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RE: starship-design: Mining asteroids
Your rebuttal was cogent and accurate. Unfortunately, most of that profit
WAS from communications satellites and other low mass launches as you point
If you have a weekend to spare you should read the Commercial Space
Transportation Study prepared by NASA. Although it takes a somewhat more
pessimistic view than I do, it presents LOTS of data to back up its
conclusions regarding the likelihood of various commercial uses of space.
It basically summarizes to the chicken and the egg quandary - we have to
have lots of cheap launch capacity to commercialize space (or do anything in
space for that matter), but in order to develop that capacity we need LOTS
of payloads, which won't appear until after we have cheap lift capacity....
SpaceDev is one company that is pressing forward anyway. Asteroid mining may
be all of those things that you say, but it is also the key to the chicken
and egg quandary. I can't speak to the political side that you touched on
other than to say that it is already causing a few problems with the FAA.