Date: 2017-05-15 10:04 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
The commodity price implications of asteroid mining are one of the things I think about when I want to distract myself from something boring. (My top favourite is how I'd launder a literal sack full of cash in the event of stumbling over a Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrel scenario.)

I keep bumping up against a situation where asteroid mining eats its own lunch. If successful it risks lowering the price of the, now no longer rare, elements that are being mined.

Also, I'd do it with robots. The fact that the Chinese aren't planning on using robots tells me something about their robotics capabilities.

Date: 2017-05-15 10:49 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I'm not sure anyone currently has the robots required but I think that by the time you've got humans up their and the infrastructure set up you might as well have designed robots to do the work. So I'm surprised the Chinese are going down the human route.

Date: 2017-05-16 08:42 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I think we're probably good enough at robots to say with some confidence that in about 20 years we'll be able to start thinking seriously about asteroid mining with robots over the next five years. We can learn most of what we need to learn about the robots on Earth.

I'm not sure we're good enough at human space travel to say with confidence that we could do it now (unless you don't mind a signficant death rate in your crews). I think we probably need to be in space to learn about humans in space.

So if I were Deputy God-Emperor of the Solar System with special responsibility for space I'd be thinking, it's going to take 20-30 years to learn how to do this the human way and we'll kill a bunch of humans and burn a lot of money or we can wait 15 years until the robots have proven they can drive, swim and mine on their own on earth and then tweak them for space.

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