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
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"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

Coal Mole  
  Robotic device for asteroid mining chews through the interior, preparing raw materials for use  

The changes to the Spiders to speed up the extrusion process had been made quickly, and had given Rob and Darius Regulo their first surprise. The material supply rate that would be needed to keep the Spiders running at full speed was more than either had expected. Conventional asteroid mining methods would fall behind their demand. The raw materials were there in abundance, silicon for the load-bearing cable, niobium and aluminum for the superconducting cables and the drive mechanisms. Getting it out fast enough was another matter. It had been a problem, until Rob placed an urgent call to Rudy Chernick and asked if there were any way to modify a Coal Mole to work on different materials and in a vacuum environment. A lot of technical discussion, even more hard negotiation between Chernick and Regulo, and the beanstalk project had acquired another working partner. Now a whole family of modified Moles was chewing away happily in the bowels of the asteroid, gobbling up its interior and spitting millions of tons a day of raw materials out through the chutes that connected to each Spiderís waiting proboscis.
Technovelgy from The Web Between the Worlds, by Charles Sheffield.
Published by Not Known in 1979
Additional resources -

Compare to asteroid mining from Edison's Conquest of Mars (1898) by Garrett P. Serviss, asteroid mining (blasting) from Asteroid of Gold (1932) by Clifford Simak, the meteor miner from Salvage in Space (1933) by Jack Williamson, asteroid claim law from Jurisdiction (1941) by Nat Schachner, space placers from The Day We Celebrate (1941) by Nelson S. Bond, the asteroid mining robot from Catch That Rabbit (1944) by Isaac Asimov, the asteroid mine from Love Among the Robots (1946) by Emmett McDowell, and asteroid metal from The Mechanical Monarch (1958) by E.C. Tubb.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Web Between the Worlds
  More Ideas and Technology by Charles Sheffield
  Tech news articles related to The Web Between the Worlds
  Tech news articles related to works by Charles Sheffield

Articles related to Space Tech
FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
SpaceX Wants A Moonbase Alpha
NASA Wants Self-Driving Or Remote-Controlled Vehicles For Lunar Astronauts

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.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

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
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

LORIS Passive-Gripper Climbing Robot
'At the end of each appendage's eight fingers there are tinier appendages...'

Drug To Regenerate Teeth In Humans
'We want to do something to help those who are suffering from tooth loss or absence,' said lead researcher Katsu Takahashi.

Coin-Sized Nuclear Battery Good For 100 Years
'...power pack the size of a pea.'

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.