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Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by Schlosser85, Mar 28, 2013.
Is there anything conceivably commercially valuable about a gas giant?
It has been theorised that at the centre of Jupiter there may be a diamond as large as the Earth...
I would imagine that there are an abundance of gases such as Hydrogen and Helium which could be of some value to industries, space flight...?
You could try making up a valuable resource found only in certain made-up gas giants in your story, and explain what it's used for to give whomever an excuse to do whatever is happening in your story.
As mentioned above, there are probably several materials that could be harvested from a gas giant. Thinking a bit outside the box, though, I'd suggest that harvesting energy might be viable. Gas giants tend to be characterized by huge, persistent atmospheric storms with incredible amounts of kinetic energy. We're basically talking about a giant floating wind-farm. The main challenge would be collecting and transferring said energy to another planet.
Of course, this may not be a great idea for a sci-fi story. I'd have to imagine that any civilization capable of harvesting anything in large quantities from a gas giant would have long since solved the mystery/problem of sustainable energy. Then again, maybe these planets could serve as "recharging stations" for ships.
Since it's sci-fi...and like others have then...just make up something. Maybe they find a gas giant that has a previously unknown chemical that gives 100x more power than anything we can currently generate or can be used to heal all illnesses or something
In one short novel I read, they were some sort of jellyfish or whale "flying" in Jupiter clouds. Maybe you can work something from that.
Mining Jupiter gases for use on Earth could never be (I dont think) cost effective. Its more feasible, though, if your scenario entails an interplanetary spaceship or (deep) space station using Jupiters atmosphere as a fuel source.
Pretty sure that's from Arthur C.Clarke: Odyssey II
the gas alone would be gold mine and the billions of tons of other stuff under the planet, only problem is how to harvest it. No human be able to work there and the Jupitians won't appreciate it either
Well in Dead Space there are planet crackers that tear rocky planets apart for the purpose of mining precious minerals. I suppose you could come up with something similar.
Just avoid any stories about sending miners to explore Uranus.
What were you thinking?
Whoa, let's not get crazy now.
Ironically, gold and diamonds lose virtually all of their value in an interplanetary society. Sure, they'd still have practical value, but they're valued the way they are due to their scarcity.
As for the planets... I'll quote Robert Zubrin. The gas giants Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus are "the Persian Gulf of the Solar System". In the future, we'll hopefully be using nuclear fusion power, for that we need helium-3 and deuterium, and those planets have a ton of it.
Since Uranus has the lowest escape velocity, it would be the most valuable one, arguably.
So, there you go.
If all the diamond-rich planets were owned and controlled by one or two companies, they could artificially inflate the prices to give the illusion of scarcity. That's pretty much what's done with the diamond mines here on Earth in real life.
On another (yet somewhat related) note, interplanetary trade has the potential to create some interesting new markets. Imagine Earth trading with a planet where aluminum/aluminium is scarce.
What about mining from a crystallized white dwarf?
Thanks for all the suggestions guys.