-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Thu, 13 Jul 2000 13:44:25 -0700


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org [mailto:owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org]On
> Behalf Of Paul Fields
> Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2000 13:31
> To: gundam@aeug.org
> Subject: Re: [gundam] Questions for Mark Simmons (and everyone else)
>
> > Iron and other ores should be readily available from asteroids, but
> > Earth is still teh best source for precious metals...
>
> Um... Iridium the rarest and hardest member of the Platinum family is
> abundant in asteroids... Its also abundant in the Earth's mantle, but its
> easier to get from flying rocks than frying ones...

"Recipe for rabbit stew: Step 1. Catch a rabbit...!"

Before you can mine iridium from asteroids, you first have to find it.

And making transit orbits with a distant asteroid isn't as easy as some people
make it sound. It's one thing to be in among the asteroids and match vectors
with rocks that are all in the same general orbit ("inter Jovem et Martum,
planetum interposui") and another to do so from the Earth Sphere. There's the
synodic period to consider. As I noted in a previous post regarding Axis, it
only takes about twenty months to transit from the asteroid belt to the Earth
Sphere, but the necessary synodic alignment only occurs once every four to seven
years.

Disregarding this fact, as the Gundam writers have, you still have to find that
iridium needle in a nickel-iron haystack, then set up mining operations in
zero-gee and send the rock home.

On Earth, the precious metals are already well mapped and the mining operations
in place, just waiting to be taken.

-Z-

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