The long strange trip
Asteroid racing is the ultimate form of slalom. Take a tiny one-man pod powered by a thruster pack, place it at one edge of an asteroid family or section of rocky gas giant ring and fly through it to the other side as fast as possible.
Whilst safety features are built into the pods, such as anticollision overrides and massive gasbags which inflate just before impact, accidents sometimes do happen. Although it is difficult to dive directly into an asteroid, sometimes the rocks are so violently perturbed by previous transits that they blindside a pod and crash into it instead. Yet the chances of a serious incident are slight and many dilettantes try their hand at navigating rocks. Most throw up, ‘bubble out’ when their crash bag inflates, or urinate in their vacc suit from sheer terror. However everyone has a laugh and several drinks at the port slalom party afterwards.
Asteroid slalom races are the ultimate test of piloting skill. Racers who survive many slaloms often develop an addiction to danger, if they have not done so already. Few experiences however can match or supplant the stress, terror and incredible euphoria of such flying. Some foolhardy pilots striving for the ultimate rush turn off their safety functions, which is often suicidal.