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Re: starship-design: Private Asteroid Mining

Jim writes:

>Now this sounds interesting.  Maybe we should start a list, or at least a
>discussion, on the requirements for getting all the materials we need for

I imagine one of the biggest problems will be transforming a lump of rock
into useful form (glass, steel, wire, tubing, etc.) while still in orbit.
What would that entail?  Miniature orbiting steel mills and glass factories?

I know next to nothing about how such things are made on Earth, but I would
imagine that there are members who do.  I would also imagine that many
element-separation schemes involve the use of gravity; something we couldn't
use in orbit.  Is this right?  Or is it all done with different boiling/
melting points?  Never really thought much about it before...