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Re: RE: starship-design: Infrastructure in space

>> You have it backwards.  Unless the space platforems are
>> needed for something
>> profitable (i.e. returns more value/resources then it
>> consumes) they will
>> never be built, because they will not be part of a better
>> future.  Same for
>> the ships - or at least more then a couple token ships.  A
>> token fleet won't
>> need the space mining eiather.
>No, not backwards, just interdependent. It's a Catch-22 situation.

You could deveop all these things without space manufacturing, possibly even 
cheaper then with it.  Thats why no one talks about ultra pure drugs and 
single cryistal metals in space anymore.  Those can now be done on earth for 
less cost then the zero-G facilities could have.

You have to remember their ae billions of potential customers down here, and 
market size drives siting and costs.

>> >Sure, if you assume that any installations in space are eventually
>> >Earth-centered, i.e., their only end purpose is to bring
>> >something useful down here. However, the space infrastructure
>> >Lee is speaking about will be needed in most part for space
>> >operations - not for sustaining Earth people,
>> >but for sustaining people living outside Earth.
>> Sorry, Earth has to pay all the initial bills, and will be
>> suplying the bulk
>> of the technology and industry for a long time.  The space
>> colonies and
>> starship projects ae utterly dependant on Earth.  Unless they
>> can pay their
>> way, they will be shutdown when earth gets bored just like
>> the Apollo and
>> Russian lunar programs were as soon as their govs got bored
>> with them.
>> Unless you are productive, you are a pet.
>That wasn't what Zenon said. He said "if you assume that any installations
>in space are _eventually_ Earth-centered, i.e., their only end purpose
>is to
>bring something useful down here", your argument was about INITIALLY being
>Earth centered, which we would all stipulate without contest. I think it
>fairly evident that the whole point of being there initially would be
>Earth-centric, but I think it is equally evident that as the off-Earth
>presence of people increases, more and more off-Earth market will develop.
>It really doesn't matter which it is or even in what proportion, as long
>there is _enough_ industry of the right kinds to make building a starship
>economical and practical.

Well this group was talking mid 21st century, so obviously that can't happen 
in that timeframe.  Past that who knows.  Their are 6 billion of us customers 
here, and space isn't that atractive for settlers.  It could well be 
centuries, and several major revolutions in technology, before space could 
develop enough of a market for that to happen.

>We have already discussed the other point here several times. It is most
>unlikely that the first ships to go out will be anything _but_ government
>funded, for the same reasons. Until we get there and find out what is there,
>there will be no economic reason to drive a private mission to or presence
>at another star.

Likely true.  Even after, we never could figure out a reason to go often or 
settle in the stars.

>> >> Projects ae with current projected reserves, we can meet all
>> >> growing oil needs for 200-300 years.  Prices have been going down
>> >> (eratically) for a century, and is likely to keep doing so
>> >> for another century or so.  If need be, there is LOTS of oil
>> >> drifting around near earth space.
>> >>
>> >So you see, infrastructure in space will be needed anyway... ;-)
>> Your asuming we'll be burning oil in 300-400 years?  ;)
>I doubt that also, but stranger things have happened.