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If true, this is huge.

With 97% control of the current resources, shortage of rare earths was a powerful weapon for the Chinese... gone now.

Not the only implication, of course. How long before Japan asks for the return on Tahiti and Hawaii? S6
Haven't these things been showing up all over the sea bed of the Pacific, in the form of small balls of material? I thought they were just sitting around waiting to be harvested by anyone able to go that deep and collect them.
In other words, they are like fish: free for anyone in international waters?

Given the value/profits involved and apparently low startup cost, I'm not so sure... this may lead to serious confrontations...check this too.

And is it only the Pacific (or a part of it), or all over the ocean floors? And why?
John L, I think those "balls of material" that have been found on the ocean floor previously are metals like manganese (which is not a rare earth, though industrially useful).
Not to harp on my favorite subject, but if we would just make a concerted effort to get into space, the entire solar system would be at our disposal. Just imagine what we could harvest from the asteroid belt. Set up refining depots at the two Trojan points of earth's orbit, send all the asteroids there for processing, and then let the orbits move the refined materials to earth orbit, where they could be used for finished manufacturing at the moon's Trojan points. That way no large asteroids would place the planet in danger.

We would have huge amounts of rare elements available that the high costs would plummet on the commodities market system.
I wonder how the rare earths are found in such a high concentration on the ocean floor. However, one mile down could be a challenge, it would not be as easy to dredge them as to drill for oil at that depth, which is commonplace now.

Maybe JohnL will claim that asteroids disintegrated and placed the rare earths in the deeps.
(07-05-2011, 05:58 PM)jt Wrote: [ -> ]I wonder how the rare earths are found in such a high concentration on the ocean floor. However, one mile down could be a challenge, it would not be as easy to dredge them as to drill for oil at that depth, which is commonplace now.

Maybe JohnL will claim that asteroids disintegrated and placed the rare earths in the deeps.

Gosh, I didn't think of that one before. Hey, anything's possible, isn't it? S5

Well, we do know that many asteroids must contain titanium, since titanium rich layers in rock strata are taken as indications of large meteoroid impacts. Titanium is very useful industrially and militarily. We would probably make all our aircraft, naval ships, and submarines out of titanium, if it were more plentiful and less expensive. Maybe even all our cars and trucks. And the frames and support structures for our high-rise buildings.
As much as you guys like to play up these military scenarios, this may actually have a bigger effect on China's ability to restrict rare earths, in the other 98% of possible scenarios. Complaints Over China Raw-Material Exports Bolstered by WTO
(07-04-2011, 08:27 PM)John L Wrote: [ -> ]Not to harp on my favorite subject, but if we would just make a concerted effort to get into space, the entire solar system would be at our disposal. Just imagine what we could harvest from the asteroid belt. Set up refining depots at the two Trojan points of earth's orbit, send all the asteroids there for processing, and then let the orbits move the refined materials to earth orbit, where they could be used for finished manufacturing at the moon's Trojan points. That way no large asteroids would place the planet in danger.

We would have huge amounts of rare elements available that the high costs would plummet on the commodities market system.

excellent idea but for the fact that it is way more expensive to lift an ounce of gold to the iss, than an ounce of gold is worth. the future isn't in outer space, but a sustainable economy on earth.
Q, consider the amount of money/energy investment to get a few rocket engines out to a 12,000,000 ton metallic asteroid, and give it a gentle nudge so that it's orbit is changed incrementally until it comes into a near earth orbit, then spend the next hundred years mining all the titanium and platinum and other valuable metals and then nudging them into a deorbiting path so they crash land in the Mohave desert or somewhere comparable, for final processing and transport to factories. Or put the factories in orbit with the asteroid, fill up space trucks (like the old Shuttles, only bigger) with the finished products, do a brief deorbit burn, and land them at a collection site for final check and distribution. I suspect there would be some profits to be had that way. And what if some of those asteroids happen to contain gold?
are you working on a scenario for the next extinction event? hauling asteroids to near earth orbit? it's certainly more feasible to breed an army of microbes, or maybe nanites, and have them doing the mining here on earth.
while we're having this discussion here, you retire your space-shuttle programme, itself more than 30 years old. no progress in manned space exploration for two generations. you'll depend on other nations to put your astronauts and scientists into space. houston must have a problem, the astronauts, engineers and scientists might face a lay-off or two. expertise will be lost. not sure what's responsible, the understanding that outer space exploration and economy is not feasible, or the tax cuts. maybe it's more important that the billionaires can afford a longer yacht than to finance national projects.
Clueless rides again!


Haven't heard of this, have you?


XB-37


Add to that the fact that civilian development of space travel has skyrocketed recently (x-prize, anyone), and I see a superior replacement for the shuttle "appearing" very soon.
i'm talking about manned space flight, and you come with with a little spaceplane with no crew and the size of a mini truck. jesus, what a moron.
Pot, meet kettle, clueless. Manned space flight is going where it should. Into the private sector, where it will be done quickly, and efficiently.
every single us space craft has been build by private contractors, and was paid for by the government. xb-37 is a department of defense project. coupla of years delayed as so typical for the private sector, in particular boeing. surprise me with your imagination, what commercial use by the private sector could that thing have?
Surprise me with an as-yet-unseen ability to read. That is an experimental vehicle used to prove technology. Having proved the technology, it will be followed by a usable follow-on (probably already exists.) The military doesn't need manned spacecraft, though unmanned spacecraft can do everything but move crews around. The International Space Station has proved that. Manned spaceflight is going to move into the private sector (already is moving that way). The first really successful ventures into space will be private, not government.
(07-09-2011, 11:48 AM)Huh...What? Wrote: [ -> ]The military doesn't need manned spacecraft, though unmanned spacecraft can do everything but move crews around. The International Space Station has proved that.

yes? my ability to read must have deserted me again. can't understand what you are trying to express.
Of course not. I didn't expect you would.

We now return this thread to people who aren't clueless sycophants of government control.
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