"By the time I can take people out to where Hubble is looking, they won't be human anymore, by a long way."
In this story, it is assumed that the asteroid Vesta is an intact surface fragment of an ancient planet.
You might want to compare this idea with the more dramatic Romulan flame drill used in the new Star Trek movie series (and the real-life flame jet drill deveolped for drilling into solid rock).
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'There was the butler robot, hard at work, his copper face expressionless...'
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'How do they work it so that the sky is visible at every level of the city?'
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'I don't mean that you should construct this ultra-microrobot with your own fingers, of course...'
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