Author Topic: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About  (Read 33051 times)

Offline LMT

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #20 on: 10/03/2022 12:53 am »
Very peculiar that the article doesn't mention the damage that resource extraction does on Earth. 

Space mining is clean mining.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2022 12:55 am by LMT »

Online deadman1204

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #21 on: 11/09/2022 09:04 pm »
Very peculiar that the article doesn't mention the damage that resource extraction does on Earth.  Here we are, busily poisoning ourselves and the whole biosphere through resource extraction when there are (potentially) resources to be had from places without biospheres to pollute.  How is it not ethical to explore opportunities to fulfill our need for resources from those sources?  I am personally doubtful it will happen but it can't be called unethical to try it.   
The trouble is that the costs of mining and such are shared across the world, while the benefits are held by those doing the mining. There is no legal framework in most of the world to make a miner/polluter pay the extrinsic costs of their actions (pollution, climate change, habitat destruction). So we all pay it

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #22 on: 11/24/2022 02:07 pm »
Isn't the stereotypical response something something platinum group metals...

Well, that and crack cocaine.

  Elon Musk is on record saying that  pure crack cocaine in LEO would not be commercially retrievable.

[I'm 2L2L Elon's actual statement, but this is a commonly held view that he really said this.]
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #23 on: 11/24/2022 02:39 pm »
Very peculiar that the article doesn't mention the damage that resource extraction does on Earth.  Here we are, busily poisoning ourselves and the whole biosphere through resource extraction when there are (potentially) resources to be had from places without biospheres to pollute.  How is it not ethical to explore opportunities to fulfill our need for resources from those sources?  I am personally doubtful it will happen but it can't be called unethical to try it.   
The trouble is that the costs of mining and such are shared across the world, while the benefits are held by those doing the mining. There is no legal framework in most of the world to make a miner/polluter pay the extrinsic costs of their actions (pollution, climate change, habitat destruction). So we all pay it

Along these lines is the CHM principle, The Common Heritage of Mankind

From:

https://wealthofthecommons.org/essay/common-heritage-mankind-bold-doctrine-kept-within-strict-boundaries

Quote
The “common heritage of mankind” is an ethical concept and a general concept of international law. It establishes that some localities belong to all humanity and that their resources are available for everyone’s use and benefit, taking into account future generations and the needs of developing countries.

CHM principles have been suggested to apply for mankind's colonization of space:

https://www.jindalsocietyofinternationallaw.com/post/unpacking-common-heritage-of-mankind-in-sea-and-space

Quote
In Article 11 of the Moon Treaty, the ‘common heritage of mankind’ language surfaces, and the article states, "the Moon's and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind and states may explore and use the moon without discrimination”

Leaving aside the question of the humano-centrist idea of the CHM, [They didn't check with the lizard people of Arcturus.] there are some Earth huggers who claim that there should be no mining of any celestial body, but that those barren landscapes should be left pristine and free of human presence.

Here's a goofy point of view as recent as May of 2019:

https://www.livescience.com/65472-scientists-propose-solar-system-national-park.html

Quote
Space Mining Could Ruin Our Solar System If We Don't Establish Protected Places Now, Researchers Warn

It is hard to think that these people are following the science:

Quote
...humans could deplete the solar system of all of its water, iron and other mineable resources in a matter of centuries — potentially leaving the solar system a dried-up wasteland in as little as 500 years.

Good thing the Moon Treaty was not ratified by the US.  While I am of the opinion that the US should withdraw from the OST as well, I am also aware of the other side of that opinion. 

So there's that.

The Impakter article is of no pragmatic utility.

But here's my question. 

I'm trying to "build" a huge ring station over on another thread.  The main structure, not yet finalized, will use millions of tons of 316L steel, as currently envisioned.  One of my contacts at TransAstra is of the opinion that mining the NEA's for volatiles for use as propellant will be a profitable enterprise in the foreseeable future, where many flights between the cis-lunar space and Mars become common. 

If asteroids can be mined for metals using some variant of the STR asteroid bag methodology, they will also leave behind huge blobs of slag. 

Will these slag blobs accrete naturally?  We don't have to worry about it yet, but at what point will asteroid waste become a flight hazard?
« Last Edit: 11/24/2022 02:40 pm by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #24 on: 11/24/2022 05:37 pm »
Anything in space that has been liberated into a manageable and shippable size has value in space. So most of the slag will be used as well just for it's value as a micro as well as a not so micro meteorite shield and as a radiation shield. This slag is not the best at these two tasks but its use for these two tasks in a non moving station frees up more valuable materials for better tasks. Like use in ships/transports.

Thus some may be left but could have some value as generic building material  to surround the smelter stations so that the small number of workers have also radiation shielding even though they are there for EVA type tasks for very specialized repair or inspection tasks. This enclosing slag/construction blocks would make a mining cube that surrounds a prospective asteroid for mining such that escaping pieces cannot become a navigation or other risk hazard. In other words the slag becomes the containment bag. once the asteroid is mined of its valuable minerals. what is left in the same orbit as the original asteroid is a man made set of block structure that is hollow inside. This could have some interesting value in and of itself as a station or colony depending on size.

ANY MASS IN SPACE IS NOT WORTHLESS! Use your imagination and be innovative.

Offline Redclaws

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #25 on: 11/24/2022 05:59 pm »
Anything in space that has been liberated into a manageable and shippable size has value in space. So most of the slag will be used as well just for it's value as a micro as well as a not so micro meteorite shield and as a radiation shield. This slag is not the best at these two tasks but its use for these two tasks in a non moving station frees up more valuable materials for better tasks. Like use in ships/transports.

Thus some may be left but could have some value as generic building material  to surround the smelter stations so that the small number of workers have also radiation shielding even though they are there for EVA type tasks for very specialized repair or inspection tasks. This enclosing slag/construction blocks would make a mining cube that surrounds a prospective asteroid for mining such that escaping pieces cannot become a navigation or other risk hazard. In other words the slag becomes the containment bag. once the asteroid is mined of its valuable minerals. what is left in the same orbit as the original asteroid is a man made set of block structure that is hollow inside. This could have some interesting value in and of itself as a station or colony depending on size.

ANY MASS IN SPACE IS NOT WORTHLESS! Use your imagination and be innovative.

You have to enclose it and move it to the desired locations.  Both will be very, very tough.

Offline lamontagne

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #26 on: 11/24/2022 06:06 pm »
I would argue against the proposition that asteroid mining cannot profit to all by mentioning the existence of shares and of pensions funds.  Shareholders, sometimes pension funds that pay out to their members interesting sums, can spread the profit among many.  I expect that whoever wrote the article, if he is even moderately wealthy, gets some revenue from mining.  By extension, he would also get significant revenue from asteroid mining.

Everyone wants 6%+ growth in their investments and pensions, but they don't really want to know where this growth comes from...



Online Robotbeat

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #27 on: 11/24/2022 06:16 pm »
Taxes on profits are partly what allow the benefits of mining to be shared.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #28 on: 11/24/2022 06:26 pm »
... ANY MASS IN SPACE IS NOT WORTHLESS! Use your imagination and be innovative.

I am fond of saying "Mass is your friend", but the choir hasn't yet learned the lyrics.

"Let the slag be the bag."  I like it. 
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline lamontagne

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #29 on: 11/24/2022 06:35 pm »
The author seems to take lightly the problems of the resources of the sea, but overfishing is a far worse problem than asteroid mining!

And the coming mining of the seabed might better be done by an alternative in space.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #30 on: 11/24/2022 07:04 pm »
Anything in space that has been liberated into a manageable and shippable size has value in space. So most of the slag will be used as well just for it's value as a micro as well as a not so micro meteorite shield and as a radiation shield. This slag is not the best at these two tasks but its use for these two tasks in a non moving station frees up more valuable materials for better tasks. Like use in ships/transports.

Thus some may be left but could have some value as generic building material  to surround the smelter stations so that the small number of workers have also radiation shielding even though they are there for EVA type tasks for very specialized repair or inspection tasks. This enclosing slag/construction blocks would make a mining cube that surrounds a prospective asteroid for mining such that escaping pieces cannot become a navigation or other risk hazard. In other words the slag becomes the containment bag. once the asteroid is mined of its valuable minerals. what is left in the same orbit as the original asteroid is a man made set of block structure that is hollow inside. This could have some interesting value in and of itself as a station or colony depending on size.

ANY MASS IN SPACE IS NOT WORTHLESS! Use your imagination and be innovative.

You have to enclose it and move it to the desired locations.  Both will be very, very tough.
If it is small then it is easier to move the asteroid than the equipment to do the mining and ore purification steps. Else don't move the asteroid but the plant to the asteroid do the mining ship the refined ore away and then just leave the husk of slag in same orbit as the original asteroid. The decision is one of costs. Is it cheaper to move the whole asteroid or the plant out to the asteroid. In either case you still use the same slag bag methods. Just that for the small ones at a centralized location  colossally large slag bags that can be opened and closed where multiple small asteroids are processed/mined whose total slag then constructs more bags so even more asteroids can be mined at once. As well as using some of it to make rotating sphere habitats out of the slag. A mining location could end being a very large colony with many "towns"/spheres housing 10s of thousands of persons at short distances.

Offline punder

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #31 on: 11/24/2022 07:33 pm »
Very peculiar that the article doesn't mention the damage that resource extraction does on Earth.  Here we are, busily poisoning ourselves and the whole biosphere through resource extraction when there are (potentially) resources to be had from places without biospheres to pollute.  How is it not ethical to explore opportunities to fulfill our need for resources from those sources?  I am personally doubtful it will happen but it can't be called unethical to try it.   
The trouble is that the costs of mining and such are shared across the world, while the benefits are held by those doing the mining. There is no legal framework in most of the world to make a miner/polluter pay the extrinsic costs of their actions (pollution, climate change, habitat destruction). So we all pay it
We all benefit from these activities as well. As one of the more trivial benefits, consider the ability to post your thoughts to potentially billions of people worldwide in an instant, and consider whether this ability would be possible without the mining and processing of metals.

[this is not a criticism of you, deadman1204] Academics love to opine on the hypothetical immorality of economic activity. They do this from their secure, comfortable, privileged positions based almost entirely on the capacity of that exact same economic activity to create the conditions under which their chosen professions are even imaginable, much less viable.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #32 on: 11/25/2022 11:12 am »
I would argue against the proposition that asteroid mining cannot profit to all by mentioning the existence of shares and of pensions funds.  Shareholders, sometimes pension funds that pay out to their members ...

Well, yeah, but:  The thing about CHM is that people and nations are rewarded for doing nothing, and the reward is enforceable by law.  Most capitalists are against appropriation of their property, which is what profits are in a fundamental sense.  True, too many capitalists take the position that legitimate governmental taxation schemes are also theft of property, and deliberately ignore the benefits of proper, well regulated government, and international legal systems.   The CHM crowd deliberately ignores the idea of individuals, and subsumes individual rights under an intentionally poor rendition of the idea of collective rights.

I agree that some of the asteroid mining wealth will "trickle down" to the poorer nations.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #33 on: 11/25/2022 12:02 pm »
You have to enclose it and move it to the desired locations.  Both will be very, very tough.
If it is small then it is easier to move the asteroid than the equipment to do the mining and ore purification steps. Else don't move the asteroid but the plant to the asteroid do the mining ship the refined ore away and then just leave the husk of slag in same orbit as the original asteroid.

 The decision is one of [1.] costs. Is it cheaper to move the whole asteroid or the plant out to the asteroid[?] In either case you still use the same slag bag methods.
[2.] Just that for the small ones at a centralized location  colossally large slag bags that can be opened and closed where multiple small asteroids are processed/mined whose total slag then constructs more bags so even more asteroids can be mined at once.

[3.] As well as using some of it to make rotating sphere habitats out of the slag. A mining location could end being a very large colony with many "towns"/spheres housing 10s of thousands of persons at short distances.

First, that part I bolded?  You've got some grammatical thing going on, and I can't parse the meaning of your sentence.

1. "Costs"  I typically use the term "costs" in a loose fashion.  Costs could be money, time, delta-v and so forth, but yeah, mission trades are intended to find the least cost of a mission.

2. Well, you are viewing asteroids as acorns on the forest floor, where the "cost" [there's that term again] of picking them up and putting them in a bag is easy to do.  Think rather in terms that the acorns would be scattered many miles apart.

Quote from: NASA
The average distance between the asteroids would be about 100,000 miles

https://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/a10537.html

A quick search didn't find an average asteroid size, but it is surely much more than average acorn size.  I'm guessing about
one acorn every square mile? Point being that collecting the "small ones at a centralized location" is a non-trivial task.

3. Unless one gets an iron asteroid, the mass of slag vastly exceeds the mass of the metals processed.   The amount of metal required to bag that slag, in the case of my ring station is a fraction of the mass/volume of the slag required.  Maybe I'll do that calc.

Fun video comparing asteroid sizes:

Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #34 on: 11/25/2022 12:32 pm »
The trouble is that the costs of mining and such are shared across the world, while the benefits are held by those doing the mining. There is no legal framework in most of the world to make a miner/polluter pay the extrinsic costs of their actions ...
We all benefit from these activities as well.

Academics love to opine on the hypothetical immorality of economic activity.

Well, first, speaking metaphorically, it seems clear that academia [arts and humanities mostly] [A&H] has been fairly corrupted by the woke mind virus.  The STEM community is too myopic to see beyond the test tube.  The antipathy of committed members of each tribe to the other has resulted in A&H academia minimizing STEM studies, and STEM academian minimizing A&H studies.

While the "costs of mining", loosely understood to include the environmental and social costs, are shared the world over, it is still the case that the financial rewards go to those who take and overcome the risks of failure.  In addition, the relative wealth of the Third World has grown immensely over the last three or four decades.  True, the wealth of the elites has grown even faster, but consider that the dragon's gold is not circulating in the economy when it is tied up in paper.  [PM me if this is inscrutable.]

Bucky Fuller's calculations are suspect, since he doen't offer them, but the principle he mentions holds.  The accounting system used by our economies could better approximate the costs of resource extraction and use:

Quote
In Critical Path, Bucky cites Francois de Chardenedes' view that petroleum, from the standpoint of its replacement cost out of our current energy "budget" (essentially incoming solar radiation), had cost nature "over a million dollars" per U.S. gallon (US$300,000/L) to produce. From this point of view its use as a transportation fuel by people commuting to work represents a huge net loss compared to their earnings.

http://theoildrum.com/node/5113

[Edit, 12-12-22:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1602278477234728960

Just for "context".
« Last Edit: 12/12/2022 12:15 pm by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #35 on: 11/25/2022 01:15 pm »
Look, I think it’s fair to say most people are exhausted with the sort of hall monitor stuff and general anti-progress attitude in some areas, but would it be okay *not* to bring in hyper-politically-charged phrases like “woke mind virus” to the conversation?

It’s bad enough we have to have ridiculous articles like spawned this thread, I don’t want to have the polar opposite as well.
« Last Edit: 11/25/2022 01:17 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #36 on: 11/25/2022 02:53 pm »
It’s bad enough we have to have ridiculous articles like spawned this thread, I don’t want to have the polar opposite as well.

I thought Bucky Fuller made a good point.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline lamontagne

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #37 on: 11/25/2022 03:27 pm »
It’s bad enough we have to have ridiculous articles like spawned this thread, I don’t want to have the polar opposite as well.

I thought Bucky Fuller made a good point.
He certainly did.  And he didn't need to use a meaningless expression like 'woke mind virus' to make it :-)

Great summary of Fuller's ideas, BTW.  That's for linking to it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #38 on: 11/25/2022 05:10 pm »
meaningless expression

Well, everybody's a critic.  And speaking of "meaningless expressions":

Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline lamontagne

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Re: The Problems With Space Mining No One Is Talking About
« Reply #39 on: 11/25/2022 05:30 pm »
meaningless expression

Well, everybody's a critic.  And speaking of "meaningless expressions":


Pink Floyd soundtrack is usually a good choice. 
So I guess there really is no Space Mining problem no One is Talking About, and we might as well move on to more fruitful debates.

 

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