Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"I'm a fairly visual thinker. In doing science, I think in terms of pictures of things happening, and then do the mathematics."
- Gregory Benford

Meteor Swarm Mining  
  A fleet of ships hunting for meteoric iron - in space!  

Steve Anders was a meteor miner, one of the first in space — and, in his prime, one of the best. The E. V. & M. was still a dream in the mind of a lad named H. C. MacDonald, as Steve shipped on his first dangerous cruise into the void. At that time, a group of venturesome young men came to the conclusion that there were vast possibilities in salvaging the countless tons of almost pure iron that were flashing through space as iron meteors**, and which could be had for the taking. They had organized The Meteoric Iron Co. Derisively they had been called “meteor miners” — and the name had stuck...

('The Meteor Miners' by L.A. Eshbach)

It was October, and he was discussing wish his superior the forthcoming departure of the fleet for the Andromids*. the swarm of meteors which touched earth's orbit, between the seventeenth and twenty-seventh of the following month. The cruisers would follow the path of the swarm for three months, stowing meteoric iron into their holds. And return to earth with their haul, unload, outfit their crafts for another voyage— and head out into space in search of another meteoric swarm.

** Meteors are roughly divided Into two groups — stone and iron meteors. The iron meteors — or meteorites, as they are called after they fall to earth— are exhibited in museums, and are the more numerous to be found there, but this is because they are the more easily identified. The stone ones outnumber them by about twenty to one.
Iron meteors are nearly pure iron with usually a small admixture of nickel. Stone meteors also contain grains of iron, as well as numerous other elements including gases — but these held no interest for the meteor miners.

* A swarm of meteors moving around the Sun on an elliptic orbit, possessing a period of 6.6 years. According to popular astronmomical belief, the Andromids are the remnants of Biela's comet which In 1846 divided into two, and subsequently disintegrated, to form a swarm of Meteors. This particular swarm, like others that touch the orbit of the earth, was named for the constellation — Andromeda — from which It appears to radiate, ie. its radiant.

From The Meteor Miners, by L.A. Eshbach.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1935
Additional resources -

What a sight they were!

In wedge formation the thirty-three cruisers of the Meteor Fleet flashed through space toward the Andromids. The space ship Atlas, with Captain Cal Barker in command, formed the apex of the wedge. They would maintain that formation until they reached the meteoric swarm, then they would separate and spread out over the Andromid’s orbit, to reunite three months later for the return to earth.

As far as I know, the first reference to asteroid mining Is from Edison's Conquest of Mars (1898) by Garrett P. Serviss.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Meteor Miners
  More Ideas and Technology by L.A. Eshbach
  Tech news articles related to The Meteor Miners
  Tech news articles related to works by L.A. Eshbach

Articles related to Space Tech
Spaceships Should Last So Long
Space Station Shutters
MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
Study Reveals Effect Of Space Travel On The Brain

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.





Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.





Science Fiction Timeline
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

Spaceships Should Last So Long
'THE SPACE VESSEL was traveling swiftly… For over five thousand years they had Voyaged on and on.’

Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'

Amazing Indoor Robotic Drones Mimic Dolphins and Whales
'They circled the vast audiences, dancing, twittering, chirping...'

Space Station Shutters
'The sun-quilt was a patchwork of colors and materials on the inward side, but silvered on the outward side...'

Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body
'Jim, I saw them reduce four of my doctors and nurses into those little cubes!'

MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
'Fats Jordan was hanging in the center of the Big Glass Balloon, hugging his guitar to his massive black belly above his purple shorts..'

Tianjin Solar Vehicle From Hanergy (2022) Looking Like Heinlein's (1940)
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Study Reveals Effect Of Space Travel On The Brain
'... the brain is no longer subjected to the accustomed pull, and it expands slightly in all directions.'

Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
'... the huge air-freighter Jupiter.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.