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CNSA Nanking

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This artwork was commissioned by Australian Geographic and featured in their July/August edition.

"After a slow start in the 21st century, the exploitation of the vast mineral resources of the asteroids began wholesale and a commercial race to claim the most valuable was engaged.
Only the largest nations had the ability to directly access space commercially, and so large multinational consortiums formed around China and the USA in the construction of large mining and prospecting vehicles to be sent to the nearest asteroids.

The most advanced and longest serving of these vessels is the crewed CNSA Nanking, a huge vehicle constructed in earth orbit with components and expertise from over half a dozen nations and bankrolled by PRC mining interests. The Nanking carries supplies for a small crew to survive for months or years in space and carries equipment enabling it to produce many of its essential resources from materials collected from the asteroids it prospects.

Along with a complete internal geophysical, chemical and nuclear analysis laboratory for assessing samples, the Nanking carries two mobile pods which can approach asteroids to take samples, lay anchor lines, and perform maintenance on the Nanking herself.

When an asteroid is discovered that may be worth exploiting, the Nanking lowers one of several modular analysis units to the surface. These bond to the outer rock or dust and begin to mechanically, chemically and thermally bore a sample shaft into the rock to ensure the mineral content is present in commercial concentrations: This process may be completed several times on a single asteroid to be certain of its viability.

Should the asteroid prove a strike, a claim is lodged with an international register and the Nanking begins construction of the first stages of mining infrastructure. This will later be completed by more specialised automated vessels, which home in on a transponder left by the Nanking."
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© 2013 - 2021 Abiogenisis
Comments152
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Altair75's avatar

I have always loved the design of the 'craft! :D

Abiogenisis's avatar
It extends back a fair way into a long drive section, longer than a football field
IThinkOfaNameLater's avatar
Wow!  I find this concept so interesting.

i can't imagine going on such I long trip in zero g and then landing on a lonely asteroid.
Abiogenisis's avatar
Just have to keep your eyes on the job!
Z-Y-C's avatar
That's awesome!l'm from Nanking and your work really turned me on😍
Abiogenisis's avatar
21Mauricio21's avatar
Australian Geographic seems much more interesting than National Geographic :)
Abiogenisis's avatar
Its literally a bigger magazine, with huge illustrations
Andrew-Lim's avatar
Awesome work man
TLhikan's avatar
That's amazing. 
VilAzabache's avatar
This quality is better than reality.
Michel-Lamontagne's avatar
Great Chris Foss evocation, with all those bands of color, although his detailing was never quite this sharp..  Nor certain the containers are practical, but they are visually efficient.  I've started putting Chinese characters on all my designs, it just so likely that they will dominate the future.
Abiogenisis's avatar
Thanks, and it seems to be true! They are a rising star :)
Freddotron's avatar
I love it! especially that little EVA pod.
I can imagine the big ship looming over a small asteroid, hugging the ground, slowly falling downwards in the weak gravity until a tiny burst of propellant forces it back up for another day, floating above.


Abiogenisis's avatar
Its slow, precise and dusty work :)
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