster plus a seismic charge launcher with the Beluga’s hard-points.
As well I outfitted the Beluga with 256 t of cargo space, a refinery, two collector limpet controllers, one prospector limpet controller, a fuel scoop plus everything, which might be needed – I even left the shield generator installed to give me some protection by accidentally bumping into an asteroid. Since the Beluga has a very long hull shape and some wide wings at its back, one need to be careful to move it close to asteroids. This is true even more, due to the fact one has to put into regard that the view to the bottom and top are limited. So far, when returning from the mining missions, the Beluga had usually 100% of hull integrity, once 98% and one 75%. The lowest hull integrity was the result of staying too close to a spinning asteroid and the tip of its irregular shape , which had a huge impact on the hull of my ship; exactly for this reason it is good to provide some shielding.
To make the Beluga a mining ship, I exchanged the Guardian Booster, the SRV-Bay, the AFMU and the fuel and repair limpet controllers.
The Beluga as a mining vessel - just follow this link: https://imgur.com/UpbctFq
For the CG there is the demand of water, liquid oxygen and Bauxite. First I started to go for water and liquid oxygen, since both could be found in icy rings. I calculated, the chances to find any of these were higher then to find a single type of resource.
After a few hours of mining water and liquid oxygen, I found this was not very effective compared to the experiences I made using the Python for mining. So I started to seek for Bauxite.
Bauxite could be found in asteroids of the rocky ring type. As the other resources for the CG Bauxite is common and to be found in rocky rings.
Approximately two thirds of all asteroids in the rocky rings I visited contain Bauxite. Mostly, 80% to 90% of Bauxite containing asteroids do contain one or two other resources, mostly there are two components to be found inside an asteroid; in these cases the chunks gained from the asteroid surfaces contain Bauxite/something else, which means, there is more Bauxite inside the chunk, or the other way around. All other asteroids containing Bauxite (10% to 20% of the Bauxite containing asteroids) do contain Bauxite only.
There are as well very few asteroids having subsurface resources of Bauxite, but so far I used the abrasion blaster twice only to gather these, which then was only one piece of rock in each of these cases (equaling two tonnes).
The other time I did use the abrasion blaster as well was, when I cracked one asteroid to gain Alexandrite by deep core mining and the use of the seismic charges. In this case I had no problems to get 16t of Alexandrite out of the core using the Beluga: I simply wished to try how good the Beluga’s performance is to do deep core mining. The result: mot as good as the Python but good enough.
My first aim is to gather Bauxite, which, as said above, mainly can be found as a common resource at the surface of the asteroids inside rocky rings.
Due to the density of Bauxite sources inside the rocky rings, it is found in most of the asteroids (approx two thirds), as well as in asteroids, which are close to each other. To move the Beluga, I mainly use the thrusters, only correcting the course by using the mouse. In most cases moving the ship to the left and right or to turn it by a few degrees is enough to aim for the next target (asteroid). I even do not close the cargo hatch (rising the ships max speed or not limiting it) when transitioning from one asteroid to the other. Due to the fact these targets are close together, normally, and moving too fast bears the risk of crashing into an asteroid, this method seems appropriate. As well, the Beluga build I use is good enough to run the energy management with two pips on the engines and full pips for the weapons while mining – the thrusters are good enough to do so and keep the ship agile enough to navigate easily.
Using three class two mining lasers with 4 collector limpets works smooth, too; as a result, starting on day two for the CG, I recently gained 1319 t of resources for the community goal, which puts me at the top 25% for the mining CG using the Beluga so far. Considering this, I come to the conclusion, the Beluga can be used as a capable Mining Vessel.
I did collect resources for the new station (Explorer’s Anchorage) until the last hour. or the last run, I carried a smaller amount of limpets since I knew there wouldn’t be sufficient time to fill the whole 256 tonnes of cargo hold of my ship.
Less than half an hour before the CG ended, I had fired the last collector limpets and headed back towards the new station: The calculation was easy since I had enough insight in how fast I was able to gather Bauxite from the claim I did use.
One last time – at least for a while – I left the rocky ring observing the light beams divided by the shadows of thousands, hundred of thousands and maybe millions of asteroids being partly absorbed by even more dust particles. During the last four days I’ve seen beautiful sun sets and sun dawns, while mining the ring, whereas there is no real darkness at the core region: due to the immense number of star systems densely crammed into the region. When watching out of the cockpit’s windows, the background presents the pattern of star distribution, which shows a very bright, light emitting cloud into the direction of the Milky Way’s bulge and less dense clouds at its edges or even relatively darker zones when the line of sight is perpendicular to the spiral arms.
This image gives an impression of how the area appears: https://imgur.com/JkjxKud
Minutes to go until the CG ends… After avoiding a last interdiction by a NPC-pilot, I dropped out in front of the Ocellus station with it’s nearly finished Habitat Ring. Only one segment is missing to close and finish that ring and several plasma flashes caused by the welding of the construction teams strafe the eye.
Arrival at Explorer's Anchorage: https://imgur.com/uH8WxAK
After docking, I sold the last load of 169 tonnes of Bauxite and went for a break at the only restaurant being available inside this station at its early construction phase serving the foods I like. Finally I did deliver 2.232 tonnes of resources using the Beluga as a mining ship
I own my Beluga Liner since more than two years. Initially I used it successfully for bulk passenger transports and tourist missions in different layouts. On the one hand I stuffed as much economy passenger cabins as possible inside to transport as many people as possible. On the other hand, I as well used it in a layout with Luxury Cabins to transport VIPs on tourist missions, soon finding out the use of first class cabins made more sense due to the fact, there were more missions at stations available. I did a lot of transport missions in Caleta and Shasir, which made me a fortune.
The following link provides an image of my Beluga Liner, called Ahab's Desire https://imgur.com/uEbJpqx
Later, I also used the Beluga for rescue missions to get people out of burning stations, which were attacked by Thargoids before. Unless the Beluga is a very spacious ship, the rescue missions went very fine, even though I was told an Anaconda fits more economy cabins and therefore were the better option for rescue missions.
So far, everyone would consider these uses of the Beluga as mandatory.
Then, one day, I had the idea of using the Beluga for some exploration as well. I guess, most pilots would say, this ship might be everything else than an exploration vessel due to its limits in jump range, mainly. There are plenty of aspects of the Beluga’s configuration limiting its potential jump range: first, the ship has a high hull mass, added to the insane mass of a class eight life support system, which is the only matching life support module to be used with this ship. Then again, the FSD slot is not allowing the highest classes of FSD drives.
But then again: Exploration does not necessarily need maximum jump ranges due to the fact of millions of unexplored star systems within the Elite Galaxy. So I tried to find out about the capabilities of a Beluga as an exploration ship.
The Beluga on an exploration tour: https://imgur.com/aOQCTgR
First, I stripped out all not really needed modules including the heavy shield generator, using class D components wherever possible. The FSD, on the other hand, was the highest class and A rated to be purchased. The engineer Martuk provided me with a grade 1 FSD upgrade for maxed jump range and so I got my first version of an exploration ship with the Beluga. I do not want to forget the SRV bay I put into that early version of the Beluga; despite of all attempts of mass reduce I did not like to do exploration without a single SRV at least.
After a lot of engineering I finally got a Beluga I used for trips through a lot of parts of the ED-Galaxy: I visited the Zurara Megaship at the Formidine Rift, explored the Dynasty locations at the Hawking’s Gap, visited some systems of the inner spiral arm , systems I once investigated using an DBX or ASPX or took it to Sagittarius A at the galaxy’s core on the Distant Worlds Expedition 3305.
Beluga Liner short off the EZ of SagA https://imgur.com/M3qKnpW
So far, after Explorer’s Anchorage was constructed, not finished but at stage two and three of its building phase, I wished to take part in the project to gather even more resources at the core systems, to reach the final building phase of Explorer’s Anchorage as well as the installation of a Megaship at the center of the galaxy.
The image under the following link shows construction phase one of Explorer's Anchorage: The only parts being present at this stage were te Ocellus Sphere with the docking bays and the massive FSD drives being attached to it, still: https://imgur.com/LiHjHkU
I took part in the gathering of resources for the construction of this station at the galaxy’s core – the farthest station of mankind so far. Several weeks ago I used my usual mining ship, a Python named ‘Der Pott’ for the mining of the resources needed for the initial delivery phase of an Ocellus Sphere; this was the CG of DW2 at waypoint 2: Omega Mining.
But now, there is no dock yard to be found at Explorer’s Anchorage, yet. And even if so, transferring of equipment or ships to Explorer’s Anchorage would take 72 hours, three full days, and probably would cost a fortune; the mining mission would be half finished by that time, even if the final tier wouldn’t be finished before schedule.
Explorer's Anchorage with the first parts of its habitat ring as it looked three days ago: https://imgur.com/5biSStu
To take part in the mining CG at Explorer’s Anchorage means, to use the stations outfitting and morph the Beluga into a mining ship. So I do have two aims doing that: First I wish to take part in the CG, helping to colonize the core region. Then, as well, I wish to find out, if the Beluga could be used as a capable Miner, which should not be that hard since a lot the restrictions of the optional bays were taken away with the last update of chapter 4, now allowing the use of multiple cargo modules at the size 5 and size 6 bays, which originally were restricted to the use of passenger cabins.
After a detour of exploring I went back towards the recent waypoint(s) of the Distant Worlds Expedition 3305.
At the very moment I saty at waypoint 7, the new spaceport named Explorer's Anchorage. My first arrival and successful touch down took place at 05:27hrs of 28th FEB 3305 and I could convince myself about the result of the mining efforts back at Omega Mining: The material collection at Omega Mining resulted in this station close to the Milky Way's centre, which is known as Sagittarius A, the super massive Black Hole inside our Galaxy's core.
Earlyer on, I arrived at the supermassive Black Hole (28th FEB 3305 - 04:55hrs).
Some images of the famous Sagittarius A:
The following link provides a good impression of the strong lensing effect the supermassive Black Hole is causing:
The Galaxy Map is showing the constellation of Sagittarius A and the system with the young station, Explorer's Anchorage:
The system, in which Explorer's Anchorage is located, is a binary star system:
Explorer's Anchorage at the moment is placed less than 4 ly away from Sagittarius A and at an early stage of its construction.
https://imgur.com/5e20l11 (early phase of construction)
PREAE AEWSY QO-Z D13-170 07th FEB 3305 (01:32am)
This planet is covered with a thin layer of grey-brown dust. Astonishingly, only a few centimeters underneath this dark surface the soil is pink in color, which appears, when the SRV's weehls scratch the dust off the surface.
It seems like the surface material is transfomed by yet unknown processes, possibly oxidation but maybe something else.
The following link shows an image of my landing site: https://imgur.com/h4VRYB9
This body is classified as a Metallic Rocky World.
Distant Worlds Expedition (DW2): Conflux Abandond Settlements - Waypoint 3.
Returning from Hawkings Gap Region I headed towards the Distant World's Expedition Waypoint number 3.
Staying over night, I was able to get a beautiful view of the area the next morning, when the site got some light from its close star, a Brown Dwarf.
Planet QEAJO BE-F B39-0 1 (Hawking's Gap) 31st JAN 3305
A rocky World close to its star, which is a yellow orange star, bathing the daytime side of its first planet into orange light. Surface temperature might be high, so molten rock can be found in plenty of locations.
Twice, I landed on this planet at different locations; the second touch down was done at a geologigal site.
I found this interesting planet on my way back from the Dynasty Mission camp sites, where I did visit Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma- and Delta-Camps in their different systems:
A beautiful scrrenshot of this orange bathed world can be seen using the following link: [(https://imgur.com/bgeWPl7)]
Starting from the Eagle Nebula (Inner Orion Spur) I wanted to meet with my fellow commanders Sandmaster and Skywayter at the Dynasty Mission target systems in the middle of the Hawkings Gap (Region).
After approaching PLAA AEC RY-B B41-1 2 B - the moon, where the Dynasty Mission Team constructed Delta Camp - and dropping out from gliding through orbital cruise, I got a clear view of the area: Dynasty Delta Camp is located inside a canyon and I was presented with a beautiful, interesting view of the whole area on the day side of this moon. Both, Sky and Sand, already placed their two Condas close to the camp, which I easily could see on the radar image produced by the related small holopgram at the bottom of my vessel's Heads Up Display (HUD).
We met at Delta Camp on 29th JAN 3305 (approx 18:53hrs).
Sky and Sand usually do travel much faster with their Condas then I do with the Beluga. When I joined them at Delta Camp, both already had investigated the three other camp sites.
All four Camp Sites can be found using the following GalMap-References:
So soon they started leaving; I decided to stay longer and check out the place before investigating the other three Dynasty Camps I did not know, then.
Very close to Delta Camp a surface signal source can be found, which is caused by a geological site (Geological Site #8): Turned out it is a Lava Field. From my landing area at Delta Camp I drove the SRV through the canyon in which Delta Camp was erected to investigate the geological site. This ride took just a few minutes each way - there and back.
26.01.3305 – 17:53 Following my exploration route towards the Bubble Nebula, I discovered one Earthlike ( PHOI AM JL-P D-5-14 4) - https://imgur.com/6ziJsIE - and one Ammonia World (HYPIAE AIM CR-U B58-0 2) plus a few Waterworlds. As well, I did land on an icy planet called SYREASIAE JS-W C40 1 A. This is an icy world of a mostly white surface with the typical high albedo, where there are engraved valleys filled with bright orange-pink ice. These valleys are spread over the whole small planet surface. Re-entering Elysian Shore from the Formidine Rift took place via a route through Syreadia VB-G B17-0.
At 22:58 the Bubble Nebula, which seems like an enormous soap bubble, came into sight very clearly from some hundreds of light-years away: from the system HEGODIA QD-K DB-79. Before I reached this system it appeared like a small speck. See the close-up of the structure (from outside): https://imgur.com/LKMrJhf
While approaching the Bubble Nebula it constantly grew until I finally jumped right into it dropping of at BUBBLE SECTOR GW-W C1-B (23:15):
Finally, at 27th JAn 3305 - 02:43, I touched down at Medusa’s Rock Mining Outpost (CRECENT SECTOR GW-W C1-B), a place inside a reddish nebula I already visited twice before.
Medusa's Rock is an Astroid Base' located at the orbit around an earth-like world; correctly it should be called 'Moon Base' due to the fact, the rock in the orbit containing the station is a small moon to the world it is hovering above.
Here I finished this part of my journey before heading back towards the Eagle Nebula at the Inner Orion Spur Region the following day.
I took off my night place, PHOI AESCS WN-x 28-0 1, at 14:30 heading towards The Zurara. I had to do 44 more jumps all together with some exploration (scanning and probing) of Formidine Rift locations.
16:18 I arrived at The Zurara, scanned all seven beacons and inspected the entire place (of course including the mandatory screenshots). I left The Zurara at 17:08, heading back through The Formidine Rift towards the Alysian Shore: My next main waypoint was the Bubble Nebula located at the BUBBLE Sector PD-S B4-4.
Some impressions from the Zurara Mega Ship: