Re: Space Mining

From: J Corbally (
Date: Sat May 19 2001 - 20:55:18 MDT

>Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 11:03:10 -0400
>From: "Ross A. Finlayson" <>
>Subject: Re: Space Mining

<snipped, bigtime>

>In terms of returnings those materials to Earth, that brings into the
>question heavy drop capabilities, as opposed to heavy lift. The metals
>could be aeroformed into supertankers and dropped into orbit to reach
>Earth at a leisurely pace, there to float gently to the ocean, and from
>there to port.

I think this is where the space elevator would prove it's worth. Given a
stable and functional elevator, we'd have a relatively cheap and safe way
of "dropping" material to Earth, always reaching a known location in good
time. It would also provide the double bonus of ferrying provisions and
labour to an orbiting ship without fuel/shuttle costs. Assuming of course
that we need labour for the job.

New Scientist recently ran an article about elevators. Funnily enough,
they spoke of the possiblilty of "tensioning" the tether with a captured


"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and
crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures
to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."
-Q, Star Trek:TNG episode 'Q Who'

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