"[Science fiction] is the only kind of writing that allows you to look at the world we live in and change one piece at a time."
Sooner or later, humanity will need to go into space for more raw materials. The asteroid 16 Psyche is believed to contain enough iron-nickel ore to supply our annual needs for iron for about the next million years (it contains 1.7 times ten to the nineteenth kilograms).
I don't know who first suggested the idea of mining the asteroids. The idea appears in science fiction by 1946, if not earlier, in Love Among the Robots by Emmett McDowell.
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Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!
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'They were automatic trucks such as are used for making deliveries...'
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