Asteroid Belt Mining communities

Image from Steve Bowers
The first Belters were asteroid miners, geologists, astronomers and researchers working in the asteroid belt around Sol. Many of the early miners worked alone or in small groups. Larger groups of Belters established habitats and permanent cultures on the larger asteroids and the dwarf planet Ceres.

In the Current Era a large fraction of the Terragen population live in asteroid belts, many of which have ancient and complex cultures. Particularly notable are the Barnard Belt, Sol Main Belt and the Mirthsen-Simoris Spinward Marches.

A typical Belter is modified significantly to acclimatise their body to microgravity, and often incorporates biotech or mechanical augmentation into their spacesuits (such as geckotech grip-boots, extended or additional limbs, and effector frames consisting of extensible utility fog). Most wear self-luminous suits, equipped with powerful lighting rigs for use in shadow or low light environments. However some clades or bodymorphs do not wear spacesuits at all, such as the Sailors of the Ebon Sea, who have a vacuum-resistant outer skin.

Belters often live in rotating space habitats that take many forms and sizes; some live on the surface of large inhabited asteroids or in gravity balloons, freespheres or other microgravity habitats. Many Belters have never been in a spaceship, let alone set foot on a planet or large orbital.
Image from Steve Bowers
Two Belters make an initial examination of the surface deposits on a binary asteroid near Epsilon1 Lyrae
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev, with additional material by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 08 October 2001.