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Old 2012-04-24, 13:43   Link #1
Kyuu
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Luring People into Space

And I'm talking "outer space"...

Quote:
Tech billionaires bankroll gold rush to mine asteroids

...

"If you look back historically at what has caused humanity to make its largest investments in exploration and in transportation, it has been going after resources, whether it's the Europeans going after the spice routes or the American settlers looking toward the west for gold, oil, timber or land," Diamandis said.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...83N06U20120424


That sums up the human drive to "expand".

If you ever happen to play Starcraft (or any RTS game or similar), you'd know the importance of expand your access to resources. Else, you end up capulating and "die", where your existing assets become more "expensive" (or costly) to replace.

With the economies these days feeling a "pinch"... since the 60's, this had always been the next logical step for people. Of course, people (businesses in particular) have been content with the resources on Earth.

(more to comment later)

And holy crap. This company is so new - it started today:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_Resources

===

And here's a Pop. Science addressing the legality and rights:
http://www.popsci.com/node/61885/

Quite frankly. Space is a new "Wild West". As far as human laws are concerned, it's quite minimal. For all I know, there's the "Outer Space Treaty" and one barring the use of nuclear weapons in space.

Quote:
“How many companies own the land their buildings are on? A lot of them lease it, and behind that is a government guarantee that says this lease is valid,” Hertzfeld said. “We can do something like that in space. ... Whether it’s a UN system, a bilateral or multilateral agreement, that doesn’t matter as long as the investors know they can maintain their return on investment. That’s all that counts. The ownership of land is secondary.”
Dula, who spoke with PopSci before giving a lecture on asteroid mining at the law school, also said resource ownership is clearly allowed. “If you risked your life and treasure to go into space and obtain rocks or minerals, there’s no reason they wouldn’t belong to you, just like the Apollo samples belong to the United States,” he said.
But ultimately, the law questions are things to be addressed when greater human activity exists up there. For now, space law is as undeveloped as space infrastructure.

===

So. Who's looking for a job?

http://www.planetaryresources.com/careers/

Last edited by Kyuu; 2012-04-24 at 15:02.
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Old 2012-04-24, 14:09   Link #2
Paranoid Android
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Woaaaah awesome. It's probably terribly cost ineffective for today's technology. I wonder what kind of useless crap they can ship from space. Definitely not going to find an asteroid made of fossil fuel and gold.

I wonder how much importing foreign space bodies will affect Earth's gravitational orbit lol.
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Old 2012-04-24, 14:21   Link #3
Ithekro
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Pretty much any atomic element found here can be found in a asteroid, since this planet is made from the same material. The amount will be less, but with prices as they are, if even a small amount can be found, it will at least pay for the trip.

A larger find pays for the startup.

More large finds are profit.


There is another part to this that they only mentioned in passing. Such a enterprise needs a support system, preferably in orbit. The materials brought back need proccessing. The communications relays need servicing. And if you use live humans for any of this, plus the Orion missions that should be heading out around the same time....you need relief services in orbit that are as or more comfortable than the International Space Station. Thus you need maintenance people, service people, and workers....if you don't do everything robotically.

Thus you need more space stations and people to operate them. Then you need a service to get employees up to these stations for a tour of duty. Then you need a place for them to relax that is "cheaper" than bringing them home every weekend and sending them back up on Monday. Then you need people to operate the relaxation station. At which point, if the scale is worth it, and the tourism industry expands....you get Space Station Five (from the film 2001) operated by a joint effort of Google and Hilton.
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Old 2012-04-24, 14:25   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Pretty much any atomic element found here can be found in a asteroid, since this planet is made from the same material. The amount will be less, but with prices as they are, if even a small amount can be found, it will at least pay for the trip.

A larger find pays for the startup.

More large finds are profit.


There is another part to this that they only mentioned in passing. Such a enterprise needs a support system, preferably in orbit. The materials brought back need proccessing. The communications relays need servicing. And if you use live humans for any of this, plus the Orion missions that should be heading out around the same time....you need relief services in orbit that are as or more comfortable than the International Space Station. Thus you need maintenance people, service people, and workers....if you don't do everything robotically.
Not to mention people to service the robots, if maintenance robots are used, and you know they will be.

We will find a way into space and keep our bone structures intact. It's only a matter of time.

Endless "Looking forward" Soul
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Old 2012-04-24, 14:26   Link #5
fanty
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Originally Posted by Paranoid Android View Post
Definitely not going to find an asteroid made of fossil fuel and gold.
They are likely to find asteroids with plenty of gold, but to have fossil fuel you need fossils, and to have fossils you need life, and there's no life on asteroids, so yeah... no fossil fuels.
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Old 2012-04-24, 14:33   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paranoid Android View Post
Woaaaah awesome. It's probably terribly cost ineffective for today's technology. I wonder what kind of useless crap they can ship from space. Definitely not going to find an asteroid made of fossil fuel and gold.

I wonder how much importing foreign space bodies will affect Earth's gravitational orbit lol.
they are going fine asteroids with water, they use H for fuel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fanty View Post
They are likely to find asteroids with plenty of gold, but to have fossil fuel you need fossils, and to have fossils you need life, and there's no life on asteroids, so yeah... no fossil fuels.
maybe they can find a Space Whale Fossil
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Old 2012-04-24, 14:39   Link #7
Ithekro
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Well no one is looking for oil on those rocks. They are looking for metals and non-organic compounds that can be used for fuel. Both of which we know exist on these rocks.

The Moon (Luna) could also be mined, but there is supposedly a less likely chance of metals there due to how it is suspected to have been formed. There would be some metals at least at or around some of the craters. But they still would have to deal with a one-sixth gravity rather than the practically nothing on a Near Earth Asteroid.

Though one does have to wonder about the fossil fuels angle...and someplace like Mars. It has been suggested that there was life on Mars in the distant past. It might not be there anymore, but the fossils may remain. If so...there could be oil on Mars.

It isn't very likely, but it is a possibility. How one would drill for it and transport it back to Earth....that is an entirely different problem. (Space Tankers!).



But there is one more thing that could happen if there is money to be made by shipping stuff around up there. Someone that wants to steal it.

Enter the Space Pirates.
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Old 2012-04-24, 14:48   Link #8
Gamer_2k4
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Honestly, I think I may be more excited about the fact that we have legitimate companies with names like "Planetary Resources" now than about anything they're actually doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fanty View Post
They are likely to find asteroids with plenty of gold, but to have fossil fuel you need fossils, and to have fossils you need life, and there's no life on asteroids, so yeah... no fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels are just hydrocarbons. Those exist in more forms than the remains of carbon life forms.
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Old 2012-04-24, 14:50   Link #9
Kyuu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Enter the Space Pirates.
That's the real ultimate dream: girls in space... wearing miniskirts.

Yet, if there's one thing that struck a chord with me in that Mouretsu Pirates thread... "Sci-fi is dead, because the dream of getting into space is impossible in our lifetime"...

That made me

===

In any case. With today's politics. I had been ragging on the sector of the rich and wealthy, who spend wealth towards accumulating more wealth by depriving others of it.

e.g. bank executives.

But these guys. They're willing to divert much of their life and treasure towards something humanity could benefit from as a whole. And so... I commend this sort of thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro
It isn't very likely, but it is a possibility. How one would drill for it and transport it back to Earth....that is an entirely different problem. (Space Tankers!).
Could still use that space elevator project as a "railway" from the surface-to-low Earth orbit for freight.
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Old 2012-04-24, 15:06   Link #10
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Well no one is looking for oil on those rocks. They are looking for metals and non-organic compounds that can be used for fuel. Both of which we know exist on these rocks.

The Moon (Luna) could also be mined, but there is supposedly a less likely chance of metals there due to how it is suspected to have been formed. There would be some metals at least at or around some of the craters. But they still would have to deal with a one-sixth gravity rather than the practically nothing on a Near Earth Asteroid.

Though one does have to wonder about the fossil fuels angle...and someplace like Mars. It has been suggested that there was life on Mars in the distant past. It might not be there anymore, but the fossils may remain. If so...there could be oil on Mars.

It isn't very likely, but it is a possibility. How one would drill for it and transport it back to Earth....that is an entirely different problem. (Space Tankers!).



But there is one more thing that could happen if there is money to be made by shipping stuff around up there. Someone that wants to steal it.

Enter the Space Pirates.
would it actually need to be transported back to earth. I imagine if we get Mars and colonize it, we would be beyond using Fossil Fuel. They other stuff that oil is use for (plastic) can manufacture on Mars itself.
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Old 2012-04-24, 15:21   Link #11
Ithekro
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Depends on how much civilization one gets on Mars verses the needs of the Homeworld (or "oppressive colonial overlords", depending on the politics at the time). If the fuel is still desired on Earth, than it would need to be shipped home. But first it would need to get to Mars orbit. Then across interplanetary space to Earth orbit. Then shipped down to the surface where normal distribution methods take over.

While Space Elevators migt be viable for this, you would need at least one on Mars as well as one on Earth. Then you would need a vessel that can profitably move the oil, metals, water, or whatever (food), from one planet to the other. Then you might need to provide an security force to protect that vessel if someone decides to take it themselves for a different Space Elevator (assuming there is more than one).

Though if there is only one port, piracy would be kind of difficult, if the goal was to get the goods back to Earth. Now if the goal is to get them someplace else, or to bid off the stolen good for later pickup (once money is delivered), than their might be a profit in it.
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Old 2012-04-24, 15:29   Link #12
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Meh, I always figured that 'expansion into space' never had or has anything to do with the survibal of the human race

Just with resources and profit
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Old 2012-04-24, 15:35   Link #13
Kyuu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
would it actually need to be transported back to earth..
http://www.planetaryresources.com/

I've looked at the site. Can't find the exact quote. But, part of the vision includes:

Using space resources... to explore deeper into space. And doing this, it may or may not necessarily require bringing raw materials back to Earth.

But most certainly, raw materials must still need to be brought to Earth to facilitate existing manufacturing on earth. But eventually, manufacturing must be done in space, in order to reduce the cost of transporting these materials. Even if this happens, goods then would still have to get to Earth.

After all, the biggest cost involving space access has been Earth's gravity and atmosphere (going into and out of).
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Old 2012-04-24, 15:46   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
http://www.planetaryresources.com/

I've looked at the site. Can't find the exact quote. But, part of the vision includes:

Using space resources... to explore deeper into space. And doing this, it may or may not necessarily require bringing raw materials back to Earth.

But most certainly, raw materials must still need to be brought to Earth to facilitate existing manufacturing on earth. But eventually, manufacturing must be done in space, in order to reduce the cost of transporting these materials. Even if this happens, goods then would still have to get to Earth.

After all, the biggest cost involving space access has been Earth's gravity and atmosphere (going into and out of).
certain raw materials yes, but i don't think oil needs to be transported back to Earth.
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Old 2012-04-24, 15:51   Link #15
Ithekro
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Hmmm. I'd forgotten about the Outer Space Treaty not allowing colonies and claims of territory. I wonder if that has been holding us back at all.


As with all resources....it depends on how valuable it is. If it is worth it and in demand, it will be shipped to where it will be purchased.
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Old 2012-04-24, 15:56   Link #16
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Hmmm. I'd forgotten about the Outer Space Treaty not allowing colonies and claims of territory. I wonder if that has been holding us back at all.


As with all resources....it depends on how valuable it is. If it is worth it and in demand, it will be shipped to where it will be purchased.
US never sign it.

besides that treaty is about as strong the paper it is written on. I like to see someone try to enforce it.
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Old 2012-04-24, 16:52   Link #17
Ithekro
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Well, somethings might happen in this decade, but it looks like most of it will get rolling in the next as the Orion project gets going, the ISS becomes something else (either deorbit, broken up to smaller stations, or perhaps a private venture), and private interests get going in the space business.

The Dragon - Falcon spacecraft has been delayed a week for testing. They want to be damn sure it works when it trys to dock with the ISS by remote. That will be the first real step. By the end of the year they expect to send cargo up with both it and the Cygnus spacecraft.

Virgin Galactic should be going by next year. There is talk of small space hotels in connection with tourism, though Virgin Galactic would need to extend the range of their flights to a higher orbit to make that work (even though the "hotel" seem more like a disposable Apollo sized room with a view.)

And now Planetary Resources is talking about mining.
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Old 2012-04-24, 18:00   Link #18
Kyuu
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And now Planetary Resources is talking about mining.
Gotta start here in order to efficiently support all these other ventures. Especially Virgin Galactic - who may require bringing up a great deal of capital (even the size of MIR). If "space hotels" can be built up in space with space materials... well... that idea may become a no-brainer.

To think, just when I got myself despairing about the notion of sci-fi dying... and... the general lack of interest in space. This company literally pops up.
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Old 2012-04-25, 02:28   Link #19
Tempester
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With the downsizing of NASA, the space industry becoming a legitimate business was only a matter of time.

Anyway, this is good news and I wish for the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
Meh, I always figured that 'expansion into space' never had or has anything to do with the survibal of the human race

Just with resources and profit
If you're concerned about survival, going into space will not fix the many problems that we already have, namely war, economic stagnation, misallocation of resources, starvation, et cetera. Space travel is important, but there are more pressing issues at hand.
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Old 2012-04-25, 03:16   Link #20
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Not to mention people to service the robots, if maintenance robots are used, and you know they will be.
There is your market. Astromeches.
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