@gcupc This is possible now.

Basically, you need a fleet of drone satellites

Send these to multiple asteroids (simple since each is pretty small)

They work by slowly demolishing (rubble pile asteroids are the easiest to take apart) and packaging the ore into tightly packed bags (since this is space, a thin-film plastic do nicely)

They fire up the ion thrusters and rendezvous at the build orbit with the ore. Space 3D printers use solar furnaces to melt the ore and build parts


Terraforming Mars: Lots of resources - iron, oxygen, volatiles.

Bernal spheres and beehive habitats: Re-use of existing resources after they're mined out. Abundant solar power could be used to melt and reshape them. The Culture presupposes post-singularity AGI, though.

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