[ExI] The Moon's Cold Embrace

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Fri Aug 14 01:04:57 UTC 2020

On Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 3:09 PM Keith Henson via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> 1. 2 and 4 are O'Neill's plan.

It was answered that long ago, and yet, so many people speak as if no one
has ever considered the question.

> I don't know of any element on the moon that is worth enough to ship
> to earth.  Can you think of any?

Answering that starts with what assumptions you make about the cost.

Some people will assume or state that each 1 kg to be mined requires a
completely new mission to be planned, R&Ded from scratch (ignoring lessons
learned from other missions), and launched from Earth with much fanfare,
regulatory scrutiny (again, ignoring lessons learned from other missions),
and so on.  This obviously makes any such mining unprofitable.

Others barely count the cost of the electricity (at assumed prices from
solar panels on the Moon) to power a mass driver, ignoring the cost of
setting up a mass driver, finding the ores and moving them over the lunar
surface to the mass driver, and so on.

It has been suggested that there are commercially interesting quantities of
gold and platinum on the Moon.  I suspect more prospecting will be needed
to determine if that is true.
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