Rip Foster Rides the Gray Planet
by Blake Savage (1952)
This science fiction novel was written by Harold L. Goodwin under the pseudonym Blake Savage.
Freshly graduated and commissioned Planeteer (the space-going equivalent of a Marine) Lt. Richard Ingalls Peter (“Rip”) Foster, already contending with inter-service rivalry with the Space Force (equivalent to Navy) crewmen with whom he serves, is tasked with retrieving an asteroid made of pure thorium from the asteroid belt and bringing it to Earth for use as fissionable material. In this he is opposed by agents of the “Consolidation of Peoples Governments”, who also seek control and use of the asteroid.
The science may be way out of date, but it’s still a good rip-roaring yarn.