Welcome Pilot. This is Alywn Pinguar speaking, sectional leader of the TRI Department for Galactic Mission Oversight and Regulation. Below is the overview of mission standards and objectives that you requested. Since you have not filled out a 103104xz requisition form, you are limited to declassified data and general mission information.
This is fairly straightforward document describing the basic information related to each mission. You will notice that each mission has certain requirements that you will need to fulfill before the mission will be marked as complete.
Mining is a good way of collecting raw materials without stripping a planet of its resources. Since each station is constantly consuming these materials, mining missions are always available and often pay very well.
Before you can mine you will need to obtain a few pieces of equipment. The first is a mining laser. (The best of which are produced primarily by the Quantar.) Secondly, you will need a capacitor to power the laser.
Now you are ready to begin mining. Before you launch, take a moment to figure out where the best place to mine would be. Since you are not cleared for galactic mineral surveys and distribution charts, you may want to take a few scout missions and note which sectors contain which types of deposits.
(Tip: Due to the spatial disturbances that ripped apart known space in the first place, there are large deposits of all types of minerals near the epicenter. It is also rumored that mineral deposits can be mined fasted by actively mining different areas of an asteroid.)
Transport missions are fairy simple missions. Once you accept a transport mission, a unique item will be loaded into your cargo bay. These items may contain sensitive data or equipment, such as weapons and equipment prototypes, sensitive data discs, or personal belongings.
Once you have received your transshipment container, all you have to do is deliver it to the designated station. Unlike most other missions, transport missions will pay on the spot. (You do not even have to sell the item, you must simply dock at the station, and the dock crew will take care of delivery for you.)
The biggest fear for a transport pilot is splashing against a 'roid, or being shot down by rogue fighters. If you splash during the course of a transport mission, the item will be lost, resulting in a failure.
Some complain that transport missions don't pay very well, but as a starter pilot, a few courier runs will help you out in a hurry.
Cargo missions are slightly more advanced than transport missions. A station offers cargo missions when the supply of a particular commodity is low. To complete a cargo mission you will need to fly to a space station which stocks the particular item, purchase the specified quantity, and then return to the station of origin.
These missions, which consist mostly of profit margin comparisons and long hours behind the flight stick, are one of the riskier missions available. Since pilots are often weighed down by cargo they will need to keep an eye out for renegade fighters. In fact, on an expensive haul, it may be worth your time to split the profits with a few wingmen, and hire and escort fighter wing.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you, unlike the transport pilot, will have to pay for the cargo load out of your own pocket! As risky as this type of venture is, the profits are usually worth it.
Cargo missions can be very lucrative to a pilot who can afford a freighter, but will be considerably more difficult for a low level pilot in a fighter craft.
Patrol missions are imperative to local defense within a faction's sphere of influence. These missions are extremely straightforward, in that all you need to do is pass through a series of space locations. Once you have docked, the dock crew will make sure that your ship's flight recorder information is downloaded and sent to central command for processing.
A helpful resource for patrol missions is the in-flight map.
These missions can also be used in conjunction with personal cargo or beacon runs since they are so easy to complete.