Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mining Enceladus

Saturn tethers the small moon Enceladus holding her in the midst of her gigantic rings. It is cold on the moon, roughly -200 degrees Celsius or -300 Fahrenheit. This is largely due to her tremendous reflection of sunlight. The plates on her frozen surface shift, grinding against one another to form several distinct plains and ridges. This may indicate liquid beneath the surface, a thought reinforced by her volcanic activity for she vomits frozen ice and water vapor above her south pole. Much of this settles back on the surface though some drifts out into the rings.

Getting there will be challenging as the frozen rings of Saturn must be navigated first. Huge ice breakers, slow with massively thick hulls must perchance push their way through. Once on the surface mining will pose its own challenges. With no atmosphere to speak of, frozen temperatures, active volcanoes and earthquakes the miners living conditions will be harsh.

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