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US space station

John Frazer

I really should change my personal text
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The National Space Society has most of the works related to this, including the artwork from O'Neills book and the entirety of Heppenheimers book online.

The -70s NASA Ames studies.

A note on the cost: by ~'08, the first small hab was to be done - along with all launch and in-space infrastructure and NEO / Lunar mine.
The cost was estimated as a fraction of what the US would need to meet new grid demand by that time. (Of course we blew past that, and still don't meet new demand or upkeep on the old infrastructure).

Maybe 4x the Apollo project. A fraction of a small oil war - and this would end scarcity of resources or energy forever.

In comparison over the same time period as Apollo, the US spent as much on cosmetics and New York among large economies spent more on liquor.

The bailouts of '08 were ~$650b. Greater than the entire historic running grand total NASA expense. We just recently gave big businesses $10trillion. During our invasion of Iraq, we spent $8b a month on the war, and our NASA budget was ~$17b. (is it because of "cost" or risk of loss of life that we aren't doing these kinds of things in space?)

It can be argued that when the first entity proves methods of returning even a few kilos of loosely sorted asteroid metals, the value of all the gold in all the vaults will crash, and they own more "wealth" in raw materials and energy than the combined rest of the world, so space colonies won't "cost" anything.
Also the asteroids that are easiest to reach are the ones most likely to hit us, so we should factor that value into it. (Some 1400 NEOs easier to reach than Mars orbit, some 400 easier than Lunar orbit. Many like the little Apollo class asteroid that hit near Chelyabinsk, nearly 85% pure Ni/Fe steel and other concentrated heavy metals)

(Graph from Christopher Cooper blog on the cost of Apollo)

 

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