Here’s the first of five short posts that count down to ESA Astronaut Tim Peake’s blast off to the International Space Station on 15 December. The five posts double up as my Space highlights for 2015…
(#5) Asteroid Mining
Spoiler… In my debut novel, part one of The Feng Trilogy, I twisted genre and chose asteroid mining to embed an unusual storyline. That may sound distantly futuristic sci-fi, yet I was interested in a near future that some companies are already hurtling towards. Mining space rocks for water, energy resources and precious metals is their realistic and achievable mission – and it doubles as the obsession for my billionaire protagonist, “Mr. Feng”.
Recent evidence of the real steps being taken toward asteroid mining comes in the shape of new public law in the US. The Government has passed its Space Act. Leagle eagles can search into this new piece of law at the U.S. Library of Congress site. Meanwhile linked below is some relevant coverage of the news by one of several, active asteroid mining companies…
Why write about asteroid mining?
In a world where (largely northern hemisphere) human consumption and widespread apathy are offset by (largely southern hemisphere) human cost and endless suffering, asteroid mining is, perhaps, the archetypal curveball.
It is something unexpected, unknown, unproven, yet it is something to draw attention to as an alternative idea, an analogue, an argument. Hence the book, and trilogy. As each week, month, year passes our science, tech and engineering capabilities close in on making asteroid mining more of a mundane reality. Who knows what kind of near future benefits can come from this ongoing work?
For all of the above, I could not not write about asteroid mining in my debut novel.