Looks like I predicted right. Also, looks like the comic book idea I dreamed up ten years ago will be supplanted by REALITY.
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- Well, let's hope Don't be evil! extends to Don't drop a dinosaur-killer on a major population center unless you do exactly what we say! Asteroids aren't just for mining you know.
The notion of potentially turning over the "colonization" ( exploitation, in other words) of the solar system to late-stage capitalists and cleptocrats does not exactly fill me with glee.Apr 24, 2012
- Well, dropping asteroids on cities isn't in the realm of possibility. If something terrible comes from this venture it will be economic. The notion of previously rare and valuable commodities being abundant will radically change the world economy. And who knows how?Apr 24, 2012
- I just re-read Planetary Resources' P.R., and it seems you are correct in that they aren't openly proposing to shift asteroids themselves into more mine-able orbits. I misread poorly-worded reports on other sites that seemed to suggest that was part of their long-term business plan.
(I still think it's likely to happen, for economic reasons. And if you can move an asteroid closer to near-Earth orbit for the sake of mining you can always nudge it a little closer still to make a memorable impression upon someone. I seem to recall several "hard" science fiction novels where dinosaur-killers and similar objects have been posited as quite plausible weapons for conflict and extortion, not always by the "bad guys": Footfall, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, a Zelazny story or two...)
I find myself more embittered, right at present, by the end of idealism. Remember Star Trek: "...to boldly go where no man/human/one has gone before" and the rationalization that precedes it? We don't have that future anymore. Now it's "...to boldly go where we can make more money!" Space Exploitation replaces Space Exploration, and instead of the Federation and Starfleet we get Weyland-Yutani and the Tyrell Corporation. Yuck. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing if the next solar flare wipes our technological level back to the stone age.Apr 24, 2012
- Except for the poor diabetics who need refrigerated insulin to survive :(
I grew up being idealistic about space exploration, the colonization of Mars especially. But mankind has never been completely altruistic in any era. That's a heavenly ideal but simply not attainable by humans.
I prefer to see this as an effort to pioneer. So the motive is profit! We will all profit if they succeed, like we all profit from the military and space program—indirectly. If they fail, no problem there either.Apr 24, 2012
- Apparently they really might be thinking about "capturing and retrieving" asteroids. Two of the Planetary Resources founders co-authored this study:
I for one welcome our new asteroid-moving, big-boom-potentially-making capitalist overlords. (And I'm going to invest in hard-hats. And move away from coasts: tidal waves from impacts, you know....)Apr 25, 2012