Quote note (#204)

If there’s a downside to this, it’s well-hidden:

Richard Yonck, writing in the Scientific American, calls the recent “passage of the Space Act of 2015 in the U.S. House and Senate” the Dawn of the Space Mining Age. In essence, it “gives any American who successfully extracts natural resources from outer space the property rights over the haul.” The act has angered those who believe the cosmos should be free from the greedy scourge of capitalism. For the first time in human history, celestial objects, once the property of all because they were inaccessible to everyone, can be bought and sold by those who can reach them. […] … At stake is not only the biggest Gold Rush in human history, but the greatest territorial expansion since the Age of Discovery. Most products built from space resources will be left outside of earth’s gravity well and men will go up to join their products rather than return them to Terra. Exploration means diaspora.

Off-world development is going to take a while to catalyze, but it’s ultimately where everything that matters is going to happen.

Since possession is 99% of the law under the new regime, the capitalist ethos threatens to return with a vengeance, much to the discomfort of instinctive liberals. “Under one provision of .. the Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015, commercial companies get the rights to any resources that they collect from celestial bodies. The provision is important for companies like the asteroid mining company Planetary Resources, which recently partnered with Virgin Galactic. ‘Now, if you go out somewhere in space and you pick [something] up, it’s yours,’ said Chris Lewicki, the president and chief engineer of Planetary Resources.” […] It’s the kind of resource-grabbing starting gun and invitation to innovation that hasn’t been seen since 1492, which may be one reason why the Left and International Law experts are so uneasy with it.

November 30, 2015admin 41 Comments »

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41 Responses to this entry

  • Quote note (#204) | Neoreactive Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on November 30th, 2015 at 3:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    Socialists will only be happy when everyone is equally living in dirt huts, under a matriarchy, eating ditch weeds and practicing obese group sex. This way, space might get explored.


    Posted on November 30th, 2015 at 3:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:


    Meta-Rothbardianism, REC: property is defined by what has been reasonably secured.


    Posted on November 30th, 2015 at 4:49 pm Reply | Quote
  • Seth Says:

    The bourgeois up to their old antics again. You give them an inch, they take a mile.

    Documenting the attempt (cultural and political) to suppress these advances should be a long-term project around these parts. The counter-narrative is already hinted at in the linked article:

    We have a chance to do 1492 over again. For the sake of all universal beings, let’s not make the same mistake twice.


    frank Reply:

    > For the sake of all universal beings, let’s not make the same mistake twice.

    There’s a takeaway there though: we shouldn’t bring slaves with 2 std deviation lower IQs this time. Or maybe this is a warning better suited for future AIs: don’t bring humans to where you’re going.


    Posted on November 30th, 2015 at 5:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    “In space no one can hear you scream about privilege;”

    Fernandez wins teh Internetz.


    Posted on November 30th, 2015 at 5:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • pyrrhus Says:

    @Brett Stevens More likely, people will be starving and uninterested in sex, LOL!


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Look at sub-Saharan Africa. Maybe if Europeans faced a bit more starvation they’d be having more babbies.


    Posted on November 30th, 2015 at 7:43 pm Reply | Quote
  • pyrrhus Says:

    Better re-read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress…..


    Posted on November 30th, 2015 at 7:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#204) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on November 30th, 2015 at 7:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ryan Says:


    That’s hilarious. We can’t have space industry because we might end up giving smallpox blankets to the Martians. And of course we can’t risk harming the microbial biodiversity of the waters of Titan.


    grey enlightenment Reply:

    the space program was extremely expensive and it’s main purpose was to beat the soviets, which it did, and that’s why things have since stalled. The private sector can probably do a better job, if there is a profit in it for them. NASA obv. doesn’t need to be profitable


    Posted on November 30th, 2015 at 8:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Anissimov Says:

    Space isn’t going to happen because it’s too expensive and dangerous. Read Robin Hanson’s upcoming em econ book.


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    I tried looking up Robin Hanson and all it came up with was this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060951400?keywords=robin%20hanson&qid=1448962383&ref_=sr_1_6&sr=8-6


    Neo Soliar Reply:

    It pains me to say that this is probably correct. It will happen but far slower than I would hope.


    Posted on December 1st, 2015 at 8:51 am Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    when americans will reach those remote destinations, russians will give them welcome party.


    Posted on December 1st, 2015 at 12:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • bob sykes Says:

    Is it too much to observe that we don’t have the capability of putting a man into low earth orbit?. We rely on the Russians to get us to the International Space Station. Surely that says something about space mining.

    The Outer Space Treaty requires any private space activities to under the supervision of some state, so free, unfetterd access to resources on other planets or bodies is not possible. Some scholars think the treaty prohibits the exploitation of space resources, but that is likely an extreme view.

    The practical issues are cost and safety. It will cost as much to bring resources to the Earth’s surface and it would to have launched fromt the Earth to their present location. This is because the total energy required is the same in each direction. Presently, the cost to put something into earth orbit is about $10,000 per pound. Space enthusiasts like Jeff Bezos hope to cut that substantially, but the cost would still be a few thousand dollars per pound. Note that is the cost to low Earth orbit. The cost to the asteroid belt would be much larger. That sets a lower bound on what can be brought back. It has to be something extraordinarily valuable. Iron doesn’t make the cut. Maybe helium-3 would, if we had a workable fusion technology.

    Radiation is the other big problem, and the amount of shielding needed to long-term expeditions is prohibitive. Even electrical circuits and devices need shielding. The best one might hope for is robotic mining. Fat chance.

    The deeper problem is the welfare state. In representative democracies, the fraction of the GDP and national budget expended on welfare steadily increases, squeezing out all other activites. In the 60’s and 70’s blacks demanded that the space program be shut down and the funds transferred to blacks. They actually achieved a good deal of that goal. Rignt now, welfare demands have disarmed Europe and are disarming the US. The USS Lincoln will not be refueled as scheduled because of sequestration, and it will be docked and removed from active duty.

    Ray Bradbury once said that he wrote fantasy, not science fiction, because the scenarios he depicted were physically impossible. He might have added fiscally impossible.


    admin Reply:

    “Surely that says something about space mining.” — How much, though? The main question about this stuff is whether it’s going to be a frontier that’s just for robots. New Space advances since the beginning of this century have been truly spectacular.


    Aeroguy Reply:

    I personally have a disgust reaction to tossing valuable metals down a gravity well but there is a way to make it economically viable. There are elements like platinum and iridium that are extremely rare on earth but plentiful in space, the difference so extreme in fact that a space mining operation would immediately give you the corner on the market for those metals and make a cartel. To make the cartel really profitable you simply come up with a useful application that uniquely requires use of the metals you have a corner on. You can’t think about this in penny ante terms of selling metal by the pound like a vagrant collecting aluminum cans, it’s about the ability to dominate and control entire markets. This doesn’t even account for significant improvements to the supply route, like building an electric railgun for the peaceful purpose of safe, sustainable, efficient, cheap, and precise transport of heavy metals to Earth.


    admin Reply:

    “I personally have a disgust reaction to tossing valuable metals down a gravity well …” — Someone who understands.


    vxxc2014 Reply:

    Gravity Well:

    Let’s hope we get to the point where that’s an issue.

    Honestly that’s a conversation that’s many levels UP.

    If read DSI’s plan it’s to manufacture in space. They’re well aware that that’s the real prize and they have a blueprint to get there, rare earth metals are the tinsel cock tease to get us up there.


    viking Reply:

    platinum can be used to adsorb certain gases like hydrogen which might be a game changer for fuel cells


    vxxc2014 Reply:

    @grey enlightenment,

    As long as we can be thwarted by whiny blacks we don’t deserve space.

    Fortunately there’s a lot of money out there…so we’re going.


    Posted on December 1st, 2015 at 2:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Thales Says:

    …the Space Act of 2015 in the U.S. House and Senate” the Dawn of the Space Mining Age. In essence, it “gives any American who successfully extracts natural resources from outer space the property rights over the haul.”

    Nitpick: even before this, Americans had the right per the OST. This just makes it very, very explicit.


    Posted on December 1st, 2015 at 2:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lightning Round – 2015/12/02 | Free Northerner Says:

    […] The 2015 Space Act. […]

    Posted on December 2nd, 2015 at 6:29 am Reply | Quote
  • TheDividualist Says:

    > Most products built from space resources will be left outside of earth’s gravity well and men will go up to join their products rather than return them to Terra. Exploration means diaspora.

    Why? Cables down on the ocean floor get repaired by robots, not men. It is not a good idea to send men to environments hostile to life: you have to spend too much on safety. Robots it is. In an environment where we don’t care what gets destroyed during mining robots are ideal. And why not transport the products back? The gravity well offers near free transportation, we just have to worry about parachutes. Maybe not even that. Just make containers from a material that doesn’t burn up in the athmosphere and chuck them into the ocean.

    The idea of sending humans to space is just about as stupid as moving out from your comfortable suburban house and living in some coal mine or under the ocean. Why not live where you like to live, which is this planet, and send robots out to bring you good stuff from elsewhere?


    Posted on December 2nd, 2015 at 11:10 am Reply | Quote
  • viking Says:

    who the fuck are they to think they can give me the right to what i mine in space they have no jurisdiction these motherfuckers really need to die.


    Posted on December 3rd, 2015 at 12:15 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2015/12/06) | The Reactivity Place Says:

    […] Land finds a glimmer of hope in the US Space Act of 2015. Also this: The reason why Sane non-Muslims hate […]

    Posted on December 9th, 2015 at 9:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • Wagner Says:

    Speaking of amazon, didn’t Bezos joke about launching Trump into space? Send me instead! I know you’re one of my seven readers Bezos.

    (Slightly related: the OP is a cool concept)


    Posted on June 8th, 2019 at 4:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Wagner Says:

    If you like Arthur C. Clarke you’ll love this:


    Tim calls what he does Psy-Phi. It’s a genre of liminality between Sci-Fi and reality- “reality” being, in its concrete manifestation, engineering, neurochemical experimentation, etc. We have sooo much Sci-Fi that needs to be brought closer to reality with Psy-Phi. This is a key way that tech advances. We need more “fiction” writers! So many treat Sci-Fi as fantasy. No. That’s for us to decide.


    Wagner Reply:


    That’s my logic too. Inevitable therefore when.

    The logic of the left won’t stop at housing and nurturing humans. After we’re supporting the entire third world we’ll *have* to move on to the animals. They’re sentient after all. So when do we draw the line and start trying to do something that surpasses 1st-worldism? I say now, today. I know, many disagree. Leftists should make sure to install flaps in their front doors for the raccoons and opossums, as their version of futurism demands it. What, are you going to tell me the left isn’t *logically consistent*?


    Wagner Reply:

    By the way, only about half the time I talk about spaceships am I expressing my fanatical urge to escape this trash planet and its inhabitants- the other half of the time I talk about them as a metaphor for “beyond 1st-worldism” in general.


    Posted on August 25th, 2019 at 2:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • Wagner Says:



    Who cares about the money though, that sounds like it would be the most fun imaginable!


    Wagner Reply:

    Better not give me access to the controls, I’ll mess with em to send an asteroid careening toward LA or NYC- what a loss to the world that would be (truly).


    Posted on August 27th, 2019 at 11:56 am Reply | Quote
  • Wagner Says:

    From the OP:

    “Off-world development is going to take a while to catalyze, but it’s ultimately where everything that matters is going to happen.”

    … is going to happen, if not on (off) our planet, then on (off) another planet with intelligent life.

    Planets where their Alexanders didn’t die early had Robert Louis Stevensons writing Classics about space piracy rather than sea piracy.


    Wagner Reply:


    Duude we need to beat NASA to this!

    I want my patch’s streets paved with gold.


    Wagner Reply:

    We could use the stealth tech from that Skunk Works guy… and NASA would show up after an excruciating four year journey to find us waving at them from *our* rock.


    Wagner Reply:


    Proposition for World Peace

    Three ships, Chinese, Russian, and American

    Team up to go on a CARMELTAZITE mining-expedition.

    Split profits 33.3% each.

    Or better yet, 25% each, since Israel gets 25% because they’re Israel.


    Wagner Reply:

    I wunt me space dymuns an om gonna gettum

    Posted on August 28th, 2019 at 11:11 am Reply | Quote
  • Wagner Says:

    Liz vs. Lizzo


    Posted on October 11th, 2019 at 11:39 pm Reply | Quote

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