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So humanity has finally overcome the economic problems with asteroid mining, not to mention setting up colonies elsewhere in the solar system. Some are dragging the low-hanging fruit into near-Earth space for easy plundering, but others are off to set up in situ mining operations on asteroids.

Where do they go?

The practicalities of building such a mining base are not at issue; they could be manned or robotic, orbital or surface-based, whatever. The issue is being accessible to spacecraft travelling, at least somewhat regularly, to the homeworld or our other solar-system colonies. Space flight doesn't have to be hard science, but should be a little bit more science-based than your average "planets are always right where we left them" space opera.

I don't know a lot about the issues. One thing I have read is that objects like 2 Pallas with too high an inclination are much harder to get to reliably. But there are bound to be other issues. What suitable bodies are out there for us to set up on?

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  • $\begingroup$ For clarification, are you asking about specific named asteroids, or are you more after the characteristics of a good target? $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Aug 13 '17 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ Mainly the former, but I would welcome exploration of the latter too. I have updated the question to hopefully clarify this. $\endgroup$ – Tim Pederick Aug 14 '17 at 12:00
  • $\begingroup$ If you want to know about specific asteroids, could you maybe name a number of how many you want to know about (a million or five?)? Your premise stands as it is for this this question, but since you wrote "But there are bound to be other issues" - I personally would suspect that mining asteroids isn't nearly as economical as one might think and instead mining planets/similar objects (hence Ceres was already suggested) would be more desirable. $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Aug 14 '17 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ This article may help, extremetech.com/extreme/… $\endgroup$ – John Aug 14 '17 at 14:05
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Depending on what you seek there may be several opportunities:

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Ceres would be my first bet, it's in the main belt with easy access to the riches therein, it's plenty big enough to set up internal habitat spaces, Ceres's apparent composition is largely frozen gases and water ice so it can supply a lot of the basic raw material for habitats both internally and for other nearby stations. It's in a relatively stable and circular orbit which would make optimal transits easy to compute and predict if not as efficient and regular as they might be a bit closer to LEO.

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