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s78_27139 | by NASA Johnson
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S78-27139 (June 1977) --- This painting shows an asteroid mining mission to an Earth-approaching asteroid. Asteroids contain many of the major elements which provide the basis for industry and life on Earth. A NASA-sponsored study on space manufacturing held at Ames Research Center (ARC) in summer of 1977 provided much of the technical basis for the painting. "Asteroid-1" is the central long structure and the propulsion unit is the long tubular structure enveloped by stiffening yard arms and guy wires. Solar cells running the length of the propulsion system convert the sunlight into electricity which is used to power the propulsion system. During the mission these solar arrays would be oriented toward the Sun to gather maximum power. In the left foreground is an asteroid mining unit, doing actual mining work. An orbital construction platform in permanent orbit provides power, supplies depot and work volume within which work proceeds. Artist concept by Denise Watt.

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Taken on August 15, 2013