Re: Parked car
Says who ?
Pretty much everyone in the space industry? It's a bit like nuclear, so a business that neo-luddites don't understand, because it requires a working knowledge of physics. In order to Just Stop Gravity, you need to thrust hard against it. This requires energy, and lots of it. This is the reason we don't have wind or solar powered spaceships*, and why sailing ships became obsolete. So it's easier and cheaper to launch close to the equator, and use the Earth's rotation to help. Plus minor details like not having to launch over a populated neighbor and having a handy ocean to drop stuff into, if/when you need to hit DBRB to abort.
Last i checked my water is clean and food is fine, all without the international space station or musk and his bullshite.
I large parts of the world, neither is true. This includes parts of the developed west, eg Flint, Michigan. Providing water clean enough to wash rubbish for recycling or flush toilets is an expensive and energy intensive business. Especially as demands from both a growing population and business continue to put strain on supplies. And that gets worse if toxic materials from dumped solar panels leach into groundwater. Your food may also be contaminated, or just at risk from monoculture. That also suffers from competing demands, ie increased acreage dedicated to growing biofuels instead of food which leads to increased food prices. Or calls to ban fertilisers, because lower yields obviously increases food prices and reduces harvests. Or there are even demands to reduce CO2 levels, because lower CO2 again reduces yields, and increases water demands. And then of course there are the demands that people all go veggie, because vegetables being largely water and cellulose are easy to transport, and provide all the nutrients we need.. Except we can't digest cellulose. Livestock can, which is why we let them do the pre-processing.
And then there's Peak <whatever>. In order to build our 'Net Zero' future and beyond, we'll need lots of raw materials and natural resources. So those 'rare' metals that aren't, or stuff like lithium. There is a finite amount of those down here on Earth. However, there's a carpton floating around just above our heads, so space experts are doing stuff like this-
Due to arrive in 2029 and find out just what this massive, metallic asteroid is made from. And if that might be useful to humans that want to get off this rock. It's rather expensive to lift stuff like iron and nickel from Earth to orbit and beyond. It's much less expensive to get that stuff back from space or orbit to our surface though, unless you miss your landing spot and your insurers won't pay out. But space mining could be rather useful in future to supply all the resources we'll need to build millions of EVs, windmills etc and keep those running.
Oh, and there's also food & water. Like if we're going to escape our gravity well, we'll need aqua and agriculture in space. This may include confused meal worms who discover they can 'fly' much earlier in their development cycle. Or it may include square pigs. Or we may discover just how large we could grow a sprout in zero gravity, and what would happen if we dropped it on Brussels. There have already been experiments to find out what happens to beer in space, thanks to our crazy Dutch cousins.
The economics of space mining, industry and agriculture get interesting because they challenge assumptions regarding cost. The more we can do in space, the cheaper it gets, especially as energy is essentially free. Unlike down here in the gravity well, where idiotic politicians create policies that intentionally make energy more expensive. Then they wonder why we have inflation..
*Yes, I know, we do have solar sails and panels which are rather useful in space.. but a lot less useful than nuclear power for creating energy down here. Wonder if Jeff Bezos the 3rd will build themselves a massive solar sailed super space yacht?