It always fascinates me that one of the functions if the Project SWORD mission was to undertake mining.
Mining other planets.
Personally when I look at the SWORD fleet of toys I don't think of mining as a likely use. I suppose the Moon Prospector could locate seams of ores and minerals and the Moon Ranger could have been useful in bulldozing rock spoil but beyond that I'm not sure. A Moon Bus full of miners? Maybe SpaceX toys could add something?
Mining off-Earth has been a staple of Science Fiction for decades. The Sean Connery movie OUTLAND is a good example of how outer space and hard graft can make for a gritty stroryline. Indeed ALIEN is set on the flying ore refinery, The Nostromo.
Years ago I blogged this masthead which I loved. The Moon Miners Manifesto. I dunno, it just seemed like a Project SWORDesque letterhead to me at the time.
Back in 2010 I first posted a short extract about a Moon Prospector from the short story MASKS by Damon Knight. For some reason I have always associated this description with off-world mining beyond an unwelcome Earth. Rather like Project SWORD!
"The prospector was climbing a crater slope with its handling members retracted and its head tilted up. Behind it the distant ringwall and the horizon, the black sky, the pin-point stars. And he was there, and it was not far enough, not yet, for the Earth hung overhead like a rotten fruit, blue with mold, crawling, wrinkling, purulent and alive."
Damon Knight 1922-2002
If you were describing off-Earth mining operations how would you put it readers?
Maybe a Project SWORD mining memo? A new letterhead? A short paragraph or even a drawing or photograph with some toys maybe!
Here's my starter for ten!
Your contributions welcomed!