"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard..." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy. September 12th, 1962.
Moon Mining by Moon Master Jaxan Brax
Just like in real life, planets in Eve also have natural satellites (moons). Pieces of a moon can be drilled and fractured for exceptionally valuable ore.
A special player-operated space station called a Refinery (Athanor or Tatara) fitted with a STANDUP Moondrill is required. The station manager initiates an extraction procedure on the Moondrill which bores into the nearby moon and removes a chunk of material out of its crust. The extraction time set by the manager is measured in days and hours and dictates the volume of raw ore pulled from the crust at a rate of 20,000 m3 per hour although the in-game graphic of the moon chunk remains unchanged, effectively modifying the density of the chunk were real-life physics applied in-game. The minimum extraction time is six days, three hours. The maximum is 56 days. Its possible to run out of structure fuel before the extraction finishes.
Once in space, powerful tractor beams grab hold of the chunk and slowly pull it towards the Refinery until it is within a safe distance for fracturing. With the moon chunk finally in position powerful lasers from the Moondrill itself fire upon the pulled chunk, fracturing it into a small asteroid field to be mined by capsuleers. In this way capsuleers need not wait for naturally-occurring ore fields to spawn in space and can dictate (to a degree) when and what asteroids will spawn in their system for them to mine and reprocess. Moon goo cannot be compressed while the moon variant of naturally-occurring ore can. There is no moon variant of Mercoxit.
Unlike real life, though, all moons in Eve have infinite resources; no matter how many times a chunk is pulled and fractured from a moon, the resulting ore and minerals can never be depleted.
Identifying, Naming, and Selecting Moons
The first step to moon mining is gathering raw data about the system's moons in order to make informed decisions as to where to devote time, energy, hole control, and fuel towards anchoring a Refinery and maintaining an operational moondrill on moons in question.
A capsuleer must first survey a moon using no more than a simple Venture fitted with a Survey Probe Launcher armed with Survey Probes. The pilot points their ship at the moon being surveyed and waits for the probe to return the results. Preferably this procedure is preformed in the first-person piloting perspective to ensure the probe impacts the moon's surface as the probes will disappear and despawn should they be launched into empty space. Since it takes a certain amount of time (depending on the Survey skill level) for the survey results to return, a pilot can fire and forget a probe at one moon and move onto the next, etc.
Each moon in a given solar system follows a similar WHSOC naming convention as wormholes; PLANET.MOON. For example Earth's moon would be classified as 3.1. Mars has two moons, Deimos and Phobos with Phobos being closer. Therefore Phobos would be classified as 4.1 and Deimos as 4.2. As a side note, Jupiter has 79 confirmed moons. Therefore Jupiter's moons would be classified as 5.1 thru 5.79 using our naming convention.
Our home system has 22 moons.
Being that Eve Online takes place some 25,000 years in the future in a different galaxy, we are now in the business of classifying moons by their material worth as we do with real-life resources on Earth. While the classifications themselves are not visible in-game its still important to know the designations in order to make informed decisions when evaluating moons.
Moons are classified by rarity using the conventions R4, R8, R16, R32, and R64 varying directly with their rarity; an R4 moon is the most abundant and each multiple is twice as rare as the last with R64 being the rarest and therefore most valuable. On a side note, I (Jaxan Brax) believe that Eath's moon might be classified as an R10 (an average of R4 and R16) were it in the game based on the real-life composition of moon rock samples brought back from the Apollo missions.
The game considers wormhole space to be High-Security space and as such all moons in wormhole space are assigned and spawned as R4, the cheapest and most abundant.
When the survey probes have returned and the results have (hopefully) been recorded and quantified the real work begins
Each survey result will contain at least three and no more than four ores and their concentrations in percent returned accurately and correctly. The results will be displayed in the Survey Results. Its up to capsuleers to enter the data that best fits their needs in a spreadsheet. WHSOC data follows the convention of "PLANET.MOON (Structure Name)." Upon tedious review by myself and meeting with Leadership, the following six moons have been specially selected from the 22 available in-system.
|PLANET.MOON (Structure Name)||Ore Concentration||Mineral Yields|
|2.2 (Balder's Balle)||[CLASSIFIED]||[CLASSIFIED]|
|3.1 (Ark of the Covenant)||[CLASSIFIED]||[CLASSIFIED]|
|5.1 (Bitcoin in Veldspar)||[CLASSIFIED]||[CLASSIFIED]|
|5.2 (A Stolen Midgar)||[CLASSIFIED]||[CLASSIFIED]|
|6.4 (DarkO Crokodile Tyrs)||[CLASSIFIED]||[CLASSIFIED]|
|6.6 (Chains of Cerberus)||[CLASSIFIED]||[CLASSIFIED]|