ToDaZeD Misanathropist

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  1. I hate to barge in on the porch comments *first* but I have to say this Deep Space crap is a scam. If humans will leave Earth for some other home it will not be through mining stuff on the way. The nearest star is 5 years away at the speed of light. You are not going to get there with a conventional rocket but through mind-bending capabilities from the world of high-energy Physics. (Think “wormholes.”) Energy, and therefore mining, won’t be the problem as we will use nuclear power. The problems will be navigation, avoiding collisions at speeds of say, 300,000 miles per second (in a head-on), but not putting on the brakes from 186,000 mps to gas up.

    …and David Attenborough and his ilk should start the depopulation. (They seem to be saying that *they* are not the problem but that *some others* are the problem or they’d nobly do something about it instead of flapping ignoble gums.)

    Comment by Hopefulone — January 22, 2013 @ 9:02 am

  2. “Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us…” Yeah, you first, Sir David; go already – nourish the earth and leave the rest of us be (as Mark Steyn has said, “The future belongs to those who show up.”)

    Comment by Thunderbottom — January 22, 2013 @ 9:28 am

  3. Ion drive? Please say yes…

    Comment by mojo — January 22, 2013 @ 10:20 am

  4. Sir David Attenborough is the plague, lethal injection is the cure. Step right up.

    Comment by TheOldMan — January 22, 2013 @ 10:26 am

  5. If Sir David is concerned about overpopulation, it is his duty to off himself for the betterment of human kind.

    The rest of this post deserves more though and comment than I’ve time for. But the short version is that I favor this.

    In a humorous, fascistic aside: I’m thinking that the earth’s environment and over population problem (assuming it really has one) could be alleviated by rounding up all the environmentalists and populationists and sending them out there to work in asteroid mines. If they weren’t such self-serving hypocrites, they’d volunteer.

    One way to measure the depth and value of someone’s beliefs is to see how they act personally with respect to them, rather than by how eager they are to impose them on others.

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — January 22, 2013 @ 10:32 am

  6. Firefly and Malthus.
    Hmm … I think there was a poster on this some time ago:

    Attenborough is whatchacall a linear thinker. What has happened in the past will continue to happen the same way and at the same rate in the future, lessons of history (esp. technical progress) notwithstanding. That linearity was one of Malthus’ errors that Darwin didn’t quite grasp (his evolutionary gradualism has since refined by punctuated-equilibrium theory).

    Okay, back to the putz.
    Ahh … another oldie:

    Comment by DougM (Progophobe) — January 22, 2013 @ 10:33 am

  7. I like the idea of private mineral exploration (sourdoughs in spaaaace!), but I hardly think that it can be made economically competitive with diggin’ stuff out’a the ground. Well, there may be a few minerals which might be, but I’m skeptical.

    Think about how expensive it would be to transport mining and ore-separation equipment to an asteroid, much less a high-gravity planet. Then there’s the expense of lifting it off the planet, move it to Earth’s orbit, then decelerate it enough to land.

    On the other hand, it’d be feasible to mount a propulsion device to an entire asteroid and nudge it enough to eventually reach the Earth where it could be mined … or where it could kill off 90% of the known species, if things don’t go right.

    Comment by DougM (Progophobe) — January 22, 2013 @ 10:45 am

  8. If all the people who whined about overpopulation were to kill themselves,
    we’d have a pretty good leg-up on their overpopulation problem.
    (What? Well, it might still exist, but nobody’d consider it a problem.)

    Comment by DougM (Progophobe) — January 22, 2013 @ 10:50 am

  9. Nobody knows what the future holds, but I am purty shore I won`t be a part of it anyways. But if Dickwad can pretend- predict the unpredictable, so can this child…..

    As I previously alluded, I believe the Middle East is destabilizing at an alarming rate. That covers North Africa, and all the Islamic *Stans*, eastward to Pakistan and southward all the way to the Southern Philippines. About a fucking Billion Ragheaded Muzzies out of about 6 Billion peeps on the Blue Marble; roughly about 17-18%—-give or take….

    And of the remaining 5 Billion non-muzzies, there are some bad actors, like China, Russia, The Norks, lots of South American baddies and, of course, New Yark, Kalifornicateya, Up-East States, Illinois, Michigan an upper New Mexico….

    The icing on the cake? Those billion Muzzies blindly worship a religious doctrine that openly declares that the other 5 Billion are INFIDELS who have only 2 choices; convert to muzzie or die!!!!!!

    Since roughly 99.99% of the muzzies ain`t the sharpest Date on the tree, it means that WAR will likely be their religious choice (…for which death is an acceptable option….)!

    Accordingly, I see a World War III getting closer than about any other decision that involves Deep Space mining and/or exploration. My logic? The Infidels are presently showing weakness, which historically, has always been the catalyst for wars!!!!!!

    Since the daze of sticks and stones……………………{When HOG n ME wuz in grade school readin about Dick and Jane an their dog Spot!….an mindin our own bidness….}

    Comment by Colonel Jerry USMC — January 22, 2013 @ 10:51 am

  10. “…they’re performing horrible experiments on robots in space… (clang)… THANK you!…”

    Comment by mojo — January 22, 2013 @ 11:07 am

  11. Hopefulone,

    Reaching other star systems is currently in the realm of quantum physics, and collisions won’t be a problem if we figure out how to fold space or something similar.

    Making use of the rest of our planetary systems resources is a different matter. Asteroid mining is the first step that every hard core SF writer uses as the beginning of humanities expansion to the stars. The best of these have private enterprise as starting the true use of space and governments as getting in the way.

    Also, this kind of enterprise hits DougM’s list of things that are hard to do. If the company is publicly traded, I’ll buy some.

    Comment by logdogsmith — January 22, 2013 @ 11:12 am

  12. Let’s see, several billion tons of nickel-iron asteroid in a Lagrangian orbit, at today’s prices…

    Comment by mojo — January 22, 2013 @ 11:59 am

  13. With china tying up the majority of rare earth mineral production and the rest being wasted on priuses and windmills, it could soon be economical to mine those from space.

    There will always be naysayers to pioneering projects, but with these asteroid projects being pursued with private funds, I say make it so!

    Comment by mech — January 22, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

  14. Yeah, the odds to seem to be kinda dicey up there.

    Best bet is “lose your life/lose your money” (pick ‘em), followed by “get ripped off by a government”…

    Comment by mojo — January 22, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

  15. The metals that could be refined, primarily, from asteroids are not light as far as weight goes. Iron is pretty dense stuff.

    There’s also the issue of refining it. How do you get the ore to the earth in large enough quantities that it can be retrieved without the need of someone to start up “Deep Sea Mining”? Then there’s the refining process itself. There’s a lot of bitching and moaning about the pollutants caused by such processes already.

    This sort of project may be “doable”, but it is not practical in today’s world of nature worshipping brain dead morons.
    From rock to refined metal to usable product, the entire process would have to take place in space, with the majority of the final product staying in space.
    If the metals are so valuable that it becomes profitable to bring them to the earths surface, we’re going to be in a situation where getting them from space will not be viable in the first place.

    Comment by Caged Insanity — January 22, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

  16. Whenever anyone spouts Sir Davey’s nonsense we should ask them if we should get rid of the welfare state and get on with evolution.

    And mining asteroids seems somewhat unnecessary since Earth is a closed system with respect to matter. We can change its form but not its existence. What we have now is what we had when the moon left us and what we have have when Sol goes red giant.

    Comment by Freddie Sykes — January 22, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

  17. As Attenboroughs go, I much prefer Sir Richard.

    Comment by mojo — January 22, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  18. In WA the Communist Democrats in power have legislated a 500 foot no farming buffer along the smallest creek or ditch.

    And Former Governor Christine Haywire is coming to DC to run either the EPA or Dept of Interior.

    Hungry Yet?

    give it time.

    Comment by JoeBandMember™ — January 22, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

  19. If we ever figure out how to place a few tons of lead shielding in space, without a few billion tons of propellant, the rest is easy. Of course, getting the ores back to earth might be a problem. I say just drop it on Washington D.C. and the universities that turn out deranged environmental scientist.

    Comment by Jess — January 23, 2013 @ 5:56 am

  20. erm… As I understand it, the point is not to get the ore to the earth. Nor [yet] to head for other solar systems. It is to use it to make habitats off the earth. Bootstrapping as they go.

    yanno, up there. out of the reach of gobts. And idiots who are incapable of comprehending science, rationality, and Freedom. And the Human Drive to explore new places.

    a 500 foot no farming buffer along the smallest creek or ditch. Don’t forget man-made drainage ditches!
    Yeah – Riparian Corridors are big with the ICLIE/A-21 crowd… As is stealing H20 via the ACE. Not just WA…

    Christine Haywire oughta be a great “success” in the land of power-hungry, petty, stupid politburo bureaucrats. w00pee.

    Comment by Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause* — January 23, 2013 @ 7:36 am

  21. ^ What Claire 20a said.

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — January 23, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

  22. Claire (20)
    Yeah.
    Generally, the primary goal would be to produce water and propellants (expendables which are expensive to lift out of Earth’s gravity well) for use in exploration.

    It isn’t clear that mining materials for off-Earth manufacture will ever make economic sense, although it might conceivably make some expensive operational sense.

    Then again, technological progress happens;
    so good, workable ideas may surface, someday.

    Comment by DougM (Progophobe) — January 23, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

  23. If’n they mine asteroids, how they gonna get the stuff back? And who’s gonna do the digging? Former coal miners?

    On the other hand, Claire makes sense (as usual). Go up there, start building space factories, bootstrap with asteroid raw materials, give yourself enough time (a few decades at least).

    There’s still the problem of getting more than a few people off-planet at a time.

    Comment by ZZMike — January 23, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

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