Astronomy: Asteroids: They Could Become Cabins in the Sky

Asteroids are familiar ground for many fictional characters, including Antoine de Saint-Exupery's charming "Little Prince," who lives on asteroid B-612 and cleans out its two active volcanoes with a plumber's helper. But real-life spacemen have largely ignored the small, airless planets in their race to reach the moon and Mars.

This is a big mistake, reported General Electric Engineer George M. Kohler to a recent international meeting of astronomers in Bulgaria. Asteroids are not only interesting in themselves, but may prove useful to man—and space explorers should go after them.

Most asteroids stay on the far side of Mars, but at...

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