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"There's no point in making a mistake unless you understand the mistake so that you donít make it again."
- Alfred Bester

Landing on an Asteroid  
  An elaborate flight plan for landing a space ship on an asteroid.  

Asteroids have little or no gravity; how to land?

The process of landing on an asteroid was a story in itself. The pilot had to carefully swing the boat about so that he would parallel the motion of the particular asteroid he wished to visit. Then, by judicious rocket thrusts, he had to gently swing his boat nearer to the object until its feeble gravitation could grasp it and pull it downward like a feather. The pilot had to watch that his hull did not smash directly upon a needle-like spire of rock, or settle into a gully surrounded by elevations, for that would make it hard to get away again. An open stretch of fairly level rock was the ideal landing place.

Once happily landed, the real work would begin. Into a vacuum suit and out of the boat, equipped with a steel pick and an electric drill; also such necessities as a spare oxygen tank, food tablets (inside the suit), a flashlight hanging on the belt, a battery to run the heating coils, a bag for rock samples strapped on the back, and the miniature radio set, with which last item the wearer could keep in constant touch with someone back in the boat. Any spot would be picked out and then the silent blows of the^sharp, leaden-weighted pick would work into the crumbly rock and dislodge samples of it.

Technovelgy from Murder on the Asteroid, by Eando Binder.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1933
Additional resources -

Compare to the iron fingers for asteroid exploration from The Death's Head Meteor (1930) by Neil R. Jones.

Compare to asteroid space flyer from The Death's Head Meteor (1930) by Neil R. Jones, asteroid rocket from Salvage in Space (1933) by Jack Williamson and asteroid nets from Asteroid Justice (1947) by V.E. Thiessen.

As far as the landing experience goes, compare to splashdown from From the Earth to the Moon (1867) by Jules Verne, landing stage from Atomic Fire (1931) by Raymond Z. Gallun, landing-cradle from The Radium World (1932) by Frank K. Kelly, docking cradle from They Never Came Back (1941) by Fritz Leiber, landing-grid from Sand Doom (1955) by Murray Leinster and landing pit from The Stars My Destination (1956) by Alfred Bester.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Murder on the Asteroid
  More Ideas and Technology by Eando Binder
  Tech news articles related to Murder on the Asteroid
  Tech news articles related to works by Eando Binder

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