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Old February 11 2010, 09:07 AM   #332
STR
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Re: Obama Space Plan: Return to Moon: "No Go"

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
STR wrote: View Post
^You're close to hitting the mark here. Inflation is the key to spacefaring, but we're not going to have inflation caused by space.
Not on Earth, no. What I mean is, the cost of doing things in space is inherently expensive to the point that any spaceborne economy will already be inflated with respect to its terrestrial counterpart. Since wages will have to keep up with prices, this isn't much of a problem, but it stands to severely complicate exchange of goods between space and Earth.
No one will develop space until it is economically equal or preferable to do things there versus here. If it costs $1million to move a pound of Element X from the moon to Earth, no one is going to mine it until it's comparable to the alternative (mining it here). IF AND ONLY IF Element X reserves on Earth get so depleted that E-X costs ~$1M to find and recover via earth mines, will someone get the capital to go out and get it from the moon.

A space-faring civilization with even a vaguely market economy will be, by its nature, hyper-hyper-inflated compared to ours. Resources will be (no pun) astronomically priced, because no civilization will leave its own world en mass before it has stripped it clean of anything useful.

Until we reach that point, all space expeditions will be for flag planting and science nerds. The sole provinces of governments and non-profits.
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