Saturday, November 17, 2012

Space Tourism and Asteroid Mining in the Future

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The advent of relatively “inexpensive,” privately developed,low-orbit space vehicles will lead to a burgeoning business in orbital space
tourism by which thousands of people will pay tens of thousands of dollars (or
yen, yuan or euros, etc.) to take a ride around the earth and watch the sun
rise and set, all within a matter of two hours. Five-plus tons of “space
garbage” in orbit will prove a major hazard. Each tiny speck if it strikes a
spaceship can penetrate aluminum and kill someone inside the same as a bullet
fired from a high-powered rifle. If such an accident should occur, a PR
campaign should demonstrate that such flights—with newly added security
measures—are far safer than any other mode of transportation. The new NSRA
should undertake or organize an international program to sweep up the estimated
twenty thousand pieces of space garbage. That should effectively overcome any
temporary reluctance on the part of the public.

The spectacular success of the Russian nuclear engine will
facilitate true space tourism, i.e., excursions to the moon. The way in which
the moon will be so quickly commercialized will amaze people. Since we are
speculating as to how this might come about, bear with us as we brazenly
attempt to predict the future. The International Space Station (ISS) has cost
twelve times its original estimate and has produced little hard science to
date. It will be replaced by a laboratory with permanent living quarters on the
moon that will be much less costly to operate—as quickly as that lab becomes

Therefore, most probably, the International Space
Station will be purchased by a consortium of private companies and adapted to
the task of transferring passengers to the nuclear-powered “Moonship.” It is
possible that the nuclear engine may not be allowed for manned Earth takeoff,
so it will need a docking waystation where passengers can be transferred from
efficient shuttles to the nuclear-powered moonship. From there it will be a
two-hour ride to a docking port at the elevator in orbit above the Mare
Crisium. If allowed, the nuclear moonship may depart directly from the surface
of the earth and land directly on the moon. A spaceport on the moon will be
less costly to operate than waystations.

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