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#26 2004-07-06 14:58:05

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,269

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Very well.

The stars are farther than they seem.

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#27 2004-07-06 15:05:38

BWhite
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2004-06-16
Posts: 2,635

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

I will say it one more time, you can't work your way up to orbit.

Maybe JP Aerospace and their inflatable to LEO idea?


Give someone a sufficient why and they can endure just about any how

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#28 2004-07-06 15:08:35

smurf975
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

I don't want to repeat my self but I think that I need to explain my earlier statements.

What I meant with that I think the only viable industry in space at this moment is the one that makes "parts" like microchips, optical lenses and alloys that are worth many times their weight and couldn't be produced on Earth. And this if there is no space colony.

For example a kilo of space made zero gravity microchips should only contain a few grams of precious rare elements. But a kilo of microchips is worth a lot more then its building materials, maybe a million times more.

So a kilo of space made microchips could be worth 100 million dollars. BTW a kilo of microchips could be a million microchips and I’m not talking about a Pentium but those wafer’s that contain the core of the chip. Now I think that’s economic to ship to Earth. So ten kilos of these microchips would be worth 1 billion dollars. Shipping 10 kilos from space to Earth is doable and still economical even if you would use the space shuttle especially at a worth of a billion dollars per 10 kilos.

I think if you have a space colony you can extract the raw materials of the asteroids. But setting up a space colony of at least 100.000 people is a very big task and not payable at this moment. And besides that it will take at least a 100 years or more to get it done. Just look how long it will take NASA to set up a moon outpost. And sending four people to moon is a lot easier then building a city on Mars.

So personally the economical person in me says go for the high tech building space stations orbiting Earth first. They don’t have to be big something like 50 people max. The high tech gizmos that are build by the space station(s) will pay for the project.

The adventurous person in me says, I would love to live on Mars or at least see it and the other planets with my own eyes. But I know I can’t expect for other people to pay for my dreams as much as they should pay for a persons dream to climb the Mount Everest.


Waht? Tehr's a preveiw buottn?

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#29 2004-07-06 15:52:27

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

I'm sorry GCNRevenger, I guess I haven't made myself clear. One crucial point to make space mining economically feasible is to not transport supplies from Earth. Get minimal equipment in space, expand the facility with materials harvest in space, then create an assembly line to drop product on Earth. That assembly line must not include sending anything further up. That means making the atmospheric entry capsules entirely from in-space materials. One exception could be microchips: they are extremely small and low mass so could be shipped up from Earth. Everything else must be made in space: cargo, capsule hull, heat shield, parachute, fuel.

Perhaps manoeuvring thrusters could be shipped up from Earth, but you'ld be better off with low efficiency engines that can be made in space. For example, use a rapid prototype machine to make fuel valves and rocket engines from asteroid metal. Make the engines pressure fed to avoid high precision turbo pumps.

Smurf, I'm afraid that I must respectfully disagree. I feel the need is to reduce the high cost of lift mass from Earth. That means finding easy to manufacture, heavy components that are needed in space, and make those from in-space resources. This reduces the need for heavy lift. Propellant, spacecraft or space station hulls, fuel tanks, rocket engines, solar arrays, and complete atmospheric entry vehicles to return cargo to Earth. These are the parts we need to make in space.

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#30 2004-07-06 16:13:06

smurf975
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Smurf, I'm afraid that I must respectfully disagree. I feel the need is to reduce the high cost of lift mass from Earth. That means finding easy to manufacture, heavy components that are needed in space, and make those from in-space resources. This reduces the need for heavy lift. Propellant, spacecraft or space station hulls, fuel tanks, rocket engines, solar arrays, and complete atmospheric entry vehicles to return cargo to Earth. These are the parts we need to make in space.

You are not disagreeing with me at all. I just wanted to point out that a high tech industry orbiting Earth is viable now.

I just mentioned the space shuttle to point out that you can use such an inefficient craft and still be profitable in my situation. In practice you would use (after the station is build and equipped) capsules like the Soyuz for supplies to and from Earth. The heavy lifters are only to get the space station up there and running. And they will not be space shuttles.

And if you want to build really big things in space (such as colonies) then yes you will need new technologies and new ways of working. The high tech factory will be from the out side not be fancier then the ISS only slightly bigger.

Only differences I think between your ideas and mine is that you are looking for the long term and I’m thinking about what could be done in the next 15 years and directly make a profit.

Either way, if I use the heavy lifters from now and build my high tech space factory I will be profitable but if your plan works and is rolling I will be even more profitable.

But in the mean time I’m earning money and developing practical* new space technologies with the money I have earned so far and you are still lobbying the government and NASA to accept your ideas.

(edited)
*These will be just to enhance my profits and could in the long-term mean things as mines on the Moon that will ship all the non-rare elements from the moon for production. In the short term they will be cheaper ways (pounds/$) to send materials to space. And these new technologies will have a lot of interesting spin off's that can fuel your plans.

Disclaimer:
As you could also see from other posts in other threads, my way of thinking is dominated by social - economics. I'm not interested in building pyramids where only the special people can lay/live and live out their dreams. In my way of thinking everything must have a purpose. Spiritual purposes (pyramids) are not wanted. Building a colony for the heck of it or some unproven doom is spiritual to me and is fine if your church/cult pays for it. But don't expect me to agree with you if you think that your deams should be paid for by tax payers. However I do think that national space agencies have a useful purpose and that is to explore.


Waht? Tehr's a preveiw buottn?

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#31 2004-07-06 16:32:46

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

you can't work your way up to orbit

Well... In a sense you can. Developing the technology is not needed; NASA and Rosaviakosmos have already done that. You do need to develop those capabilities within companies that operate like commercial aircraft builders rather than military contractors. Technology transfer is definately possible. Project management techniques of Scaled Composites, SpaceDev, and SpaceX are the new thing. SpaceX is building a small Falcon rocket first, which will be the upper stage of a larger version. That's how you work your way up. Space Ship One will only ever be a suborbital joy ride; but it proves they can build a man-rated spacecraft. A larger version of SS1 designed for orbit will be on the scale of MAKS-OS, but with experience from SS1, and industrial capability developed for SS1, and profits from suborbital joyrides, they may just do it.

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#32 2004-07-06 16:41:01

BWhite
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2004-06-16
Posts: 2,635

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

What I meant with that I think the only viable industry in space at this moment is the one that makes "parts" like microchips, optical lenses and alloys that are worth many times their weight and couldn't be produced on Earth. And this if there is no space colony.

Bigelow might be able to do exactly this, very soon.

Link

Isn't the ESA working on something called a dump box - - a small unmanned lander for sending equipment from LEO to Earth?


Give someone a sufficient why and they can endure just about any how

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#33 2004-07-06 18:49:29

Martian Republic
Member
From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

As for government being the only saviour: if that was going to happen it would have by now. This is July 2004, 35 years since the Apollo Moon landing. NASA and the U.S. government had that long to establish infrastructure in space to kick-start an economy, but has chosen not to. This demonstrates they just aren't going to. Don't get me wrong, if you want to seek money from NASA then please go ahead. Just don't expect giant space colonies or Moon cities built at taxpayers' expense.

The U.S. government must look for profit from its investments. Where will the profit come from? One mandate of NASA is to investigate high-risk high-reward technological development. But building a city of 100,000 people on a planet far far away, is a very expensive venture. That would take more than the combined budget of NASA and the entire U.S. military. How long do you think the taxpayer support that level of expenditure? It would take more than 1 term of office, so don't expect the venture to be completed before cancellation. Let's look at the record of cancellations: DC-X, X-33/VentureStar, X-43A/C, X-38/CRV. How many others?

===========================================

What we need is something modest that does not tap NASA for more than it has now, yet will generate profit to support its own growth. Once you start talking about profit in the short term, you gain access to venture capital (private investment).

By the way, Jim Benson runs SpaceDev as a separate company. Burt Rutan and his company Scaled Composites is just a major customer. Scaled Composites build Space Ship One and White Knight, SpaceDev build the rocket engine for SS1. And they aren't the only ones in the market today; Elon Musk is building Falcon X. The age of the space entrepreneur has started. The strangle hold of the big aerospace companies is now ending. The new corporate paradigm is "be efficient or be dead".

Brad Blair told me at PTMSS that we now have 3 decades of accumulated good ideas, we don't need good ideas we need the opportunity to implement them. But I argue that if the ideas were really that good we wouldn't need government funding. We still need to brainstorm a profitable business plan. Yes, it's still a matter of do it privately or wait for some other generation.

==========================================

George W. Bush is focusing on War (with practically everyone). He threw a bone to the space community when he recognised everyone in the community sees the need to give focus to NASA. So he had an opportunity: claim to provide that focus that everyone felt must come from the president, and gain political points for doing so, or fail to do so and suffer the political consequences. He really has no idea how to accomplish any of the goals he set out. He's just trying to cover his political butt, and attempting to turn a negative into a positive. Yes, this can be a benefit to the space community if we can capitalize on it; but it doesn't include any new money. Certainly don't expect money to pay for building a Mars city with 100,000 residents.

So, can we continue to brainstorm asteroid mining? This is a simple technique to gain direct profit from space. The directness of this profit will gain investor attention. I do expect to sell as much gold as a major gold mine on Earth, no more and no less. I also expect to sell as much platinum as a major platinum mine. And silver, etc. Those who are obsessed with precious metal cartels will notice this will either demand participation by those cartels or the cartels will be broken.

I am not talking about using tax payer money. If I were talking about using tax payer money then you would be right and it would be too expensive.

I am talking about government generated credit which has nothing to do with tax dollars that comes from tax payers. Instead of having private banks generating the credit, I would have the Federal Government generate the credit like FDR, Lincoln, Hamilton did. The young republic was financed by a Government Bank called the First Nation and it generated the credit. Lincoln and FDR used the Treasury Department and Kennedy was going back to the Treasury note to generate credit. The Green back dollar was a Treasury Note. If the United States Government take back the credit generating authority from the Private bank called the Federal Reserve System and put it back under it authority in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, the United States would have to generate one trillion dollars worth of credit per year. Alan Greenspan is currently generating five or six trillion dollars of credit per year, but it go for servicing debt and not building infrastructure. That one trillion dollars of generated  Government credit, has nothing to do with the tax payer dollar or visa versa. Tax payer dollar will continue to be used to pay for government good and services, but the one trillion dollars will be used for investment purposes to develop new technology, build infrastructure and promote capital improvement in the productive private sector like Farming, Manufacturing and Mining.

This is basically how the transcontinental rail road was financed by Lincoln. This is basically how those big dams were financed by FDR in the 1930's and how FDR got America ready for World War II. On the final run before the war, people in America decided what they wanted to build for the war effort and then they figured out how do it. The decided we wanted to built 10,000 air planes a year and once they decide that, then they worked on the problem of building them. Round up the credit, rearrange the tax code and the U.S. Government even got into the business of building factories and handing them over to private companies so they could hit there target. It was this kind of actives that created those large aero-space corporation like Lockeed, Boeing, Bell helicopter, etc.

============================================

As for NASA, they retreated from the Kennedy vision after they got under funded and were forced to cancel many of there programs because of budget cuts. If Kennedy were still alive and that assignation did not happen, we would already have a Lunar Base and be on Mars right now. Not only that, Kennedy Moon Missions returned fourteen dollars for every one dollar invested. On the front end, for every one dollar invested, it will roll around three or four times. On the back end you had ten dollars increase for every one dollar invested in technology spin off. Like micro-switches, new alloy, improved machining tool and machines, etc. Now this would not have made any business since, but, from a government vantage point, the moon mission was a good investment. Where else can you spend one dollar and get fourteen back. Beside, it generally the government that builds the infrastructure like roads, rail roads, water & sewer plants, etc. and it usually private enterprise that builds there hotel along that road and hooks up to the city water and sewer lines and not the other way around. Let me give you an illustration. I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Forty to fifty years ago, most of the built up areas was in Fort Worth or Dallas, because that were Government on some level built the infrastructure and that were most of the people congregated and that were most of the business were. Now there about thirty seven miles between down town Dallas and down town Fort Worth. In the 1950's most of it was farm land. Now there were a few small towns around, but, nothing over about 5,000 to 8,000 other than Dallas or Fort Worth. Then the government started building freeways like 635, 35E & 35w, 820, 30, 20 121, 183, 114 and built D/FW air port half way between the City of Dallas and Fort Worth. Every where those roads went those businesses were sure to go and did along with housing developments too. The city of Arlington went from 5,000 in 1950 to about 300,000 thousand today. Grand Pairie went from about 5,000 to about 150,000 thousand today. Irving where Texas stadium is was about 5,000 and it now about 200,000 people. Then we have the mid-city on the Fort Worth side that went from a few thousand to several tens of thousand people and we have North Dallas that has had that same kind of growth experiences.

My point is, those roads were put there before those business ever though of building a business there. It was the government on some level that decided that they wanted to build a road there and not business that decided to build a business there before there was a road there.

Whether it building roads in the Dallas/Fort Worth area or building a city on either the Moon or Mars, it will be the business that will follow the government lead and not the other way around.

===========================================

The reason that George Bush back down was because the United States is broke and can't afford even what George Bush is asking that we do. We might not even be able to go back to the moon, let alone build a base on the Moon.

But, John F. Kennedy sent us to the Moon. How he do that? Not only that, but if his effort would not have stopped, we would have a base on the moon and already be on Mars.

I have gotten into this argument on other space forum. But, we are dealing with two concepts of wealth and depending on which one is right, we can either colonize space or we can't colonize space. Most of the people of that forum, jump on the side that you support. But, there were two that said, you can't develop space or colonize it. One of them use a pencil as an example of why you can't colonize space. Just figure out what it would take to just produce pencil. He assured me that just pencil, now consider every thing else you have to make and you will see it can't be done. Now the other one said, he and his friends tried to figger out at what point the break even point would be in a self-sustaining Colony on Mars and they could not find that point. This was in the forum thread that I setup build a city of 100,000 people. But, I agreed with him that what he knew and what most of the people on the forum support would not work, he or they could not build city of 100,000 people. But, that I am working from different angle of attack and what I am doing you could build that city. Your trying to work from letting the bankers create the credit and you borrowing the money from the bankers and then pay it back with interest. All you will do, is generate debt and never get over the break even point and so you will drowned in debt.  I am starting from government credit for the purpose of building infrastructure and generating business activities. That the purpose of the credit and not to pay some banker interest on fiat money or funning money.

I got into a pretty good discussion with the second guy on several post. He was old enough to remember John F. Kennedy and maybe even worked in NASA part of the time. But, I reminded him of what John F. Kennedy was doing and how he lined up all his ducks in a roll. He was going to go from one program to the next program using NASA as a technology driver. Going from rocket, to shuttle to next generation shuttle, etc. Going from chemical rockets to fission rockets and then going to fusion rockets. He understood that. But, not too long after the Kennedy assignation, they started retreating from the Kennedy space program. We still went to the moon, but change was in the wind. He chimed in, thing really took off in that period of time and I wish it would again. But, when Nixon signed the 1971 floating exchange rate that decuppled the dollar from the physical economy which was based on the Gold Reserve/Brenton Wood system, that was the end. That was when the NASA space effort became too expensive and the money started heading to the banks and to Wall Street.

Don’t take my word for it, but look through American History and see when American was really building internal infrastructure whether it the Kennedy Space program or the FDR building program or Lincoln industrial revolution or Hamilton, it was the U.S. Government that was generating the credit and not the bankers that was generating the credit. Matter of fact, the U.S. Government had to take the power to generate credit away from those bankers or at least regulate it, to keep the United States from being destroyed. Now you intend to use that system to create the bases for a space colony? I don’t think so.

Larry,

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#34 2004-07-06 19:10:35

Martian Republic
Member
From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

I dont think any buisness interest will build a lunar or similar base, It requires a goverment to do that. But a goverment could create a company to do it. What im thinking is a company like the British East India company. This companies duty is to create the bases and would recieve a stipend from the goverment to do so, which slowly reduces. This company would do the research that allows profits to be made and would be granted the only licence to get them and to exploit.
The East indies company became a patriotic thing to invest in, It attracted the cream of people to work for it, It made new trade routes and colonized new lands, It had its own army and navy and was responsible for the forming of the British empire.

I don't think we want a British East India company setting up it rule over our space colony. It will be like the British East India company that the American Revolution was fought over to free us from that Tyranny. What we want to do, is give NASA a charter like the Massachusetts colony had from the King of England. They had the right to promote the general welfare of the population of the Massachusetts colony. Once they were setup, that had the power and the authority to finance there own development and growth. With that power and authority, the Massachusetts became the biggest economy in the world. There was a power shift in England and the house of Windsor took over as in King George and under the suggestion of the British East India company they took away the authority of the Massachusetts  to build itself up and they bankrupted the Massachusetts colony. They wanted a resource colony and not a colony that had industrial capability. The American Revolution happened forty years later.

Larry,

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#35 2004-07-06 19:13:42

smurf975
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

They wanted a resource colony and not a colony that had industrial capability.

Like any British colony of that day I think.


Waht? Tehr's a preveiw buottn?

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#36 2004-07-06 19:31:16

Martian Republic
Member
From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

smurf you hit the problem on the head. It not cost effective to build industry space without having populated center in space. It not cost effective to build populated center in space with industry and a transportation system. It not cost effective to develop transportation system without have either industry or population center in outer space.

Find an aspirational reason to settle space, a motive that is price inelastic, and the ice breaks.

That why you have to have the government involved. There the only ones that don't have to make a profit in space and can actually be the lone space customer that make it profitable for private industry to get into space and make money in space. The government is the only one that can develop the technology and build the infrastructure or contract out developing the technology or building the infrastructure. If that government also has the power to generate it own credit and use it to finance that space venture. The defer it, tax right it off, government loans, tax incentives, etc. or even tear the note up and generate some new credit for round two. Without some one that has the power to do that, you are basically dead in the water when it come to colonizing space.

An example of that is the Kennedy Moon Mission. It was a worth while project for the U.S. Government and we made fourteen dollars for every dollars spent. But, that Moon Mission would not have been a worth while project for a private corporation. As a matter of fact, they would have gone bankrupt before they would ever have reached the moon.

Larry,

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#37 2004-07-06 19:50:05

Martian Republic
Member
From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

They wanted a resource colony and not a colony that had industrial capability.

Like any British colony of that day I think.

That my point. We want a government based on a general welfare of the people that are going to be colonizing either the Moon or Mars and not a corporation seeking profit for profits sake. Now we want private enterprise in space and there a place for private enterprise in space, but we don't want it being the master of over what going on in space. Private enterprise does a really good job, competing for the business for good and service that are needed and providing them, but they do a lousy job over governing people and deciding the fate of people lives. Nor would you want private business making life and death decission over your life either.

Larry,

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#38 2004-07-06 20:06:27

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Hmmm, government control vs. free enterprise. I am a bit surprised to see so many Americans argue for government control. Socialism preferred over free market economy? Well, then what is Washington's complaint about how Canadian provinces manage their softwood lumber industry?

I'm also a bit surprised about the rant about banks. I guess I shouldn't be, Americans have always mistrusted banks. In Canada banks are just a service that's taken for granted. So you can deposit a cheque from anyone with an account in any financial institution anywhere else in Canada, and expect the cheque to be processed in 2 business days, sometimes 1 day. It used to be 2 weeks, but that was mid 1980's. When I lived in Chester, Virginia (outside Richmond) or in Miami, Florida, I found the banking system sucked. Banks did not offer foreign exchange, were not able to access my credit history from Canada (despite the fact that Equifax operates in both countries), couldn't give me a money order, often demanded ID that wasn't necessary, couldn't handle utility payments, and the ATM even in the bank itself didn't offer full service.

Ok, government incentive to industrialize space. But they haven't been doing so and, as you said, they're broke. Last time I checked the U.S. federal budgetary deficit was almost equal to Canada's national debt, after taking exchange of the dollar into account. NASA gets $15 billion (US dollars) per year; that's a hell of a lot compared to the CSA budget of $300 million (Canadian) per year. How can any government afford it? I'm middle-age now and not getting any younger. It's time to just DO IT!

As for unreasonable exchange rates: you'll get no arguement from me. I gave up fighting that one years ago.

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#39 2004-07-06 20:44:43

smurf975
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
Website

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

They wanted a resource colony and not a colony that had industrial capability.

Like any British colony of that day I think.

That my point. We want a government based on a general welfare of the people that are going to be colonizing either the Moon or Mars and not a corporation seeking profit for profits sake. Now we want private enterprise in space and there a place for private enterprise in space, but we don't want it being the master of over what going on in space. Private enterprise does a really good job, competing for the business for good and service that are needed and providing them, but they do a lousy job over governing people and deciding the fate of people lives. Nor would you want private business making life and death decission over your life either.

Larry,

Well you can let the government do anything but then you are just longing for communism. But I don't think that it was your plan to do so. And you know how effective and human rights friendly communists are.
---

I do think you must make a separation between small to mid size businesses and multinationals. In general multinationals don't really do much for their workers. However small and mid size businesses do in general care about their workers. And the bosses know most of their employees by name and their family situations.

If you are calling a mom and pops coffee shop, which makes a profit and wants to make more (expand), a corporation just seeking profits for profits sake, then we don't agree*. As there is nothing wrong with making profits for a mom and pops shop as this nothing wrong for multinationals making profits. As most of American aerospace industries wouldn't exist with foreign customers. Without these evil profits the American economy wouldn't even exist.

*Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream model
---

I think that NASA should only do exploration and design academic plans (R&D). All the other things should be done by private enterprises.
---

Also in my idea a person in space would be like soldier in a foreign country. He will follow the laws of the country that send him and that’s it. Well until a more then 100.000 people colony has been setup and you have a (international) trusted local government.

Basically put Earth laws will follow into space (well, there were humans go their ways will follow). So if you like American laws then you will like working in Space for an American company. If you don’t like the way American companies treat their workers then you should either immigrate or vote differently.
---

Anyway don’t expect Space to fuel your little revolution as many of the modern cultures follow a certain logic that evolved over many years and makes most of their peoples satisfied on the way how things work and get done. If it wouldn’t then you would see a lot more civil wars.
---

I can accept something like a moderate FCC that controls things in space like it does now with the airwaves. But nothing more. Working on a space station should be like working on an international ship, you follow the laws who’s flag you carry. The fcc will decide which flags are accepted.


Waht? Tehr's a preveiw buottn?

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#40 2004-07-06 21:18:46

Martian Republic
Member
From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Hmmm, government control vs. free enterprise. I am a bit surprised to see so many Americans argue for government control. Socialism preferred over free market economy? Well, then what is Washington's complaint about how Canadian provinces manage their softwood lumber industry?

I'm also a bit surprised about the rant about banks. I guess I shouldn't be, Americans have always mistrusted banks. In Canada banks are just a service that's taken for granted. So you can deposit a cheque from anyone with an account in any financial institution anywhere else in Canada, and expect the cheque to be processed in 2 business days, sometimes 1 day. It used to be 2 weeks, but that was mid 1980's. When I lived in Chester, Virginia (outside Richmond) or in Miami, Florida, I found the banking system sucked. Banks did not offer foreign exchange, were not able to access my credit history from Canada (despite the fact that Equifax operates in both countries), couldn't give me a money order, often demanded ID that wasn't necessary, couldn't handle utility payments, and the ATM even in the bank itself didn't offer full service.

Ok, government incentive to industrialize space. But they haven't been doing so and, as you said, they're broke. Last time I checked the U.S. federal budgetary deficit was almost equal to Canada's national debt, after taking exchange of the dollar into account. NASA gets $150 billion (US dollars) per year; that's a hell of a lot compared to the CSA budget of $300 million (Canadian) per year. How can any government afford it? I'm middle-age now and not getting any younger. It's time to just DO IT!

As for unreasonable exchange rates: you'll get no arguement from me. I gave up fighting that one years ago.

When I talk about use to be know as the American system of economics. So I'm not talking about British Capitalistic, Free Trade, Free Enterprise system of economics or the Communistic economic system. But either the British Capitalistic or the Communist system of economics generally have private bankers controlling the monetary policies of those respective nation. Those private bankers that control the central banking system have the power to generate credit out of thin air and charge usury on it. You are basically giving a few people the right to create credit or write bank notes and give it to the rest of us and extract usury on those notes. You are basically, giving some one the right to rob you. Most of the U.S. debt and even most of the rest of the world debt was generated by these bankers for us to pay them. Most of that debt is illegitimate debt and can not be paid, nor should we even try to pay it. For example: Between the three biggest private banks inside the United States and Wall Street, there is about 50 trillion dollars in derivatives of worthless gambling debts. Worldwide, there about 400 trillion dollars of derivatives or worthless paper. The only thing we can do about it, is call a worldwide conference and agree with the individual nations that most of this debt is going to be canceled and any legitimate debt will be recycled and be addressed at a later date after the economy has recovered. So this economic system is dead and can not recover.

That where the American economic system come into play as a model. That where the government take over the central banking system. We are going to Federalize the Federal Reserve which is a private bank with a government charter. Now the U.S. tax base has collapsed and we can't use that to restart the U.S. Economy. But, now the U.S. Government has recovered the right to generate credit and there going to have to generate about one trillion dollars of new credit which they can use to restart the use to restart the U.S. Economy with.

So what do you do with that new government credit?

Instead of having to cycle this credit through private hand that are extracting wealth from the American people through usury, the Federal Government of the United States get first use of this credit. So the U.S. Government got the gold and make the rules, instead of having those private bankers having the gold and making the rules.

So let say the U.S. Government is going to build infrastructure, develop new technology, promote business actives in the productive sector of the U.S. Economy. So we take a certain portion of that one trillion dollars of credit that was signed into existence and we finance building subway, super, education, hospitals, power plants, water projects. This take care of the public utilities and services. Well, we would like a science driver so we go to NASA and we give mission that they can't do with present technology and we do it deliberately, because we want them to develop the technology and disperse it into the American economy. To do that, we are going to pick a target of some thing we want done space. This will generate about six million job and good paying jobs too. Now we going to help the private sector like farmer, manufactures, mining with 2% interest credit, deferred taxes, tax right off, etc. This will generate another 6 million good paying jobs and increase the tax base that collapsed.

This is basically what FDR, Lincoln did or some variation of this.

Larry,

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#41 2004-07-06 22:35:31

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Sounds more to me that you want to change the way America works.

Not saying your ideas are good or bad. But we space geeks should take what we have instead of waiting for a revolution in American banking systems.


Waht? Tehr's a preveiw buottn?

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#42 2004-07-07 00:54:25

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Aaaaaaall righty then!

Getting away from international banking and how government works. I would like to make a proposal for all Mars advocates out there: Leave politics out of it and let's all pull together to get to Mars. I think we can agree that Mars has enough elbow room to establish colonies that make their own rules. Each colony should be able to get enough room to be alone from horizon to horizon. Those obsessed with how government works now can tell Earth governments to (insert expletive here).

So getting back to practical plans. NASA and CSA have fixed budgets. I'm not familiar with ESA or Australian budgets, but let's just say government funded space agencies have a lot of expertise but limited funds. We need to find a way NOW to make a profit from space. I still believe C-type asteroids or dead comets in near Earth space (if there are any) will be an excellent source of propellant. M-type asteroids are an excellent source of steel, Inconel, and precious metals. However, we will never have a sophisticated multi-industry economy on an asteroid. As Robert Zubrin said, one of Mars great exports will be parts, tools, and supplies for asteroid miners. Mars does have everything to support a human colony, and low gravity permits cheap access to space.

So, when I created this thread I proposed mining M-type asteroids for precious metals to be exported to Earth. I claim they can be easily harvested to commercial quantities. A centrifuge with magnets can separate shredded metal from mineral inclusions, and the Mond process can separate ferrous metal from the rest of the metallic ore. That leaves all 8 precious metals concentrated to commercially viable levels. Now the question is how do we get an asteroid mine operational without unreasonable financial support from government agencies? How do we do it with private industry, and in the short term? Yes, I think the first commercial asteroid mine can operate before 2012. That is 8 years away; NASA went from launching a single astronaut on a suborbital hop atop a ballistic missile to a manned mission to the Moon in just 8 years. Surely we can use all the technology we have today to send an unmanned mission to harvest metal from a near Earth asteroid in the same time frame. That year is a magic year for me: I'll be 50. I also want to see the first manned mission to Mars in that time.

So, are we going to argue would-a, could-a, should-a, or are we going to get down to work like Burt Rutan, Jim Benson, and Elon Musk? I don't have the money they do, but I am an employee of a company that makes autopilots for miniature UAVs. 9 of the 15 cost centres of NASA purchase our products, and several U.S. army and navy UAVs or target drones use our autopilot. Every autopilot goes over my desk for calibration and quality control testing; that's got to be worth something.

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#43 2004-07-07 02:14:12

Rxke
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Way to go, RobertDyck!

Rutan *is* showing us the way, and of course, a lot of people will lose their shirt, trying to work out 'crazy' plans...
But it can work.

Imagine a small-scale 'harvester' Everybody saying naah cant be done, too expensive, metals on Earth are cheaper...
Small proof of concept brings back, say, 10 kg.
Now how much would it be worth selling this extraplanetary metal to jewel-shops. Imagine a wedding-ring, made out of asteroid material?

Sell it for ***truly crazy*** amounts, and some people *will* buy it. (And give some to the scientists, of course)


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#44 2004-07-07 03:05:08

Rxke
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Been thinking about loss-leaders(?)

If you find x amount of companies, enthousiastic enough to build something, it doesn't have to be economical in the short time...
Say, RobertDycks company develops some soft/hardware in a subproject, write it off as a loss, lather rinse repeat... You got your project.
With "Rutan showing the way" i meant just that: he's not making any money (yet, ever?) but he's doing it to make a point, and because he wants to do it. And because he can.
And the "New Buzz" his "stunt" has made... Overnight the alt.space community has changed in the public/commercial view from a bunch of loonies to rather well-respected tech mavericks. At least in some circles.

Of course, a lot of people won't agree, but some will, so ignore te nay-sayers, and go with the aye-sayers.
Companies with 'starry eyes' could dedicate some of their resources, even if they think it won't make them any money in the short-to-medium run, (wich might be good for taxes,) but it might be profitable in the long run, and they will be the acknowledged pioneers. You can't lose.

The New Buzz. Could be a dotcom boom and bust, but some companies survived the bust, and doing quite well now... Some of the then-founders of those companies are in the alt.space business themselves, now. (Musk, for instance.)


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#45 2004-07-07 12:55:19

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

I am an employee of a company that makes autopilots for miniature UAVs. 9 of the 15 cost centres of NASA purchase our products, and several U.S. army and navy UAVs or target drones use our autopilot. Every autopilot goes over my desk for calibration and quality control testing; that's got to be worth something.

Question what kind of hardware is needed for such an autopilot? Would a processor in the same league as an 486 or early Pentium do? Just want to know if logic hardware is cheap and if you can use of the shelf parts (ok needs radiation hardening and redundant logic).

Or shouldn't it be better in a mining operation to have no AI on the miner it self but all the AI (autopilot) actions are tele-controlled by a central computer in proximity that will be able to control 100's of miners. Should be easier to upgrade and maintain. As the miner digging, engines and other hardware should not change often or need upgrades if they do their jobs. So dumb all the decision-making logic and install a high bandwidth tele-control unit. But keep all the sensors. On UAV's you can't do that due to possible enemy jamming but I don't see a problem with doing it in space this way.

However I think there is even a market on Earth for this kind of operation. Some Australian mines are already using automated miners.  And I think if you can get your plan to work on Earth mines you will have a fantastic money making proof of concept, that will finance the possibility of new mining operations who happen to be in space.

Not saying you must only think of the money but money makes dreams become possible so you should accept its power. You will reach your goal eventually however with some money making detours, that are needed to proof your concept and finance your end goal.

An example were you could make money would be the tar-oil fields in Canada. If you take your asteroid mining operation and use it to mine the tar-oil fields. I’m sure you will not have problems getting financers; well no they will begging you to invest in your operation.


Waht? Tehr's a preveiw buottn?

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#46 2004-07-07 13:42:37

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,217
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

My employer is MicroPilot. They make a single-board autopilot that includes pressure transducers for airspeed (pitot tube) and altitude (static tube), solid state gyros and accelerometers in 3 dimensions, voltage sensors for electronic power supply and servo power supply, voltage regulators to provide rock-steady voltage to sensitive components even when battery voltage starts to drop, a resettable fuse for protection, and temperature sensors built into each gyro. It even has a GPS receiver, in the picture it's the 1" square metal box on top of the board. All of this masses 28 grams and measures 1.5" x 4". That mass does not include any cables, battery, antenna, radio modem, R/C radio receiver, servos, or optional extras like the ultrasonic AGL used for automated landing, magnetic compass, or A/D converter. It has a 32-bit microcontroller, but I can't tell you which one. I know of two satellites that used the same microcontroller, and have a copy of the radiation analysis report for it; but the free copy has all recommendations for radiation hardening deleted. (I can get the complete report for only $$$. You know the routine.) Obviously I've become familiar with this particular microcontroller since I'm working on modifying the flight software (written by the company owner) to calibrate the sensors at various temperatures. Currently it's calibrated at a standard temperature.

I actually developed the hardware and software for the automated calibration and quality control system. I'm running it myself for now, but when I'm finished the production technicians will take over. I talked to my boss (the owner) about applying lessons learned here to developing flight controllers for space hardware. He's not interested in pursuing it himself, but sees no conflict with my doing it on my own. You have to get sign-off like that from your employer.

Complete system architecture? I would recommend an onboard controller for each vehicle. This keeps communications simple, the central computer need only provide high level commands. Enemy jamming isn't the only concern. When working a ferrous ore body, the ore itself can block radio signals. And communications bandwidth is not sufficient for rapid decision making like real time flight control.

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#47 2004-07-07 14:19:14

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

You have a really cool job  smile. I like electronics myself but I am always postponing to learn it. I have a teach-your-self basic electronics book right next to me. But I always seem to find a reason why not to read it. yikes If I had the skills I have an endless list of ideas of things I would build. This would be one.

Anyway I think you should look at this free NASA report on mining and automation in space. In general it’s about building self-replicating factories but if you can skip the parts of that and just read the automation and mining parts.

Do you have any idea on the hardware you will use? Not talking about computer hardware but the diggers, drillers and transporters and their engines and anything else.

Also how will you proceed?

1.    Get those things into space.
2.    How will you know what asteroids to mine?
3.    On what kind of energy will your operation work? How will that energy be produced?
4.    Who are your customers?

BTW: Why did the Grand DARPA Challenge fail? I mean you have for decades now autopilots for aircraft.


Waht? Tehr's a preveiw buottn?

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#48 2004-07-07 15:22:05

smurf975
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From: Netherlands
Registered: 2004-05-30
Posts: 401
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Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

For example If got this from the above mentioned NASA study:

Six important robotics and machine intelligence technology categories were identified as most critical by Workshop participants:

   1. Machine vision capabilities, especially in the areas of depth perception, multispectral analysis, modeling, texture and feature, and human interface
   2. Multisensor integration, including all nonvision sensing such as force, touch, proximity, ranging, acoustics, electromagnetic wave, chemical, etc.
   3. Locomotion technology to be used in exploration, extraction processes and beneficiation, with wheeled, tracked, or legged devices under teleoperated or autonomous control
   4. Manipulators, useful in handling materials both internal and external to the machine, general purpose and special purpose, teleoperated or fully automatic
   5. Reasoning or intelligence, including logical deductions, plausible inference, planning and plan execution, real world modeling, and diagnosis and repair in case of malfunction
   6. Man-machine interface, including teleoperator control, kinesthetic feedback during manipulation or locomotion, computer-enhanced sensor data processing, and supervision of autonomous systems.


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#49 2004-07-07 15:48:25

Grypd
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From: Scotland, Europe
Registered: 2004-06-07
Posts: 1,862

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

Why did the Darpa grand challenge fail, It didnt, there where no winners so what, it was a research mission.
The problem is that we have imbecile robots, to programme into a robot enough information to create an imbecile dog level of intelligence would take a team about 300 years. So we try to create self learning robots, these robots learn for themselves and as they grow they get brighter. We are at a very early stage with these technigues and technology.

The rest of the technology that robots need is coming along fine, we just cant make them think. So this means until someone comes along with a revolutionary fix, we must rely on teleoperation. This is ok for Lunar and Orbit uses, but the radio timelag becomes a major hindrance at further distances. This is a good thing for Human space flight as it will need operators closer to the construction and or mining site to operate the Robots.

As for Darpa well Grand Challenge 2 is coming to desert near you, Oh by the way as no one won the last prize its been added by another 1 million dollars making a prize fund of 2 million$.


Chan eil mi aig a bheil ùidh ann an gleidheadh an status quo; Tha mi airson cur às e.

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#50 2004-07-07 15:52:57

Martian Republic
Member
From: Haltom City- Dallas/Fort Worth
Registered: 2004-06-13
Posts: 855

Re: Asteroid Mining - profit from space

You have a really cool job  smile. I like electronics myself but I am always postponing to learn it. I have a teach-your-self basic electronics book right next to me. But I always seem to find a reason why not to read it. yikes If I had the skills I have an endless list of ideas of things I would build. This would be one.

I kind of play around with electronics too some time. I even started with a home study Electronics coarse from Clevenland Institute of Electronics. It was in eight quarter and I got through to first quarter and going through the second quarter and I have the third quarter, but I didn't pick up the last five quarters. This course was for getting an engineering degree from Clevenland Institute of Electronics, but I didn't finish it. I also have an Electronic Work Bench cad programe for bread boarding electronic circuits too. I have a second electronic cad from Circuit Maker. If we could figger out how to hook my computer to an on line network where we could all look at cad program together and work out engeneering detail on the electronic side house. Now that would be some thing interesting.

I also play around with computer too. I can assemble computer and load the software on them too. I can trouble shoot a broken computer. I also have CompTIA's A+ Certificuit and a CompTIA's Network + Certificuit.

Larry,

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