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starship-design: Asteroid Mining (was: Quiet List)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
> [mailto:owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu]On Behalf Of Zenon Kulpa
> Sent: Friday, March 13, 1998 9:35 AM
> To: starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
> Cc: zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl
> Subject: RE: starship-design: Quiet List
> Just a few additional comments:
> >
> 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...

Kargel pointed this out in his analysis but didn't factor it into his
resultant "devalued" price because of too many unpredictables. He simply
indicated, as you do, that it likely wouldn't be this bad because usage
would rise with supply.

> 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.

Coincidentally, did you notice that Challenge 3 for $1 billion is the amount
of time Kargel's mining crews would stay at the asteroid being mined? Kind
of helps defray the costs for the proof of concept asteroid
mine...Challenges 7, 9, and 10 would also be met by this expedition,
providing as much as $7 billion in prize money to defray the costs. Of
course, they have to pass the bill first...

For the new members benefit, there are actually multiple reasons why we need
commercialization of space. An expedition to any other star is going to
require an orbital infrastructure that we simply can't get any other way.
Mines and factories and shipyards and LOTS of general experience in how to
function in space. Attempting an interstellar mission now by launching
pieces from Earth for modular assembly in orbit is pretty much like Columbus
discovering the New World in a rowboat....