Homesteading in the Asteroid Belt

Soon, there will be opportunities to move out into the asteroid belt and begin a new life there. Just as pioneers migrated across America, building homesteads and establishing a new beachhead of civilization, so will a new wave of pioneers build homesteads in the empty space of the asteroid belt.

  • GROUP
  • Assembling a group begins with finding individuals willing to make the commitment to move out into space permanently and to accept the risk involved. More cohesive groups will form around some kind of creed or constitution, whether it be ethical/religious, entrepreneurial, family/social, or based on something else. Having members with a desired range of skills will help, but robots, AI assistants, and training will compensate for any lack.

  • FINANCE
  • Most groups will not be able to finance a migration to space by themselves. But, once banks understand the risk and returns involved, loans will become available. The loans will be big, the risk will be difficult to establish at first, but the huge returns will eventually draw investors in.

  • TRANSIT
  • Getting from Earth to the asteroid belt will take a couple of years on a transit vehicle whose orbit takes it out to the belt and back to the orbital path of Earth every four years or so (depending upon the final destination desired).

    Railroad Towns – [clowder.net]

    Earth resonant cyclers that regularly pass through near Earth space may be the “Railroads” to the asteroid belt. Such cyclers will also regularly fly by earth resonant asteroids in the main belt. The main belt asteroids that receive frequent supplies from earth would be trade centers. I call these centers “Railroad towns”.

    Transit fees will be expensive and may be offset by serving as apprentice crew during the voyage. Serving a six year indenture – two years out (training as crew), two years back (serving as crew), then two years out again (helping to train new crew) – could offset the fees entirely. Only the rich will be able to afford to ride one-way without doing any work.

  • TRAINING
  • Since the voyage from Earth to the asteroid belt will take several years, the time in transit can be used to train group members in new skills that will be needed. Some of this training may be accomplished by serving as apprentice crew on the transit habitat. Most training will focus on using advanced robotic tools and AI software, since that will be how mining and maintenance operations are accomplished. Training will be delivered using state of the art virtual reality software.

  • EQUIPMENT
  • Both mining and habitat building will be accomplished with robotic equipment using advanced AI assistant software. The hardware and the software will be produced in the asteroid belt, once the economy begins to take off.

  • PRODUCTION
  • Once the group reaches a final orbital location, production efforts will begin. Scouts will be sent out to find unclaimed rocks and begin mining them for resources to build habitats, sustain life and exchange for credits to repay any loans or investors. Valuable minerals and gases will be extracted and any leftover regolith will be used in building.

SEE ALSO:
Stepping Stones to Space
Asteroid Belt Economy
Life in the Asteroid Belt
Mining Asteroids
Migration to Space

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