[ExI] De-Orbiting Gold

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Sun May 20 16:43:24 UTC 2012

On Sun, May 20, 2012 at 12:52 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>>... On Behalf Of Kelly Anderson
> Subject: Re: [ExI] De-Orbiting Gold
>>...Ok, so maybe I'm not a rocket scientist... but what would happen if you
> had say a one meter diameter ball of solid gold, perhaps covered with a
> three meter thick coating of copper (total 7 meters), and you just
> decelerated it as much as possible and dropped it into the middle of the
> Sahara Dessert. Ok, so you would have a huge hole, maybe a dead camel,
> possibly a bit of a mess to clean up.. but why wouldn't something relatively
> simple like that work? You make the copper thick enough and the reentry
> wouldn't even heat the gold up.
>>...This isn't the same as retrieving a sensitive satellite, it's a big dang
> ball of gold... unhurt by being jostled around, crushed or even broken
> apart, come on?!?
>>...You would design the trajectory for the minimal speed of reentry as
> possible, and the heating seems like it could be kept under control somehow.
> What am I missing here?  -Kelly
> _______________________________________________
> Kelly in order to drop this device in a particular place, you need a lot of
> delta V.  For the system you describe, I will do a calc in my head, the gold
> sphere is about half a cubic meter, that's about 10 tons, and the copper is
> about 400 cubic meters, that's another 4000 tons, so the mass of the fuel to
> get a minimum delta V for a controlled reentry is enormous.  Then you take
> into account this thing is going to create a huge crater and mostly vaporize
> on impact.  Then the desert for some distance around will be have a slightly
> elevated concentration of gold in it.
> This particular scheme wouldn't work, but keep thinking, there might be some
> way to get this done.  Not by dropping a huge ball with copper however.

Ok, so what about a limited version of how they put the mars rovers
down? heat shield, Air bags, parachutes, that whole gig?  Again, you
don't have to get it down to 5 Gs, just 200 Gs... so it doesn't have
to have the full size parachute and so forth... Is that going to be
terribly expensive? Is the weight of the whole mass what will cause
the problem?

As for the current high price of gold, if you can get this right, gold
is a very useful industrial metal. I'm sure gold will be an important
part of many future computers and nano tech solutions. If it became
very useful in even very small quantities, it could be even more
expensive than the politically motivated prices of today. Get it cheap
enough, and we could even drop silver, then copper and nickel for

Ideally, I wouldn't drop any of it until we had enough of a
counterweight to build the space elevator... LOL, but you have to pay
for that stuff somehow. Show space as profitable first, then optimize


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