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Yes, Bernie Sanders is an idiot

Nasa has identified over 12,000 asteroids within 45m kilometers of Earth that contain iron ore, nickel, precious metals and other minerals. Just a single 3,000ft asteroid may contain platinum worth over $5tn. Another asteroid’s rare earth metals could be worth more than $20tn alone. According to the Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, “There are twenty-trillion-dollar checks up there, waiting to be cashed!”

The current global rare earths market is worth $3 to $5 billion. Add $20 trillion of supply to that and what happens to prices?

24 thoughts on “Yes, Bernie Sanders is an idiot”

  1. From what I gather, most people at serious end of the space industry consider NASA’s latest attempt at a moon lander built out of leftover shuttle parts is a great deal of pork. So business as usual (64 years & still counting) at NASA.

  2. And how much in each cubic mile of seawater?
    A great deal easier to fetch than an asteroid, but not so useful/convenient when it “accidentally” drops onto a neighbour’s city.

  3. Now now Steve!! Do you want him to bring them back?

    Must admit TTC, that I envisage the nuclear powered synthetic oil plants processing the seawater extracting the gold, silver etc as well as the uranium to run them. Incredibly it’d probably cost less than converting all our electricity generation to windmills.

  4. There’s plenty of Star Trek and Soace 1999 episodes of people piloting hollowed out asteroids about. The late Peter Bowles lived in one, I seem to recall.

  5. BitFr who once changed trains in Ely

    Aren’t a lot of the interesting and expensive elements we dig out of the ground from asteroids that ceased to become asteroids some millions to billions of years ago?

  6. BitFr who once changed trains in Ely

    Ottokring, I can imagine living in a hollowed-out asteroid, as some kind of space-age Bond villain.

    Bets on Elon Musk achieving this within his lifetime are no longer being taken.

  7. I thought no one in Amerika, or any other woke ridden country, knows what a woman is, so how can they choose the candidates?

  8. We’ve been over this before, but any useful stuff coming out of those asteroids would not be used earthside, but to expand the extremely expensive initial equipment needed to do the first couple of ‘roids, with only any excess “sent down”.

    And even then.. first priority would be finding water and methane ice, not metals. Both oxygen and fuel being a Thing in a place where there’s pretty much none..

    You want a viable “space economy”? You first make damn sure you don’t have to lift the stuff that makes things Go out of a big gravity well in perpetuity…
    There’s a ton of things that need to be sorted out to not cost $$$$$/kilogram before anything priced at dirtside levels can come down out of space.

    I can see Musk set up a pilot project in the next decade or so. If his Starship performs, he’d actually have the carrying capacity to pull it off. And he already has the lifting power..
    And he’s both mad and rich enough to have a shot at it.

  9. Oh.. and if Musk doesn’t… China most certainly will… Even if it’s just for One-Upping the Evil West.

  10. “After many billions of dollars of taxpayer funding the American people are going to have to make a very fundamental decision. If we are going to send more human beings to the moon and eventually to Mars, who will control the enterprise and what will be the purpose of that exploration? Will the goal be to benefit the people of the United States and the entire world, or will it be a vast boondoggle to make billionaires even richer and open up outer space to corporate greed and exploitation?”

    Well, hopefully the latter. You’ll get things done a lot faster if someone wants to sit on an even bigger pile of cash, or do it to be eternally remembered, or to fuck aliens. Between 1969 and now, what has NASA achieved in terms of manned space travel? Absolutely fuck all. You find a way to monetize space and people will start building like crazy. In 30 years, they’ll cut the cost of travel down so dramatically that getting scientists up there won’t be impossible.

  11. And what would happen if we mined any of that space gold?

    Bernie would start whining about space climate change. He would say we’re “colonizing” space and exploiting the resources of Martians of color. And he’d tax the hell out of whatever valuable ore was brought back to Earth.

    Anyway, my first thought whenever I hear from Bernie is that Worstall article mentioning the funding for education systems in Baltimore vs. Finland.

  12. Between 1969 and now, what has NASA achieved in terms of manned space travel? Absolutely fuck all.
    Funny enough “be(ing) a vast boondoggle to make corporations even richer and open up outer space to corporate greed and exploitation?” Although it was the US taxpayer being exploited, not asteroids.

  13. The only thing you need to know about Bernie is that he voluntarily did his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. Everything else flows from there.

  14. Actually, if you want to see a vast boondoggle, you only have to look at the academics & the funding that goes to them.
    I’m very interested in spacey stuff. As an SF fan one inevitably gets the bug. But even I start to wonder. Take the discovery of extra solar-planets. Great finding the first ones. Now they’re up to 2500. It’s the law of diminishing returns. We’re way past the point of principle. How many more do they want to find? All of them? Unless someone invents a FTL drive, no one’s going to be visiting them any time soon. Teasing spectrography out of star transits to guess at atmospheres. Why not just wait a generation until they can get a reallY big telescope above the earth’s atmosphere & image them?
    Boondoggle to end all boondoggles was of course Apollo. An exercise in willy waving that was so successful they haven’t been back for 50 years.

  15. Add $20 trillion of supply to that and what happens to prices?

    Absolutely nothing as the cost of getting this stuff back to earth would make it vastly more expensive than what we could mine here. Think of it as a mineral deposit that we know is there but there is no way to economically exploit it.

  16. Space Force on Netflix did the first black woman on the moon thing, when they landed the character messed up the speech they had given her and said ‘it great to be black on the moon’ instead of back on the moon

  17. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Hey, there is one resource which we could use- plasma! The Sun spurts out plasma (electrons and protons) in massive amounts. All we need to do to capture it is to set up purpose-built stations with something like anti-cyclotrons, one for protons and one for electrons, to capture these particles. Set up solar panels for electricity, and you can then cool the particles down until they want to combine into hydrogen atoms. You could sell this to passing space ships that want to refuel. In later stages, you can combine a proton and an electron to make a neutron. With this you could build any atoms you wanted, including the super-heavy atoms that lie beyond our current periodic table.

  18. @Mohave Greenie

    He also visited a political prisoner, Alan Gross, in Cuba and said straight to his face, “I don’t see what’s so wrong with this country.”

    That was in 2014.

  19. I think there will be giant space mining ships soon. Like something out of a sci-fi story by the likes of Arthur C Clarke, Dan O’Bannon, Gene Rodenberry, Donald P Bellisario, Philip K Dick, Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner, Ursula Kroeber Le Guin, Joey Vimsante, Bob Gale, Stephen King, George Lucas, or James Cameron.

  20. that sounds like a very expensive bridge. I wonder who would be gullible enough to fall for it. Perhaps this will be Boris’s next spiffing scheme?

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