First tier, second tier

If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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ladajo
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Re: First tier, second tier

Postby ladajo » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:53 pm

Whatever else can be said about Chinese society (and I am not advocating its methods for the USA or anywhere) it has for decades grown faster than any place else.


Well, when you are rock bottom, you can only go up. And when you are really deep, the initial curve is steep. There is a bit of hype and misunderstanding in Chinese growth. The growth distribution is certainly not nor will be balanced and distributed. There are many areas of china still functioning at essentially iron age levels with stone age infrastructure.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

prestonbarrows
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Re: First tier, second tier

Postby prestonbarrows » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:07 am

CharlesKramer wrote:
prestonbarrows wrote:earning how tub-boat asteroids into lunar orbits for the purpose of exploration and mining

That *is* wild!
And surprising. It implies a lack of confidence in terrestrial sources, including under-sea sources. Maybe the space boys (and girls) will come up with something brilliant (a ore-capacity space elevator?), but difficult to imagine metals not being more scarce and more expensive in the future -- even with fusion powered electrolytic extraction of local ores.

CBK



You've got it backwards. The exciting thing about mining extraterrestrial sources is you don't have to worry about lifting building materials up out of the gravity well. Water, fuel, and raw building materials already up there waiting to be used. A typical asteroid holds 1-10 million pounds of metal. This is a crucial step for any true long-term space habitation.

CharlesKramer
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Re: First tier, second tier

Postby CharlesKramer » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:42 am

prestonbarrows wrote:You've got it backwards.

Whatever method is used:

-- to go asteroid, attach device to send to earth in a controlled way (so it won't crash, and won't burn up -- very dangerous and improbable)

-- go to the asteroid, mine ore, return that

-- go to asteroid, mine ore, use for construction in space

and perhaps other possibilities.

Space mining might make sense for very esoteric things (helium3 on the moon, or some scarce metal that occurs in pure form on an asteroid); but terrestrial ores are $/ton; current prices for space transport for any purpose in any direction are many many many orders of magnitude more.

For example, for much of USA history, rocks that were 60% iron could be scooped right from the Mesabi range and put directly into a railroad car and from there into blast furnace. Tons and tons of iron (an entire mountain range's worth) was mined that way.

But there are no rail lines to space, and it's a longer journey.

From Wikipedia: "The plan has been met with skepticism by some scientists who do not see it as cost-effective, even though platinum and gold are worth nearly £35 per gram ($1,600 per ounce). An upcoming NASA mission (OSIRIS-REx) to return just 60g (two ounces) of material from an asteroid to Earth will cost about $1 billion USD"

For now, space mining is more of an irrational case of wishful thinking than even... fusion.

- CBK
================================
CBK
Blog: http://www.provideocoalition.com/ckramer

CharlesKramer
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Re: First tier, second tier

Postby CharlesKramer » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:48 am

ladajo wrote:There are many areas of china still functioning at essentially iron age levels with stone age infrastructure.

Perhaps. But China made a decision to develop a high speed rail system, and 10 years later had the world's largest. 25 years ago the idea China would become essential to the USA as its banker was inconceivable. It *is* the world's manufacturer, more the USA during WWII or any nation has ever been -- all accomplished since Mao.

I'm not advocating its system, but to say capitalism is the only way to grow has been more disproved than, say, practical fusion has been disproved based on its 60 years of failed promises.

A few days ago there was this headline: "U.S. waived laws to keep F-35 on track with China-made parts"

CBK
================================
CBK
Blog: http://www.provideocoalition.com/ckramer

hanelyp
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Re: First tier, second tier

Postby hanelyp » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:44 am

prestonbarrows wrote:You've got it backwards. The exciting thing about mining extraterrestrial sources is you don't have to worry about lifting building materials up out of the gravity well. Water, fuel, and raw building materials already up there waiting to be used. A typical asteroid holds 1-10 million pounds of metal. This is a crucial step for any true long-term space habitation.

Repeated since the point was apparently missed by Charles, Mining asteroids for use up there.
The daylight is uncomfortably bright for eyes so long in the dark.

CharlesKramer
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Re: First tier, second tier

Postby CharlesKramer » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:16 am

Repeated since the point was apparently missed by Charles, Mining asteroids for use up there

Jeepers you are a contentious bunch. And not sharp readers. What is this, the Internet?

First of all, I wrote that one possible use of asteroid mining is "go to asteroid, mine ore, use for construction in space." so... not missed.

Secondly, mining asteroids came up in the context of a fusion issue -- to what extent would cheap electricity from fusion make up for the fact that terrestrial metal ores have been getting poorer since antiquity? Not all metal ore can be purified electrolytically, and no matter how cheap electricity from fusion might get it may not compensate for ore that increasingly little metal in it.

Thirdly I quoted Wikipedia....
"The plan has been met with skepticism by some scientists who do not see it as cost-effective, even though platinum and gold are worth nearly £35 per gram ($1,600 per ounce). An upcoming NASA mission (OSIRIS-REx) to return just 60g (two ounces) of material from an asteroid to Earth will cost about $1 billion USD
which indicates (DUH) that, in fact asteroid mining *is* being discussed as a way to get metals to earth.
================================
CBK
Blog: http://www.provideocoalition.com/ckramer

D Tibbets
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Re: First tier, second tier

Postby D Tibbets » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:57 pm

Fusion power may help. It depends on cost. Tokamak fusion power will probably be more expensive than current coal/ natural gas, and possibly even evolving Solar/ Wind. Cheap fusion power is the key, otherwise it only becomes important once fossel fuels are depleted, or environmental concerns pushes fusion, even at higher costs.

With cheap fusion power harvesting minerals from sea water probably becomes viable, and could change the availability of many minerals considerably.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.


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