[ExI] De-Orbiting Gold

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon May 21 17:50:08 UTC 2012

>... On Behalf Of Kelly Anderson
> 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

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?  -Kelly


Ja something like that might be possible, but I keep going back to
questioning the premise.  Gold in space can be used for more than wire.  A
better use might be to create a solar concentrator by taking a mylar
balloon, inflating on orbit, vapor depositing gold on the inside of the
balloon a layer thick enough to reflect most of the solar spectrum, then cut
pieces of the balloon, shape it into a parabola with minimal structure, then
you have concentrated solar energy at your disposal.

Gold on orbit can be used to make great antennas too.  The stuff is a great
reflector for the higher frequency end of the EM spectrum.

Kelly, I agree that in principle it might be possible to recover gold on
orbit, but I can't rally much enthusiasm for the plan when I can think of
plenty of good uses for a hunk of gold already out there, especially as our
control techniques get better, and move us closer to semi-autonomous
manufacturing robots.  We don't need to haul gold down from space when any
bonehead can go out in a mountain stream with a pie pan and sluice the stuff
out of the gravel, just like they did back in '49.  There really is no point
in wasting the resources already out there dropping down a gravity well.


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