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RE: starship-design: Quiet List

Just a few additional comments:

> From: "L. Parker" <lparker@cacaphony.net>
> To: "'Lindberg'" <lindberg@olywa.net>
> Taking your points in order:
> 2) Furthermore, 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.
> Even at best case, these ores would not "flood" the market. Unless we were
> to field several hundred mining expeditions simultaneously and a majority of
> them just happened to find asteroids rich in precious metals at the same
> time. There will be increased availability of many precious metals, enough
> to cause fluctuations in market price, occasionally even severe ones, but
> hardly enough to produce chaos. The growth of space mining will be slow
> because it IS expensive.
Moreover, with more of the previously expensive materials available,
the demand will go up too (more products using them will be marketed, 
and quite new products using them will appear), hence the
price lowering effect will be much smaller than required
for "worldwide financial chaos". Of course, things will move,
but it is quite normal and happens all the time...

> 3) 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.
> The primary and dominant rationale for space development WAS strategic. I
> will not deny that control of space is still of supreme importance, but it
> is no longer the dominant force and has not been for quite some time.
> In summary, if what you want for a space program is slow, expensive,
> inefficient and doomed to failure then continue to believe in government
> funded space development. On the other hand, if you want rapid cheap,
> effective and successful space development then you have no other choice
> than private development of space. Commercial development of space may not
> occur as quickly as we would like, but it is the ONLY way we will ever get
> into space to stay.
Moreover, there is a nice idea of combining both governmental
and private funding avoiding their drawbacks and combining advantages -
the idea behind Zubrin's "Mars Prize" proposal,
see his "The Case for Mars" book and  the Technology Review article 
"Mars on a Shoestring" at:


which contains detailed description of the prize.

-- Zenon