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"As opposed to illiteracy, where you can't read, aliteracy means that you can but you just can't be bothered. They say aliteracy is on the rise these days."
- Peter Watts

Asteroid Mining (Blasting)  
  Setting charges on an asteroid.  

The brothers reached the ship and Vince knelt to connect the wires to the detonator. The nitro was planted in shallow holes, with care taken that the charge was not excessive. With the slight gravity, too large a charge would simply blast a portion of the ore-bearing slab into space, possibly to be lost forever. This had happened several times before they had learned just how much nitro to use.

"Hang on!"cautioned Vince.

Vernon grasped a rung set in the side of the Space Pup. Vince slid his arm through a similar rung and with his free hand shot down the plunger of the detonator.

There was no noise, only a slight flush where the charges were planted. The planetoid trembled violently beneath their feet. The Space Pup quivered and tugged at its magnetic moorings as the rock beneath it shook to the charge of the explosive. About a half mile away, where the charge had been set, a shower of small rock fragments sailed upward, but they did not drop. Out and out they sailed until they were lost to view, each becoming a separate unit in the mass of debris which formed the asteroid belt.

Technovelgy from Asteroid of Gold, by Clifford Simak.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1932
Additional resources -

Compare to asteroid mining from Edison's Conquest of Mars (1898) by Garrett P. Serviss, 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, the coal mole from The Web Between the Worlds (1979) by Charles Sheffield, and asteroid metal from The Mechanical Monarch (1958) by E.C. Tubb.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Asteroid of Gold
  More Ideas and Technology by Clifford Simak
  Tech news articles related to Asteroid of Gold
  Tech news articles related to works by Clifford Simak

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