The Rescue, Recovery and Salvage (RRS) Group is the leading specialist group for official retrieval of damaged and derelict craft, and rescue of crew and passengers. Installing this OXP adds their stations and ships to some safe systems, where Commanders with a suitable reputation may find a variety of employment offers.
The latest version of the Rescue Stations OXP is 1.5.3 by Spara, released on 30 September 2015. Get it from the in-game download manager. The size is ~40 MBs including updated graphics and further support for other popular and not so popular oxps. Oolite requirement is 1.80. See here for screenshots and more details.
The previous version of the Rescue Stations OXP is 1.2.4, released on 25 March 2012. Download. Install as usual by unpacking the ZIP file, and placing the OXP folder in your AddOns directory.
Modern spaceships are fairly tough, and it's fairly common for a space battle to leave a few drifting hulks behind, along with the usual clouds of monoatomic vapour. Likewise, while major equipment malfunctions are rare on well-serviced ships, there are plenty of old and badly-maintained ships kept in service out of desperation, one component failure away from drifting into deep space. Shipping companies were very keen to retrieve these derelicts where possible, as were their insurers. Paying out 450,000 Cr. to replace a Boa is not something even a large company can afford to do very often.
The technology to do this has been around a while, and Salvage Gangs with their Hognose tugs, and the Deep Space Dredgers with their giant carriers have been making a good living (or at least next week's meal) for decades. However, neither of these groups has a business plan that involves "making money for companies", and so over the years there have been many failed attempts to deal with the problem.
The shipping companies don't have the money. Margins were already tight - taking fighters off escort duty to try to recover derelicts generally resulted in a net loss in freighters.
Insurance companies certainly don't have the money. 1000 Cr. for an escape capsule and a new ship was a pretty good idea when witchspace-capable ships were rare and most pilots with them stuck to milk runs. Nowadays, with expensive Boas being lost all over the place, even the cheaper ships costing a six-figure sum, and SAR operations significantly increasing the number of people surviving to claim on the insurance at all, the majority of insurers are heavily dependent on GalCop's dwindling subsidies.
It therefore comes down to independent companies finding the right approach, and RRS Group (founder: Jara Alsthen of Ceanbibi) has been by far the most successful at filling the gap. Starting with a few prototypes flown from an old Bulk Hauler in Lezaer, the RRS Group now has Waystations near the spacelanes of stable systems throughout the Eight Galaxies.
Key to their success are two factors - their custom-built Arafura Rescue Boats equipped with the latest in medical and rescue technology, and their generous independent contractor scheme.
RRS Group's rapid expansion throughout the Eight Galaxies wouldn't have been possible without the employment of numerous independent contractors and mercenaries. While much of the group's equipment is highly specialised engineering or medical technology, getting that equipment to the right place and back is usually a much simpler task. While the Waystations do have a small number of escort ships and pilots these are mainly employed escorting the Arafuras and defending the station, and so for other jobs RRS runs a well-organised outsourcing department.
After passing routine background checks, Commanders can receive employment offers while docked at any RRS waystation. The jobs on offer vary from simple courier and escort missions, to more complex rescue and recovery missions that nevertheless do not require specialised hardware.
As an incentive for skilled Commanders to stay with RRS, they offer significant discounts on fuel, repairs and equipment to contractors with a consistent record of success, in addition to the basic pay.
RRS has made available to the space-faring community some of its more general equipment, to increase the chances of contractors having it installed.
- Formation Flight Autopilot - a module for your autopilot systems to ease the difficulty and boredom of formation flying.
- Escort Targeting System - to make life easier for escort pilots.
Many of the missions on offer at RRS involve some combat (if not directly, then just travelling through dangerous places on the way there), so at least basic combat enhancements (beam laser, ECM, etc.) are recommended. There's nothing (yet) that a half-decent pilot and a well-equipped Cobra can't handle. RRS does attempt to avoid assigning contractors to high-combat missions likely to be outside their capabilities, restricting those to Commanders ranked at least some way into Dangerous - by which time, they probably have an Iron Ass and know how to use it.
Outside of the missions, nothing much will change. The Waystations may provide a convenient place to rest (but not in systems where you might really need one...), the occasional Arafura may be spotted on the spacelanes, and a few other largely cosmetic changes may be seen.
Rescue Stations requires Oolite 1.80 or later. No other OXPs are required, but content from the following OXPs will be used if available.
Rescue Stations makes extensive use of the Advanced Space Compass in some missions, and many objects have an ASC letter of 'R'. Talkative Space Compass, MilHud 4000 or another OXP that extends the Advanced Space Compass to announce full beacon names is therefore almost essential to avoid confusion.
The following OXPs will either allow the use of some bonus content, or improve the existing content:
- Asteroid Storm or another asteroid-enhancing OXP is strongly recommended to make the asteroid fields more interesting.
- If the Snoopers OXP is installed, your escapades as an RRS contractor may make the news. Or they may not. The press are fickle like that.
- The ships from Galactic Navy OXP and Commies OXP are used if available for some missions.
Ships from many Ship OXPs may show up on missions sometimes, with potential increases or decreases in difficulty (depending on whose side they're on...) as a result. No ship OXPs are required; the core ships alone are sufficient.
Some non-combat OXP equipment will be repaired cheaply by RRS shipyards as part of their service to high-ranking contractors. No OXP equipment is required for missions, though as always some of it may be useful.
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