Looking for a paperback, science fiction story possible printed in the 70s-ish time frame, probably only 150 pages. Seems to have been aimed at young adult / children as I enjoyed it in the 90s as a child.

Some major details:

  • Young male protagonist as a cadet
  • Believe the protagonist had a close male and female friend, both who are cadets.
  • Had a pet alien that possible changed colour with mood, remember him a furry bug?
  • Protagonist patrols near asteroid field finds metal filaments.
  • He becomes attached to the filament that welds to his space suit, cuts himself free.
  • Discovers alien 'spiders' that can shoot lasers (reminds me of the sentinel from Matrix)
  • Human mining disturbs or injures the alien and its mate
  • Aliens use metal filaments to catch asteroids to eat the metal from.

The cover for the print I had featured an action scene with the cadet in the asteroid field possible fleeing the 'spider' aliens. Featured mostly blue, black and yellow colours.

Thank you.

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