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JongWK
Making a profit in space

The Space Elevator

Thought you might like these.
SL James
So an asteroid has 20 trillion dollars worth of metals (which, btw, is flawed since if someone was to dump that all on the market at once the prices would take a nosedive). How do they plan on getting it to Earth to be in any way usable without killing all life on the planet?
Platinum
Send a crew from armageddon to blast it apart, have it get trapped in our gravity, and mine it at our leisure.
Ka_ge2020
In that case you might like the following link:

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/fundam...925331.200.html

Ka_ge
hyzmarca
There is no reason to bring any of 3554 Amun's resources back to Earth. In fact, it would be wasteful to do so. Set up manufacturing facilities in or on the asteroid and make goods exclusivly for use and for sale in space.
Cray74
QUOTE (JongWK)
Making a profit in space

The Space Elevator

Thought you might like these.

They're fun flights of fancy, but that's all they are.

The Space Elevator article ignores some of the practical problems of establishing an elevator. For example, it says:

"The real problem is that, at $500 per gram, nanotubes are currently too expensive, and worldwide production is estimated to be less than 100 pounds per day."

No, that's not the real problem. The real problem is that bulk nanotube materials don't have anything like their theoretical microscopic properties. Expense and low production are secondary problems compared to the basic issue of, "We don't have a material strong enough to make a space elevator."

The space elevator would only partly answer the asteroid mining problem. It'd be great to have a metal-rich asteroid as the counterweight for a space elevator (the asteroid would be very useful for space-based industry), but the construction and operating costs of elevators may be very high compared to the cost of common industrial metals, which limits the ability to mine the asteroid and deliver the goods to Earth.

For example, CNN opines that the elevator could reduce launch costs by 98%. Great. Let's pick a cheap launch firm, like the Russians, and generously say the Rooskies can launch for $1000/pound (vs. $10K/pound in the US). 2% of $1000 is $20 a pound. Now, $20/pound is frickin' awesome for space travel (don't get me wrong) but raw iron goes for only $0.20-$0.30 a pound, I think. Common steels aren't much more expensive. Aluminum alloys tend to be about 3-4x as expensive as steel per pound, but that's still a fraction of $20/pound. Who wants to buy "space steel" that costs $20 a pound when you can get it from Earth for a fraction of the cost?

There are rarer materials that might come from an asteroid - like platinum group metals - at a profit, but it won't be the basic industrial metals that make up most of the $20 trillion claim.

I admit, I love to use space elevators and asteroid mining in near- to mid-future settings (2050 to 2200AD), but don't expect to see them soon.
Edward
Although I agree space mettles wonít be worth bringing down to earth bringing something down the space elevator will be cheaper than taking it up. (conceivably they could use a dropped counterweight to put something into orbit, meaning they would wind up putting anything of high mass in the descending load and paying people to bring it to them)

If they donít implement a system like that however your right, industrial mettles are way to cheep to transport from orbit, there is the cost of extraction in a hostile environment and moving to earth orbit also to be considered.

What asteroid mining would be useful for is construction materials in space. if your building space stations for industrial applications you need a /lot/of mettle, if you can get an asteroid in earth orbit it could easily be cheaper to mine that than to bring industrial mettles up from earth.

Edward
Platinum
Are you aware of how much energy it takes to refine metals? It is not like they are going to build some power plants on the thing, and have a mini city that mines then refines the product. Hauling up heavy water, reactor cores, and the like. I am sure that not all the construction materials are on the asteroid, (especially water for cement) You have to get things started up there.
John Campbell
Two words: Solar Furnace.
ShadowDragon8685
Or you could, you know, just realize that you have the ultimate space-station already in orbit - IE, the big honking rock itself, and then just carve out the bits that you want to be tunnels or living spaces or whatever.
DocMortand
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
Or you could, you know, just realize that you have the ultimate space-station already in orbit - IE, the big honking rock itself, and then just carve out the bits that you want to be tunnels or living spaces or whatever.

Um...how big is it? Would it create a new tidal effect due to gravitational pull?
ShadowDragon8685
Not really THAT big honkingly big, Doc. nyahnyah.gif
JongWK
Cashing in on Mars

Just a few ideas for some tech corps. smile.gif
Cray74
QUOTE (DocMortand)
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Mar 3 2006, 05:39 PM)
Or you could, you know, just realize that you have the ultimate space-station already in orbit - IE, the big honking rock itself, and then just carve out the bits that you want to be tunnels or living spaces or whatever.

Um...how big is it? Would it create a new tidal effect due to gravitational pull?

No. A monstrous asteroid with enough metals to support mankind's industrial needs for centuries is only about 5km across. It won't exert enough tidal forces to be noticeable with anything other than sensitive scientific instruments.
Mr.Platinum

But by removing such large chunks of rock, would that not disrupt the cosmic balance of gravitational harmony out in space?


I don't know much about Physics and all but i was just curious, would this eventually be some form of Gravity pollution or somehting along those lines?
Cray74
QUOTE (Mr.Platinum)
But by removing such large chunks of rock, would that not disrupt the cosmic balance of gravitational harmony out in space?

I don't know much about Physics and all but i was just curious, would this eventually be some form of Gravity pollution or somehting along those lines?

The short answer is: no.

The medium answer is: no such thing.

The long answer is: a little rock like an asteroid doesn't register among the gravitational movers and shakers in the Solar system. The objects that matter are the Sun and Jupiter. As far as Earth is concerned, the moon is also important.

The solar system is a messy, chaotic place. Some objects, like the planets, have found stable havens that are resistant to minor changes, but even safe havens aren't perfect. Jupiter is a beast that can disturb planetary tilts - without the moon stabilizing Earth's tilt, Earth would be flipping quite a few degrees within just a few million years, like Mars. Smaller objects like the many wandering asteroids and comets get scattered in encounters with planets and quite often end up nose diving into the sun.

Moving a huge asteroid like Ceres (~1000km diameter) might cause local issues (i.e., for the asteroid belt), but something like a mountain-sized rock is a non-issue to planets. Such debris has been passing Earth - and all the planets - for billions of years with no ill effects.

Now, when debris HITS a planet, there's plenty of ill effects, but that's not due to "gravity pollution."
Birdy
QUOTE (Mr.Platinum)
But by removing such large chunks of rock, would that not disrupt the cosmic balance of gravitational harmony out in space?


I don't know much about Physics and all but i was just curious, would this eventually be some form of Gravity pollution or somehting along those lines?

Yes! And it will definitly hurt the eco-system on the moon!

Sorry, that "cosmic balance" stuff sounds like one of the Eco-Crappers from "Fallen Angels"
Kanada Ten
Ah, but it could have a huge impact on the Astral Plane, perhaps causing mana spikes and ill effects for a time (like ripples across a pond), that would eventually settle into a rhythm with the other astrological entities of the metaphysical plane. "Ah, my dear, your spell will be must powerful on the 31st when Jupiter in the Third House and the Moon conjoins with Phoebes just before 21:30 GMT. That will be fifty nuyen. Oh, and don't try summoning a Water Elemental then, or you'll regret it. Also, beware of men in dark glasses - No, that's not in the charts; it's more of a general warning."
Shrike30
QUOTE (Cray74 @ Mar 3 2006, 05:06 AM)
Who wants to buy "space steel" that costs $20 a pound when you can get it from Earth for a fraction of the cost?

I was under the impression the $20/pound was for starlift, not for bringing stuff back down? With creative use of generators, I could see dropping things from orbit actually being used to create power, in addition to giving you metal to sell on the ground.
tisoz
Ok, saw why mining helium3 on moon could make money (if tech pans out), and mining mineral rich asteroids sounds like money to be made (I don't know about hundreds of years worth of materials from a chunk 5 km across though).

What is the draw for going to Mars? Vacation and resort?

And in answer to the gravitational harmony is things are already changing and have been for a long time. The entire universe is expanding

Also, has anyone heard about a theory the earth produces oil and gas all on its own, that the fossil fuel theory could not possibly explain the vast amounts of oil and gas that exists and has already been consumed? I heard it mentioned on Coast to Coast radio (yeah the program with aliens, spirits, remote viewing, basically crazy talk.) I just wondered if this theory had any basis, supposedly it has not been disproved, and has some observed phenomena to support it.

QUOTE
I was under the impression the $20/pound was for starlift, not for bringing stuff back down?

The rate I heard for launching was $10,000 a pound, so $20 a pound back down makes sense. (Unless it is the counterweight for the elevator.)

I am also wondering how these satellite solar collectors are supposed to work. Do they create actual electricity in orbit and beam it down with microwave (again the tech isn't developed), or are they just collecting energy (heat and radiation or ?) and somehow beaming the energy down.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (tisoz)
Also, has anyone heard about a theory the earth produces oil and gas all on its own, that the fossil fuel theory could not possibly explain the vast amounts of oil and gas that exists and has already been consumed? I heard it mentioned on Coast to Coast radio (yeah the program with aliens, spirits, remote viewing, basically crazy talk.) I just wondered if this theory had any basis, supposedly it has not been disproved, and has some observed phenomena to support it.

If they could prove that the Earth was producing "organic" materials such as oil, it would be a huge deal and covered far and wide for more than just the oil aspect. As of now, it's all hypothetical, but there are several theories about fossil fuel production.
tisoz
From what I understood, the molten part was churning and the fuels part was getting worked out and rising to the crust. I am guessing you are saying 'organic' because it is carbon based?
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (tisoz)
From what I understood, the molten part was churning and the fuels part was getting worked out and rising to the crust.  I am guessing you are saying 'organic' because it is carbon based?

Hydrocarbon. I'd be interested in hearing how large quantities of hydrogen were making it through the mantle to be bonded with carbon. What I can find with a quick search is "...that the process of hydrocarbon formation has taken place in the crust after a deep infiltration of meteoric waters...". The people supporting non-biological processes for production seem to be all oil companies, and they also seem to discount the total lack of quantity they find as relevant.
Brahm
QUOTE (Kanada Ten @ Mar 10 2006, 09:52 PM)
The people supporting non-biological processes for production seem to be all oil companies, and they also seem to discount the total lack of quantity they find as relevant.

Really? I'm curious what you base the link to oil companies on.

There was a guy that came through Calgary last year. He had been invited to give a talk about non-biological sourced hydrocarbon in front of a number of oil company people, primarily geologists and related professionals. This fellow was noteworthy in that he had vocally predicted that the moon's surface was largely covered by a layer of dust when such predictions were not vogue. Damned if I can remember his name, I'd have to check with a geoligist friend of mine.

Anyway this guy was heckled. I mean straight out heckled to the point that the chairman of the society that invited him got up and asked people not to be so rude to the guest, even if they didn't agree with him.

The people talking about it might be somehow related to the geology field which is a critical field for oil and gas exploration and recovery. So that seems a pretty natural association. Obviously people that are making a living looking for oil and gas are going to be front and center among those interesting in where the hell it comes from.

But the theories about non-biological source oil, gas, and coal have very little support among the oil and gas industry. Past hucksters that used and abused the theory to fleece people haven't helped much.

As for the validity of the theory and proof, it is my understanding that there has been some physical chemistry evidence to suggest that some hydrocarbons found to have some sort of non-biological source, or at least a source that doesn't match up with current biological source theories. It was also shown last year that it is theoretically possible for methane to be created from a non-biological source, at least in a guesstimation of some mantle conditions.

A very oddball theory in some ways, and no way it accounts for the majority of our current hydrocarbon reserves. But exactly how much is out there, if any, and even where to look for it if it was there is a real head scratcher. They have a tough enouch time finding the stuff on a biological source basis where they have specific sedimentary layers they are looking in.
hyzmarca
There used to be a theory in organic chemestry about a mysterious and vaugely defined "life force" or "life energy" which was possessed by living beings and was somehow integral to the process of synthesizing organic compounds. Then someone made urine in a lab.

There is nothing chemically invalid about non-biological source of hydrocarbons.
tisoz
Anything on the commercial value of Mars? More Helium3?
SL James
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
There used to be a theory in organic chemestry about a mysterious and vaugely defined "life force" or "life energy" which was possessed by living beings and was somehow integral to the process of synthesizing organic compounds. Then someone made urine in a lab.

Boy, I bet that was embarassing.
Cray74
QUOTE (Shrike30)
QUOTE (Cray74 @ Mar 3 2006, 05:06 AM)
Who wants to buy "space steel" that costs $20 a pound when you can get it from Earth for a fraction of the cost?

I was under the impression the $20/pound was for starlift, not for bringing stuff back down? With creative use of generators, I could see dropping things from orbit actually being used to create power, in addition to giving you metal to sell on the ground.

You have to use the same machinery, use the same personnel, and pay for the same mortgage when you bring stuff down the elevator as stuff going up the ladder.

So, if there's a difference in electrical bills, I don't think that's going to significantly alter the price of shipping cargo up or down a fancy vertical railroad that might cost trillions of nuyen.

QUOTE
(I don't know about hundreds of years worth of materials from a chunk 5 km across though).


Current global production of steel is in the range of 500 to 1000 million tons per year. That's 0.1 cubic kilometers of steel per year.

A metallic asteroid might be 70% or more metal by volume, mostly iron.

A 5km diameter asteroid, one with a volume of about 60 cubic kilometers, would have about 40 cubic kilometers of metal, mostly iron.

In other words, at the consumption rate of steel (which has been roughly steady for a couple of decades), a 5km metallic asteroid would have enough iron to meet the needs of humanity for 400 years.

The other metals present should be good for a similar time scale.

QUOTE
What is the draw for going to Mars? Vacation and resort?


Research. Misguided goals lingering from the 1960s Space Race. If you're going as far as Mars for "practical" (profitable) reasons, you might as well go to the asteroid belt or capture an Earth-crossing asteroid.

QUOTE
I am also wondering how these satellite solar collectors are supposed to work. Do they create actual electricity in orbit and beam it down with microwave (again the tech isn't developed), or are they just collecting energy (heat and radiation or ?) and somehow beaming the energy down.


The densest form of energy that is wandering about space - near Earth anyway - is sunlight. So solar power satellites, if built, would be big solar cell arrays (photovoltaics).

They would then beam the power to Earth by microwaves or lasers.

As for being undeveloped tech, it's not undeveloped. Microwave power delivery is proven and almost trivial to manage. It's a non-issue as far as offering road blocks. The bigger problems are:
1) Assembling large structures in space (not demonstated)
2) Maintaining large structures in space (not demonstrated)
3) Building large structures in space cost effectively (unlikely to no-chance in hell)

I know SR has SPSs, but the real world economic analyses behind them are usually laughably optimistic and SR doesn't demonstrate the advanced launching systems (like orbital elevators) that might make SPSs cost-competitive with fusion power plants built on the ground (which SR also has).

hyzmarca
QUOTE (Cray74)
Research. Misguided goals lingering from the 1960s Space Race. If you're going as far as Mars for "practical" (profitable) reasons, you might as well go to the asteroid belt or capture an Earth-crossing asteroid.

There is also the good 'old not keeping all of our eggs in on basket. Move a few million people to Mars and the human race can survive if the arth is destroyed from some unforseeable reason (presuming that Mars isn't destroyed, as well). This is the best and most practical reason for long term space colonization.
Cray74
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
There is also the good 'old not keeping all of our eggs in on basket. Move a few million people to Mars and the human race can survive if the arth is destroyed from some unforseeable reason (presuming that Mars isn't destroyed, as well).  This is the best and most practical reason for long term space colonization.

It's a practical reason for space colonization, but Mars has an obnoxiously deep gravity well. It's also about as hard to live on Mars as anywhere else in space. And Mars only has about as much elbowroom as Earth's surface.

So, if you're going to live in space, you might as well pick some place that supports industry well, is easy to reach, has lots of elbowroom for the mass, and has all the elements you need to live - like the asteroid belt.
tisoz
QUOTE (Cray74)
Mars has an obnoxiously deep gravity well.

Do you mean as compared to an asteroid, or is gravity there somehow not proportionate?

Thank you very much for the clarification and answers. I appreciate it very much.
Cray74
QUOTE (tisoz)
QUOTE (Cray74 @ Mar 12 2006, 05:12 PM)
Mars has an obnoxiously deep gravity well.

Do you mean as compared to an asteroid, or is gravity there somehow not proportionate?

Thank you very much for the clarification and answers. I appreciate it very much.

What I mean by "obnoxiously deep gravity well," is a personal opinion thing. My pet definition is that any vehicle launching from the object needs to be over half fuel by mass (when using realistic chemical fuels) just to reach orbit.

Earth's moon is at the low end of "obnoxiously deep" because a launch vehicle needs to be about half fuel by weight to reach orbit. Mars is worse - the vehicle needs to be about 3 parts fuel per part of dry weight and cargo.

On the other hand, a launch vehicle operating from even the largest asteroid, Ceres, only needs to be 20% fuel by mass to reach orbit with a generous safety margin and average fuel efficiencies. A vehicle just barely able to reach Martian orbit would be hotrod in the asteroid belt.

Communities and industrial facilities in the asteroid belt are like...seaport and river communities on Earth. They have easy access to high-capacity, cheap shipping via barges and gigantic oceangoing ships because it takes almost no effort to transfer cargo from the city to the transport and send the cargo on its way across the world. In comparison, colonies on planets and large moons are like landlocked cities in Alaska or Siberia. You can run train tracks out to them and fly in supplies, but the cost will be painful - compare shipping 70,000 tons of ore on a Great Lakes bulk freighter to shipping 70,000 tons of ore on 747s.
ShadowDragon8685
Cray, you make good points with that bit about obnoxiously deep gravity wells, but then you forget the applications of space elevator technology.

If your vehicles never need to go closer tha orbit, they never need to try and fight a gravity well. (Unless something has gone horribly, horribly awry, but if that happens you're fragged anyway.)
Cray74
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
Cray, you make good points with that bit about obnoxiously deep gravity wells, but then you forget the applications of space elevator technology.

No, I didn't forget them. I dismissed them earlier in the thread as too optimistic. If they're present, life is easier but still not perfect.

QUOTE
If your vehicles never need to go closer tha orbit, they never need to try and fight a gravity well.


That's incorrect. Once you're in Earth orbit, it still takes about as much effort (~3230m/s) to escape Earth's gravity well as it does to reach orbit from Mars' surface.

Further, if you use a low thrust means of climbing out of the gravity well (e.g., ion rockets), the required change in velocity is doubled (~6460m/s).

Similar situations apply to any astronomical object. Getting to orbit is, energetically speaking, only half way to escape velocity. In terms of velocity, orbit is only 70.7% of the way to escape velocity (for high-impulse rockets).

Basically, once you're in orbit the gravity well still has some fight left in it.
ShadowDragon8685
Well, you make good points there...


Still, get creative. With a large, heavy and suffenciently masseous anchorpoint station, you could use a mass driver to give your space vehicles the nessessary push out. Of course, then you'd need some way to correct for the resulting equal and opposite, but...


Hey, we're getting creative here. We'll figure something out. Maybe launch a counterweight load straight down at the same time? smile.gif
Cray74
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
Hey, we're getting creative here. We'll figure something out. Maybe launch a counterweight load straight down at the same time? smile.gif

Instead of a compact counterweight on the space elevator, you can just extend the space elevator tens of thousands of kilometers further beyond geosynchronous orbit. The far end of the elevator will be moving well above orbital velocity for that altitude. A spacecraft can be "flung" off the end. The energy for this ejection is taken from Earth's rotation.

Alternately, you can use a series of rotating tethers to fling payloads around and reboost the tethers by a variety of means: high efficiency, low thrust engines (SR has some form of fusion rocket, based on the Probe Race fluff); interactions with Earth's magnetic field; braking returning payloads after launching other material; etc.

http://www.tethers.com/MXTethers.html
ShadowDragon8685
Yes, but the thought of firing a huge thor shot down below as a way to faccilitate the launching of spacecraft is funny.


Unless you're a surface dweller. Sux t' be you.
hyzmarca
Deep gravity wells are bad for space travel but they're good for humans. Microgravity really messes up the human body even in the short term. If you want a long-term colony then it is best if the colonists don't die young due to microgravity related health complications. Now, artificial gravity could work but not on an asterois. You'd need a self-contained space station designed from the ground up for that.
Cray74
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Mar 13 2006, 05:14 PM)
Now, artificial gravity could work but not on an asterois. You'd need a self-contained space station designed from the ground up for that.

Artificial gravity works fine on asteroids. There are several options available:

**A rail habitat that circles the equator of the habitat, a train of habitats.
**A rotating wheel or cylinder built on the surface or in the interior of the asteroid.
**The Cole habitats, which melts and inflates the asteroid into a sphere or cylinder that can be rotated for gravity (Cole habitats are crap, though. Atmospheric pressure would blow them apart because of the crappy, impure materials used in their construction.)

In higher gravity asteroids, or even on places like the Moon or Mars, you can use rotating habitats. However, the wheel needs to tilt outward a bit so the rotational "gravity" and natural gravity add up to a single gravity vector (i.e., so the floor doesn't seem tilted to occupants.)

You end up basically building a spinning space station on the asteroid, which is convenient - there's no shipping to be done, unlike for stations built in open space. Plus, radiation shielding is easy if you build inside the asteroid, and you don't have to worry about finding reaction mass to spin up large rotating habitats.

For further gamer-friendly info, I'd recommend picking up GURPS Transhuman Space "In the Well" and "High Frontier."

Also, scan to the highlighted words "track" and "habitat" here. There are some diagrams of a rotating track habitat on the asteroid Eros.
nick012000
Or you just spin up the asteroid, and build your habitats so that it look like you'd be 'hanging upside down', but the centrepedal force (which isn't actually a force, but nevermind that) acts like gravity on Earth (and counteracts the Asteroid's gravity).
Cray74
QUOTE (nick012000)
Or you just spin up the asteroid, and build your habitats so that it look like you'd be 'hanging upside down', but the centrepedal force (which isn't actually a force, but nevermind that) acts like gravity on Earth (and counteracts the Asteroid's gravity).

I really doubt any asteroid could handle 1G of spin. Most seem to be big balls of gravel and dust. Others, even if they're made of solid rock, aren't going to stay together after billions of years of being pounded by meteors and other impactors. All those faults and fractures...
John Campbell
It's pretty easy to figure the amount of spin that any asteroid that's not a single cohesive chunk of rock can take... when the centrifugal force* produced by the spin exceeds the surface gravity of the asteroid, the asteroid will start coming apart. This basically means that the maximum artificial gravity you can produce by spinning an asteroid is equal to its natural gravity, which pretty much makes spinning it up a waste of time and energy.

* (Yes, I know there's No Such Thing As Centrifugal Force. That doesn't make it a less useful tool in practice.)
Cray74
Nitpick: Some small, solid objects have been found in environments that should pull them apart. For example, Metis and Adrastea orbit inside Jupiter's Roche limit, where tidal forces should overcome gravity. So material strength matters a little, but you're not going to get near 1G by spinning an asteroid.
nezumi
As an aside, if the asteroid is made of mostly iron, wouldn't it be possible to use that iron to reinforce the 'exterior' wall of two asteroids, then join them together so they spin around a common axis? If it's only five miles across and you have two teams working on two asteroids (or more), it seems like you have all the ingredients you need to make a cheap solution to the lack of gravity.
John Campbell
When you drop all the unnecessarily difficult bits out of that plan, it basically becomes, "Build a space station out of asteroidal materials," which is a perfectly feasible solution.

Having the entire asteroid under significant acceleration is probably counterproductive, anyway. Microgravity is a net benefit for a lot of processes, and for the ones that it's not, you can use smaller centrifuges to provide "gravity"-on-demand without (e.g.) making it a pain in the ass to drag a kiloton of ore around.
Cray74
QUOTE (nezumi)
As an aside, if the asteroid is made of mostly iron, wouldn't it be possible to use that iron to reinforce the 'exterior' wall of two asteroids, then join them together so they spin around a common axis?  If it's only five miles across and you have two teams working on two asteroids (or more), it seems like you have all the ingredients you need to make a cheap solution to the lack of gravity.


Spinning a couple of mountain-sized wads of dirty, stone-laden metal up to 1G is begging for trouble. Less trouble than a typical stony asteroid, let alone a dust ball, but it's a lot of effort and energy that isn't necessary. You're looking at creep problems, the iron flowing like taffy under its own incredible weight, nevermind the anchors and tethers that join the spheres together.

Each 5-mile diameter ball of iron and rock (at about 6g/cc) is about 2 trillion tons. Spinning that up to 1G would take a lot of energy (nevermind the epic engineering challenges of spinning 4 trillion tons at 1G) that isn't needed.

As John pointed out...why not just build a space station out of the asteroid material? The frame of a 2km diameter toroidal station can be about 10,000 tons, comparable with a small oceangoing ship.
Brahm
QUOTE (tisoz @ Mar 10 2006, 08:49 PM)
Also, has anyone heard about a theory the earth produces oil and gas all on its own, that the fossil fuel theory could not possibly explain the vast amounts of oil and gas that exists and has already been consumed?† I heard it mentioned on Coast to Coast radio (yeah the program with aliens, spirits, remote viewing, basically crazy talk.)† I just wondered if this theory had any basis, supposedly it has not been disproved, and has some observed phenomena to support it.

raises the dead

I just came across this article about the physical chemistry experiements I mentioned a couple months back. That is likely the basis for what those kooks on Coast to Coast were talking about. Although I find quite dubious this claim about calculations not being able to account for all the hydrocarbons accessed and used, this article again mentions the small known deposits of methane that appear to be abiogenic.

QUOTE
"Additionally, there are some areas on the planet where methane has been found that is clearly not biological in origin: although these deposits do not appear to be abundant relative to those that are economically extracted, it is very interesting to explore the possible conditions under which they may form."


As for how water gets down that far, marble is the metamorphic form of limestone which is a sedimentary rock. Meaning it was in the presence of water at one time and often it still has water in it's vugs, the small version of limestone caves. Since the normal source for limestone is marine life, shells and coral, I'm not sure exactly how that rock is down that far, it must be very, very early sedimentary rock and just has billions of years of rock piled on top of it. I don't really know of any other source of limestone other than marine life, but then again I don't have a geology degree. I'll try ask around with geologists and paleontologist I know. If it is marine life sourced it might also contain biological source methane as well as abiogenc methane.
Cray74
Interesting stuff. Thanks for posting it.
Dog
QUOTE (Edward)
if your building space stations for industrial applications you need a /lot/of mettle,

I thought that was a mistake at first. Now I'm not sure....

There's a really good description of a space elevator in Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars series.

So Cray, Mars has two moons, but you mentioned that it "wobbles" a lot more than earth. Because it's closer to Jupiter, or because its moons are too small?

(BTW: Do you work or study in the field? I'd like to refer to some of what you said, but I'd like to know who I'm referring to.)

Another thing I read is that the fanciful elevator would have to be built on or near the equator. So, if anyone's going to use a space-elevator project in their game, there's bound to be some political considerations.

Fire Hawk
I don't know if it's been mentioned, but there was a book titled Mining The Sky that covered this concept. My brothers (who tend to follow things like science and econimics) claimed that the author had No Friggin' Clueô what sort of staggering costs this endeavor would require.
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