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Planetary Resources, Inc. Asteroid Mining: First telescope launch within 24 months

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Posts

  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    Not sure how you are supposed to deal with the lack of a magnetic field on Mars.

    Big Magnets. Haven't found a more recent article, but this vein of thought has been developed further in the past four years. However, with this you would still combine magnetic fields with: industrial waste from mining (silicates & slag), dirt (specifically for Mars/the Moon), or Water to shield inhabited zones from cosmic rays.

  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    Not sure how you are supposed to deal with the lack of a magnetic field on Mars.

    Big Magnets. Haven't found a more recent article, but this vein of thought has been developed further in the past four years. However, with this you would still combine magnetic fields with: industrial waste from mining (silicates & slag), dirt (specifically for Mars/the Moon), or Water to shield inhabited zones from cosmic rays.

    Hire Sir Ian McKellen?

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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote:
    Is this a joke? Or a viral ad for a film? Or some shit like that?
    I don't think so. I had a look and it seems to be legit. Here's a link to a guy who seems to agree. And another.

    You can easily dig up thoughts on how top mine asteroids. Like here. Generally, you want to process it all in space, then drop some kind of metallic foam down to earth (if you inject liquid metal with nitrogen you can fairly easily make floating masses, so they'd just sit on the sea until you went to pick them up).

    Hell, even the respectable, popular press have picked this up now.
    tbloxham wrote: »
    chrisnl wrote: »
    So I had a short conversation with another guy here in the lab about this, and his stance was that it's a complete waste of money and we should spend that money on helping out the developing world more instead. To which my only real reply was, "But man, SPACE! Space mining! It's awesome!"

    Because it is awesome, and I like living in a world where people are still willing to try spectacular things that have a high chance of failure.

    Earth is about to begin suffering critical shortages of rare metals, as prices rise uncontrollably and demand also rises wars will ensue as countries seek to secure dominance over their supplies. Most of the people losing out the most in this rush for resources will be the people of poor countries who do not have the political clout or economic power to secure their rights to their own resources. You can already see this in the rush of Chinese companies to buy mining rights across Africa from governments whose lack of accountability means that they didn't really have the right to sell those resources in perpetuity to Chinese (and Western) companies. These companies ravage the local ecosystem, bring in their own skilled workers who will leave when they do, and create dependent economies and then when the resources run out just move on out leaving nothing but environmental collapse in their wake.

    Mining on earth is very polluting, and operating on a highly limited supply. One of the best decisions we could make environmentally would be to move mining into space and either use them in space, or use very accurate orbital positioning to drop the resources on earth. (Parachute them in 100 tonne blocks into Nevada or something).

    Scarcity, inneficiency and corruption create inequality. By addressing scarcity of resource supply we can move towards solving the problem of poverty.

    Also, when someone brings back a 100,000 tonne asteroid made out of 95% gold we can finally have the satisfaction of seeing Ron Pauls head explode.

    The part I italicized made me think of ecological disaster in the making but the part bolded made me wonder if it could work.

    As near as I can tell, the more valuable place for space mined raw materials is space itself, since getting stuff out of our gravity well at this time is so crazily expensive to accomplish, let alone maintain. Hell, can we have a moon base already? How about Mars? Don't really mind stuff getting dropped on things we don't rely upon to live, unless that would change the tides or the moon's orbit or something.

    The foam idea is actually way smarter than mine. In space you can make all kinds of crazy stuff. So, you get a nice big focusing mirror and your prepared platinum block in zero g. You focus solar radiation using the mirror which melts the platinum and then you have a big blob of molten platinum. Then you get a straw made of a material with a higher melting point and froth up the molten platinum with nitrogen. This will give you solid platinum again, but it will be like the volcanic pumice stones you get. Full of air pockets so it's less dense than water (possibly massively so)

    You then proceed to push it down into earths atmosphere, likely with a parachute and a little engine attached to do a bit of course correction if needed and plop it into the sea (or a big lake, or directly on land once you start getting really good at it). Since the metal you have chosen is platinum, or gold, or silver it doesn't rust or break up and so there is no environmental hazard. You wouldn't do this with like, Tellurium, if you want that from space you'd have to drop it on land. Or spray your metal/foam block with a plastic coating. Which would be a good idea anyway. Space is awesome, it makes doing really hard things way easier.

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  • EnigEnig a.k.a. Ansatz Registered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    Not sure how you are supposed to deal with the lack of a magnetic field on Mars.

    Possibly we could build the early bases in Martian caves for shielding.

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  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    I definitely don't see us being on Venus for a looooong time. Place is hostile as fuck.

    Mars I think is within our technological reach, if not our current financial reach.

  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Winky wrote: »

    One thing that humanity has never, ever done was stagnate.
    No, but we sure as hell have take a step backwards every once in a while, we've even gone off on a tangent or two before getting back to the point.
    Couscous wrote: »
    Not sure how you are supposed to deal with the lack of a magnetic field on Mars.
    We have shuttles, stations and technology capable of shielding or partially shielding cosmic radiation, don't we?
    Couscous wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    Nothing wrong with humanity stagnating and dieing.

    Exactly what would have to occur for something to be wrong then? Not to be harsh, but that's some pretty strong BS. Its like saying "yeah well everyone dies so there's nothing wrong with dropping this one year old out a window."
    Nothing wrong with dieing if it really isn't feasible to prevent the death. All of the planets and moons in the solar system suck as far as potential habitability go. The chances of finding a habitable or easily made habitable planet within feasible distances even assuming near light speed would make finding one pretty amazing.

    It was Dr. Neil De Grasse Tyson who pointed out (several times if you follow him frequently) that on over 70% of earth's surface, if you were dropped in naked, you'd die. You'd be eaten by animals, drown, freeze, starve, dehydrate, or die in any number of horrible ways. Human beings adapt. We adapted to cold, heat, disease, and being very far down on the food chain in most areas. We're a highly adaptive species, and not just biologically. We adapt through our scientific studies, our technology, and our society to live in places more and more inhospitable every decade. Are we going to find a perfect world for us? No, our own world isn't even perfect for us! Well, at least we wont find one we can reach in several thousand generations. What will happen is that we will adapt technologically, sociologically, and yes, potentially even biologically to live on a different planet and in harsh environs. Mars is actually an example of an easily-made-habitable planet, but it doesn't mean we're going to be out walking on it's surface without any suits or anything.

    Dedwrekka on
  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose Registered User regular
    These guys ae talking about fleets of thousands of mining drones right?
    Then the basic minimum we get out of this project is still awesome; matured mass production techniques for satellites.
    Hopefully they will invest in the Skylon project too, because that makes LEO cheap too. Like family holiday cheap.

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  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    Not sure how you are supposed to deal with the lack of a magnetic field on Mars.
    First, you can build one--it's actually not that hard once you've got some serious infrastructure. Fortunately for the first few crews, it's not necessary either. Second, you can go underground--there's plenty of soil to dump on top of your habitat to shield it from radiation. Third, regions of the Martian crust are magnetized strongly enough to deflect charged particles already--Mars likely does not have a liquid metal core, but it did in the past. Fourth, the Martian atmosphere--thin as it is--protects the surface from the vast bulk of solar and cosmic radiation (and the planet shields you from half of it right off the bat). The lack of a magnetic field on Mars is only really raised as an objection to terraforming it and restoring its atmosphere--by which point an artificial magnetic field seems pretty plausible. Either way, it's not an issue in the near term.

    In all seriousness, there are two planets in our system that I would call "habitable"--Earth and Mars. Mars is marginally less habitable than the most inhospitable parts of Earth (though it is much more distant) and is very far ahead of any other place in our system. It's cold, dry, and you can't breathe the air--but all the resources necessary for human life are ultimately still there. "Habitable" depends on technology, of course--I live in Colorado, and this place was as uninhabitable as the surface of the Sun until my ancestors came up with clothing, shelter, weaponry, and other technologies that allowed them to colonize it. We're only really native to the African Rift Valley, after all.

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  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2012
    I definitely don't see us being on Venus for a looooong time. Place is hostile as fuck.

    Mars I think is within our technological reach, if not our current financial reach.

    I hear low Venus orbit is nice this time of year.


    Edit: Also, I agree that we strongly need to work on getting the price per kilogram to achieve orbit down drastically if we are to have any hope of any sustainable space program.

    Just_Bri_Thanks on
    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Registered User regular
    Venus is as close to hell as you're going to get.

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    I definitely don't see us being on Venus for a looooong time. Place is hostile as fuck.

    Mars I think is within our technological reach, if not our current financial reach.

    I hear low Venus orbit is nice this time of year.


    Edit: Also, I agree that we strongly need to work on getting the price per kilogram to achieve orbit down drastically if we are to have any hope of any sustainable space program.

    Current lowest I think is held by the Proton rocket for heavy lift, with Falcon 9's coming in 2nd (Proton will be beaten by Falcon Heavy). Source.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Venus is as close to hell as you're going to get.

    But its physical properties mean it's much more like Earth: it's only slightly closer to the sun, it's large enough to support a dense atmosphere, it's rocky etc.

    The problem with the Venus is it has too much atmosphere. There was a speculative proposal on the table from NASA that Venus could be terraformed by crashing asteroids into it to shear off the atmosphere to make it survivable. I think the other plan is you'd hit it with comets until there was enough water to make the acid and atmosphere condense out and short-circuit that run away greenhouse effect.

  • SoralinSoralin Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I definitely don't see us being on Venus for a looooong time. Place is hostile as fuck.

    Mars I think is within our technological reach, if not our current financial reach.
    Venus is as close to hell as you're going to get.
    The surface of Venus is hostile and hellish. But Venus actually has a very habitable region that's actually one of the more habitable spots in the solar system, namely, its upper atmosphere.

    There are regions of Venus' atmosphere that have Earthlike temperatures, or Earthlike pressures (not both at once, but you can get reasonably close). Say at 55km above the surface, you have temperatures around 27c (80f), and atmospheric pressure of a bit over half that of Earth (0.53 atm or so). Go a bit lower in the atmosphere if you want a higher pressure, go a bit higher if you want it cooler.

    What's more, since it's largely carbon dioxide, and denser than Earth's atmosphere, a standard oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere is a lifting gas on Venus, it's buoyant, with over half the lifting power that helium has on Earth. You could fill a large habitat up with Earth's partial pressure of oxygen, and fill the rest with nitrogen, and it could float. Maybe have additional balloons of hydrogen for extra lift, and your colony could just float along in Venus's upper atmosphere.

    Getting heavier raw materials might be a bit of a problem, but there's plenty of carbon dioxide and nitrogen around, and even some water vapor and other various things at lower concentrations. You could set it up as an outpost for missions to fly down to the surface and return, if you have machines that can operate across that range of temperature and pressure. (Not that it would be particularly efficient in terms of mining materials and getting it back to Earth though)

    Soralin on
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Soralin wrote: »
    I definitely don't see us being on Venus for a looooong time. Place is hostile as fuck.

    Mars I think is within our technological reach, if not our current financial reach.
    Venus is as close to hell as you're going to get.
    The surface of Venus is hostile and hellish. But Venus actually has a very habitable region that's actually one of the more habitable spots in the solar system, namely, its upper atmosphere.

    There are regions of Venus' atmosphere that have Earthlike temperatures, or Earthlike pressures (not both at once, but you can get reasonably close). Say at 55km above the surface, you have temperatures around 27c (80f), and atmospheric pressure of a bit over half that of Earth (0.53 atm or so). Go a bit lower in the atmosphere if you want a higher pressure, go a bit higher if you want it cooler.

    What's more, since it's largely carbon dioxide, and denser than Earth's atmosphere, a standard oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere is a lifting gas on Venus, it's buoyant, with over half the lifting power that helium has on Earth. You could fill a large habitat up with Earth's partial pressure of oxygen, and fill the rest with nitrogen, and it could float. Maybe have additional balloons of hydrogen for extra lift, and your colony could just float along in Venus's upper atmosphere.

    Getting heavier raw materials might be a bit of a problem, but there's plenty of carbon dioxide and nitrogen around, and even some water vapor and other various things at lower concentrations. You could set it up as an outpost for missions to fly down to the surface and return, if you have machines that can operate across that range of temperature and pressure. (Not that it would be particularly efficient in terms of mining materials and getting it back to Earth though)

    Geoffrey Landis wrote a fantastic short story predicated on this: The Sultan of the Clouds.

    Read it; it's brilliant.

  • CaptainNemoCaptainNemo Ascension. Ascension. Hallelujah. Registered User regular
    Dammit James Cameron, you will not be declared God-Emperor of Humanity. Mayhap Administrator of Earth.

    Raoul Duke wrote:
    There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

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    Check it out.
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    The great thing about this is that it also has a massive side-benefit from the perspective that anything worth mining, is also big enough to be worth worrying about from the perspective of life-ending planetary asteroid strikes.

    EDIT: And the technology you need to move asteroids to useful orbits works equally well in diverting them from catastrophic ones.

    electricitylikesme on
  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    Enig wrote: »
    I might be speaking for myself, but I would say stagnation is against our nature. It could happen but we will tend to resist it. We are just too curious to be satisfied with simply managing here on Earth. Eventually we have to ask, what is the point in being if we don't keep pushing the boundaries?

    Are we really managing that well here on Earth when 884 million people lack access to clean water? I'm reminded of the pictures for sad children quote, transposed slightly: "space travel is the nerd way of saying 'in the future, being rich and white will be even more awesome.'"

    I'm not saying that mining asteroids could not possibly be worth doing for straightforward economic reasons: I'm not an engineer or a physicist; I'm not even an economist, so I really have no idea how cheap rare earth metals would impact the lives of ordinary people. So maybe this will all be totally great--although I already worry about a private billionaires club asserting ownership over vast tracts of natural resources. Space and the asteroids in it belong to all of us in common, not to any one person; imagine if the person who invented the pick-axe had been given the rights to all the world's mineral wealth.

    What gets me is the people who talk about humanity's need to dream big, or some variation on that theme. Many people dream of eating and drinking safe food and water, learning to read, and receiving medication for life-threatening illnesses. Why are those dreams less majestic than the dream of walking on a far-off planet--why are we 'stagnating' unless we get off Earth, even if in the meantime we are creating a just social order? If we are to laud our billionaire philanthropists on the basis of their big dreams, why do we not, instead of James Cameron, laud Bill and Melinda Gates for dreaming of an end to malaria?

    I am reminded of the Pharaohs. They dreamt of building monuments so big they would literally impress heaven. It never occurred to them to think: what about the slaves?

    Of course, this is the space thread, so some space enthusiasm is to be expected. Maybe in the curing malaria thread we can get excited about that. What bothers me is not thinking that this is cool, which it is, but rather the implicit endorsement of a picture wherein it is to be prioritized over other human objectives which are less cool but more responsive to concerns of social justice.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    Enig wrote: »
    I might be speaking for myself, but I would say stagnation is against our nature. It could happen but we will tend to resist it. We are just too curious to be satisfied with simply managing here on Earth. Eventually we have to ask, what is the point in being if we don't keep pushing the boundaries?

    Are we really managing that well here on Earth when 884 million people lack access to clean water? I'm reminded of the pictures for sad children quote, transposed slightly: "space travel is the nerd way of saying 'in the future, being rich and white will be even more awesome.'"

    I'm not saying that mining asteroids could not possibly be worth doing for straightforward economic reasons: I'm not an engineer or a physicist; I'm not even an economist, so I really have no idea how cheap rare earth metals would impact the lives of ordinary people. So maybe this will all be totally great--although I already worry about a private billionaires club asserting ownership over vast tracts of natural resources. Space and the asteroids in it belong to all of us in common, not to any one person; imagine if the person who invented the pick-axe had been given the rights to all the world's mineral wealth.

    What gets me is the people who talk about humanity's need to dream big, or some variation on that theme. Many people dream of eating and drinking safe food and water, learning to read, and receiving medication for life-threatening illnesses. Why are those dreams less majestic than the dream of walking on a far-off planet--why are we 'stagnating' unless we get off Earth, even if in the meantime we are creating a just social order? If we are to laud our billionaire philanthropists on the basis of their big dreams, why do we not, instead of James Cameron, laud Bill and Melinda Gates for dreaming of an end to malaria?

    I am reminded of the Pharaohs. They dreamt of building monuments so big they would literally impress heaven. It never occurred to them to think: what about the slaves?

    Of course, this is the space thread, so some space enthusiasm is to be expected. Maybe in the curing malaria thread we can get excited about that. What bothers me is not thinking that this is cool, which it is, but rather the implicit endorsement of a picture wherein it is to be prioritized over other human objectives which are less cool but more responsive to concerns of social justice.

    YAWN

    I think you'll find most people want to increase standard of living across the board when it comes to space tech. Space travel has real world benefits, including creation of technology that can help store and distribute food and water. Not to mention that access to more materials would decrease cost and make technology more widely available.

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  • AntimatterAntimatter if you want to talk to me look elsewhere.Registered User regular
    Can't we go into space and perform social reform? I don't see why we can't do both besides selfishness.

  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    The great thing about this is that it also has a massive side-benefit from the perspective that anything worth mining, is also big enough to be worth worrying about from the perspective of life-ending planetary asteroid strikes.

    EDIT: And the technology you need to move asteroids to useful orbits works equally well in diverting them from catastrophic ones.

    Hah. I'm imagining a situation in the future where a giant asteroid is spotted on a direct collision course with the Earth.

    Instead of mass panic, Planetary Resources Inc. stock goes up.

  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    YAWN

    I think you'll find most people want to increase standard of living across the board when it comes to space tech. Space travel has real world benefits, including creation of technology that can help store and distribute food and water. Not to mention that access to more materials would decrease cost and make technology more widely available.

    It's almost like you didn't read the part of my post where I said that space might make sense for economic reasons, but that I object to the 'grand sweep of destiny' argument.

    But I love you too.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    MrMister wrote: »
    YAWN

    I think you'll find most people want to increase standard of living across the board when it comes to space tech. Space travel has real world benefits, including creation of technology that can help store and distribute food and water. Not to mention that access to more materials would decrease cost and make technology more widely available.

    It's almost like you didn't read the part of my post where I said that space might make sense for economic reasons, but that I object to the 'grand sweep of destiny' argument.

    But I love you too.

    <3

    No offense was intended, good sir, and the Grand Sweep of Destiny argument isn't as good at winning votes as the "make some fucking money" or "piss off the chinese" arguments would, but I take exception to your hand wringing over worrying about the third world over space as it smacks of "Those guys are wasting money up there when we've got problems down here!" which is a specious argument at best.

    AManFromEarth on
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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    @MrMister

    The problem is everything you say sounds good in the vacuum of consequence, but in the real world there are very good reasons those problems are not "oh we just need to get water to them".

    We have tons of water, tons of ways to clean it, and yes - even tons of people who'd happily go and help setup and run such things.

    That is not the problem which keeps those people from having it though.

  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    No offense was intended, good sir, and the Grand Sweep of Destiny argument isn't as good at winning votes as the "make some fucking money" or "piss off the chinese" arguments would, but I take exception to your hand wringing over worrying about the third world over space as it smacks of "Those guys are wasting money up there when we've got problems down here!" which is a specious argument at best.

    I don't think it's specious in principle, actually--although I won't get into it here, since it's largely speculative and hinges on a bunch of details I doubt any of us know (what's the expected return on a dollar spent on malaria nets versus a dollar spent on asteroid mining? The answer is complicated).

    I think this also counts as a response @electricitylikesme . It's true that there are complicated social issues surrounding meeting the basic needs of marginalized populations, and these issues make it more complicated than 'I bought a bottle of water for thirsty person.' But that is not to say that it is somehow impossible to address these issues. It just might be more expensive and less straightforward than we naively thought. Aid agencies are engaged in this sort of strategizing all the time.

    I do suspect that the calculations, if you actually carried them out, would tell you that malaria nets are a better return on investment. But I'm not prepared to argue for that here. I certainly don't pretend to know very much about how one would go about mining an asteroid.

    What bothers me is the idea that what constitutes great human achievement, or the glory of man, or whatnot, is 'conquering' space. Conquering poverty is a greater achievement, in my book. I am not in general prone to endorsing language like that of glory, imagination, destiny, dreams, and so on, but if I were, it would be satisfying human needs that fit the bill, not putting someone on a blasted rock a million miles away.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I reject your basic implication that we must choose to do one or the other. Indeed history shows we can pursue both at the same time. You'd be hard pressed to find a piece of technology that we take for granted that doesn't owe something to the space program. It isn't as simple as "whats a better return on investment: malaria nets or asteroid mining?"

    Looking at space exploration in a big picture sense, the ability to manipulate environments in space could have huge impacts in the developing world, particularly regarding complications coming from climate change.

    But again, we don't have to pick one over the other, there's plenty of time, money, and people to do both of these things and more.


    And a mosquito net isn't going to stop an asteroid impact if you want to get into the philosophics of it all. Needs of the many and all that.

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    I reject your basic implication that we must choose to do one or the other. Indeed history shows we can pursue both at the same time. You'd be hard pressed to find a piece of technology that we take for granted that doesn't owe something to the space program. It isn't as simple as "whats a better return on investment: malaria nets or asteroid mining?"

    Looking at space exploration in a big picture sense, the ability to manipulate environments in space could have huge impacts in the developing world, particularly regarding complications coming from climate change.

    But again, we don't have to pick one over the other, there's plenty of time, money, and people to do both of these things and more.

    And a mosquito net isn't going to stop an asteroid impact if you want to get into the philosophics of it all. Needs of the many and all that.

    I would however also argue that there's a difference in approach: namely, aid efforts have historically - on the whole - failed - when targeting a single issue, or exacerbated other ones. At the end of the day, one does not necessarily wind up with a new technology, or a more productive populace or a higher standard of living - you can in fact wind up making the problems worse, and then making your original problem much worse.

    The problems of the 3rd world are just not amenable to the type of focused-investment which many technical projects are, but they are generally amenable to being improved by the technological trickle-down. The consumerist computer age has done wonders for the availability of computers to everyone, and cellphones have had arguably a larger impact on the third world then the first.

    People don't generally argue we should go to space "just because" it's awesome, we expect technological returns on such a project. Up until OLPC though, I'm not sure of an aid project which has yielded similar - and OLPC is popularly derided as "why are we giving them computers when they need food?"

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I reject your basic implication that we must choose to do one or the other. Indeed history shows we can pursue both at the same time. You'd be hard pressed to find a piece of technology that we take for granted that doesn't owe something to the space program. It isn't as simple as "whats a better return on investment: malaria nets or asteroid mining?"

    Looking at space exploration in a big picture sense, the ability to manipulate environments in space could have huge impacts in the developing world, particularly regarding complications coming from climate change.

    But again, we don't have to pick one over the other, there's plenty of time, money, and people to do both of these things and more.

    And a mosquito net isn't going to stop an asteroid impact if you want to get into the philosophics of it all. Needs of the many and all that.

    I would however also argue that there's a difference in approach: namely, aid efforts have historically - on the whole - failed - when targeting a single issue, or exacerbated other ones. At the end of the day, one does not necessarily wind up with a new technology, or a more productive populace or a higher standard of living - you can in fact wind up making the problems worse, and then making your original problem much worse.

    The problems of the 3rd world are just not amenable to the type of focused-investment which many technical projects are, but they are generally amenable to being improved by the technological trickle-down. The consumerist computer age has done wonders for the availability of computers to everyone, and cellphones have had arguably a larger impact on the third world then the first.

    People don't generally argue we should go to space "just because" it's awesome, we expect technological returns on such a project. Up until OLPC though, I'm not sure of an aid project which has yielded similar - and OLPC is popularly derided as "why are we giving them computers when they need food?"

    Indeed. It's really hard for the outside world to give real aid in these places (that's of course not to say that we shouldn't try).

    My roommate is doing his PhD on the failure of western aid in Africa so when he gets drunk and talky I get to learn a lot. Benefits of international student housing.

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  • valhalla130valhalla130 Od's blood Sailing a longshipRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

    When exactly did Khan see all that? He was a conqueror on earth, then put in a sleeper ship and jettisoned into space to get rid of him. He was found by the Enterprise, then marooned on a planet. When exactly did he get to see all that stuff he says he saw?

    EDIT: Also, does anyone see the inevitable "industrial accident" being an asteroid hurtling to earth out of control?

    valhalla130 on
  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    I don't think they plan on bringing an asteroid to Earth (yet) just mine them where they are.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

    When exactly did Khan see all that? He was a conqueror on earth, then put in a sleeper ship and jettisoned into space to get rid of him. He was found by the Enterprise, then marooned on a planet. When exactly did he get to see all that stuff he says he saw?

    EDIT: Also, does anyone see the inevitable "industrial accident" being an asteroid hurtling to earth out of control?

    Outside of deliberate sabotage I'm not sure that would happen. I mean, once its in a stable orbit it wouldn't take much to keep it there. And you could put it far enough out that it isn't really a danger anyway I imagine.

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  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    If you are really worried about more things being in Earth Orbit, you could make it orbit the moon as well. Or orbit one of the Lagrange points. It isn't a(s) big deal (as it may seem).

    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

    When exactly did Khan see all that?

    Are you being serious? :P

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  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

    When exactly did Khan see all that? He was a conqueror on earth, then put in a sleeper ship and jettisoned into space to get rid of him. He was found by the Enterprise, then marooned on a planet. When exactly did he get to see all that stuff he says he saw?

    Uh, Khan didn't see that stuff. It was Roy Batty in Blade Runner.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

    When exactly did Khan see all that? He was a conqueror on earth, then put in a sleeper ship and jettisoned into space to get rid of him. He was found by the Enterprise, then marooned on a planet. When exactly did he get to see all that stuff he says he saw?

    EDIT: Also, does anyone see the inevitable "industrial accident" being an asteroid hurtling to earth out of control?

    I'm probably like hugely late on this, but that quote is from Blade Runner and is spoken by Roy Batty. It's a very powerful moment.

    Also, I think the plan is to move asteroids into orbit around the moon, so the worst it would do is possibly shift the moon's orbit very very slightly?

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    FFXIV - Ruby Heliconia
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    chrisnl wrote: »
    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

    When exactly did Khan see all that? He was a conqueror on earth, then put in a sleeper ship and jettisoned into space to get rid of him. He was found by the Enterprise, then marooned on a planet. When exactly did he get to see all that stuff he says he saw?

    EDIT: Also, does anyone see the inevitable "industrial accident" being an asteroid hurtling to earth out of control?

    I'm probably like hugely late on this, but that quote is from Blade Runner and is spoken by Roy Batty. It's a very powerful moment.

    Also, I think the plan is to move asteroids into orbit around the moon, so the worst it would do is possibly shift the moon's orbit very very slightly?

    Nah the orbit of the moon wouldn't change in a meaningful way.

    Actually moving asteroids isn't on the table yet, because nobody is sure of how to do it. They need to spot and visit potential targets first. Then land on them, take samples and what not. You can set up a mining operating without changing the orbit of the rock. Some ideas for moving asteroids include attaching a solar sail or using the craft to gradually nudge the asteroid away. The effectiveness of these methods depends on the composition of the asteroids, and if, for example, the asteroid is a solid body or is more of a loose pile of gravel. We wont really know until more of these rocks are visited and analyzed by spacecraft.

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  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    Space and the asteroids in it belong to all of us in common, not to any one person
    Well, we don't operate on that principle here on earth, it seems silly to think will operate by it in space. The only reason we have treaties like that is because few people thought it would ever happen in a reasonable period of time and they used it for diplomatic PR.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Couscous wrote: »
    Futile treatment is needless.

    Assuming you find a planet teeming with life, you would have to create a generation ship and somehow make sure they all don't painfully die of diseases when they get there. I'm not really sure how you could solve that second issue.
    Couscous wrote: »
    Not sure how you are supposed to deal with the lack of a magnetic field on Mars.
    Well if you can't think of a way to do it, I guess its impossible. And we should all now roll over and die because whats the use when we're all inevitably going to die.

    /emo /fatalistic faux intellectualism

    PantsB on
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    Spoiler:
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Elitistb wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Space and the asteroids in it belong to all of us in common, not to any one person
    Well, we don't operate on that principle here on earth, it seems silly to think will operate by it in space. The only reason we have treaties like that is because few people thought it would ever happen in a reasonable period of time and they used it for diplomatic PR.

    Also, "Here's your pound of communal space gold, we're just charging a shipping and extraction fee for it precisely equal to the cost of one pound of gold"

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • Brian888Brian888 Registered User
    Elitistb wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Space and the asteroids in it belong to all of us in common, not to any one person
    Well, we don't operate on that principle here on earth, it seems silly to think will operate by it in space. The only reason we have treaties like that is because few people thought it would ever happen in a reasonable period of time and they used it for diplomatic PR.

    A friend of mine took a course in space law (yes, a few law schools offer such a thing). Property law in space is understandably primitive, but apparently it's modeled after maritime law. IIRC, that means that the first person to claim an asteroid in "international" space, as it were, has dibs on the asteroid.

  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    Futile treatment is needless.

    Assuming you find a planet teeming with life, you would have to create a generation ship and somehow make sure they all don't painfully die of diseases when they get there. I'm not really sure how you could solve that second issue.
    Couscous wrote: »
    Not sure how you are supposed to deal with the lack of a magnetic field on Mars.
    Well if you can't think of a way to do it, I guess its impossible. And we should all now roll over and die because whats the use when we're all inevitably going to die.

    /emo /fatalistic faux intellectualism

    http://www.despair.com/sacrifice.html

    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
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