New data reveal US space economy's output is shrinking – an economist explains in 3 charts

Humans cost too much in the space frontier . . . better machine technology in space than humans! The Big Lie since without human growth momentum to the space frontier the cost of human growth / human stagnation / human shrinkage on Earth is growing untenable. The cost of humans on Earth, period, is growing insupportable. The path to dark ages is not too many humans but too few . . . population die off, population infertility, population energy, loss of mass genius -- which Will Durant ('The Story of Civilization') said always comes from the ranks of the common people, the peasant population, the would-be frontier population, and never from the elites rigidly married to a steady-state elite status quo (the cost of which inexorably rises to infinity (amply exampled in Aldous Huxley's, 'A Brave New World')).

So, we have an increasingly closed system of Earth only as the space economy shrinks (as permissible human space participation over time shrinks and costs more and more , , , and the cost of humans, and human civilization (energetic infrastructure) on Earth, period, is increasingly -- inexorably -- untenably rising.

Hawking's 1,000 year prophesy to human downfall without birth to space frontier from Earth was wildly, outlandishly, optimistic as to time. We need to begin transferring industry and economy to space fronter, building in space -- especially spin-gravity stations, tooling up to space colony facilitation for life -- now, not later (and later, and later, and later. and.... costing too much; too far too much; too far, far, too much; to infinity), Things won't hold. Won't sit still. Won't wait til later, "when costs go down" (hahahaha).

What of the Old-World Earth while things are moving, gaining momentum, in and to the New World of Space Age Frontier? You'd have to be blind to history and physics to not see that then the Old World -- the homeland world of Earth -- would itself be a New World Frontier from being a big part of it! In 1512CE, Sir Thomas More wrote 'Utopia' as a nostalgia for the Middle Ages because he hated what the opening systemic New Frontier Renaissance Age (to maritime East and West) was doing to his elite human feudal fiefdom of Old-World Europe.
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Increasing the mechanical force used for manufacturing in space will require linear induction motors. Humanoid robotics or numerous drones networked aren't allowed. Single axis of motion crystalline nanotech will be a while. Manufacturing in space can be automated with iron and copper induction rails. This permits matter to be moved around without much friction which wears many other mass movement methods. Ideally the linear induction stage resembles "Cool Runnings" as it is shuttled mostly without friction contact, perhaps carrying some ore, an ingot, or magnet in construct.
Electricity will be needed. It is unlikely Lunar dust will permit magnets to reliably work. Right now Silicon Valley and Seattle are missing iron working processes such as cold rolling (of iron magnet layers). For asteroids, Jupiter trojans and the Saturn system, you'll need a simple way to move mass around. Iron will be at the asteroids maybe Cobalt once Saturn is developed. Smelting is a tougher induction rail environment than is laser sintering and UHV 3d printing processes.
Gravity will be pure gold, pure golden commodity, for life in space. But, for most industrial processes, most industrial needs as such, gravity always must be fought and is one of the costliest liabilities for industry on Earth. Having the two equal but opposites available, together at hand where and when needed and wanted, in space will be the best of two worlds . . . profitably, the best of the two environments.

And as many knowing physicists and engineers have said, you can construct very large-dimensioned structures either impossible of construction or so costly of construction, or, yet, unnecessary of construction, as to be unfeasible on Earth. Regarding purities in industrial processes, you can make it all better and far less costly in space once you've done the tooling for it.

Energy is costly on Earth, regardless of source. It is source free of charge at all times in space (solar).

You can manipulate masses, energies, environment, space itself, for whatever industrial or life need or want, with gravity or essentially no gravity (micro-gravity), incredibly cheaper in space, once tooled for it, unlike anything than can be done on Earth. And with that external environment, no concerns about heat pollution, or most any other form of external polluting,
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The dimensional scale is important. For power we can eventually use tidal Enceladus. It will have rocket fuel. And we can charge stuff at Earth orbit w/ solar. Manufacturing in space requires industrial environment equipment not clean room stuff. Even ball bearing induction stages are too much friction for me; electric drives tend to be 2/3s as powerful as are permanent magnet ones; the latter need about 1mm clearance stage to rail. Any smaller is friction and wear. Bigger will be harder as power is only whatever we bring from Earth orbit. That is the starting point for space manufacturing without Saturn help: we need enough electricity to move things around with an induction motor and its self-induction loss. Jupiter's trojans won't easily be w/out radiation. That leaves manufacturing manned at Cis-Lunar orbits, Demios, or the (belt) asteroids. The former is ready to have induction motors move mass around but there is no in situ iron. And it is a dangerous satellite that houses teleoperated ore refining and induction motors.
Two possible starting strategies: 1) Lift equipment up to Cis-Lunar to prepare a Demios warehouse on the way to asteroids. Risky stations w/out shielding.
2) Prepare a direct trip to a Si or Fe asteroid. It isn't clear whether bringing iron ore back to Demios is cost effective or whether you need the complete factory right on an asteroid.
We need both manned and induction motors just to avoid astronaut overtime hrs.
Demios warehouses would contend with bringing partially processed ore, crushed hi-grade rocks, or Ayer's rock, from the Belt. These processes could be unmanned or partially manned at the asteroid end may require linear motors. Assumed there is already ion making at the Belt as a shattered liquid sheet of Si or Fe IDK quality. It is an incremental path.
Going right from an armoured L-Point space station and induction motor stages moving around dozens of Newtons of pure metals, right to an asteroid is harder as the L-station is vulnerable being a real manned factory and also a full space station at the Belt has many drawbacks. But you might optimize your in situ of linear motors better rather than cheating with permanent magnets from Earth. A Demios warehouse is maybe 2035 or a powered armoured manufacturing L-station is 2035. Surely without Starship and Falcon 9 these projects would cost 4x more.

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