A mining torpedo is a piece of Jupiter Mining Corporation equipment. It is an explosive projectile that can be launched at space bodies such as asteroids to blow them apart, which would then aid in recovering ores from the interior.
Although meant for commercial use, they could also be used for offensive purposes.
A panicked Rimmer once launched a mining torpedo from Starbug at the SS Nautilus, since it was carrying explosive nuclear material and was also drifting dangerously closer to an asteroid belt and where Starbug was. Although Rimmer had intended to destroy the Nautilus, the torpedo clipped an asteroid first and missed its target, so it merely destroyed a wing of the ship and the explosion actually pushed it away from danger.
The bio-printed captain of the Nautilus, Edwin Herring, believed that Rimmer's actions were deliberate, and so bestowed upon Rimmer a promotion from second tech to First Flight Lieutenant, unaware of Rimmer's true actions or subsequent gross deception. (Officer Rimmer, Series XI)
- It is possible that the experimental nuclear missile fired from Starbug and used to destroy a white hole many years earlier was a modified mining torpedo. (White Hole, Series IV)
- Mining torpedoes would have come in useful when the Dwarfers spent two whole series stranded in Starbug and faced various threats (this occurred Series VI-VII). Presumably, Kryten or the skutters had forgotten to load the 'bug with torpedoes during this time, or they had simply already been used on that particular 'bug. Luckily, they did manage to acquire laser cannons for Starbug during that time.