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Asteroid Day 2020

Asteroid Day is an event held in honor of the Tunguska event which occurred on June 30th, 1908, when a small asteroid exploded over a remote region in Siberia, detonating with an estimated energy of 30 megatons of TNT - a little more than half the energy of the largest nuclear bomb humanity ever tested. Started by the B612 Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to asteroid research and planetary defense, it's goals are to raise public awareness of the potential threat posed to us by asteroid impacts, and also the potential resource they may become to space-faring humanity.

While asteroid mining will likely never be economically competitive against terrestrial resources, it does eliminate the need to launch materials up from Earth - An expensive and risky undertaking. Using resources present in space, such as metals and water from asteroids, humans can live and work in space using locally-mined and processed resources rather than having to lift them up the steep potential well of Earth. This will allow very large structures, such as O'Neil cylinders or vast solar farms, to be constructed in space far more cheaply than if they had to be launched piecemeal from Earth.

Perhaps one day, in the far future, space-borne civilizations will hunt down these rocks to help support and grow future populations of humans that live entirely in space. In this piece, a fusion-driven prospector spacecraft with its crew of hardy explorers scopes out a new find.