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Old 2006-06-18, 13:04   Link #61
Commander 598
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We haven't even solved the profitability issues yet
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...the average asteroid was worth 840 Billion Dollars.
Not to mention that we're running out of things that can be found up there... Like copper, which as of late has gotten rather high in price.
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Old 2006-06-18, 13:27   Link #62
tritoch
 
 
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant
A step at a time, please. A step at a time.

The first true workers in space would almost certainly be either miners or engineers. They would be tough people, and capable of maintaining sanity while living under hellish conditions for long periods.

As I already explained, there is no need to build a mass driver until there is a full size colony in space.

There is no need for a full-size colony in space until there is enough people who wants to live there.

You won't have enough people wanting to live there until there is enough job opportunities in space.

You will have enough job opportunities when space-ran business is profitable and has a large number of well-paid employees to create a local economy.

********
We haven't even solved the profitability issues yet; we can worry about the rest later. Everything else will straighten themselves out if each problem is solved in their correct stages.

We can worry about giant Space colonies and space elevators/mass-drivers when we actually need them. Not before. You can never build anything until there is a demand for it.

Sure, you can build a mass driver that won't be needed until a decade later. But by that time the technology would have advanced so much that the old Mass driver would be considered a crude and dangerous antique, and something better could be built instead.

How would you supply the people who are willing to work in space when you have such an ineffective means of sending someone to space? We just can't launch gazillion rockets everytime, it wastes so much money. How do you supply the workers in space with the materials they need to do their job if NASA or whoever is the one that launches these rockets can only launch a space rocket once every 3 years?

2 things: Accessability and Ability to self sustain. I suppose you could launch someone to the moon via space rocket and expect them to make a fully operational moon outpost only relying on supplies coming infrequently and sometimes even delayed.

Every scientific mind bent on going to space is focused right now on making the alternative to space rockets a reality. They know that its the first step.

Part of the reason why the demand for space colonies is so low is because there's no better means of getting into space. Once we figure out how to effectively get to space, decreasing the risk, money and preparations, naturally people would flock over to the idea of a colony.

With that aside, my answer to the alternative way of flying to space: mass drivers.
Its an investment that is paid in the long run. By offering shipping solutions first then switching to space travel, it can effectively regain back the cost for building it.

Of course, you can change mass driver with whatever desired way you want to go to space, but that will remain to be the first step into making space colonies a reality.
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Old 2006-06-18, 13:38   Link #63
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Part of the reason why the demand for space colonies is so low is because there's no better means of getting into space. Once we figure out how to effectively get to space, decreasing the risk, money and preparations, naturally people would flock over to the idea of a colony.
I am curious, because we are obviously on completely opposite ends of the scales...

Why do you think people will flock over to the idea of a colony by having the mass drivers first? I really need to know, as this part truly baffles me. Thanks.

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Not to mention that we're running out of things that can be found up there... Like copper, which as of late has gotten rather high in price.
We would have to be pretty short on Earth supplies, if Space copper becomes cheaper to buy than Earth copper...
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Old 2006-06-18, 13:54   Link #64
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Having the means to effectively travel to space grants access to the possibilities found there. Right now, conventional space rockets can only do so little.

If we already mastered the means to entering space, then we can safely start a project so grand as to build a space colony. Also building the colony requires men and you can't just fire up 15 rockets full of men and expect them to survive relying on just on supplies that arrive infrequently.

Currently NASA is making a space station, they started in 1998 and won't be done by 2010. Part of the problem is getting to space.
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Old 2006-06-18, 13:58   Link #65
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by tritoch
Having the means to effectively travel to space grants access to the possibilities found there. Right now, conventional space rockets can only do so little.

If we already mastered the means to entering space, then we can safely start a project so grand as to build a space colony. Also building the colony requires men and you can't just fire up 15 rockets full of men and expect them to survive relying on just on supplies that arrive infrequently.

Currently NASA is making a space station, they started in 1998 and won't be done by 2010. Part of the problem is getting to space.
You still have explained why people would WANT to live in a space colony, when there is no jobs, no economy, the living conditions are crap, and everyone is surrounded by experimental and untested technology and could die at any moment as a result.

That's what I need to know. Why are the people moving into space in your scenario?

(My own scenario claim that there is enough money for people to try their luck at employment... But there won't be trule colonies until much later, as the number of people in space will grow only slowly in my case, limited by the growth of space-based industry. People will do anything if enough cash is offered...)

#########
EDIT:
Do you know what's the difference between staking a claim in the wild west and moving into space? At least in the wild west, your land is your own. Moving into a spacestation means paying rent. You won't ever truly own your livingspace until PLANT scale colonies permit artificial landmass to be constructed.
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Old 2006-06-18, 14:07   Link #66
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Cause its cool like that yo!

Im kidding. For us to understand we need ample time to sample the conditions that space has, while we are on Earth, all we can do is speculate. But by sending up people there, experimental technology becomes the norm, untested technology becomes the standard.

At the start of the project there will be no jobs and no economy yet. Jobs and economy propagate through the interaction between people, that's why we have the term "Entrepreneurs." If these entrepreneurs have the means on making the space colony into a viable living place, people would flock and jobs and the economy would start to shape.

And what would be the first thing on these entrepreneurs mind?
Space travel.
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Old 2006-06-18, 14:14   Link #67
Anh_Minh
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VCV: We don't have Space Colonies because they're not profitable. They're not profitable because:
- getting up there is so bloody expensive,
- staying up there is so bloody expensive.

Mass drivers, space elevators, better chemical rockets... they're all aimed to solve the first problem. (And indirectly, the second as well. If it's easier to send stuff up, we'll be able to send some luxuries with the astronauts.)
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Old 2006-06-18, 14:26   Link #68
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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At the start of the project there will be no jobs and no economy yet. Jobs and economy propagate through the interaction between people, that's why we have the term "Entrepreneurs." If these entrepreneurs have the means on making the space colony into a viable living place, people would flock and jobs and the economy would start to shape.
That's rather optimistic of you...

But that sounds like an offer available only to the privileged and the rich. In effect, you want to make a city out of nothing.

The closest thing to that, is Las Vegas. A city built on a desert, that produces nothing of its own. A city that requires massive influx of goods from other cities to keep itself running. (thus, a BAD idea for a first colony)

That's the exception, not the rule.

Cities are mostly born out of three things; it's a place where people go to earn money, it's a place where people make food, or it's a place where people obtain transportation for people and goods due to its vital location.

Large colonies could most certainly be built to make food, but only once there is a reasonable population in space already that wants cheap food that doesn't require shipping from Earth or limited to small greenhouses. (The first CE war was ignited when PLANT finally became self-sufficient in food via special farming stations, and as such could claim independence.)

Transportation hubs, likewise, can't exist without a constant flow of traffic to another station.

The only sensible way a colony could grow on its own, would be a colony that produces a product that could be sold back at Earth for huge profits; and no, you would need something better than copper ore to give them a competitive edge. The operational costs of a space-mining operation, no matter how advanced, could not possibly be cheaper than an Earth-based mining operation. Hell, you will probably need solid blocks of pure silver.

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VCV: We don't have Space Colonies because they're not profitable. They're not profitable because:
- getting up there is so bloody expensive,
- staying up there is so bloody expensive.
How is a Space Colony going to be profitable, if you worry about transportation of the goods before you even have any goods to sell?

Let's say I want to start a diamond-mining operation in Africa; Do I worry about transporting the diamonds to the markets first, or should I worry about getting an actual mine first?
Getting a mine should be more important, no?

And about the value of an asteroid... Trust me, it's cheaper to dig the minerals out of Earth right now. You can't find miners willing to work in space unless you pay them insane amounts of money, mass driver or not.
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Old 2006-06-18, 14:46   Link #69
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I guess I didn't specifically said what type of jobs people who lives in space start with.

Once a uninhibited space colony is made, the first rule will be the ability to self sustain via small greenhouses then branching out as the knowledge and the technology betters, into bigger greenhouses that can sustain the colony. Of course, food doesn't grow by itself. The first jobs would be just that: making the colony livable. Once the colony is self sufficient, it will rely less and less of the supplies given to Earth. Thus creating an economy inside the colony.

And you can't expect terra forming to hit straight away so the obvious choice is to coerce tourism until people figure out the science of terra forming colonies.
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Old 2006-06-18, 15:08   Link #70
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant
How is a Space Colony going to be profitable, if you worry about transportation of the goods before you even have any goods to sell?

Let's say I want to start a diamond-mining operation in Africa; Do I worry about transporting the diamonds to the markets first, or should I worry about getting an actual mine first?
Getting a mine should be more important, no?
Unless you want to live at your mine and eat diamonds, you do have to worry about both. It's not enough to have a mine, you have to be able to sell your products.

Profit is the money you get minus the money you spend. To maximize it, you can try to get more money, or you can try to spend less.

Right now, to get to space, you need to spend a lot of money, and that's why you say one needs to be able to get a lot of money out of it to consider it. All I'm saying is that if you lower the cost of getting to space, you'll also lower the amount needed to make it attractive.
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Old 2006-06-18, 15:10   Link #71
anavelgato
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There are other reasons to build space colonies , exept minerals and profit.
1: Getting more space for people to live in.
2: Getting more humans.
3: Make shure the human race survives.

You could build colonies , send up people , or clone people and send them up.
It's not cheap , but it's about the survival fo the human race.

But sadly for this to happen some huge disaser has to happen , like a meteor crashes into russia killing alot , or somthing like that.
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Old 2006-06-18, 15:21   Link #72
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by anavelgato
There are other reasons to build space colonies , exept minerals and profit.
1: Getting more space for people to live in.
2: Getting more humans.
3: Make shure the human race survives.

You could build colonies , send up people , or clone people and send them up.
It's not cheap , but it's about the survival fo the human race.

But sadly for this to happen some huge disaser has to happen , like a meteor crashes into russia killing alot , or somthing like that.
I don't think anyone here is discussing survival here... You are, in this case, forcing people to move into space rather than because there was any benefit in doing so.

Quote:
Unless you want to live at your mine and eat diamonds, you do have to worry about both. It's not enough to have a mine, you have to be able to sell your products.
Does that mean I can set up a diamond mine in New York? After all, there is plenty of customers and the transportation is good...

You can build train-tracks, airfields, and highways. But you can't place a mine just anywhere you feel like. Hence, getting the mine comes first. Unless you know where it's located, you can't determine the logistics.

In the same vein, the location of income must be determine first before you can build an infrastructure around it. It would be embarrassing to build a mass driver on the Moon, only to realise the mineral you want is on Mars.
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Old 2006-06-18, 15:27   Link #73
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Okay, you build a mine, how the heck do you do that when all of your mining tools are miles away? Do you operate the bulldozers and other machinery to the diamond mine or do you use a simpler method of transporting those machinery to you?

Accessability opens opportunities. Build a mall in middle of a desert and lets see if you can get people to go to you without any public roads.

Quote:
In the same vein, the location of income must be determine first before you can build an infrastructure around it. It would be embarrassing to build a mass driver on the Moon, only to realise the mineral you want is on Mars.
It would be even sillier to build a mine on Mars without an efficient way of getting the materials for the mine to be there. Shoot them by conventional space rockets and wait for it to arrive every 6 months. Assuming we can have a steady flow of space rocket launches, it wouldn't be enough to make a Mars mine a project since accessability is an issue.

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You can build train-tracks, airfields, and highways. But you can't place a mine just anywhere you feel like. Hence, getting the mine comes first. Unless you know where it's located, you can't determine the logistics.
The same can be said for underwater oil fields, if we didn't have boats (which is an effective way of seatravel), can we even determine that we have such resources?

Im not saying the logistics of bringing back your goods, im saying that in order to have an effective way to make a space colony there has to be an effective way of getting there.

How would you even know where to mine if you scour lands by foot IF people didn't develop an effective means to travel by land?

Whew. no more.. Anh Minh can continue for me.
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Last edited by tritoch; 2006-06-18 at 15:38.
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Old 2006-06-18, 15:31   Link #74
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant
I don't think anyone here is discussing survival here... You are, in this case, forcing people to move into space rather than because there was any benefit in doing so.


Does that mean I can set up a diamond mine in New York? After all, there is plenty of customers and the transportation is good...

You can build train-tracks, airfields, and highways. But you can't place a mine just anywhere you feel like. Hence, getting the mine comes first. Unless you know where it's located, you can't determine the logistics.

In the same vein, the location of income must be determine first before you can build an infrastructure around it. It would be embarrassing to build a mass driver on the Moon, only to realise the mineral you want is on Mars.
Hm. If there are ressources anywhere in space (well, the close vicinity of Earth, anyway), the location of the launchpoint on Earth almost doesn't matter. (I mean, we place launchpads near the equator for the centrifugal force and all, but not for the proximity to the points in space we want to get to.)

So yes, we'll want to know what awaits us up there and where to place our mines. But simple surveys will tell us that. Maybe even unmanned probes. No need for full blown colonies.

So no, colonies don't come before mass transit. They come at the same time, dependant on each other. You need a better transport system to send building and mining equipment up, and you need some kind of cash cow (even a future cash cow) to justify it.
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Old 2006-06-18, 15:41   Link #75
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by tritoch
Okay, you build a mine, how the heck do you do that when all of your mining tools are miles away? Do you operate the bulldozers and other machinery to the diamond mine or do you use a simpler method of transporting those machinery to you?

Accessability opens opportunities. Build a mall in middle of a desert and lets see if you can get people to go to you without any public roads.
You need to know there is going to be reasonable profits before spending big on transport vehicles. That's why you have prospectors and experimental drilling.

You don't start building roads to a gold mine until you know there is enough gold in the mine to make it worth your while. More importantly, you don't build travel networks until you know what you are transporting, and which direction you are transporting it to. The type of goods to be transported will determine the size and performance of the Mass Driver, rather than vice versa. The locations of important resources would need to be known before you could locate and orient the mass drivers correctly.

So how do people get to remote potential mines without easy transport? The same way they've always had; slowly, and dangerously.

(p.s. You don't build malls and expect people to go to you; you find out where the people are first, then locate the malls accordingly. A remote mall fails not because of lack of transportation, but because there is no people nearby. Similar to the concept of digging for diamonds in New York city.)

There is a difference between transportation, and location.

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and you need some kind of cash cow (even a future cash cow) to justify it.
I have no problems with this statement.
Though a "potential" cash cow could only get things started; you need a real cash cow for the enterprise not to collapse on itself long term.
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Old 2006-06-18, 15:44   Link #76
anavelgato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant
I don't think anyone here is discussing survival here... You are, in this case, forcing people to move into space rather than because there was any benefit in doing so.
.
well ultimately humans need to move to space to survive.
And with people in space , you get more people and then more smart people.
So with colonies in space now you could have a total human population of 10-20billions soon , and they would make new technology etc etc.
There is not room for that number of people on earth , we just need more space.
Thats where colonies comes in.
As you said you just have to get people and a place where they can live, and a reason to move there , the rest will follow.
One start could be that somone built the colonies , and then people could buy a part of it.
Then the people that built the colony makes money , and the people that moves there get a new land.
Then imagine a guy makes a factory there , then people will get a job , and that will also get people to move there.
And in the end you have a self sustained colony.

Last edited by anavelgato; 2006-06-18 at 16:01.
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Old 2006-06-18, 15:46   Link #77
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I'm sure Macy's in NYC has enough diamonds to make it worth digging in New York.

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(p.s. You don't build malls and expect people to go to you; you find out where the people are first, then locatre the malls accordingly. A remote mall fails not because of lack of transportation, but because there is no people nearby. Similar to the concept of digging for diamonds in New York city.
But there are no people in space. Not unil there's a way to send people up there. So yes, Anh Minh has it right, they come together.

Well to tell you the truth, why don't I just leave the space colony talks to NASA or whoever. I'll sit back and enjoy my anime here on earth.
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Old 2006-06-18, 16:04   Link #78
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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But there are no people in space. Not unil there's a way to send people up there. So yes, Anh Minh has it right, they come together.
We do have people in space, and we do have ways to send them up there.

We just don't have a reason to send anymore than we did so far.

Do you have any idea how much a kilo of space-iron is worth? Compared to Earth-iron? Even if, hypothetically, transport costs are the same? There's no contest.

You don't need advanced colonies to house the first batch of miners; you won't be able to afford to give such accomodations anyway, since the paychecks you need to give out is bad enough. There would be a lot of dead people, so don't be surprised if no one else wants to go up at first.

We will need enough well-paid miners in space before there could be anything else. The miners will be the bottom of the financial food chain that supports everything else after it.

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And with people in space , you get more people and then more smart people.
I refuse to comment on that. We are not talking Newtypes here.
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Old 2006-06-18, 16:14   Link #79
Anh_Minh
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anavelgato: If you want really more living room, don't go looking for it in space. Just build artificial islands. Cheaper and healthier. Not that I see the urgency of it.

Where space colonies could help us survive is if there's a planet killer asteroid headed our way. We're due for one in the next few millions years... (I don't remember the figures, but I think we more or less get one every 500 million years, and it's been 500 million years since the last one...)
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Old 2006-06-18, 16:21   Link #80
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh
anavelgato: If you want really more living room, don't go looking for it in space. Just build artificial islands. Cheaper and healthier. Not that I see the urgency of it.

Where space colonies could help us survive is if there's a planet killer asteroid headed our way. We're due for one in the next few millions years... (I don't remember the figures, but I think we more or less get one every 500 million years, and it's been 500 million years since the last one...)
The irony, of course, is that there is no guarantee that any colony in space or anywhere else for that matter, would be any safer. A planet-killer asteroid is just as likely to hit the moon or enter the orbit path of a Space station.

Though I would be terribly disappointed in the Earth's military if they haven't developed a comet-buster bomb in the next 5000 years.
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