Disclaimer: I don't even pretend to know what the heck I'm talking about. Feel free to ignore this post. I've been thinking lately about efficient ways to mine the asteroid belt. My guess is that there's a lot of useful raw materials out there, but getting them back to earth is kind of a challenge. Now, in my thinking, I'm presupposing that we have a working space elevator. Nonetheless, it's still a challenge because the asteroid belt is so far from Earth's orbit. It would take a lot of time and energy to travel there and back in order to gather materials. Certainly, we'd need some robotic help. However, the distance (and time involved) becomes less of an issue once you have a system in place. To use an analogy, selling whiskey that's been aged for 10 years is only difficult when you're waiting for those first 10 years to pass. After that, there's always another batch about ready to be sold. One problem is that it would take a lot
Ad maiorem Dei gloriam inque hominum salutem.