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Space exploration - A mining base on double asteroid 90 Antiope; space station; space habitat; in-situ resource utilization; propellant depot; planetoids; outer asteroid belt; Themis family;  C spectral type; carbonaceous - Space Art Illustration
 

Mining base on double asteroid 90 Antiope

Some day a it may be worthwhile to mine resources from a distant asteroid, whether for raw materials for building an orbiting structure (cheaper than rocketing the materials from Earth's surface) or for some exotic material found only on a particular asteroid.

In this speculative illustration is a bird's eye view of a mining settlement on the double asteroid 90 Antiope, located in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. These two asteroids are about the same size--70 miles across--and orbit around a common center like two ends of a barbell. The gap separating the two bodies is only about 40 miles. The extremely low surface gravity would permit the construction of delicate structures, such as the solar power array silhouetted against the sunny side of the sister asteroid, and would make it relatively easy to transport mined material off the surface.

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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