Clearly, Pan was/is mining minerals, but it is a bit battered. The flat fins on side of the huge ship have been curved down, while the other side has thin fins.
Is the ship still functional?
Are there sentient beings alive inside?
If so, are they still mining or are they waiting for rescue?
Or are the all dead and the ship remains in the 168 mile-wide opening in Saturn's rings?
The ship is over 16 miles long-that's a huge ship! Thus, in my opinion, it's more likely, the sentient beings are alive and they are still mining the ring. While they might require repairs to occur before they return to their planet, presently, they seem to be able to safely maneuver as they mine the ring.
2) What are they mining?
According to NASA
Saturn's rings are made primarily of water ice. Since pure water ice is white, it is believed that different colors in the rings reflect different amounts of contamination by other materials such as rock or carbon compounds.
Yeah, not much help. But clearly, the ship is in the darker, more contaminated section A.
Given zero guidance as to what minerals, rocks, or compounds that might be out there, I'm going to have to just make it up.
So I'm going to have them mine meteorites for diamonds, magnetic iron, hematites, and crystals which are highly prized on their planet and other planets.
3) Issue 3: How often do they go home?
Every rotation of the sun is the equivalent of 29.4 earth years.
They jump to their planet whenever the ship is full. That's usually about one earth month, give or take a year, depending on what they are mining at the time.
We've noticed what appears to be their absences, but we just assumed our telescopes failed to locate it. Being so far from earth, it has been easy to lose.
In fact, we believed Pan was a planet before the Casini pics were taken, giving us our first up close and shocking pics. Still, you never heard the word spaceship from NASA.
4) What do the sentients inside look like.
Here are some options:
The most rational expectation is a sentient without any bones, that can live in a liquid, (In this case methane).
But that means no romance with the critters on the alien ship.
So here are some other options.
This is a methane based guy who has eyes that focus individually, which will take some getting use to. His nose is broad as well, for better sniffing.
Now this captain is a humanoid. It's what we'll look like a hundred years from now if we lived on a ship in space.
She'll be a helpful captain...unless she learns we killed our captain...that might make her a big worried. (We did kill our captain, that's already written.)
He wanted to be God. I had to kill him.
Here's an evil looking methane based alien from methane lake or perhaps from the ship. While he looks evil, he could be nice too. Looks can be deceiving.
Here's two metalic aliens. One with eyes, one without. (I like the one with eyes.) They might consume iron, which is why they are mining Saturn's rings. They are definitely from the ship. And they are hard bodies.
Then there is Methane man, who could live in the lake and isn't happy we are converting methane into water and CO2.
He is soft, so don't hit him.
and final there is rock man!
Rock Man doesn't have to be methane based. He could be a miner from the ship. Or that could be his suit, and he could be a little guy inside...rather like the frail female captain.
So, which do you like best.
Give me some of your ideas. My brain is going in too many directions!