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"I do think there is a link in that in both cases, writing fiction or writing a computer program, at any given moment you're focusing on a very specific and particular thing—one word, one line of code, whatever."
- Neal Stephenson

Spacehound (Beast)  
  Oddly canine, telepathic beast digs in asteroids for metal.  

Yes, this would be mighty handy, you would-be asteroid miners.

Abruptly the spell was broken by something shrilling in his brain, sending little chills racing up and down his spine. Digger! A small, oddly canine-like creature with telepathic powers, a space-dweller which men found when first they came to the asteroids. The relationship between spacehounds and men was much the same as between man and dog in the old, earthbound days. Appropriate name for the beast, Digger. With those large, incredibly hard claws, designed for rooting in the metal make-up of the asteroids for vital elements, the spacehound could easily have shredded the man's spacesuit and helmet, could, at any time, tear huge chunks out of men's fine ships.
Technovelgy from Beast of Space, by F.E. Hardart.
Published by Comet in 1941
Additional resources -

I don't really collect these beasts, but sometimes I can't resist. See also Robert Heinlein's flatcat and Clifford Simak's hunting robes.

I have the feeling that this creature is given its name somewhat tongue-in-cheek; see spacehound from Spacehounds of IPC (1930) by Doc Smith.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Beast of Space
  More Ideas and Technology by F.E. Hardart
  Tech news articles related to Beast of Space
  Tech news articles related to works by F.E. Hardart

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  - Extremophile Microbe Loves Space Rocks

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