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Adventures in Orbiter

Mining the Moon - Pt. III Author: David Organ ( Staiduk )

"While we've got you here...."


If there's ever a sentence that guarantees you lots of hassle; it's that one. After escorting my 4 passengers into the Brighton Beach airlock and assisting them through desuiting, decontam and customs processing procedures; I went into Intersolar's OCF (Orbital Control Facility) to fill out the appropriate post-flight paperwork.
While I was there; the desk supervisor said "While we've got you here..."
Yup; you guessed it - just a 'quick little side job that needs doing'.


I was hoping to get some quality relaxation in; spending a little time in the rec center and in general getting friendly with open air again - but that ain't gonna happen; at least for about 12 hours. Seems the Luna-OB1 orbital fuel station is getting a little low; and needs to be topped up.
OB-1 is a neutral facility owned and operated by UNETCOB (United Nations Extra-Terrestrial Commercial Operations Board). It's basically a mammoth fuel tank; a great big gas station orbiting in the ecliptic plane 1000km over the Moon's surface.

Star Petro has the contract to keep the giant tanks filled; and it's making them bloody rich. They do the job with their Mars2 orbital freighter - a real colossus of a ship that's already paid for itself. (I must try to swing by and get a shot of it sometime. Great ship - the only spaceship thus far that has its own gravity! Kinda looks like a bigass high-tech nail; but it's quite comfortable, I'm told.)

Besides keeping it in spacecraft fuel; the station also needs to be maintained; including regular resupply of oxygen and RCS fuel. That task is met by Star's small fleet of A-type Shuttles - a fairly ubiquitous light transport vessel seen almost everywhere.

It just so happens that Star's lunar groundworkers union passed a strike vote last week; they've been on strike for better working conditions since. So right now; while Star's orbital programme is unaffected; they can't complete their servicing contracts. The UN put out a hasty contract for a maintenance resuppy to OB-1.

Eager to leap on the opportunity; Intersolar seriously undercut the competition and bid below cost for the contract - sort of ignoring for the moment that they didn't have any orbital transport pilots on the Moon. Well; they knew I was heading out there didn't they?

(Sigh) OK; well I guess I'm heading up to OB-1. Shuttle-A 0015 is fuelled, loaded and on standby; I might as well get up there now before I get too comfortable here. I'll just delay heading out to the ranges for another day.

Heading out to Shuttle-A (Commonly called the 'A-type') #0015. If you've read the whole story; this is the type of light freighter (Specifically #0127) that Slim damn near got himself roasted in.)

Heading for orbit; Lunar Paradise Estates (an 'if-you-have-to-ask-you-can't-afford-it' condominium complex) in the background. Note the auxiliary pods rolling back to provide angular thrust.



In low orbit over Oceanus Procellarum. Note the auxiliary engine pods rotated forward for retrogade thrust.

In high orbit intercepting FSS Luna-OB1; crater Grimaldi in the background.


Arrival at Luna-OB1. You can't see them; but the station carries two giant solar arms at it's 'top' end with the comm dish at their hub. They're dark; nonreflective - practically invisible even from right close up. A pilot has to really watch what he's doing and approach from the underside or he risks a major collision.

Reverse shot showing just how bloody huge this station is. The orange structures at the bottom with the green position light are the docking ports. Crater Tycho is in the background.


Mining the Moon Pt. IV

You will need the following add-ons to run this mission for yourself.

- DGIII and skins
- Moon Base Alpha


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