Mar 26, 01 / Mar 23, 17 18:04 UTC
Re: Infinite Resources ¶
Yes, each haul would be of a greater rate of return - for the first phase and with present technology. New technology will change the playing field of resource availability. I know that there are a few technologies out there that can and will be used for these endeavours, varying in development stages.
I like the ant analogy, Asteroid Nom-ing Technology if you will, where the ant colony has many little workers with a nest (or mother ship), and can breakdown the larger bodies to manageable pieces. The worker ants could eventually be cloned or replicated (philosophical and Sci-Fi implications not withstanding) on site, depending upon the size of the "Nest." From there, products can be transported to LEO, maybe to a space elevator, for ground delivery.
As for the ANTs/Tugs, many entities (universities, companies, garage-itechs) have shown advancements in autonomic coordination of robotics. See Ardiuno videos on YouTube to see beginners and professions perform things not capable by major corporations 10 years ago. Financial institutions and professionals would have to account for resource fluxes to the planet but as stated earlier, resource abundance, if managed ethically, can be steps to a much more level and stable economy. With the tinker/open source movements, the materials in LEO are sufficient. With rocket upper stages and processing abilities of things like Raspberry Pi and Arduino, harvesting LEO and NEO items is a challenge but very realistic. If we were to standardized the Tugs size and configuration(s), they could be deployed as a collaborative fleet(s), as mentioned earlier.
For the present, the Close-to-home, build-up approach is my preferred approach. Once new technology for human travel is developed then I'll be more inclined for dating the concept of resources beyond the Asteroid field. I believe on-site involvement would be much more practical at that point.