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Space factories

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posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 02:37 PM
Instead of sending factories overseas, how long do you people suppose it will be before we start sending factories into space? This would be a great idea once rocket technology, and possibly the earth to moon elevator, come into a feasible economic means to ship materials to these space factories. Think about it, gravity inside these spacestations will seem like next to nil and will allow for less energy to be expended by the robot workers (than here on earth) who will of coarse create space vehicles, space stations, and planetry base module landers and components. Is this at all realistic in our lifetime, or must generations after us master the science of rocketry to do so?

posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 02:41 PM

or must generations after us master the science of rocketry to do so?

I think the trick to this would be to forget about rockets altogether. They are inefficient and polluting, expensive and can carry only a limited payload.

A more feasible option would be a theoretical propulsion system, like some sort of electro/gravity drive.... but then, this is way beyond us at present.

posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 03:04 PM
Well, if you have a colony, whats the point if you depend on Earth to support you. It's only logical we actually BUILD something instead of start and leave it barren.

In short, Duh.

posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 03:10 PM
There's one answer to this question:

When it's profittable.

posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 06:17 PM
The Idea of factories in space has been around for ages yet the concept is not so simple.

First you have to remember that while gravity may not be an issue, mass is still present. A 1000 pound block of lead will weigh nothing in Space but it still moves like a 1000 pound brick. You need to push it with a 1000 pounds of force and once it gets moving you need an equal force to get it to stop. This is why it is so difficult for an astronaut to tighten a bolt in space. They have to anchor their bodies or they will simply turn around instead of tightening the bolt. They actually have to use the muscles in their entire bodies and not just in their arms. Lack of gravity could be useful in metallurgy and pharmacology but we need to study a lot more first before the benefits outweigh the costs.

Second, you have to consider material resources. Unless you place yourself near or on an asteroid, moon, or planet, you will need to deliver all material resources to the factory. This could get quite expensive. Mining the asteroids could be potentially lucrative, IF there is a local need or an exotic material found there. Why haul Iron from Space all the way to Earth? The Moon does have useful materials such as Oxygen and H3 but thus far there isn't much need on Earth for them.

The true potential for space factories will only arise once mankind has broken the bonds of Earth and begins to live in Space or on the Moon and Mars. Then, Local materials will be needed to create a new environment to live in and the new devices we will require. Alas, this isnt going to happen any time soon.

I think the biggest obstacle keeping us from living off Earth, is our current manner of getting about in Space. Chemical rockets are very limited in their ability and also quite costly, not to mention dangerous. As we peer deeper into the working of the Atom and divine its secrets perhaps one day we will be able to harness the power of gravity to move about the heavens. Then, we will master the universe.

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