Mini-Missions, sometimes referred to as training missions, are small, return-on-same-day events. These missions are meant to train OCESS members, both new and old, how to conduct a space Mission, as well as offer new members a chance to experience a mission first hand. They occur at Ottawa Tech, primarily on Friday nights during a normal Work Session.
Mini-Missions also allow members to take on roles to which they are not accustomed. For example, a member who is usually an Astronaut might stay in Mission Control instead, or a member might be able to play the part of a Simulator for the first time. However, once the roles for the Main Mission have been decided upon, members primarily practice for their actual roles.
Mini-missions are one of Spacesim's most impressive activities, and as such can be used to show off parts of Spacesim that are not available during the main mission. A successful mini-mission was run on May 7, 2010, for the Interim Executive Superintendant, a Co-Chair of School Council and the Head of the Alumni Association. In the future this should be repeated by the External Affairs Officer.
Although mini-missions have in the past been much more loose and informal than real missions, so as to give new members a chance to experience Sim Culture, the Golden Rule and proper CAPCOM procedure are always followed. This allows for optimal training of new recruits who can experience Sim Culture during any ordinary Work Session.
Previously, mini-missions were considered Gamma and were openly acknowledged as simulations, unlike "Beta" missions which were considered real-life missions, but current procedure allows for them to be considered Beta.
The number of mini-missions per year has been raised from 2-3 to 9 or 10. Before the Main Mission these are to train new members, but at the end of the year they are primarily to let off steam, such as a revenge mission or terrorist mission. Missions of this variety still allow members to practice in various roles and with the software, but comical endings are more fun and allow the Admiral to end a mission in a timely fashion.
Before the move to Ottawa Tech in 2000-01 the term mini-mission was used to refer to a half-day to full day simulated staffed by personnel who are not members of Spacesim. Mini-missions were often done in conjunction with EEPs and were attended by students between grades seven and nine. These students would carry out most mission roles and OCESS members would only take the roles of second-in-command in order to provide guidance and help in understanding the software.