[ExI] Gold

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Fri May 24 19:00:45 UTC 2013

On Friday, May 24, 2013 5:18 AM Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> On Thu, May 23, 2013 at 10:04:51PM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:
>> One of the things Brent's cannonizer position said was that
>> if Nasa (or SpaceX?) found and brought back a large quantity
>> of gold from outer space
> Space is expensive. Space is really, really expensive.
> It costs about 0.4 MUSD/kg of payload to Moon and 
> back, 0.5 MUSD/kg for Mars.

That's for now. With the SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, etc. entering the launch market -- actually, with trimming back space agency involvement -- that might change. There's nothing inherent in space transport that means it must forever be high-priced or a boutique industry. (One might think that someone in the 1950s might have talked about computing power the same way -- or a better analogy, airline travel, since the rates were set by the government and it was only when deregulation took hold that the affordable air travel regime we have today came into play.)

> If you can mine resources in space, they will be used in
> situ. Earth would be a backwater, a nature park.

That's probably true, though what gets sent back to Earth might also be determined by what prices it will fetch on the "backwater." :) It's also true that the prices of commodities on Earth will likely be impacted by being able to economically extract them in space -- even if none actually are sent to Earth. This is simply because the potential is always there and, eventually, if the terrestrial economy simply becomes part of larger solar system economy, local prices will be affected by system-wide prices -- in the same way that the price of gold in Morisville, Vermont is not wildly different than the London spot price even though I've never heard of anyone lugging around huge quantities of gold through Morisville. (At least, not while I lived there.:)

> I think there will be never large amounts of anything
> travelling in the local system. It's stupid. It makes
> no sense.

Maybe so, but maybe not. And it need not be huge quantities to have a huge impact. The expectations alone of even small quantities can change things a lot, altering prices in a big way. If anything, the availability of gold, platinum, oxygen, water, etc. on orbit or wherever will likely mean that space enterprises and space settlers won't be bidding up the prices of these from Earth, which does impact the Earth price, all else being equal.


 See my SF short story "Residue":
http://www.amazon.com/Residue-ebook/dp/B00BS3T0RM/ -- US
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BS3T0RM -- UK
http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00BS3T0RM -- Canada
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20130524/895cdc17/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list