Life aboard an asteroid rake is anything but dull. I’ve been piloting the Raw Potential for 18 years now, but each time I approach a new rock, I face a new set of obstacles…and those obstacles can make a pro into a rookie in a nano-second. I think that’s what I like most about this job: the unpredictability.
These rocks don’t have much gravity, but they do have just enough to keep things interesting, especially in a crowded region like this! Just yesterday, I was in the middle of matching my trajectory with the orbit and spin of a larger-than-average asteroid…a space mountain as I like to call them. I thought I had done enough reconnaissance to ensure that I had reduced risks to an acceptable level, but I had not noticed the chunk of metal and ice on a rogue flight-path that was approaching my target. The two rocks came just close enough that their mutual gravity caused a rather sudden change in my asteroid’s spin. I had barely enough time to react, as an outcropping on the asteroid came within meters of hitting my craft with obliterating force.
Today I’m back at the same asteroid. My sensors have indicated an unusually high yield of ferrous metal dust, so as long as I don’t become a cue ball in an asteroidal game of pool, I should be able to fill my dust-hoppers completely and head back to base a full three days earlier than I had planned.
This is my favourite part: turning on the electro-magnet. I love the feeling of my ship coming alive with magnetic energy as I skim over the asteroid’s surface, raking up valuable metals.
Sure, I could have a much safer, more reliable job in an office on Earth, but I’m not the sort of guy who enjoys boring certainty. I may not have my feet planted on solid ground, but I’ve got my fingers among the stars, and there’s nothing dull about that!
written for “Inspiration Monday“.