[ExI] De-Orbiting Gold

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Sun May 20 03:08:57 UTC 2012

I believe the usual calculation assumes you launch a rocket into
space just to deorbit the gold, and that the rocket + fuel mass
many times the gold.  (Going by your numbers, 10 times
$10,000/pound > $23,217.59.)  And then there are engineering
costs, assuming you will take the standard model of essentially
custom-designing each rocket from scratch, with a full
development program and scale tests, for each individual rocket.

Things like reusable deorbiters - which slow down gold just
enough to send it into the atmosphere, then boost back up to
wait for the next chunk, and can use mass-efficient ion engines
or solar sails - are simply not considered.

On Sat, May 19, 2012 at 7:39 PM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM, Eric Messick
> <eric at m056832107.syzygy.com> wrote:
>> Keith writes:
>> The media was questioning their economic sanity, saying that it
>> wouldn't even be worth it to de-orbit gold, so clearly they're
>> thinking along the lines of mass resources in orbit.
> Seriously? It would not pay to de-orbit gold??? That seems crazy.
> Let's do a back of the envelope calculation.
> Spot price of gold today is: $1592.10
> Gold is measured in Troy ounces. However, the typical "pound" is not a
> troy measurement (it is technically called an Avoirdupois pound -- a
> typical American pound). There are ~14.583 Troy ounces in one American
> (Avoirdupois) pound.
> So to find the current value of of one pound of gold, simply multiply
> 14.583 times the current price of gold (look at goldprice.com for a
> current valuation).
> So today a pound of gold is $23,217.59... or $51,078.70 per kilo...
> A price I've often heard is that it costs $10,000 per pound to get
> something up into LEO... The price to bring something DOWN must be
> less than that!
> So this is pure silliness on the part of whoever is dishing this
> information. Aside from that, I would pay to own gold in LEO... seems
> pretty secure... better than a bank vault. :-)
> -Kelly
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