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RE: RE: starship-design: YES, we might do it.

> ----------
> From: 	Walker, Chris[SMTP:Chris.Walker@BSKYB.COM]
> Sent: 	Wednesday, October 14, 1998 6:27 AM
> Subject: 	RE: RE: starship-design: YES, we might do it.
> In this vein - why should space tourism necessarily provide some of
> the
> investment for our space infrastructure? A space tourism company will
> plough
> its revenue back into whatever serves *its* interests, which may or
> may not
> be what *we're* interested in. I guess the only way in which that
> might
> happen is if space tourism grows to such an extent that the company
> decides
> that it is cheaper to mine asteroids for the materials to build its
> lunar
> hotels than to ship these materials up from Earth. Even if it does
> this
> though, would it allow anyone else to use its facilities? Again,
> wouldn't it
> simply plough it resources back into serving its own commercial
> interests,
> rather than our interstellar exploration ones? Et voila - space
> tourism, but
> perhaps no investment that we can make use of.
Well, its interests are likely to be financial.  If a space tourism
company winds up with increasing demand, first for on-orbit facilities,
and then for lunar facilities, they may find developing space-based
mining (or other industries) economical.  Then, when someone else comes
along and wants to build, say, an intra-solar-system vehicle
construction yard, the tourism company may find it in its economic
interest to sell the products of their mines to this company.

I'm not saying this is what will happen - just showing one possibility.

Granted, if you were this tourism company, you might not help other
tourism companies, but why not?  If you don't sell to them, they'll get
their resources from Earth anyway, like you did originally.  So sell to
them at a high enough cost to make a tidy profit but a low enough cost
to keep them from buying from Earth.  There are current industries on
Earth where competitors sell each other products.
David Levine                        david@playlink.com
Director of Development       http://www.playlink.com/
PlayLink                                (212) 387-8200
Professional Driver.  Closed Track.  Do not attempt.