Help: Asteroid Hauling
If you want to be a 'roid cowboy, you need two kinds of tools: First a full spacesuit, to allow you to get outside your ship and onto the asteroid sold at spacesuit stores. Then you'll need an asteroid supply cannon which contains lines and anchors. Anchors bite into the surface of the asteroid, becoming nearly unremovable. Lines are tied to the anchors and help to attach the asteroid to the ship. You'll have to locate a roid shop for the supply cannon, and, of course, only an asteroid hauler is designed to move asteroids.
You must search for asteroids in, as you might be able to guess, either an asteroid belt or an asteroid cluster. This will be its own beaconed sector and will have an asteroid processing station. Here are some examples:
The Glittering Belt (AEU)
The Belt (League)
Barnham's Belt (Fringe)
Nebular Cluster (Mutuality)
Once in your ship, you'll navigate to the edge of the sector. Switch to manual to move across the border, then continue the process. You'll check your starmap in each sector, looking for an asteroid marker. (Noted by a % icon on the starmap). Once found, autopilot navigation will move you to the asteroid, where you'll land on it. Suit up manually or by using a spacesuit flightbag, head out the airlock through cycling or turning off your ship's life support, and start roping that asteroid.
Anchors must be placed in a particular formation: north, south, east, and west of your ship. You will then need two lines. One is tied to the north and south anchors, and the other is tied to the east and west anchors. You'll first tie the line to one anchor, waiting until you see that the line is snugly attached, then move to the opposing direction to tie it off upon the other anchor. You can split this task between two people, one person taking north/south, the other east/west. USE CANNON is the usage command for both.
Once the four anchors and two lines are secure, you must reenter your ship and use the ANCHOR function. This deploys the ship's own anchors, adding a second layer of security while the asteroid moves.
Next, use the HAUL function. You will choose from a list of valid collector stations, and how far away they are. You'll want to choose the one you first headed outward from. . Your ship will use its engines to move the asteroid, and the wormhole drive will be unavailable. If your collector station is quite a distance away, it can take some time to travel there.
If at any time you need to stop the movement of the asteroid, use the standard STOP function. After a moment, the asteroid will gradually cease its movements.
When your asteroid arrives near the collector station, workers on the station will pull it the rest of the way into the collector bay. At this time, your ship will be automatically pulled into the station's docking bay. Any supplies recovered from the asteroid will be placed here as well. You'll want to go outside your ship, and USE ASTEROID KIT. The kit will automatically retrieve all asteroid lines and anchors registered to it. New kits automatically register their contents.
Note that asteroid hauling is best performed with a crew of two. The rewards are given out with this in mind. Thus, the reward system works this way:
One person: The standard fee is received.
Two people: The crew members each receive the standard fee.
More than two people: The standard fee is doubled, then divided evenly among all crew members.
The monetary reward is dependant upon the size and mineral content of the asteroid. There's little way to tell the size of an asteroid by staring at a starmap, so some measure will be luck. You can tell its mineral content when you land; metal-rich, radioactive, or icy asteroids will tend to be worth more, but size is still a large factor!
Good luck as a 'roid cowboy! Now remember, there are rumors of 'roid dogs, seriously dangerous beasts that inhabit asteroids deep within nebulas, nature's ultimate killer. I say, if you're a real 'roid cowboy, you'll take your chances! And if you do find one, you'll hog-tie the damn thing and eat it for lunch! Sure, people say no one's ever seen one and lived, but by damn you can't let fear stop you. Besides, we know for sure they don't roam the asteroids around inhabited space! Or at least, no one's ever lived to say so...
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