I'm not altogether sure where to put this thread, so thought I'd add it here as the creative minds that frequent Fanfic might be able to pull together some good ideas, now enough with the buttering you up it's time to move on to the purpose of the thread. On DeviantArt I stumbled on an image that included a couple of the mining ships from Star Trek: Armada, which sparked the memory of "Nor The Battle To The Strong" and the ensign who shot himself in the foot to get out of the fighting, who said after his court martial he'd be signing up to a mining expedition. Then there was seeing the Canterbury on The Expanse, where we got to see the less than glamorous work of such a ship in a sci-fi setting. All this got me thinking about the types of ships and crews in the Trekverse. [Shameless self-plug alert] I did touch on a prospecting ship in "Out In The Cold" for a writing challenge a few years ago, but I was wondering about the actual mining operations. Would any ship we've previously seen fit the bill as a mining vessel, such as the Xhosa-type, or would they need to be a more behemoth type of ship with cavernous bays for processing and storage of materials. Part of the setting is also the overall crew complement for such a vessel. The Xhosa-type wouldn't have a large crew complement (the similar Norkova was established as having a crew of 12) whilst a bigger ship would have more volume and a larger crew though probably only a few dozen (using the Canterbury as an example there were only between 50-60 onboard). The ships mission would also mean that many crew would be cross trained, for example when not engaged in mining activity a 'cutter' might be trained in damage control, transporters operations, and/or navigation systems. There would be some with very specific duties onboard (i.e. helmsman, chief engineer, ship's doctor, etc.) but I think the bulk of the crew would be miners who do 'odd jobs' when in transit. I'm not sure I'd personally do something with a mining ship and crew, but it would be an interesting angle of the Trekverse to look at, examining the hard life of civvies in space. If anyone has any thoughts then please feel free to share.