In Warlords Mars was once home to a thriving mining business, until Prometheus cracked open Deimos that is. Now the mines have either been closed or have scaled down dramatically leading to mass layoffs or transition of miners from surface to space.

But I've run into a problem with this scenario: is Deimos even worth strip mining? In my mind it's in a good position being close to mars, but also being able to export of import from the belt or the inner planets with ease. It would also have a pool of workers it can use locally sourced (well martian)

From basic research I've figured out Deimos is either a C or D type asteroid, but past that I have no idea if anything is worth mining Deimos for.

Note: Prometheus is a mega corporation focused on mining, refining, and exporting ores to and from the inner planets as well as the colonial and ship building industries.

Phobos is already a colonial hub so completely mining it would be a mess of paper work, relocations and compensation.

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    $\begingroup$ It's totally up to you. If trips to Deimos are cheap, and there is something valuable there, then yes. If you need to spend a lot of fuel and there's nothing special on it (my scientific guess is that's the case), then no. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Nov 10 '18 at 0:33

"Strip mining" an asteroid is a bit of a non starter, The limited gravity means everything will be thrown into space and you will be surrounded with a cloud of dust, gravel and rocks, all dire threats to any infrastructure on the surface or in orbit. The Martians will also be angry, since you are creating a sky full of junk which threatens their satellites and other space infrastructure, not to mention any spacecraft approaching Mars.

The most likely scenario for larger asteroids is tunnelling into the asteroid. This allows you to mine your materials, package them up and (in very low tech mines) simply fire it out mass driver so it clears the asteroid and moves in a transfer orbit to a processing facility somewhere. In more advanced mines, the "somewhere" might even be a solar furnace set up close by. Materials are processed "inside" the focal point, and great effort is made to prevent the leakage of materials, both for safety and to prevent the loss of valuable materials.

The other benefit is the tunnel can be repurposed after most of the valuable materials have been removed to become living space. Tunnels are sealed, insulation and gas tight liners are sprayed on the walls and then installing habitats can begin. Even when mined out, the asteroid is still a viable colony space, and with enough energy being imported via solar mirrors or friendly laser energy, quite pleasant places to live.

The main issue may be during the transition period (if I understand your question), so there will be social friction and turmoil as the miners are gradually displaced by builders, interior decorators, ecosystem specialists and eventually colonists. Many miners may have contracts which specify they will actually "be" the colonists when the mine is played out, if your company is involved in dirty dealing, and the miners discover they are not actually building their new homes, then some real trouble will occur. Does the Marshal's office send deputies to arrest people and fix the problem? Does the company hire regulators to do the fixing for them? Maybe Mars sends a special Constabulary to take over and impose law, or simply send Marines to occupy the place?

I'm also a bit unclear what you mean by "cracking" open Deimos. If this is an industrial accident on an unprecedented scale, then there will be lots of other issues to deal with outside of where do the miners go to work. You will have created a true "no go" zone in Martian orbit, and it could take centuries before the clouds of debris orbiting the planet are thinned out enough to resume space flight.

So depending on if you are speaking metaphorically, then you have a social disruption issue in Marian orbit, and the local government is most likely to step in and solve the problem for everyone (and most people will be unhappy about the outcome). On the other hand, if you are speaking literally, then you have created a planetary scale industrial accident, with consequences to match.

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I do not know what Deimos is made of, let's assume there are ores that are useful for shipbuilding. I will also assume that Prometheus is making inter-planetary ships that never land on a planet, and are assembled in orbit.

In this case, mining metals from Deimos makes perfect sense: it already is in orbit, so so you do not need to pull tons of material out of a gravity well of a planet, and you do not have to travel to distant and barely explored asteroid belt.

In fact, I am a bit surprized they did not mine it out already. Perhaps it has something to do with a rumors of an accident involving an ancient portal discovered there, and the bloody inscription on it that reads "IDDQD IDKFA"

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  • $\begingroup$ if warlords goes anywhere I'll be sure too leave that reference. Deimos is supposed to be the main background issue in a sci-fi style western I have planned. The idea is the transition from Martian mining too Deimos caused many of the miners to get transfered or laid off leading to large parts of Mars being rather poor or destitute. $\endgroup$ – Celestial Dragon Emperor Nov 10 '18 at 1:56

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