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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    At this point for space to ever be profitable...
    Building, building, and running satellites is already profitable. I know it's old hat, but it still counts as space. There were, admittedly, early endeavours like Iridium where the initial investors lost a lot of money, but that's changed now. Iridium 2 is a thing that is happening now for example, and bigger (or smaller) and better communication, TV, and weather sats are launching all the time. One thing this is doing is massively reducing the cost of launching rockets. That's a big change that is happening right now.

    These things used to be the reserve of big governments, but now lots of private companies are in all parts of the field and making money. Science and military missions also make a lot of money for private companies, even if it is public money to start with.

    Putting people in space? Governments might lead the way again, with China talking big on moon bases for example, and the USA is still planning a Mars mission, or some crazy billionaire might do it.

    Tourism into low earth orbit could make money, even if it does cost millions for a trip some people would pay for that. Asteroid mining might be a thing, though probably with robots Selling air, water, or steel to a space hotel or the ISS at 20% off the cost of launching it might be an early market. There are companies that claim to be working on these things, and yes, in some cases their investors are going to lose everything, but that's pretty common for explorations into entirely new products and markets. Once something looks like working you'll see those small companies scooped up by larger ones, like a big cruise or hotel line buying a space tourism company or a big mining company buying a asteroid mining start-up. When that happens the initial investors will make a huge amount of money.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-02-10 at 10:06 PM.

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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    I guess literal space exploration is a bit different from many things we have discussed. Neither getting toffee from space nor putting up satellites is "exploration."

    Satellites are clearly profitable, though it amazes me a little, but I think we've gotten good at making them small / light. I have no idea how high the exchange rate is or if we will (soon) reach a point when we need hardly new sats put up. (I guess not but who knows)

    Doing research /exploration on its own has rarely been profitable in human history. It becomes so if you find some new ressource or if you 'invent' something. But inventing something in space that would make a profit or finding a new source of X that is worth looking for... Seems unlikely to the point where I don't see many people going after it.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    The real problem with making space exploration 'profitable' is that almost any cool technology you think of for some sort of space based industry, for example, 3D Printed autonomous mining drones, is also something you could deploy to great profitability here on Earth. And, at the end of the day, industry is ~100 elements, power, and software, and space doesn't have a monopoly on any of those things.

    The list of things you could do on Mars, for example, really isn't any different from the list of things you could do on Earth, with the exception of 'study the unique Martian environment,' and that's pretty much a pure R&D move. Now, pure R&D may very well be vastly profitable, but the up-front costs of space are huge and the current economic system isn't really capable of easily shouldering such massive capital costs (though Elon Musk is trying). This isn't exactly unique to space exploration. Basic research into fundamental physics might potentially pay out massive dividends economically, but private industry hasn't exactly rushed out to build gigantic particle accelerators.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Making toffee in space is essentially pretty similar to using sponsoring or ad revenue. People are paying to be associated with you and what you do. Some rich investor person buys the only batch of toffee to ever be made in space to show how cool they are and how they totally have a thing with space and you should come to them first if you're looking for investors in a space project. There's no inherent value from the stuff being made in space and that means it's hard to scale up. Sell a single spot for a commercial during the super bowl and the price goes absurdly high, sell advertisement space on an ads only station and you're begging for people to take the spots, and for people to watch it as well.

    It also reminds me of bad kickstarters that, with the best intentions, promise all sort of extra's to people who pledge more. Every penny you spend on those extra's cannot be spent on the product you are actually trying to fund. Time and lift capacity used for making toffee is not used on exploring space.

    Things like this can be a source of revenue, but they'll never be the only source for an expensive thing like going to space.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Making toffee in space is essentially pretty similar to using sponsoring or ad revenue. People are paying to be associated with you and what you do. Some rich investor person buys the only batch of toffee to ever be made in space to show how cool they are and how they totally have a thing with space and you should come to them first if you're looking for investors in a space project. There's no inherent value from the stuff being made in space and that means it's hard to scale up.
    It should be noted that one of the investor's in Super Heavy / Starship (previously known as BFR) is a Japanese Billionaire,Yusaku Maezawa, who has purchased the first ride on Starship to send up a bunch of artists on a mission around the moon. In this case, beyond the novelty/rarity factor of creating art in space, one can envision artists making something that could only be made in space, or with the moon as a backdrop. In this case, the art produced may be basically priceless, as it could result in some truly original work, and the first attempt would be the most sought after.

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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by monomer View Post
    It should be noted that one of the investor's in Super Heavy / Starship (previously known as BFR) is a Japanese Billionaire,Yusaku Maezawa, who has purchased the first ride on Starship to send up a bunch of artists on a mission around the moon. In this case, beyond the novelty/rarity factor of creating art in space, one can envision artists making something that could only be made in space, or with the moon as a backdrop. In this case, the art produced may be basically priceless, as it could result in some truly original work, and the first attempt would be the most sought after.
    That's really cool--I had heard about that guy, but I had no idea that he was bringing a bunch of artists with him.

    As others have pointed out, this kind of thing probably can't scale up enough to cover a significant part of the truly massive costs of getting into space, but it's probably useful in terms of getting a decent amount of capital and publicity up front. Plus, it's cool enough that it's probably worth doing for its own sake.

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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    The real problem with making space exploration 'profitable' is that almost any cool technology you think of for some sort of space based industry, for example, 3D Printed autonomous mining drones, is also something you could deploy to great profitability here on Earth. And, at the end of the day, industry is ~100 elements, power, and software, and space doesn't have a monopoly on any of those things.

    The list of things you could do on Mars, for example, really isn't any different from the list of things you could do on Earth, with the exception of 'study the unique Martian environment,' and that's pretty much a pure R&D move. Now, pure R&D may very well be vastly profitable, but the up-front costs of space are huge and the current economic system isn't really capable of easily shouldering such massive capital costs (though Elon Musk is trying). This isn't exactly unique to space exploration. Basic research into fundamental physics might potentially pay out massive dividends economically, but private industry hasn't exactly rushed out to build gigantic particle accelerators.
    I mean, the primary bonus of going to mars is mars isn't owned by anyone. You could do heavy industry all day long and noone would care. Strip mine things all you want.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by monomer View Post
    It should be noted that one of the investor's in Super Heavy / Starship (previously known as BFR) is a Japanese Billionaire,Yusaku Maezawa, who has purchased the first ride on Starship to send up a bunch of artists on a mission around the moon. In this case, beyond the novelty/rarity factor of creating art in space, one can envision artists making something that could only be made in space, or with the moon as a backdrop. In this case, the art produced may be basically priceless, as it could result in some truly original work, and the first attempt would be the most sought after.
    Better than toffee, better than the Mars One plan to finance a Mars mission by making it a reality show (those guys recently went bankrupt). Art is one of those things that tends to massively overinflate if people think other people might think there's something unique about it. But I would still suggest not banking on it paying for the complete development of a huge moon rocket. And even if it does I would not bank on the trick working for every launch from there on in.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    I mean, the primary bonus of going to mars is mars isn't owned by anyone. You could do heavy industry all day long and noone would care. Strip mine things all you want.
    The question is how much you'd have to invest first to make it profitable. The Apollo moon mission cost 20 billion dollars, or 200 billion adjusted for inflation. Mars would be exponentially more expensive. The question is if you could get anyone to invest trillions up front for something that may fail at any time (say, there's a solar flare and your entire mining crew dies on the way up), to mine bulk raw materials that you mostly also could get by strip mining some third world country. Politically and ethically unpleasant, but cheaper and companies have experience with that already.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    I mean, the primary bonus of going to mars is mars isn't owned by anyone. You could do heavy industry all day long and noone would care. Strip mine things all you want.
    Sure you can do all the heavy industry you want on Mars - but the tyranny of the rocket equation means that anything you produce is only going to be profitable within Mars' gravity well. As a result, in order to make heavy industry on Mars worth bothering with you need to have a Mars colony in place first, only there's no reason to build a permanent colony unless you're trying to make it an economic success in the first place. That's the fundamental Catch-22 of space development.

    Remember, space has no raw materials that are not available on Earth, since raw materials ultimately just boils down to the periodic table (and space isn't good at providing long-chain hydrocarbons anyway). So a space extraction or industrial process can only have supplies that are more convenient than those of Earth. Now, that convenience can be pretty impressive, there are some asteroids out there that are pretty much solid blocks of metal ore and don't represent a gravity well of any consequence. However, in order to utilize them you still have to haul at least a power source, a fabber, and some feedstock out to them, and once you have your extracted metals you then have to bring them back to some location where people want to use them, and if those people are on a planet that means you have to put them down into a gravity well without them either burning up or leaving big craters.

    It's worth noting that it's not all that difficult to imagine a profitable series of space industries servicing other people in space, because once you're talking about moving things from one microgravity location to another you're just transferring orbits and most of the expensive rocketry can be avoided. If you can build a space elevator, then, you can start to bring planets and moons into the mix in a limited way, but that breakthrough's a ways off if it's possible at all.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Hm. From what I remember, we could potentially make a lunar space elevator out of Kevlar. What would we need for a Mars elevator? Anyone run the numbers? If we could put an elevator there, that would instantly make it much more interesting as a base for the aerospae industry to get their bulk materials.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2019-02-12 at 06:59 AM.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Hm. From what I remember, we could potentially make a lunar space elevator out of Kevlar. What would we need for a Mars elevator? Anyone run the numbers? If we could put an elevator there, that would instantly make it much more interesting as a base for the aerospae industry to get their bulk materials.
    Why? What could the aerospace industry get on Mars that they can't already get on Earth much, much cheaper?

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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Very long term, I mean. Having mines on mars with a space elevator could be a cheaper way to build big things in space than shipping them up from Earth. Very, very long term .
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    So, a former GM of mine is a Vice President at Made in Space; when he was GMing me, he was working for NASA (seriously, he and another NASA engineer would have conversations about office politics that were AMAZING). Anyway, here's a mission statement from Made In Space

    Made In Space is primarily concerned with how the unique traits of the space environment such as persistent microgravity and vacuum conditions can be harnessed to offer new commercial solutions. By manufacturing and assembling structures on orbit, rather than on the planet's surface, we unlock incredible design possibilities for extending the life of current on-orbit assets or entirely new structures. By pulling fiber in microgravity, we address one of the most critical barriers to perfect ZBLAN on the surface–gravity-caused crystallization. By setting up a prototyping platform on the ISS National Lab, we give researchers the ability to prototype tools and designs in the environment of space with short iteration cycles.
    So, how to make space profitable?

    You start on the ground. You design modules that can support long-term space presence and serve as manufacturing centers in space. You shoot them up there, and keep them supplied with raw materials. With space-side manufacturing, you can ship up raw materials (cheaper, denser), and produce things your space industry needs without the difficulties of shipping up produced goods. As your space program grows, you can start exploiting existing resources, be they decomissioned satellites or, eventually, grabbing rocks from the sky and mining them for useful materials.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    At that point though, how much does Mars really offer over for instance a large asteroid station with a habitat module spun up for gravity?
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2019-02-12 at 12:03 PM.

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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    The question is how much you'd have to invest first to make it profitable. The Apollo moon mission cost 20 billion dollars, or 200 billion adjusted for inflation. Mars would be exponentially more expensive. The question is if you could get anyone to invest trillions up front for something that may fail at any time (say, there's a solar flare and your entire mining crew dies on the way up), to mine bulk raw materials that you mostly also could get by strip mining some third world country. Politically and ethically unpleasant, but cheaper and companies have experience with that already.
    With its weaker gravity well and greater distance from the sun, Mars would have the advantage of easier access to end-users out in space, but that presupposes the existence of profitable space exploration beyond Mars, which brings us back to square one. Also, given that steel is pretty great for a lot of construction, mining iron-rich asteroids would probably be much better at providing a source of most raw materials without the need for such a high escape velocity. Also, they can be moved as is to whatever distant space outpost you're building. Plus, the asteroid belt basically starts off closer.

    If we find something truly rare on Mars, with substantial value to technologies to be deployed in space, that could become worthwhile--again, presupposing we find some other economic driver for all that other space exploration. Tantalum, for example, is very useful in electronics, and if we can create systems that autonomously manufacture probes or other automated machinery in space, then it might make sense to mine it from Mars and launch it into space from there.

    In order to make it economical to ship it back to Earth, it would have to be very, very rare and have intrinsic value. There was a thread in this forum a while back--I believe about asteroid mining--where somebody made an important point about how commodities that derive value primarily from scarcity and prestige (such as gold) lose value particularly quickly when you reduce that scarcity. Profiting from space-gold-prospecting would require a very precarious balance between bringing in enough gold to recoup your investment and bringing in so much that you flood the market and tank prices. Moreover, because it's such an investment-heavy venture (most likely, the marginal cost of mining each bit of gold and sending it to Earth will be tiny compared to the amount spent getting those asteroid miners in place), if there is any competition at all there is a high likelihood of a price war that will either destroy the industry or drastically destabilize the market until the dust settles. Just imagine a lemonade stand industry where it costs a million dollars to buy a lemonade replicator, but less than a penny to create each glass of lemonade. With multiple competitors, each stand will be very tempted to get their marginal profits as low as possible to try to outlast the competition and emerge with a monopoly to recoup their original investment. Meanwhile, the market suffers whatever consequences would stem from a prolonged period of artificially low lemonade prices--probably diabetes.

    This would still be an issue with a material with intrinsic value in some other industry--such as the various rare earth elements used in various high tech industries. However, with those there would at least be some other driver for demand that would be able to absorb a bit more increase in supply without tanking prices.

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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    But most of those advantages apply to asteroid stations. As a bonus, the metals in most asteroids have not in large amounts sunken into a core, thus much more of those can be mined near the surface.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
    Satellites are clearly profitable, though it amazes me a little, but I think we've gotten good at making them small / light. I have no idea how high the exchange rate is or if we will (soon) reach a point when we need hardly new sats put up. (I guess not but who knows)
    We will need new satellites. Partly because old ones die; they run out of fuel for station keeping, their batteries degrade, their solar panels degrade, parts stop working. Second, existing satellites use existing technologies; hence they are limited and as we want them to do more, handle more data/bandwidth, provide higher resolution images, different EM spectrums, etc, they need to be replaced (since they are not designed to be upgraded in place.)

    Doing research /exploration on its own has rarely been profitable in human history. It becomes so if you find some new ressource or if you 'invent' something. But inventing something in space that would make a profit or finding a new source of X that is worth looking for... Seems unlikely to the point where I don't see many people going after it.
    This is exactly why early exploration is done with government funding/support. And has been the model to date for space. At some point, it becomes reasonable for non-government groups to support. Just like early colonization of North America.
    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    I mean, the primary bonus of going to mars is mars isn't owned by anyone. You could do heavy industry all day long and noone would care. Strip mine things all you want.
    As of today. It is likely their will be international laws regulating such endeavors soon after such becomes possible. Again, I refer youto the Mars series, it addresses this issue directly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    So, how to make space profitable?

    You start on the ground. You design modules that can support long-term space presence and serve as manufacturing centers in space. You shoot them up there, and keep them supplied with raw materials. With space-side manufacturing, you can ship up raw materials (cheaper, denser), and produce things your space industry needs without the difficulties of shipping up produced goods. As your space program grows, you can start exploiting existing resources, be they decomissioned satellites or, eventually, grabbing rocks from the sky and mining them for useful materials.
    This is a good start, but again it is of limited availability and use. IMO, the value in endeavors such as Made in Space is that it bring us practical experience. It allows trial and error, not just in manufacture (which is vital), but also in space launch etc.
    Last edited by LordEntrails; 2019-02-12 at 12:33 PM. Reason: typo

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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    At that point though, how much does Mars really offer over for instance a large asteroid station with a habitat module spun up for gravity?
    It's already in a stable orbit around the sun, and has a hell of a lot of more material ready to be mined, including water? Floating space debris seems to come in two types: those with metals and those with water, so they'd be a pain if you want both.

    Capturing an asteroid for use as a station is non-trivial. I mean, I suppose we could set it up in the asteroid belt, but that's just a smaller version of setting it up on Mars. Although I suppose it could be easier to make it spin to 1g.

    No, I don't have a fool-proof answer for you. I honestly believe that space can be profitable, but I don't know enough to say if Moon/Mars/Ceres/NeoMoon would be the most economical first step. If I had to guess, though, Moon with kevlar Space Elevator is likely the most realistic at this time.

    (Speaking of, I too would like to know if a Mars Space Elevator can be built with existing tech. With a rotation so much closer to Earth's and a mere 2x Moon gravity, I would think it need a much shorter Space Elevator, which means it needs to support far less of its own weight, right? I tried to do the research a while back, but got lost)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    given that steel is pretty great for a lot of construction, mining iron-rich asteroids would probably be much better at providing a source of most raw materials without the need for such a high escape velocity. Also, they can be moved as is to whatever distant space outpost you're building. Plus, the asteroid belt basically starts off closer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    But most of those advantages apply to asteroid stations. As a bonus, the metals in most asteroids have not in large amounts sunken into a core, thus much more of those can be mined near the surface.
    ...which is why I specified that rare elements not found in asteroids would be the only scenario where it would make sense.

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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Hm. From what I remember, we could potentially make a lunar space elevator out of Kevlar. What would we need for a Mars elevator? Anyone run the numbers? If we could put an elevator there, that would instantly make it much more interesting as a base for the aerospae industry to get their bulk materials.
    Phobos' orbit is smaller than areostationary orbit, so a space elevator there would have to be intentionally vibrated at a low frequency that moves it out of the way of the moon as it passes. Even with lower tensile strengths required, that poses a massive engineering challenge.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    Phobos' orbit is smaller than areostationary orbit, so a space elevator there would have to be intentionally vibrated at a low frequency that moves it out of the way of the moon as it passes. Even with lower tensile strengths required, that poses a massive engineering challenge.
    Would it be a smaller engineering challenge to move Phobos out of Mars orbit?
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Would it be a smaller engineering challenge to move Phobos out of Mars orbit?
    Probably not. Phobos is very small--for a moon. That still means it's a chunk of rock nearly 6,000 cubic kilometres in volume and massing more than 10^13 tonnes. Giving it enough delta-V to move it above geostationary orbit would be a massive undertaking that would either require a lot of materials, a lot of time, or probably both.

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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    Phobos' orbit is smaller than areostationary orbit, so a space elevator there would have to be intentionally vibrated at a low frequency that moves it out of the way of the moon as it passes. Even with lower tensile strengths required, that poses a massive engineering challenge.
    Oh yeah. I forgot that part of Red Mars.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Its looking more and more like the only reason to go out in space and do anything there, like setup mining and whatnot, is to go further into space. Its not so much profitable as it is long term cheaper and more effective if you can build, fuel, and staff spaceships outside earths orbit. Of course even that has limited returns as current tech will only make it possible to travel so far so fast even without having to escape earth to get going first. There isnt much of anything to be found or done in space that is cost effective enough to justify doing it there instead of on earth currently. Even the things which technically could be more profitable are such long term investments as to be insane. Strip mining mars could be remarkably efficient as you can use the most effective methods for removal of ore without caring about the environment, but its still something that would take decades to offset the initial cost of getting everything in place to setup mining, transport materials back and forth, etc etc etc. And the risk involved is through the roof. If a mine collapses on earth, we have rescue services to help look for survivors. If an accident happens on mars, you dead son, you dead. So even if there was an investor crazy enough to fund a project that best case would start showing a profit when his grand child inherits the family business, the odds of it lasting long enough to pay off are probably pretty low. And thats assuming mining on mars IS efficient enough to offset the costs involved in basically colonizing a planet to setup mining operations.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Its looking more and more like the only reason to go out in space and do anything there, like setup mining and whatnot, is to go further into space.
    Well yes, but there is a lot of space in space.

    Its not so much profitable as it is long term cheaper and more effective if you can build, fuel, and staff spaceships outside earths orbit. Of course even that has limited returns as current tech will only make it possible to travel so far so fast even without having to escape earth to get going first. There isnt much of anything to be found or done in space that is cost effective enough to justify doing it there instead of on earth currently. Even the things which technically could be more profitable are such long term investments as to be insane. Strip mining mars could be remarkably efficient as you can use the most effective methods for removal of ore without caring about the environment, but its still something that would take decades to offset the initial cost of getting everything in place to setup mining, transport materials back and forth, etc etc etc. And the risk involved is through the roof. If a mine collapses on earth, we have rescue services to help look for survivors. If an accident happens on mars, you dead son, you dead. So even if there was an investor crazy enough to fund a project that best case would start showing a profit when his grand child inherits the family business, the odds of it lasting long enough to pay off are probably pretty low. And thats assuming mining on mars IS efficient enough to offset the costs involved in basically colonizing a planet to setup mining operations.
    The thread title was aimed at making the current generation or five or six generations of space exploration and colonisation more economically viable than it currently is.

    I personally don't think mining or any other heavy industry for export (or whatever the word ought to be) back to Earth will ever be profitable. There might turn out to be something you can generate in micro gravity that is useful and will survive the journey back to Earth, but it will have to be small I think.

    I really don't think Mars is a suitable planet for colonisation, better than Jupiter, but not good.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Well yes, but there is a lot of space in space.



    The thread title was aimed at making the current generation or five or six generations of space exploration and colonisation more economically viable than it currently is.

    I personally don't think mining or any other heavy industry for export (or whatever the word ought to be) back to Earth will ever be profitable. There might turn out to be something you can generate in micro gravity that is useful and will survive the journey back to Earth, but it will have to be small I think.

    I really don't think Mars is a suitable planet for colonisation, better than Jupiter, but not good.
    Ah fair enough I must have missed that part of the original topic. But still, unless we make a quantum leap forward in tech, discover the next big thing as regards to space travel, I just dont see us really getting very far. Like, at best eventually creating bio dome style colonies on other planets/moons/whatever nearby and spreading further from there. And even then I dont see it happening until there is a driving reason. Like we learn the end of the world WILL happen inside a century and the only way to survive is to flee to another planet/moon/whatever. After all, its going to be stupidly expensive to pull off so even though im sure there are enough people to form a solid large nation who are willing and eager to risk it all living on the moon or wherever, they dont control the vastly deep purses needed to fund it. And again, earth is just a better place to live currently. Its where all our stuff is!
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Short term the only real money from space exploration will be continued launching of satellites and then space tourism. Large scale endeavours are not going to be profitable until theres some sort of infrastructure in space to take advantage of these “close” resources.

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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    earth is just a better place to live currently. Its where all our stuff is!
    You mean like England was where all the stuff was? Because it mostly was.

    A lot of (mostly fairly small) colonies failed, with no survivors.

    That was a different situation, but there are some similarities at least. There are a lot of people who want to go. There are a lot of people who don't want to go, but giving them a veto over other people going seems excessive to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    Short term the only real money from space exploration will be continued launching of satellites and then space tourism. Large scale endeavours are not going to be profitable until theres some sort of infrastructure in space to take advantage of these “close” resources.
    Space tourism is probably a good thing, I'm not at all sure that Virgin's almost space tourism is good since they don't get to orbit and their craft probably can't be sensibly or economically be converted to get to orbit. Satellites which are profitable are great.

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    https://www.amazon.com/Frontiers-Spa.../dp/B0010P5H16

    It's full of spacecraft that might have been built in the then future. None of them were (they didn't have the shuttle as such, and didn't cover basic rockets). That the Apollo missions were the peak of space travel does make me slightly angry.
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    Default Re: How to make space exploration profitable.

    You wanting space colonies to be a thing doesn't mean it can be a thing. We cannot get everything we want. And living in space might be one of the things that doesn't work out. That doesn't mean it's anyone's fault or people want to keep others from their dreams. Maybe you'll get your wish one day, maybe one of your descendants will. Or maybe it turns out we're stuck on this rock for one reason or another.
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