posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 06:38 PM
You need resources to do that. You need a REASON, an accessible reason to develop those systems.
If you can develop something that works well in system, to get at resources here, and then improve technology for transportation to make it cheaper
you'll have a driving reason to create better transport systems that can be adapted to further flung resources.
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.
One asteroid can have more resources on it than every mining operation on this planet.
Mining asteroids in place is a problem, and habitable stations nearby may take a while.
But if you could put a simple propulsion drive onto an asteroid and aim it at something fairly large - like a planet (say....Mars for example), you
could have a stable ground base with decent consistent gravity to mine that asteroid.
Smashing asteroids into Mars has some other benefits - it could drive a greenhouse effect for the Martian atmosphere which would be beneficial for
human habitation. It could bring water to the surface by warming the atmosphere, but also by using ice-asteroids for practice.
Getting a propulsion drive that would quickly route resources back and forth from Mars in tighter time spans, combined with the knowledge gained from
playing "Asteroids" with real missile propulsion systems in space, and a nano-wire transport from orbit to Earth - well you have the beginnings of
resource accumulation into the planet which will then drive more reasons to get quicker turn around time.
A stable mid-system point will also drive consumer reasons to look at odder fare further out in the system. Such as the lakes of hydrocarbons on some
of the moons. Or rare elements.
You don't go straight from arrowheads to cell phones. You need an immediate reason to take the next opportunity for improvement. And those
opportunities are closer by than another Super-Earth.