Sightseeing in the Cluster

Minmatar Mining Corporation Testing Facility

Well at least I'm making fun of the Gallente for once.
The Testing Facility complex, with a defunct asteroid field in the distance.

I had a few hundred words typed up today about the weirdness of most corporate museums. How such institutions were such a transparent way to conflate a corporation with Incidents of Historical Note, to idolize a corporation for making A Difference over the course of history, and to try to make the public think that, finally, THIS corporation is different and cares about something other than just the next quarterly profit report.

And, well, then I remembered that the Gallente basically invented the idea. And, just to show how proud we were for coming up with that particular achievement, we went ahead and elected the self-aggrandizer not once but twice. So, well, I have no room to talk.

There is SOMETHING about this shot I really like, but I'm not sure I could tell you what.
Hagilur’s light glints off of the main corporate HQ facility.

Besides, my poor, somewhat hypocritical but now-deleted rant aside, sometimes corporations DO accomplish things during Incidents of Historical Note. Unlike Roden Shipyards, the main claims to fame of which are, well, making megathrons and getting its corporate CEO elected President of the Federation twice, the Minmatar Mining Corporation has in fact made some significant contributions over its many, many years of history. One of the only entities that can trace its history back to the storied Minmatar Empire, the entity that existed before the Amarr enslaved Pator, the MMC not only managed to survive Amarr enslavement but also became a crucial supplier of raw materials to the fledgling Minmatar rebellion.

I at least got a little bit  (though admittedly not too much) away from my usual style with these entries.
A series of observation towers to watch ship testing in the nearby asteroid field.

Since the contributions of the MMC are, well, actually worthy of being remembered, the MMC and the Republic have gone ahead and set up a site to memorialize the MMC and its influence on Minmatar history. To that end, in Hagilur you can now find the Minmatar Mining Corporation Testing Center. Although still a working facility, it also serves now to showcase both the MMC’s impact on history and how the MMC intends to stay relevant in the modern era (I feel compelled at this point to note that I am, in fact, not receiving any compensation from the MMC for these statements). The site was initially one of the first asteroid fields mined by the MMC. Though now long-mined out of any useful ores, the site was converted over the years to a ship testing facility, where the MMC worked to perfect its ship designs both for mining vessels and, later, combat spacecraft.

Querying Aura about the main testing facility, set up just a few kilometers from the now defunct asteroid belt, brings up this analysis:

Inside the dome.

The Minmatar Mining Corporation is the only Minmatar corporation still in existence that can trace its foundation to before the conquest of the old Minmatar Empire’s territory by the Amarr Empire. The corporation managed to stay in business during the Amarr occupation only because it was useful. Now it is useful to the Minmatar, providing the raw materials to build fleets and equipment to defend the Republic against the Amarr Empire, and all other threats to the Minmatar people.

Another stark shot that I really like (probably because its so similar to that other shot lol).

This is the headquarters of the Minmatar Mining Corporation’s Testing Division and the primary facility of the testing center located at this old asteroid belt. The Minmatar Mining Corporation is a key player in the economy of the Minmatar Republic, providing vast quantities of material to the military and heavy industries. The need to continually enhance mining, processing and transport technology keeps the testing center very busy.

Ramming speed!
One of the commemorative Scythes pointing at the main HQ facility.

The station is one of classic Minmatar design, replete with translucent biodomes, rusty plating, and a strongly industrial motif that is, I suppose, not very surprising for an R&D center focused on ship development. Although not open to the public, the station is abuzz with corporate activity, with small, personal station transport vehicles seen crawling over inch of the station at one point or another.

Surrounding the station is a variety of other facilities. Although the asteroid field had long ago been stripped of anything useful, the field itself still offers a fairly decent course to field test new starship concepts in a secured environment, so many of the nearby facilities include observation platforms and mechanical bays for the new spacecraft.

Some of the other facilities, however, are more dedicated to the museum side of the site. For example, the MMC Storage and Preservation Facility serves mostly an academic role in the preservation of key Matari artifacts:

This is, of course, the storage facility.

This facility is used to store and preserve samples of all the technology developed or used by the Minmatar Mining Corporation over the long centuries of its existence. A number of very old pieces of Minmatar technology are kept here, making the facility a magnet for Minmatar scholars keen to reconstruct the material culture of the old Minmatar Empire.

The background nebula here was so bright it actually made shots difficult to set up at some angles.
Two Scythe-class cruisers that commemorate the role the ships have played in Minmatar history.

Finally, one whole section of the facility is dedicated to what is, today, the most recognizable contribution of the MMC: the Scythe-class cruiser. Although today the Scythe is recognizable first and foremost as a logistics cruiser, it was initially designed (again, unsurprisingly for a mining corporation) as a mining ship. The Scythe’s original role is profiled heavily at the Testing Center. Two Scythes, in their original mining configuration, can be found on display at the site as a testament to the deep history surrounding the oldest ship design still in use in the Republic. The ships keep a watchful eye on the testing field from their pedestals nearby.

Aura has this to say about the two ships:

I will admit that I had to look up the Scythe when writing this, lol

The Scythe-class cruiser remains the oldest Minmatar ship still in use. It has seen many battles and is an integrated element of many Minmatar tales and the material heritage of the tribes. The Minmatar Mining Corporation retains a number of mining variants of the Scythe, despite the ship being little known as a mining vessel since the Republic Fleet, Minmatar Territorial Guards, and Tribal Militias adopted the upgraded combat support and logistics variant. Even so, the mining variant Scythe, upgunned and armored by rebel crews, has a storied history as a mainstay of the Minmatar resistance and a key ship of the Great Rebellion.

I think they've stopped doing the snowflakes on wordpress sites during the holidays and honestly that makes me sad :-/

Notably, despite the Minmatar Mining Corporation being riddled with collaborators during its operations under the Amarr occupation, a significant number of MMC Scythes found their way into the hands of the rebels, typically crews and all. The quiet and careful support for the resistance by a large number of MMC managers did much to rehabilitate the reputation of the corporation in the post-Rebellion period, and the heroism of those martyred when their luck ran out is marked by a memorial plaque in every station and facility owned by the corporation.

Remember when I played as a space lawyer, hahahahhaha
Flames flare from a foundry active in the Testing Facility.

I made the mistake once of asking my brother, an attorney who has in the past provided legal services to some fellow capsuleers, what the point of corporations was. About 20 mind-numbing minutes later, all I could really glean in terms of answers was something about liability protections, but said in such fluffy (and unending) legalese that I wasn’t even sure what those words meant anymore. But, while corporations have deserved reputation of being more concerned with quarterly profits than anything else, its important to remember that corporations are, well, just groups of people. Sure, sometimes those people only care about accruing wealth, but sometimes they care about the broader picture. Sometimes they help their people gain freedom after centuries of slavery. And sometimes, heavens help me for saying this (and I, once again, reiterate that I am not gaining any compensation for saying so), they deserve to have a museum to commemorate their accomplishments.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Minmatar Mining Corporation Testing Facility
  • System: Hagilur
  • Security Rating: 0.4
  • Region: Metropolis
  • Potential Hazards: Hagilur is located in low security space.  Particularly given that it borders high security space on two sides, pirates and gate camps should be expected, and caution is advised.  A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended.

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