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The Financial Future of Space Travel 414

gurps_npc writes " This CNNMoney story discusses the financial future of space travel. In particular it gives some nice names and numbers, such as Bezos, Musk and 3554 Amun. 3554 Amun is an small metalic asteroid that crosses Earth's pass (not on collission course) and contains over 20 trillion US dollars worth of precious metal. It is a great fact to know when trying to explain to flat-earth types that don't understand why we waste money on space travel."
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The Financial Future of Space Travel

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  • by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @03:01AM (#14833148)
    Exactly. All you need to do is get to the asteroid, set up an operation in orbit capable of actually extracting the minerals from all the cruft (oh, sure, $1000 an oz. for platinum sounds like a real moneymaker until you start calculating the cost of shuttle runs to get the 1 tonne of ore that ounce is buried in), and come back with the payload... preferably with your workers still mostly alive.

    Ahh, well, at least the existence of this "gold mine in the skies" gives me a good reason to say "Great, so private enterprise can fund space exploration now" and stop pouring billions of tax dollars into NASA, the world's most inefficient R&D slush-fund.

  • by StrawberryFrog ( 67065 ) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @06:44AM (#14833602) Homepage Journal
    That's 20 trillion US dollars worth of precious metal at current prices

    You can guarantee that if you manage to mine this rock, prices would go down. Supply and demand.
  • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Thursday March 02, 2006 @07:59AM (#14833727) Journal
    and can be done decades ahead of any commercialization or colonization.

    See, here's the problem. We see it now with people patenting things they could never accomplish, paying a few thousand dollars in application and lawyer fees to obtain the property rights to things they'll never actually own.

    Property rights in advance is foolish, stupid, dumb, idiotic, and any number of other names you can assign. Do you know why the Gold Rush was a Rush? Because people could go west and stake out a plot of land and own it. Do you want to know how to kill the Space Rush? Sell me 3554 Amun for a million dollars, so I can sit tight here and wait for someone to bring it back for me.

    You want to see a space race? "Whoever sets foot there first, wins."

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner