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

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Posts

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Synthesis wrote: »
    evilbob wrote: »
    Well it was a military space station.

    De facto, they were all military space stations. NASA wasn't filled with Air Force personnel because I Dream of Genie was such a great show.

    If I had to guess, I'd say "Because everyone came from the Air Force when NASA was founded."

    Lies. That was exactly why they did it. I dare you to prove me wrong.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Synthesis wrote: »
    evilbob wrote: »
    Well it was a military space station.

    De facto, they were all military space stations. NASA wasn't filled with Air Force personnel because I Dream of Genie was such a great show.

    If I had to guess, I'd say "Because everyone came from the Air Force when NASA was founded."

    Lies. That was exactly why they did it. I dare you to prove me wrong.

    If you want to tow the party line, you go right ahead, comrade. I'll just dutifully shake my head over here.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose Registered User regular
    Are you seriously going for the NASA is a military organisation conspiracy here?

    ...because dragons are AWESOME! That's why.
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Are you seriously going for the NASA is a military organisation conspiracy here?

    ....that like pretty much every space agency on the face of the Earth, NASA has been enormously shaped by the military air forces who were charged with aerospace development after the second World War? And it was particularly evident in the 1960s and and early 1970s, the height of competition between the US and USSR?

    Because if so....yes? I guess that's the conspiracy theory?

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    It really depends on what you're trying to do. If you just want to move the asteroid around then UV-band lasers would probably be fine. You'd actually want a wide dispersion angle to spread the momentum transfer across the occlusive cross-section of the object and ensure the maximum radiated-to-kinetic energy transfer. Having a tight focus on the target would increase the likelihood of ionization/excitation in the material and you'd lose a lot of energy to phonon generation. If you wanted to actually chop up the rock into bits, x-ray laser might be a good way to do it. Or something like an industrial-scale version of the gamma knife they use for cancer treatment (those things are fucking awesome, by the way, if you've never been in the room with one... you go in through this 3 foot thick metal door like something out of a sci-fi movie and there's this giant rotating machine that projects a green laser grid across the room for targeting). But I bet you could build a robot that would spin up a laser-sail out of pure gold mined straight from the asteroid. Gold's a pretty good reflector and is fairly strong even when made as an extremely thin film. Strong enough to handle a few MW of momentum transfer from a laser and not just go to shit if it gets a few micropunctures by floating space dust creating during mining operations, anyway.

    Well my thinking was you'd trigger evaporation of the surface, which would then give you a much better specific impulse from the laser.
    Yeah, the goal would be to make the surface ablate or at least discharge any frozen volatiles on the side you're illuminating--not to push the asteroid around with photon momentum.

    You could get better specific impulse for fine steering with surface vaporization, but you wouldn't get any more oomph out of it than just pushing it with photons.
    Yes, you absolutely would--thrust is a function of momentum change. By vaporising bits of asteroid and propelling them (as vapor or plasma) into space you will dramatically increase the total force applied. Effectively you're increasing your reaction mass, which (for a fixed energy input) will significantly increase thrust.

    Hmm. I guess it depends on how fast you wanted to move the asteroid. The thrust gain from mass ejection is due to the fact that the mass you're ejecting is no longer part of the body being accelerated, meanwhile you're storing up a lot of energy that would either be gained as momentum in a full-reflection scenario in heat stored by the metals not actually vaporized. I can think of scenarios where either could be considered more energy efficient, and I feel like the general category of scenarios that favor mass ejection are going to be economically unfavorable. Unless the asteroid has a lot of material that you just don't economically care about, it seems like you'd be better off pushing it more slowly in one piece than ejecting parts of it to get it to the mining orbit.
    No, you've still got it wrong--I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the physics involved. In fact, I'm certain you do--you mentioned better specific impulse, but less "oomph" (which I take as meaning "thrust"). That's not correct (assuming you're measuring fuel consumption in terms of whatever is powering the laser--which is the only way SI is a meaningful metric here in the first place). You seem to be under the impression that, because energy is conserved, the total thrust imparted to the asteroid is going to be constant in some way. This isn't correct, and you can see this by examining any number of more familiar propulsion systems. Take a jet engine vs. a rocket engine--a jet engine is fantastically more efficient, and it becomes still more efficient as more bypass flow is added (this is one of the main reasons we use high-bypass turbofans on anything that doesn't need to go very, very fast). For a finite power supplied, the total thrust scales with reaction mass. You can see this in the equations for kinetic energy and momentum--momentum scales linearly with velocity and mass, while kinetic energy scales linearly with mass and quadratically with velocity. Thrust is a change in momentum, so for a given quantity of energy you will get the best thrust by using the largest possible reaction mass. "Slowly" ejecting some plasma from the surface produces a lot more thrust than does very quickly ejecting a photon, and the effect is not dependent on the decrease in mass in the asteroid that you're trying to move--that is, we're not "shaving it down" and thereby moving it faster over time. (The acceleration of the asteroid will of course depend on its mass--but the thrust is independent of that, and we can consider only a setup that uses a negligible portion of the asteroid, or an arbitrarily large asteroid, if that will help make things clear).

    Another way to think of it is in terms of kinetic energy--discarding for the moment losses to heat, etc. you want the exhaust (be it photons or heated volatiles on the surface) to carry off as little kinetic energy as possible, because you want the asteroid itself to carry off as much as possible. This requires the lowest possible exhaust velocity, and since energy is conserved we therefore want the highest possible exhaust mass. In the example of a photon sail, the photons carry off almost all the energy they started with.

    So, what you'd really want is to use some of the asteroid as reaction mass, with energy provided to accelerate it either via ambient solar, a nuclear reactor, or a laser, if you were going to use one of those approaches to start with.

    I'm not misunderstanding, we're just having a difference of perspective, I think. I understand why vaporizing parts of the asteroid will push it faster, I'm just saying that there are only a subclass of scenarios where pushing it faster is worth the expense. In the laser case the reaction mass is paid for at the laser end of the system, whereas in the vaporized asteroid case you're burning up mass to fuel the laser and ejecting reaction mass from the asteroid. There's a tradeoff here between final asteroid momentum, laser energy consumption, and asteroid mass loss, and I don't disagree that if your goals are in the right place the vaporization-based acceleration method is the better...but I don't see why you'd want to do it in the general mining case. If you're not in a hurry you can get the asteroid where it's going using only solar energy collected laser-side, without having to haul an engine out to the asteroid and without losing any of the asteroid as reaction mass.

    When I said 'specific impulse' I actually meant 'specifically-directed impulse', rather than the general rocketry term (sorry, I'm not a rocket guy). You could more-easily engineer a system that performs fine course adjustments by ejecting plasma/vapor from the surface at small points, since a wide-angle laser pushing system is going to have a fairly limited degree of angular variability in the imparted momentum.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    Weren't a large portion of the early astronauts naval aviators? Regardless, I'm pretty sure all the early ones at least were military pilots. After all, you needed people who could deal with g-forces and stuff like that.

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    FFXIV - Ruby Heliconia
  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Isn't that just space-based nuclear weapons?
    I remember that a more general weapons ban never got ratified because of the practicalities of deciding whether your multi-terawatt x-ray laser with 0.0001 arc second accuracy is a propulsion system or an interplanetary terror weapon.

    Truly, any propulsion system powerful enough to be interesting is powerful enough to be a weapon.

    Conventional weapons are allowed, which I did not know.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_Space_Treaty

    I knew there would be weapons of some sort up there, but them being expressly allowed makes me wonder just how many are in orbit as we speak.

    Some Soviet stations had conventional cannons built into them.

    I don't understand what this means, given the context. A "conventional cannon" in my mind is like an artillery piece. Which, for one thing, requires oxygen to fire. More details are needed!

    It was a small cannon that was essentially there in case someone tried to take out their station by slamming a satellite in to it. Firing the cannon is not that different from firing rockets and probably used liquid oxygen.
    The cannon wasn't fired with people on board because no one knew just how dangerous the recoil would be so they test fired it once the cosmonauts left, it shook the shit out of it but managed to stay in one piece.

    DanHibiki on
    sig_zpsf0994cbd.jpg
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Is being an experimental aircraft test pilot too boring? Barely enough excitement to make you want to get out of bed in the morning? Well come join NASA, where you'll get to be a test pilot for experimental SPACE craft. Bigger, Faster, More Fierier Explosions, More Phallic Shaped.



  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Are you seriously going for the NASA is a military organisation conspiracy here?

    lol, this is a conspiracy? Yes, national space programs go hand in hand with the military. I thought everyone knew this.

    ragesig.jpg

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    evilbob wrote: »
    Well it was a military space station.

    De facto, they were all military space stations. NASA wasn't filled with Air Force personnel because I Dream of Genie was such a great show.

    If I had to guess, I'd say "Because everyone came from the Air Force when NASA was founded."

    Lies. That was exactly why they did it. I dare you to prove me wrong.

    If you want to tow the party line, you go right ahead, comrade. I'll just dutifully shake my head over here.

    Deny it all you want, but we know the truth behind the truth. All space travel is done by a magic genie.

  • Beef AvengerBeef Avenger Registered User regular
    More Phallic Shaped.



    where do i sign

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    News story in twenty years:

    "Reports today confirmed what we have all been talking about for the last two weeks. Asteroid X-34, the first to be implemented in the operations of space mining, has had its orbit dangerously destabilized and will be heading toward what scientists are predicting will be somewhere either in the Euro-zone or Asia. It will break up upon somewhat entering the atmosphere, but not enough to mitigate the immense damage expected from the Texas-sized..."

    or:

    "Reports today confirmed what we have all been talking about for the last two weeks. Asteroid X-34, the first to be implemented in the operations of space mining, was indeed carrying Alien life: in the form of a retro virus which is quickly spreading throughout the population. If any of you remember a novel by Michael Crichton..."

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    You speak ironically, but if this succeeds, the technology from this could lead to being able to protect us from rogue asteroids or comets that may impact Earth.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    You speak ironically, but if this succeeds, the technology from this could lead to being able to protect us from rogue asteroids or comets that may impact Earth.

    Pretty much this. If we were in the business of moving asteroids routinely, then we'd have the technology and techniques to deal with rogue bodies headed our way. Not to mention the mining people are proposing mass producible surveyor telescopes for the Earth - so the entire industry itself by virtue of it's operation would give us planetary defense.

    Which is fucking amazing. Living in a world where we've actually mitigated hammer blows from the heaven's as a possible extinction events would be incredible. And you know, where we have shit tons of platinum for bling.

  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    Imagine what cheap platinum would do for fuel cell costs and economic viability.

    steam_sig.png
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Cheap gold too for electronics. Not to mention the ability to make steel and other structural materials in orbit

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    News story in twenty years:

    "Reports today confirmed what we have all been talking about for the last two weeks. Asteroid X-34, the first to be implemented in the operations of space mining, has had its orbit dangerously destabilized and will be heading toward what scientists are predicting will be somewhere either in the Euro-zone or Asia. It will break up upon somewhat entering the atmosphere, but not enough to mitigate the immense damage expected from the Texas-sized..."

    or:

    "Reports today confirmed what we have all been talking about for the last two weeks. Asteroid X-34, the first to be implemented in the operations of space mining, was indeed carrying Alien life: in the form of a retro virus which is quickly spreading throughout the population. If any of you remember a novel by Michael Crichton..."

    Alternately, "Due to mining efforts, the asteroid body formerly named "Apophis" which would have entered Earth's atmosphere on Friday, April 13th, 2037, has instead been converted into steel, platinum, and gold which is being used to craft our first moon colony."

    Taramoor on
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Wasn't that more his observation? If we were getting raw materials in orbit, then presumably some types of goods might end up being cost-effective to manufacture in orbit and then drop down to Earth as finished materials.

    Presumably asteroid rock could be sintered into suitable refractory's for the task of re-entry as well.

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Well, the idea is to use available resources already in space to construct. An iron rich asteroid could make certain iron/steel products in space. I imagine it would take a while. You'd have to do a shit load of robot space work. Mine the ore, smelt and refine it, then have it manufactured into a manufacturing plant. Probably decades of work.

    But imagine making a robot that you can launch into space that can take raw materials from a hunk of space rock and construct a factory and power plant to make useful items for either Earth or further space exploitation.

  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Wasn't that more his observation? If we were getting raw materials in orbit, then presumably some types of goods might end up being cost-effective to manufacture in orbit and then drop down to Earth as finished materials.

    Presumably asteroid rock could be sintered into suitable refractory's for the task of re-entry as well.

    Well, it depends; shipping raw materials down you don't care what form they're in when they get there, so you can do things like a metallic foam; if you're shipping finished goods like precision ball bearings then they need transport down in some sort of protected environment which costs more

    Phyphor on
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Wasn't that more his observation? If we were getting raw materials in orbit, then presumably some types of goods might end up being cost-effective to manufacture in orbit and then drop down to Earth as finished materials.

    Presumably asteroid rock could be sintered into suitable refractory's for the task of re-entry as well.

    Well, it depends; shipping raw materials down you don't care what form they're in when they get there, so you can do things like a metallic foam; if you're shipping finished goods like precision ball bearings then they need transport down in some sort of protected environment which costs more

    Just drop em from space! Sure you might take out a few blocks of buildings if you miss, but SCIENCE! :P

  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I'm all for SCIENCE! but that would damage them! Counterproductive!

    Phyphor on
  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Wasn't that more his observation? If we were getting raw materials in orbit, then presumably some types of goods might end up being cost-effective to manufacture in orbit and then drop down to Earth as finished materials.

    Presumably asteroid rock could be sintered into suitable refractory's for the task of re-entry as well.

    Well, it depends; shipping raw materials down you don't care what form they're in when they get there, so you can do things like a metallic foam; if you're shipping finished goods like precision ball bearings then they need transport down in some sort of protected environment which costs more

    Just drop em from space! Sure you might take out a few blocks of buildings if you miss, but SCIENCE! :P

    Of course, once we are able to redirect an asteroid the first thing the military will do is co-opt the technology to protect 'murrica in case China gets uppity.

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Taramoor wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Wasn't that more his observation? If we were getting raw materials in orbit, then presumably some types of goods might end up being cost-effective to manufacture in orbit and then drop down to Earth as finished materials.

    Presumably asteroid rock could be sintered into suitable refractory's for the task of re-entry as well.

    Well, it depends; shipping raw materials down you don't care what form they're in when they get there, so you can do things like a metallic foam; if you're shipping finished goods like precision ball bearings then they need transport down in some sort of protected environment which costs more

    Just drop em from space! Sure you might take out a few blocks of buildings if you miss, but SCIENCE! :P

    Of course, once we are able to redirect an asteroid the first thing the military will do is co-opt the technology to protect 'murrica in case China gets uppity.

    We should coin a phrase when something like that happens.

    "You just got SCIENCED!"

  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    Taramoor wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Wasn't that more his observation? If we were getting raw materials in orbit, then presumably some types of goods might end up being cost-effective to manufacture in orbit and then drop down to Earth as finished materials.

    Presumably asteroid rock could be sintered into suitable refractory's for the task of re-entry as well.

    Well, it depends; shipping raw materials down you don't care what form they're in when they get there, so you can do things like a metallic foam; if you're shipping finished goods like precision ball bearings then they need transport down in some sort of protected environment which costs more

    Just drop em from space! Sure you might take out a few blocks of buildings if you miss, but SCIENCE! :P

    Of course, once we are able to redirect an asteroid the first thing the military will do is co-opt the technology to protect 'murrica in case China gets uppity.

    We should coin a phrase when something like that happens.

    "You just got SCIENCED!"

    let_me_drop_some_science_on_you_mug-p168902892108936203enq35_210.jpg

    You can also get a necktie.

  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Taramoor wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Wasn't that more his observation? If we were getting raw materials in orbit, then presumably some types of goods might end up being cost-effective to manufacture in orbit and then drop down to Earth as finished materials.

    Presumably asteroid rock could be sintered into suitable refractory's for the task of re-entry as well.

    Well, it depends; shipping raw materials down you don't care what form they're in when they get there, so you can do things like a metallic foam; if you're shipping finished goods like precision ball bearings then they need transport down in some sort of protected environment which costs more

    Just drop em from space! Sure you might take out a few blocks of buildings if you miss, but SCIENCE! :P

    Of course, once we are able to redirect an asteroid the first thing the military will do is co-opt the technology to protect 'murrica in case China gets uppity.

    Military already has the power to destroy all life on earth with the press of a button, this is sort of the more expensive version.

    It's actually more realistic to be worried about the bond esque scenario. But everything should be fine unless James Cameron starts building a volcano lair.

    DanHibiki on
    sig_zpsf0994cbd.jpg
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Well, the idea is to use available resources already in space to construct. An iron rich asteroid could make certain iron/steel products in space. I imagine it would take a while. You'd have to do a shit load of robot space work. Mine the ore, smelt and refine it, then have it manufactured into a manufacturing plant. Probably decades of work.

    But imagine making a robot that you can launch into space that can take raw materials from a hunk of space rock and construct a factory and power plant to make useful items for either Earth or further space exploitation.

    At that point we might as well just slap the instructions for artificial wombs, raising children, and a thousand or so human fertilized embryos and shoot them off at every likely-looking star to colonize the galaxy for us.

    sig.png
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    Taramoor wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Wasn't that more his observation? If we were getting raw materials in orbit, then presumably some types of goods might end up being cost-effective to manufacture in orbit and then drop down to Earth as finished materials.

    Presumably asteroid rock could be sintered into suitable refractory's for the task of re-entry as well.

    Well, it depends; shipping raw materials down you don't care what form they're in when they get there, so you can do things like a metallic foam; if you're shipping finished goods like precision ball bearings then they need transport down in some sort of protected environment which costs more

    Just drop em from space! Sure you might take out a few blocks of buildings if you miss, but SCIENCE! :P

    Of course, once we are able to redirect an asteroid the first thing the military will do is co-opt the technology to protect 'murrica in case China gets uppity.

    Military already has the power to destroy all life on earth with the press of a button, this is sort of the more expensive version.

    It's actually more realistic to be worried about the bond esque scenario. But everything should be fine unless James Cameron starts building a volcano lair.

    I believe this exact scenario was addressed in recent XKCD.
    Spoiler:

    (Check the bottom)
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    evilbob wrote: »
    Well it was a military space station.

    De facto, they were all military space stations. NASA wasn't filled with Air Force personnel because I Dream of Genie was such a great show.

    If I had to guess, I'd say "Because everyone came from the Air Force when NASA was founded."

    Lies. That was exactly why they did it. I dare you to prove me wrong.

    If you want to tow the party line, you go right ahead, comrade. I'll just dutifully shake my head over here.

    Deny it all you want, but we know the truth behind the truth. All space travel is done by a magic genie.

    The vans are on the way to your location. Please remain put.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Gandalf_the_CrazedGandalf_the_Crazed Vigilo ConfidoRegistered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Well, the idea is to use available resources already in space to construct. An iron rich asteroid could make certain iron/steel products in space. I imagine it would take a while. You'd have to do a shit load of robot space work. Mine the ore, smelt and refine it, then have it manufactured into a manufacturing plant. Probably decades of work.

    But imagine making a robot that you can launch into space that can take raw materials from a hunk of space rock and construct a factory and power plant to make useful items for either Earth or further space exploitation.

    At that point we might as well just slap the instructions for artificial wombs, raising children, and a thousand or so human fertilized embryos and shoot them off at every likely-looking star to colonize the galaxy for us.

    This...actually sounds like a great idea.

    ...for a book.

    PEUsig_zps56da03ec.jpg
  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Well, the idea is to use available resources already in space to construct. An iron rich asteroid could make certain iron/steel products in space. I imagine it would take a while. You'd have to do a shit load of robot space work. Mine the ore, smelt and refine it, then have it manufactured into a manufacturing plant. Probably decades of work.

    But imagine making a robot that you can launch into space that can take raw materials from a hunk of space rock and construct a factory and power plant to make useful items for either Earth or further space exploitation.

    At that point we might as well just slap the instructions for artificial wombs, raising children, and a thousand or so human fertilized embryos and shoot them off at every likely-looking star to colonize the galaxy for us.

    For science!

  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Well, the idea is to use available resources already in space to construct. An iron rich asteroid could make certain iron/steel products in space. I imagine it would take a while. You'd have to do a shit load of robot space work. Mine the ore, smelt and refine it, then have it manufactured into a manufacturing plant. Probably decades of work.

    But imagine making a robot that you can launch into space that can take raw materials from a hunk of space rock and construct a factory and power plant to make useful items for either Earth or further space exploitation.

    At that point we might as well just slap the instructions for artificial wombs, raising children, and a thousand or so human fertilized embryos and shoot them off at every likely-looking star to colonize the galaxy for us.

    This...actually sounds like a great idea.

    ...for a book.

    Until there is a reactor malfunction and you end up with the people splintering into factions and each hijacking a colony pod and ending up an extremist societies of naked flower frolicers and hyper capitalists and rambo survivalists all vying for control of the world.

    Buttcleft on
    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Well, the idea is to use available resources already in space to construct. An iron rich asteroid could make certain iron/steel products in space. I imagine it would take a while. You'd have to do a shit load of robot space work. Mine the ore, smelt and refine it, then have it manufactured into a manufacturing plant. Probably decades of work.

    But imagine making a robot that you can launch into space that can take raw materials from a hunk of space rock and construct a factory and power plant to make useful items for either Earth or further space exploitation.

    At that point we might as well just slap the instructions for artificial wombs, raising children, and a thousand or so human fertilized embryos and shoot them off at every likely-looking star to colonize the galaxy for us.

    This...actually sounds like a great idea.

    ...for a book.

    Until there is a reactor malfunction and you end up with the people splintering into factions and each hijacking a colony pod and ending up an extremist societies of naked flower frolicers and hyper capitalists and rambo survivalists all vying for control of the world.

    Worth it.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Well, the idea is to use available resources already in space to construct. An iron rich asteroid could make certain iron/steel products in space. I imagine it would take a while. You'd have to do a shit load of robot space work. Mine the ore, smelt and refine it, then have it manufactured into a manufacturing plant. Probably decades of work.

    But imagine making a robot that you can launch into space that can take raw materials from a hunk of space rock and construct a factory and power plant to make useful items for either Earth or further space exploitation.

    At that point we might as well just slap the instructions for artificial wombs, raising children, and a thousand or so human fertilized embryos and shoot them off at every likely-looking star to colonize the galaxy for us.

    This...actually sounds like a great idea.

    ...for a book.

    Until there is a reactor malfunction and you end up with the people splintering into factions and each hijacking a colony pod and ending up an extremist societies of naked flower frolicers and hyper capitalists and rambo survivalists all vying for control of the world.

    Worth it.

    Hey, someone's gotta be looked up to by the drones.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Well, the idea is to use available resources already in space to construct. An iron rich asteroid could make certain iron/steel products in space. I imagine it would take a while. You'd have to do a shit load of robot space work. Mine the ore, smelt and refine it, then have it manufactured into a manufacturing plant. Probably decades of work.

    But imagine making a robot that you can launch into space that can take raw materials from a hunk of space rock and construct a factory and power plant to make useful items for either Earth or further space exploitation.

    At that point we might as well just slap the instructions for artificial wombs, raising children, and a thousand or so human fertilized embryos and shoot them off at every likely-looking star to colonize the galaxy for us.

    This...actually sounds like a great idea.

    ...for a book.


    Sounds like a pretty short book.

    'and then the babies were born. and then the babies died'

  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Well, the idea is to use available resources already in space to construct. An iron rich asteroid could make certain iron/steel products in space. I imagine it would take a while. You'd have to do a shit load of robot space work. Mine the ore, smelt and refine it, then have it manufactured into a manufacturing plant. Probably decades of work.

    But imagine making a robot that you can launch into space that can take raw materials from a hunk of space rock and construct a factory and power plant to make useful items for either Earth or further space exploitation.

    At that point we might as well just slap the instructions for artificial wombs, raising children, and a thousand or so human fertilized embryos and shoot them off at every likely-looking star to colonize the galaxy for us.

    This...actually sounds like a great idea.

    ...for a book.


    Sounds like a pretty short book.

    'and then the babies were born. and then the babies died'

    Sounds more like Species, only set on an alien planet and then the weird half-normal/half-Human creature tries to have spacedemon babies.

  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Phyphor wrote: »
    I wonder how construction of such things would go in space. Like, would it be cheaper/better to make certain things in space. Like ball bearings. Or other materials that are better made in a vacuum or away from a high gravity well.

    Certain things yeah, any moulding/casting would go better because of the lack of atmosphere. Ball bearings are interesting because a zero-g liquid would naturally form a sphere, so you could potentially get better ones if you do it right. In general though, transport costs dominate, you almost never want to manufacture in orbit unless you can get the resources there too

    Well, the idea is to use available resources already in space to construct. An iron rich asteroid could make certain iron/steel products in space. I imagine it would take a while. You'd have to do a shit load of robot space work. Mine the ore, smelt and refine it, then have it manufactured into a manufacturing plant. Probably decades of work.

    But imagine making a robot that you can launch into space that can take raw materials from a hunk of space rock and construct a factory and power plant to make useful items for either Earth or further space exploitation.

    At that point we might as well just slap the instructions for artificial wombs, raising children, and a thousand or so human fertilized embryos and shoot them off at every likely-looking star to colonize the galaxy for us.

    This...actually sounds like a great idea.

    ...for a book.


    Sounds like a pretty short book.

    'and then the babies were born. and then the babies died'

    Von Neumann robots are kind of a trope of "hard" sci-fi.

    Anyway, someone in one of the politics threads made me go look up a West Wing clip, which led to my standard 2-hour West Wing clipathon, which led me to this, which I figured I'd drop here:

    sig.png
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