Space Prospector

I was at lunch with my friend, Don Anderson, and we were talking about Project X, my proposed series of stories set in the Asteroid Belt during the lead-up to what might eventually become a solar system-spanning war. We got talking about the kinds of spaceships that might exist in 2312. More importantly, we focused in on the standard rock rat, the ever-popular miner-prospecter of the Asteroid Belt.

What kind of ship would a miner-prospector need? He’d have to be out on his own for long periods of time, maybe by himself, or with a partner or two. Within minutes, the napkins came out and Don started started drawing. Here, through the magic of scanning, as filtered through Adobe Photoshop, is one of those napkin drawings:

The spaceship of a miner-prospector in the Asteroid Belt

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A Little Inspiration: Lucky Strike

This is my vision of what it would be like to stake a claim on an asteroid.

A Lucky Strike!

Since the asteroid is so small, it would have to be rich in rare elements for it to be a significant claim.

A fundamental aspect of a lot of stories set in the asteroid belt is that, by law, asteroids must be claimed in person. So, no automated land grabs by big corporations. This rule basically levels the playing field, so we can have the asteroid prospectors we’re all so fond of in SF.

To make a claim, you have to visit an asteroid, survey it (take measurements, core samples, pictures, etc.), set a marker beacon so other miners will know the asteroid has been claimed, and then get back to register the claim.

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