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#1 2003-07-03 11:49:10

prometheusunbound
Member
From: ohio
Registered: 2003-07-02
Posts: 209
Website

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

Hello guys.

  My space industrilization plan is at parksweb


tell me what you think!


"I am the spritual son of Abraham, I fear no man and no man controls my destiny"

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#2 2003-07-03 14:01:53

Free Spirit
Member
Registered: 2003-06-12
Posts: 167

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

Fun site, I'm very much a believer in utilizing the resources of space as much as we can.  I think your argument for mining though could be made more persuasive if you also mentioned that asteroid mining is a way of relieving environmental pressures on Earth and supplying very rare and extremely valuable elements like platinum that we need for fuel cell catalysts if we want to rush in the hydrogen revolution.  I read awhile back about a non-government funded company that was sending a probe to a NEO for the sole purpose of analyzing it for useful materials.  Asteroid mining might not be as far in the future as we think it is.


My people don't call themselves Sioux or Dakota.  We call ourselves Ikce Wicasa, the natural humans, the free, wild, common people.  I am pleased to call myself that.  -Lame Deer

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#3 2003-07-03 19:13:07

prometheusunbound
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From: ohio
Registered: 2003-07-02
Posts: 209
Website

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

Thanks for the suggestion.  I will implement it when I am able to return to school (hs senior, c/o 2004) in august.  smile


"I am the spritual son of Abraham, I fear no man and no man controls my destiny"

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#4 2003-07-16 20:02:09

Ian
Member
Registered: 2002-01-08
Posts: 236

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

If we run out of resources on Earth we can always mine the asteroids.

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#5 2003-07-25 18:05:58

space_psibrain
Member
Registered: 2002-02-15
Posts: 83

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

lets begin to tap the resources of space BEFORE we run out of resources on the earth  ???


"What you don't realize about peace, is that is cannot be achieved by yielding to an enemy. Rather, peace is something that must be fought for, and if it is necessary for a war to be fought to preserve the peace, then I would more than willingly give my life for the cause of peace."

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#6 2003-07-27 19:26:53

prometheusunbound
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From: ohio
Registered: 2003-07-02
Posts: 209
Website

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

spacepsi, I have read some of your other threads.  I would love it if you sent me a link or some information (hard facts) about asteroid mining as I cannot find much information that is objective and first party.


"I am the spritual son of Abraham, I fear no man and no man controls my destiny"

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#7 2003-07-27 20:11:08

Free Spirit
Member
Registered: 2003-06-12
Posts: 167

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

Has anyone heard about project NEAP (Near Earth Asteroid Prospector) probe?  I'd like to know if this thing is still being worked on.


My people don't call themselves Sioux or Dakota.  We call ourselves Ikce Wicasa, the natural humans, the free, wild, common people.  I am pleased to call myself that.  -Lame Deer

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#8 2003-07-28 01:49:01

space_psibrain
Member
Registered: 2002-02-15
Posts: 83

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

off the top of my head...try www.permanent.com for some information

for more detailed info, i'll have to search my database...it going to take a while...i have many many gigabytes of stuff on there...


"What you don't realize about peace, is that is cannot be achieved by yielding to an enemy. Rather, peace is something that must be fought for, and if it is necessary for a war to be fought to preserve the peace, then I would more than willingly give my life for the cause of peace."

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#9 2003-07-28 01:53:44

space_psibrain
Member
Registered: 2002-02-15
Posts: 83

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

i've heard of NEAP, yes, but i'm not sure as to its progress...perhaps inquiring to SpaceDev, the company running the projectr might be useful.  big_smile


"What you don't realize about peace, is that is cannot be achieved by yielding to an enemy. Rather, peace is something that must be fought for, and if it is necessary for a war to be fought to preserve the peace, then I would more than willingly give my life for the cause of peace."

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#10 2003-07-28 03:40:46

Free Spirit
Member
Registered: 2003-06-12
Posts: 167

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

Cool website, here's their NEAP article.  I also went to Spacedev.com but the details they put up are sketchy.  Well at least the project is still posted on their site so maybe NEAP hasn't died a long, torturous death.


My people don't call themselves Sioux or Dakota.  We call ourselves Ikce Wicasa, the natural humans, the free, wild, common people.  I am pleased to call myself that.  -Lame Deer

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#11 2003-07-28 14:33:52

space_psibrain
Member
Registered: 2002-02-15
Posts: 83

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

I suppose we'll know by next year, when they're supposed to launch the thing


"What you don't realize about peace, is that is cannot be achieved by yielding to an enemy. Rather, peace is something that must be fought for, and if it is necessary for a war to be fought to preserve the peace, then I would more than willingly give my life for the cause of peace."

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#12 2003-09-06 12:15:18

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

*The more I think about mining on Mars, the more I become opposed to most plans for it.

By "mining" I mean in an outright exploitative manner, solely for the benefit of profit.  I'd hate to see Mars become pock-marked with huge artificial craters ala mining processes.

A bit of mining for use by colonists will be unavoidable, I suppose.  At this stage in the game (we're not even there yet, obviously) I'm unable to define what "a bit of mining" would entail; the best I can answer the inevitable question my comment raises would be:  Tread lightly on Mars.

The potential for massive mining on Mars will probably swiftly develop into a situation akin to waving a broth-drenched bone in front of a dog's snout. 

I'm also reconsidering the terraforming issue (it's related, isn't it?  How our presence on Mars will inevitably alter it to some degree or another).  I'm not in favor of terraforming the entire planet and turning it into a smaller version of Earth.  Why have oceans on Mars, when chances are (as we discussed in a different thread last year) we probably will be unable to "tweak" things to the point wherein fish and other aquatic life can be self-sustaining (even down to the humblest organisms).

Oh well.  Blah, blah.  Just a few comments from me.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#13 2003-09-07 08:01:14

dicktice
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

Cindy: How about mining existing craters only...? Just kidding. If Mars happens to be covered in permafrost, your phrase "tread lightly" takes on literal meaning.

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#14 2003-09-07 17:39:20

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Turning into a Red, eh, Cindy? big_smile

I think we're going to have mining, definitely. Robert pointed out the Thorium deposits, which could become quite a valuable commodity.

We're going to need to get our materials from somewhere. I think regolith would be our primary source for most things, especially, of course, aluminum and iron. We shouldn't need to actually outright mine, though I guess digging up regolith would qualify as strip-mining.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#15 2003-09-08 22:52:09

space_psibrain
Member
Registered: 2002-02-15
Posts: 83

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

Thorium is also available from the Moon...as for mining...it will be both necessary and profitable to do mining to a limited extent on Mars, as well as setting up an orbital base for exploitation of the asteroid belt


"What you don't realize about peace, is that is cannot be achieved by yielding to an enemy. Rather, peace is something that must be fought for, and if it is necessary for a war to be fought to preserve the peace, then I would more than willingly give my life for the cause of peace."

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#16 2003-09-09 05:04:18

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

In response to Cindy's reservations regarding mining on Mars, I don't think it will be a problem, except perhaps on an aesthetic (almost spiritual) level.
    The surface area of Mars is equal to the land area of Earth, i.e. vast!! There are craters so large, and with high walls, that all the mining sites ever mined on Earth could be hidden within one of them and never noticed by 99.999999% of the new Martian colonists for centuries to come.
    O.K., if one large crater on Mars is desecrated by large scale mining (or even a dozen of them), and even if it's somewhere obscure and seldom visited by anyone, there is still the knowledge that a crater has been 'despoiled' (artificial devastation on top of natural devastation! ). Even though we may never see that crater with our own eyes, and even though almost nobody but the miners ever will, somewhere at the back of our minds I suppose we will know that Mars has a man-made scar.
    It comes down to the old conundrum that if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it fall, does it make a sound? And, whether or not it does, can its fall affect us in any way if we know nothing of its existence except in the most general of terms?

    I put it to you that mining on a planetary rock-pile like Mars will be of no practical environmental consequence to anybody. If we are going to become too precious about something like that, we may as well abandon all pretence of terraforming in any way, shape or form because terraforming will have infinitely more impact on the present appearance of Mars than any conceivable mining program.
                                         ???


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#17 2003-09-09 06:14:50

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

In response to Cindy's reservations regarding mining on Mars, I don't think it will be a problem, except perhaps on an aesthetic (almost spiritual) level.
    The surface area of Mars is equal to the land area of Earth, i.e. vast!! There are craters so large, and with high walls, that all the mining sites ever mined on Earth could be hidden within one of them and never noticed by 99.999999% of the new Martian colonists for centuries to come.
    O.K., if one large crater on Mars is desecrated by large scale mining (or even a dozen of them), and even if it's somewhere obscure and seldom visited by anyone, there is still the knowledge that a crater has been 'despoiled' (artificial devastation on top of natural devastation! ). Even though we may never see that crater with our own eyes, and even though almost nobody but the miners ever will, somewhere at the back of our minds I suppose we will know that Mars has a man-made scar.
    It comes down to the old conundrum that if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it fall, does it make a sound? And, whether or not it does, can its fall affect us in any way if we know nothing of its existence except in the most general of terms?

    I put it to you that mining on a planetary rock-pile like Mars will be of no practical environmental consequence to anybody. If we are going to become too precious about something like that, we may as well abandon all pretence of terraforming in any way, shape or form because terraforming will have infinitely more impact on the present appearance of Mars than any conceivable mining program.
                                         ???

Shaun, I agree with you 100% on this one...  smile

My take on this whole issue that mining and possible terraforming *probably* will not be decided by those of us here on Earth...it will be the Martians that will decide what is done to their planet.  Why should it be otherwise?  If a group of people settle on Mars and they decide to remake their planet into their own image (and paying for it with their own sweat and blood)...what are we here on Earth to tell them what to do?

But we have a *long* ways to go before this becomes something we'll have to "worry" about..lol...

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#18 2003-09-09 06:51:12

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

Shaun:  "There are craters so large, and with high walls, that all the mining sites ever mined on Earth could be hidden within one of them and never noticed by 99.999999% of the new Martian colonists for centuries to come."

*Wow.  Well, that puts it into better perspective.  I read Byron's post too.

I admit to all this being a moral dilemma for me.  Asteroids:  Who cares?  They're space debris.  Mars:  Tread lightly.  Mars' moons:  Tread lightly, use for "refueling" okay...no mining.  Our moon:  Tread lightly (yes, from sentimentality partially).

I hate to divide it all up like this, but I can't see it (the subject of mining) from an absolutely either/or position.  I'm not implying others here do, either. 

I just want mankind to learn to *think* before acting.  Once it's done, it can't be undone.  I believe in progress, but not on a "no holds barred and consequences be damned" basis.  And again, not implying anyone here feels that way about it.

Byron:  "My take on this whole issue that mining and possible terraforming *probably* will not be decided by those of us here on Earth...it will be the Martians that will decide what is done to their planet.  Why should it be otherwise?  If a group of people settle on Mars and they decide to remake their planet into their own image (and paying for it with their own sweat and blood)...what are we here on Earth to tell them what to do?"

*I see your point.  I'm reminded of Great Britain's exploitation of the goods produced by the Colonists, thanks to the resources available in New England, and that being one of the main reasons for the Revolution (GB's benefit, Colonists' detriment).  If any mining does occur on Mars, it should benefit the people living there solely.  I have nightmare images of thousands of robots or whatever being sent to Mars to dig up, exploit, despoil and ravish whatever goods Mars has, the profits of which will wind up in the already weighty pockets of the superwealthy elite here on Earth.  I do not want that to happen.

But of course, I certainly realize what I think about all this doesn't matter in the actual scheme of things.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#19 2003-09-09 12:58:32

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Shaun, it would be impractical for colonizers to mine from one single crater. Everyone is speaking of the frontieer... what was the greatest thing about the frontieer? Practically unlimited, totally exploitable, resources. You could travel, albeit roughly, to the west, fence up some land, and there ya go. On Mars, it would be similar; concievably we'd be able to mine materials anywhere (because obviously we'd need that sort of equipment to colonize effectively). We wouldn't [i:post_uid0]have[/i:post_uid0] to mine from one crater, and no one should expect us to. I totally understand your point, but simply because it could be done doesn't mean that the argument against stripmining is invalid. It's kind of like a rash; you could have chickenpox, which cover your body, or you could have a large rash on your thigh that's highly concentrated, in either case, they cover the same area of your body... only the chickenpox are much more visible.

This point of view is quite utilitarian. Frankly, if Mars is only some place to exploit resourceses endlessly, I don't want to be a part of it. Martian sunsets are potentially vastly more important to me.

Cindy, I was reading this cute humorist story about anti-technologists, and it was pointed out that we could tear down all our buildings and so on and return it back to the earth (there's enough data floating around to know where basically everything came from). But, of course, the point of the article was to suggest how absurd it was. Especially once you consider that the reconsitution in and of itself is an unnatural act.

We could probably mine without it being overly visable, though. Our machines could look like rocks if we wanted them to. Large boulders driving about picking up regolith, leaving zero waste byproducts, merely smoothing the surface and uncovering what once was invisible (still quite the face of Mars).

I too, have the same fear, of robots being owned and controlled by some super elite and ravishing our solar system, though. I think that automata is where humanity is obviously heading, and it would be a disastor if some centralized authority controlled it all. That's assuming they could, of course.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#20 2005-04-05 14:17:03

John_Frazer
Member
From: Boulder, Co. USA
Registered: 2002-05-29
Posts: 75
Website

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

A few things about some points discussed here.

First, for going to the Moon as practice for Mars; as Zubrin pointed out in "the Case for Mars", it's nonsensical. Simply saying that they both have lower gravity doesn't say enough. Mars is more like the Earth than the Moon in that, so we're a lot better off practicing here. Similarly, using the Moon as a "stepping stone" for Mars doesn't make sense either. You'd have to launch more from Earth to get to the Moon than to get to Mars directly. Even if there were pure fuel sitting on the Moon, you'd need more to get there and then boost out to Mars. He shows that the Moon is more of a dead weight on the way to Mars than a stepping stone.

Next, about defacing things by mining;
During the NASA Ames 1970s Summer Studies on Space Settlements and industries, they worked out real hard numbers for mining the Moon and building a space factory and a colony for 10,000 workers. At the end of 20 years, the colony is finished and ready to turn its efforts to constructing things. At that time, the mining "scar" on the Moon is about 3 meters deep, about the size of a football field -not even visible to the best telescopes. During the whole effort, a mining engineer figured that it would barely keep one tele-operated bulldozer occupied.
Another way of looking at space mining is illuminated by a numbers exercise done by Jerry Pournelle to answer the awful question "Why do all that in space when there's so much needed down here?" He said "If we want to help out the poor peoples and developing nations, how about we start by providing them access to raw materials resources to match the richest nations in the West?"
He took figures for the annual metals production in the US, divided per-capita, multiplied by the world's population, and rolled it into a ball of cheap 3% ores (very cheap compared to the asteroids, some of which are over 80% Ni-Fe).
It came out to a ball about 7km diameter.

I have to point out that the Asteroids are by far the best targets for mining. Mars is at the bottom of a deep gravity hole. Anything produced there is used there, as in ISRU “Living off the Land”.
In addition to the difficulty of getting energy for processes on the Moon, and the poor metals content there, is the lack of volatiles. For every ton of finished metals from Lunar ores, you need from 7 to 10 times the finished mass in water and process chemicals. Far better than bringing it from Earth is to get it from NEAs. So to mine the Moon, you go to the asteroids first, but once you do, you have a source of far better resources. The Moon is not much use for anything but science for its own sake, and tourism (In a chamber on the Moon which is pressurized to Earth sea-level, you could literally fly with pair of wings strapped to your arms!) For astronomy, you want to go to deep space. Long baseline interferometry in space means far more for observations than any benefits from putting a telescope on the Moon.

The immediate benefits from mining resources in space is just for doing things in space. For any payload we put into LEO which is going to GEO or interplanetary space, fully 45% of what we’ve put up is the oxidizer in the upper stage for kicking it beyond LEO. If you can get fuels in space, then we can put up that much more payload. Simple solar ovens can bake volatiles out. We just need the infrastructure to refuel things in space.
Next is simple structures for building things. Over 75% of a satellite’s mass is simple rolled and stamped metals which could be relatively easily produced in readily designed space manufacturing facilities.  That means even less needs to be lifted from Earth. Next is the revolution that’s possible from building and integrating satellites. Present telecommunications satellites are severely limited by the amount of power available from solar panels, and the size of antennae which must all be remotely unfurled after the thing separates from the upper stage (a common failure point, BTW). Wire and foil for antennae are also fairly easily built, and with a huge antenna and ample power, and antenna array in GEO could pick up a cel phone from the ground. That’s a relatively early and huge source of profit, to drive and support the space industry.

A good article about building up space infrastructures is this article by Bruce Mackenzie, formerly exec director of the Mars Society.
Bootstrapping Space Communities

www.ari.net/moon/forum/mp/mp-4/bootstrap.html
He makes good points about starting small, and don’t think of sending people to the Moon from the start or maybe not for a long while, because that drives the cost and complexity up very steeply. Tele-operated rovers can do a lot of the work to start using the resources to gradually build up the effort from what little you can get with a small operation. Sure, you’ll have some losses from breakdowns which you can’t fix using rovers, but they’re small and cheap. Salvage or repair what you can, and stockpile the rest as spare parts which might not be fully recovered until you can send people on visits to do what the rovers can’t. I’d suggest the same sort of thing on an NEA, except that the time-lag makes it work better on the Moon. Just go to a water-rich NEA first, to attach motors to bring it back to high Earth orbit while your factory is being built up.

http://www.permanent.com definitely has a lot of good information about all of this, and see also http://www.neofuel.com for mining asteroids for volatiles.

Mars is a good starting point, because as Zubrin and Mars Direct shows, you can do it without too much up-front effort. The starting “profit” is science, particularly life. All this about the Moon and asteroids means a lot, but Mars is a big sexy politically popular target.
In fact Mars’ moons are good first mission targets too (Fear and Dread were the 2 warhorses which pulled Mars’ war chariot). They have a lot of water and volatiles, and they’d serve very well as immediate start-up fuels mining bases and Martian exploration bases. Borrowing from Brian O’Leary’s book “Mars 1999”, the first manned missions might not even plan on landing on Mars. Just tele-robotically explore it while building up the water mine.

The Deimos Water Company
http://www.spacefuture.com/archive/the_ … pany.shtml

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#21 2005-08-01 03:56:04

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

There is only one reason to go to the Moon. To colonize it. To Make it safe for human life. An ability to launch a million people to the moon within a twentyfour hour window in event of some imminent earth killing disaster is what is needed.

The ability to move fifty thousand people an hour to the Moon from Space port launch centres world wide is the one to strive for. With big underground cities on the moon capable of providing all the agricultural and industrial needs for that million to rebuild earth from nothing.

Once this transfer capacity is achieved as "if push comes to shove", a hundred thousand people a year for Mars Colonization is then next on the list of achievements.

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#22 2005-08-01 13:24:23

Stormrage
Member
From: United Kingdom, Europe
Registered: 2005-06-25
Posts: 274

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

If a massive attempt at mining did occur in space. Alot of stuff will become cheaper has competiton rises. This could well drive us to develop faster.


"...all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by."

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#23 2005-08-01 16:20:20

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

I don’t see the moon as a great place to live I see it more as an industrial outputs then a colony. As for evacuating the moon, wouldn’t it be easier to build shelters on earth?

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#24 2015-11-24 21:33:42

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,239

Re: Space Industrialization - Should a massive attempt at mining occur

Shifting issues are gone but there are still a few artifacts in the admin's posts....

Recently the US congress passed a mining law for the celestial bodies to which what you mine is yours but not the object to which you mine it from. The problem only of ownership can not be claimed at the last bite so we must always leave something from the original object that we are mining.

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