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"it slowly dawned on me that the landscape of science is maybe what interests people a great deal in science fiction."
- Gregory Benford

Ship's Magnetic Plates (Magnetic Mooring)  
  Keeps a mining ship attached to the surface of an asteroid.  

The two moved over the rocky surface of the asteroid in apparently effortless leaps, heading toward the Space Pup, which squatted like a silver monster against the drab monotony of the little world. Here the gravity was slight, so slight, in fact, that the brothers wore ropes about their waists while at work, with the other ends fastened to the Space Pup. The ship was securely anchored to the planetoid with magnetic plates. Otherwise some slight disturbance might have sent it off into space. <> A man, putting his full strength into a leap, could easily have torn himself from the face of the rocky little world and hurled himself beyond its attraction. Thus the ropes attached to the man and the ship. It would have been no joke to inadvertently hop off the tiny slab of rock and be unable to return. They had at first experimented with weighted shoes and then with magnetic plates attached to the soles, but both of these devices had proved cumbersome and awkward.
From Asteroid of Gold, by Clifford Simak.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1932
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