Today I talk about the industries of Solar Dawn and asteroid mining.
Solar Dawn colonies have many industries. Agriculture, which we discussed in an earlier blog, is a significant industry on the moon and Mars. They have the space available (or can economically carve out of the ground) to undertake the agricultural business. However, the space stations have a basic agricultural sector to help offer food for their own needs, but rarely enough for survival.
The space station at L4 houses a smelter business that smelts and refines ores derived from asteroids (see below). Its primary products are steel, nickel and copper, but they produce other metals in lesser quantities. Businesses on L4 buy metals from the smelters to produce their products, including heavy machinery used in space, maintenance and extension parts to increase the space station capacity (and L5 space station). It’s much cheaper to produce the parts in space than to transport them up from Earth’s surface. Enterprising business people also make other machines and gadgets on L4.
The L5 space station is an enterprise center for computer electronics and artificial intelligence for the whole solar system, including Earth. The station houses a large bioscience and pharmaceutical business, too.
Once artificial intelligence systems stabilized and became common practice, most control systems used them in their supervisory architecture. They became mandatory in spaceships, but existing owners could continue to run without them. AI Robotics on L5 space station developed to become the pre-eminent supplier of AI systems throughout the solar system.
The smelter on L4 space station sources its feed from asteroids. They started by using suitable trojan asteroids captured at L4. Once they exhausted this supply; they needed to seek suitable asteroids from further afield. So they now make regular trips to the asteroid belt in search of ore rich asteroids to haul back to L4 for their smelting. This is difficult and dangerous work.
They developed purpose built asteroid hauler spaceships to do the task by nudging the asteroid from their existing orbits and guiding it back to L4 for smelting. These haulers use massive ion drives for the task.
Before committing to the arduous and expensive asteroid transporting, the hauler operator needs to be sure it has ores of high grade and quantity to make smelting the material worthwhile. They developed specialized scanners and measuring instruments to assay the asteroid material for quality.
And that concludes this blog post series. Hope you enjoyed reading it.
See you next week.