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Old 08-11-2020, 10:59 AM   #11
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Why mine Saturn for He-3

Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
And actually the world's top lithium producer now is Western Australia - China is about 3rd or 4th - but lithium isn't a particularly rare mineral.
It's remarkably rare for where it is on the periodic table, but that's still only moderately rare and the amount needed is not large, it's about fifty times as common (as a fraction of mass) as Uranium.
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:41 AM   #12
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Why mine Saturn for He-3

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
So, why mine Saturn for helium-3?
The Doylist reason is to have valuable cargoes coming from the outer solar system, meaning that there are people who want to steal them, and space navies to guard them.
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:14 PM   #13
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Why mine Saturn for He-3

Which does not really make sense from a Watsonian perspective. In general, the Watsonian economic reasons to go into space would likely be the mining of elements that are rare and/or difficult to produce on the Earth, the production of products that require microgravity and/or vacuum, the production of products whose processes are too toxic to affordably produce in a biosphere, and the production of orbital solar energy (depending on the relative expense of fusion power plants). The Watsonian reason to have humans rather than automation would likely revolve around industrial sabotage through computer hacking (a military unit of computer hackers would find it relatively easy to take over a centralized automated facility while it would be much more difficult for them to take over a decentralized human facility).

In Transhuman Space, the fact that organizations can easily reprogram DI (digital intelligence) would likely mean that BI (biological intelligence) would be considered more trusted. Ironically, the less augmented an individual, the more trustworthy, as they would be less vulnerable to direct reprogramming. From a Watsonian perspective, this would be the primary reason for human colonization of space, as DIs would not be trusted with valuable infrastructure.
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