Star Trek Expanded Universe

New Canada Asteroid Belt

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From near-planets to grains of dust, the asteroids of the Main Asteroid Belt, or simply 'the Belt', dominate the vast gulf between Txamsem and Bukwus. Most asteroids are carbonaceous chondrites which contain almost half the organic-chemical content of oil shale, as well as water. Others are of the stony-iron type, varying sometimes to pure nickel steel.

By far the most important resource of the Belt however, are the deposits of dilithium found in some of the larger asteroids. The presence of this invaluable mineral is a large part of what makes the New Canada system so important to the Federation. Several privately-owned mining companies operate extraction facilities in the Belt and sell the dilithium to Starfleet at a significantly reduced price in exchange for protection from pirates and raiders.

Some evidence has been found among the larger asteroids of the Belt of ancient, alien mining activities; deep shafts bored into the asteroids, as well as signs of surface strip mining. Who these aliens might have been remains a mystery, although theories propose such possibilities as the ancient builders of The City on Tosnoqua or the builders of Nanuq, Amaguq, and Tekkeitsertok, or both.

One large asteroid was discovered to be artificial and hollow, built by an unknown race more than 100 million years ago. Imprisoned inside was a Smelly Jelly. (Star Trek: Banshee Squadron)

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