For the most part, asteroids exist in three basic flavors - metal, rock and ice (black snowballs).

Asteroids that contain substantial ice play an important role in our space-development plans, since ice is frozen water. Humans need water to drink, to grow food, and possibly distribute heat. Water is hydrogen and oxygen. Humans also need oxygen to breathe. True, we can convert exhaled carbon-dioxide into breathable oxygen with scrubbers, but alternatives are always wise.

Also, electricity splits water into its components, which are easy to condense and store in space; very convenient, since liquid hydrogen plus liquid oxygen is a versatile and powerful rocket fuel.

The overall shape of most asteroids is extremely irregular, with craters and scars of every size. Many asteroids are 2 to 3 times longer than wide or deep, and some are as oblong as ~ 8:1:1. Most asteroids rotate rather slowly --- once in 5 to 6 hours is average, but under 2 hours is rare.

Most asteroids are highly fractured, loosely bound conglomerates of boulders, rubble, dust & ice, densely pervaded by crevices, voids and gaps - covered by a thick layer of small rocks and dust.

We will create our primary habitats (homes, farms, base of operations) from selected asteroids. For our purposes, the asteroids are the best resources and locations in the solar system - by far.

We must confirm the chemical, physical and structural characteristics of our candidate asteroids, because we suspect our favored habitat design is incompatible with asteroid characteristics.

If asteroids characteristics match conventional description, our favored habitat design is practical. Then we choose a long [dog-bone shape] asteroid, create tunnels and rooms within the asteroid, and spin the asteroid end-over-end to create 1/8 G to 1/2 G artificial gravity at the extreme ends.

However, our investigations imply asteroids are highly fractured, loosely bound conglomerates of boulders, rocks, dust and ice. If so, most asteroids may fly apart before 1/8 G to 1/2 G is reached. Therefore, we may be forced to choose even lower spin-rates and artificial gravities, or construct external habitats from asteroid material (and park behind the asteroids to avoid solar radiation).


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