For the first time, an larger research outpost was established at Planet 6, in one of the rocky areas which is considered to be mineral rich. The outpost was established after an initial scouting expedition showed the potential.
First the Galaxy Command unit dropped off the research lab at previously scouted locations:
Soon after, the remaining units, as well the Habitat and Storage Assembly where transported to the research outpost:
As a first step the smaller vehicles started a scouting mission in the area around the established research output.
In parallel the Mobile Rocket Team is trying to establish a first infrastructure on the planet by launching a weather satellite in a GEO orbit. Planet 6 can have very nasty and strong storms and as such a weather forecasting system is needed to establish a longer lasting presence:
While the Mobile Rocket is put into place, the Planetary Research team with the Uranium Search Vehicle started to explore the planet surface and to scan first areas of interests, that have been established during the first scouting missions:
The results of the scans are transferred to the lab, and some units are deployed next day (Planet 6 has a 37 hours cycle, the Teams are operating in the 24 cycle) for a first sample collection:
In the meantime the mobile rocket team is getting ready to launch the weather satellite to improve the forecast. The very yellow / reddish sun makes the weather even more unpredictable. Right now the team is suffering from an excessive heat wave:
After several days, a certain routine is established, some examples of routine operations below:
The Uranium Search Vehicle (USV) as the main exploration vehicle is scanning the scouted area, revealing more and more the mineral riches of the surface and low subsurface material:
The Astro Walker is collecting pot. radioactive rock samples for more in-depth analysis in the ScienceCenter back on Alpha-Base.
The sample will be stored in the StorageAssembly and returned with the Galaxy Commander during the routine scheduled flights.
The Astro-Scientist on the interplanetary shuttle also picked up interesting scans on non-metallic compounds, it seems a rich deposit of rare organics such as carbon exist in this particular rock. So the shuttle landed and is further collecting data and samples. It seems like a single rock of organic compounds so samples of the rock itself as well as the scan data of the surroundings will be transferred to the ScienceCenter:
While the Robot Command Center was further investigating a canyon for past water traces, the scouting drone crashed and needed to be salvaged. As the crash potentially released some of the fusion material, some care was taken to collect the drone. But once the Hazard team cleared the area, the team could take a closer look at the drone and see, if it could be repaired:
The Planetary Science team continued to scout the area. They found an old “river” bed, at least according to the rock formation, however the type of liquid that could have flown here has yet to be determined:
As the old river bed shows promises on rich minerals and provide a first insight into the geology of Planet 6, the planetary science gathered in the area for a more in-depth investigation. Coordinated by the Research Outpost HQ, LL918 was tasked to deliver some urgently needed tools to the team while returning first samples to ScienceCenter on Alpha-Base:
LL918 takes the sample on board, but before leaving Planet 6 to return to Alpha-Base, the pilot makes a short stop to taken in the strange landscape, far away from home:
The ScienceCenter also insisted on sending the Mobile Lab Unit to Planet 6, no one was quite sure why … The Mobile Lab shall be used to detect biological samples after a campaign of the TerraForming Squad. As this was the first expedition to Planet 6, it doesn’t make sense to deploy the Mobile Lab:
The crew, when resting in the HabitatAssembly, did not comment on their orders, they kept for themselves …
After a couple of weeks in operations, the research outpost was dismantled (notice the carrier structure in the background) and everyone returned to Alpha-Base to get ready for the main expedition to the largest Moon of Planet 9, a large gas giant.