Motherload Mining Station

«Last Updated on May 13, 2024 »

design by Kevin Oyer, stats by Lee Wood

Known Sphere Of Operation:  Orion Neutrality Zone, Triangle
Data Reliability:  A
Major Data Source:  Orion Sector Intelligence

The Motherlode class city-ship is a huge construct that is uniquely Orion. Whether it’s a ship or a station is up for debate with designers pointing out “it all depends on one’s point of view.” It is considered a city in space with a population of about 20,000, excluding the mining fleet which travels with it.

At 3,000 meters long, the vessel is only able to achieve approximately Warp 0.1 on its own motive power. A trip, for instance, from Mars to Jupiter would probably take the Motherlode just under a year. However, in a high-density asteroid belt, the Motherlode is more than capable of moving from one asteroid to another in a timely manner.

The city-ship always travels with six warp-capable cargo tugs, such as the Branco class, which can move the Motherload from place-to place when needed. Operations commence when the city-ship arrives at its destination. Most often the city-ship is towed to an uninhabited system’s asteroid belt or mineral rich planet. Once on location, mining operations begin. The onboard factory refines ores and can produces merchandise. To date, no operation has proven unprofitable, although total profits do vary from operation to operation.

The assigned tugs are also used to tow container pods full of cargo when there is no demand to move the Motherlode. It’s not unusual to see these tugs load up with cargo and warp off to a home world full of finished product, only to be replaced by one warping in full of luxury items and needed supplies. The class also travels with a fleet of mining and support vessels – up to 60 major working starships and numerous smaller craft.

There are currently six Motherlode class city-ships in service. If one is destroyed or rendered inoperable, another Motherlode can be constructed as a replacement. To date only one Motherlode vessel has been destroyed. The Shal’s Glory was working in a high velocity asteroid field when a catastrophic cascading power failure caused the loss of shielding. The subsequent barrage of asteroids hit the primary power systems, destroying the vessel with all hands lost.

Two other Motherlode city-ships simply lived to the end of their effective service lives of 70 years and have been replaced. Two of the three that have been replaced were built in Orion space by shipyards, but the honor of building the new vessel to replace the Shal’s Glory was reserved for the OML Indirax which was, at the time, the most successful and profitable vessel of the Motherlode class. Today, if one of the class were to be lost, that honor would fall to the Heart of Rigel.

Construction Data:
Model Number — A-1
Ship Class — Station
Date Entering Service — 2268
Number Constructed — 6
Hull Data:
Superstructure Points — 550
Damage Chart — Station
Length — 3,002 m
Width — 1,041.3 m
Height — 640.2 m
Weight — 1,197,948 mt
Cargo Units — 7,893,600 SCU
Cargo Capacity — 394,680,000 mt
Landing Capacity — None
Equipment Date:
Control Computer Type — Mark IV (x6)
Executive 3-person — 66
Standard 5-person — 105
Standard 8-person — 45
Emergency 14-person — 130
Cargo —
small — 120
medium — 500
large — 90
Other Data:
Crew — 5,982
Passengers — 14,120
Shuttlecraft — 75
Other Small Craft — 50
Engines And Power Data:
Total Power Units Available — 331
Movement Point Ratio — 15/1
M/AM Power Generator Type — OMAPG-7
Number — 3
Power Units Available — 57 ea.
Impulse Power Generator Type — OIPG-11 (x4)
Power Units Available — 40 ea.
Weapons And Firing Data:
Beam Weapon Type — OD-11
Number — 21
Firing Arcs — 7 per arc
Firing Chart — U
Maximum Power — 8
Damage Modifiers:
+3 (-)
+2 (1-20)
+1 (-)
Beam Weapon Type — OD-2
Number — 21
Firing Arcs — 7 per arc
Firing Chart — J
Maximum Power — 3
Damage Modifiers:
+3 (-)
+2 (1-5)
+1 (6-10)
Shield Data:
Deflector Shield Type — OKSC
Shield Point Ratio — 1/1
Maximum Shield Power — 20
Combat Efficiency:
D — 812.3
WDF — 176.4

Ship Layout:

Ship’s Operations:
The captain of a Motherlode class is responsible for operations of both his vessel and the mining operations being conducted from it. Ship’s Operations houses more than just the command bridge and mining operations control center, however. Security and laboratory facilities are major clients that operate from this area. There are also amenities for the crew and their families, from holosuites to bowling alleys, theatres to zero-g athletic courts. This area also contains a large hangar deck capable of accommodating some 50 Mission class-sized vessels without affecting landing and takeoff operations, or the maintenance and repair bays. Everything from large ships to small craft can find parts and repair facilities here.

Hangar Deck:
The gargantuan hangar deck is capable of accommodating some 50 Mission class-sized vessels without affecting landing and takeoff operations, or the maintenance and repair bays. Everything from large ships to small craft can find parts and repair facilities here. The hangar deck also can house a slew of shuttles and smaller craft and provide maintenance, repair and parking for these vessels. Even several Wanderers might be found inside.

The Residential Area is where the crew and their families live. There are some courtyard areas and even trees scattered throughout.

Merchant’s Sector:
The Merchant’s Sector is like a “Wonder Mall” and a shadow market all rolled into one.

Ship’s Services:
Food is grown here in several greenhouses. Water and oxygen are reclaimed or “recycled” from waste. Recreational areas for the residents are maintained here, as well as additional medical and life support facilities.

Commercial Zone:
The Commercial Zone is the “downtown” or business district of this city in space. There are medical facilities, commercial office spaces (with seldom any vacancies), courtrooms, banks, company stores, and most all the things one would expect to find in a city.

Factory Area:
The Factory Area contains a refinery for ores and raw materials, as well as facilities for the manufacture of commercial goods of all kinds.

Cargo Handling & Storage:
The Cargo Handling and Storage Facility has a hole right through it big enough to drive a Jessup class freighter through, and that’s exactly what it is for. As the freighters move through the “tunnel,” bulk transporters unload and analyze the ore and store it for refining and processing later. Large warp-driven freighters from the fleet can pull up alongside the facility to be loaded up before they warp off with cargoes of refined metals and finished products built at the factories.

Engineering contains the massive power generators that provide power for the mammoth sub-light engines, as well as to the shield generators, tractor beams, sensor arrays, and cutting lasers mounted all about the ship.

Auxiliary Engineering:
Auxiliary Engineering also has a power generator that powers the ship’s internal systems. This class of ship always requires some sort of maintenance somewhere and this is where the maintenance staff has their offices and equipment.

Ship’s Storage:
At the back of the ship, there is a huge storage area. Most of this area contains liquid storage, and the majority of that is water and water purification facilities. There is also a massive air recycling plant and gasses are stored here to aid in maintaining the ship’s atmosphere. Even commercially rare gasses are stored here for export, or for use in the factories on board. Materials and goods ready for transport off the ship are staged here.

Historical Notes:
OML Gemstone was built by the OML Indirax to replace Shal’s Glory. It was the fastest build of any Motherlode class vessel, and that remains a point of pride for the Indirax.

OML Shal’s Glory was destroyed with all hands in an asteroid shower after a power loss caused the shields to fail. At the time, it was the newest vessel of its class.

The OML Motherlode II was constructed by the Jefann Shipyards of Rigel II. This vessel, like all previous Motherlode vessels (except Gemstone), was built at the Deepspace Construction Facility located in the Tugn Atugn Asteroid Belt.

The OML Forager is the most recent build, and it is the first Motherlode class to be laid down in a planned fashion, being built to replace the Blackstar. The commissioning of the Forager occurred on the same day as the decommissioning of the Blackstar.

The OML Opportunity was being built to replace the OML Heart of Rigel. However, the Heart of Rigel has been found to be in sound shape and recently received a 20 year service life extension and refit. For a brief period (with the Opportunity complete) there would have been seven factory ships available at one time. Unfortunately, there are only currently only six mining fleets available, not seven, and construction on the Opportunity was halted in late 2391.

The Heart of Rigel has, on at least one occasion, crossed into Federation space and conducted mining operations in a mineral-rich asteroid field in an uninhabited system. When detected, the Orion forces included 43 vessels:

Heart of Rigel city-ship
Work Fleet:
2 – Newport News dry dock facilities (Starfleet surplus from The Four Years’ War)
8 – Monon class ore freighters
3 – Dwarfstar class freighters
3 – Whaler class salvage cruisers
7 – Overfield class freighters
2 – Eicha class freighters
5 – Dreamrunner class freightrunners
6 – Branco class tugs
Defense Fleet:
3 – K-27 Deathstalker class scouts
1 – Pathfinder class command ship
3 – Stalker class light raiders

Defensive Fleet units are believed to vary widely from one station or another.

The following list of Motherload class mining stations shows their hull numbers, name, model designation, date entering service and current disposition. The disposition as of 2400 is represented by the letter codes given here and is followed by the date of occurrence, if known.
B – Built
D – Destroyed
Sc – Scrapped
Registry Vessel Model Status
ORV-37218 Motherload* Mk I B – 2268, Sc – 2317
ORV-37224 Blackstar Mk I B – 2283, SC – 2342
ORV-37229 Heart of Rigel Mk I B – 2291
ORV-37301 Indirax Mk I B – 2295
ORV-37465 Starlight Mk I B – 2300
ORV-37488 Shal’s Glory Mk I B – 2305, D – 2306
ORV-37521 Gemstone Mk I B – 2318
ORV-37699 Motherload II Mk I B – 2332
ORV-38001 Forager Mk I B – 2342
ORV-38005 Opportunity Mk I Under Construciton