[NetBehaviour] Asteroid Mining For UBI

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Thu Apr 28 06:51:49 CEST 2016

On 27/04/16 01:27 PM, John Hopkins wrote:
> On 27/Apr/16 12:14, Rob Myers wrote:
>> The initial environmental cost of shipping robots offworld to move the
>> mining and refining there would very quickly become a net environmental
>> and political gain. Strip mining, resource wars, refining within the
>> Earth's atmosphere would all be reduced.
> *Emphatically NO*
> Examine the total infrastructure demands of the existing 'space'
> industry (and the military-industrial system that drives it.
> Cost one of the Mars rovers, and it will begin to give you a sense of
> infrastructure scope that a *single* device can involve. And the 'other'
> hidden costs from the whole mining infrastructure (you gotta build the
> damn robots *here*, and the oil that drives all of that...

Absolutely, and then add on the entire infrastructure demands of rare
earth mining and refining and distribution for, say, twenty years.


Then ramp it down as it's moved offworld, to the point where it's less
than when we started.

> There is *NO* way that off-planet *anything* is cost effective in *any*
> way. Nor will it ever be environmentally sensible!

You're not alone in arguing that:




> Do a quick calculation how to get materials back to earth -- just the
> deceleration and landing infrastructure costs *per gram* are out of this
> world...

Just solar sail the refined minerals back to Earth's gravity well then
aero-brake them (using ablative shields made from refining by-products)
into the ocean for pickup.


(I have a dystopian short story where the target is the tundra...)

> (I just heard a 1955 Sci-Fi bubble make a HUGE 'pop'!)

Yes it's a bit Lensman. :-)

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