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Re: starship-design: Quiet List

A West wrote:
> Also, on a not-entirely-realted topic, I've seen a couple of people say
> that the future of space travel is commercial, and the best source of money
> I can think of would be to mine a near earth asteroid, and maybe create new
> alloys of stell etc by producing them in space - but how would you make
> enough money in this? If an asteroid is a couple of kilometers cubed, then
> there would probably be a few trillion dollars of metals in it - the
> trouble being that if I flooded, say, the nickel marker with 10 times the
> world's yearly output, then prices would plummet to next to nothing.  I
> would think that most the money you could make would be by making a blast
> furnace in space, and then making new alloys with differents structures
> which you cannot produce in much gravity..
> any ideas?
	The idea of free enterprise leading the way into space is unrealistic. 
Utilizing space resources is obviously going to be expensive; getting
the necessary capital together will be very difficult. Futhermore, as
Andrew pointed out, large amounts of ore flooding the market would move
the supply curve way out to the right, causing worldwide financial
chaos.  Finally, those ores and metals would be much better used in
building more structures in space.  
	The primary and dominant rationale for space development is strategic.
Although capitalism in space is likely to become important in the far
future, governments and treaty organizations will carry the torch for a
long time to come. 
Herzliche Gre,
Nels Lindberg