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"We follow the scientists around and look over their shoulders. They're watching their feet: provable mistakes are bad for them. We're looking as far ahead as we can, and we don't get penalized for mistakes."
- Larry Niven

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.

From Asteroid of Gold, by Clifford Simak.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1932
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