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Humanizing Tech

Why You Need To Prepare for Space Mining, Today

Fountainhead News: May 31, 2017

I. The Space Mining Process

When you hear the phrase Space as a Platform or Space Mining you’re likely thinking that these things are decades out into the future and there’s no point even thinking about them yet. Because lets face it, you have a business to run today, customers who need what you’re making today, and you already have enough trouble innovating towards tomorrow.

After all, innovation is table stakes at this point. Only invention gets you further, faster.

And so, here you sit. Trapped in today, with an eye towards tomorrow, and a “who the heck knows” about the distant tomorrow.

But the issue is you need to start preparing for Space Mining today. Because it’s going to completely up-end the fundamental forces shaping your business. Yes, even if you’re a retailer. Let us tell you why.

First, we need to explain the process of space mining before we get into the implications for what happens because of it:

  1. Space craft navigate to and attach onto resource-rich asteroids
  2. Robotic drilling machines mine and extract valuable ore (e.g., iron, platinum)
  3. Smelting process occurs in zero g, melting and separating the valuable metals from the dirt and dust
  4. Liquid metal is transformed into perfectly spherical orbs for storage and transportation (note: perfect spheres are not possible on Earth and occur naturally in space)
  5. These metallic orbs can either be transported down to Earth or used to manufacture finished goods in space
  6. Real estate is free
  7. Solar energy is abundant
  8. Requires fully automated manufacturing line and assembly process as well as self-repairing machinery
  9. Finished goods are either used in space for further building of tools, habitats, or transportation or sent down to Earth

Now imagine all of this happening on the ship attached to the asteroid itself. It’s a mobile energy producing, mining, smelting, manufacturing and assembly plant. It’s self-contained and fully self-sufficient.

II. The Building Block Rollercoaster

The space economy will be unaffected by this new resource gathering and utilization method because it has not existed previously. However, the Earth economy will be upended:

  • Precious metal value (i.e., platinum) will fall to nearly free. A hard, valuable metal might be used more than aluminum for building instead of for jewelry.
  • Iron ore, used to make steel, being even more abundant might cause an even bigger real estate boom as people build more steel-girded structures higher, more often, and farther.

The point here is the impact of the commodities market. There are two effects. The first is on the fall of metal prices. That will shake up the stock market and your personal retirement. The other, and more widespread, is the secondary effect on the rest of industry. Anywhere and anything that uses metal will suddenly become cheaper and more abundant.

Metal is the main building block of nearly everything you touch. Cell phones, cell phone towers, cars, buildings, household appliances, electrical cables. Throw plastic in the mix and you’ve got the raw materials needed to build pretty much anything at massive scale.

It’s the base layer infrastucture upon which our first and second world societies are built upon.

And the entire kit-n-kaboodle is ripe for a rollercoaster ride.

III. When eCommerce Becomes National Defense

Imagine China’s manufacturing behemoth circling the globe, with more physical space, more robot-power, free energy, and nearly free building materials all right there to grab and use on demand. Then, because it’s in orbit, traveling at 17,000 mph it can same-day ship that down to your doorstep with a Space Drone in a matter of hours from you placing the order.

There’s a reason that Jeff Bezos of Amazon is investing so heavily into his Blue Origin-inspired future of Space as a Platform. He is selling $1 billion per year of Amazon stock, now priced at $1,000 per share, to use as the capital required to make this a possibility.

America’s main National Security Defense of the future is, ironically, being fueled by America’s fascination with shopping and impatience.

When the above happens, this entire world you’ve become so comfortable with and accustomed to is going to change overnight.

The best thing you can do, as change becomes the new normal, is start getting comfortable with it. Only those people who can manage this change, and thrive in it, will be the leaders of the future.

Now throw self-learning AI in the mix and you’ve got yourself a brand new bag, baby.


Read More on the Space Channel.

Why You Need To Prepare for Space Mining, Today was originally published in Humanizing Tech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

from Stories by Sean Everett on Medium http://ift.tt/2rlcXI9