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Engineering Newsletter

Timothy replies to Kelly:

>>You can't assume that more money is used for this, because I could assume
>>that more money is used for research for anti-matter containment and
>>creation. Both fusion and anti-matter are areas where little is known
>I wasn't refering to LIT assumptions, only real world.  But, if we are to
>assume a large scale space infastructure.  I guess we can assume it was worth
>there while to develope fusion systems.

Indeed, but so would anti-matter systems after a while.  

>>Doing research on a planet or building industries is still much more
>>interesting than flying back to Earth. And if it isn't more intersting, then
>>research will gives more fruits for the money than flying back would do.
>Building industries?  I don't follow.

For some kind of colonization. Even if it is used as "refresh" point for
futere missions to other solarsystems, it needs some form of
selfsufficiency. Therefor it needs "farms" and buildings, you can't make
them all by hand, so you need some form of small industry.

>Research I can understand, but obviously they can't do that forever.

Why not, there will be plenty to figure out.

>Nor do I expect to settle for living out the rest of their lives in the hab

Why don't you expect them to do that? I still don't see that as suicide,
they can live perfectly healthy lives.

>I can't see corporations droping probably hundreds of billions of dollars on
>a project like this.  It absolutly would have no short term benifit (decades
>at least) and advertizing would supply this kind of money.

One Japanese building company is seriously thinking about how it could build
on the moon. Now it may be a sign of advancement(=adverticement) but in 20
years they may be the first(=money) to build there.
Indeed one company would not have enough money, but one company alone could
not build a city, so several companies will take their share.
And after all, the government's money is in fact the money of the companies.

>International projects ARE A DISSASTER!!  I was in the International Space
>Station Freedom Program, and can assure you it convinced about everybody that
>international cost everyone far more, slowed the program WAY down, and
>generally made it impossible.  If a project like this requirers international
>particip[ation, it will be a write off.

May be, but a single country couldn't do it either. I don't know all about
problems about Freedom, but wasn't NASA the main "sponsor"?

Such a project would be a challenge for mankind, it would not ALLOW us to
work together, it would INSIST us working together. Maybe today such a
project will not work, but countries are aligning. I know this sound
biblical: "When all sheep listen to one herdsman...", but I think it's
better than that: "The sum of the parts is much more than the parts themselves".

>>No, Earth's consumption of electricity is much much less than that of the
>>Asimov. As I showed before you would need an array bigger than the moon!
>>And than you only have the energy but not the beam. For that you need again
>>an enormous array of high power masers.
>I don't remember you mentioning that.  In any event its the cost not the size
>that would make a difference.

Size is a problem of feasability. If things get too big, it takes also more
time to build them. An array of thousands or even a million square
kilometres is not possible to build in a reasonable time.

>> So how do we solve that? Walking in spacesuits all day isn't that much fun.
>Exploration is seldom a lot of fun.  I can't think of anyway to solve the
>biohazard problem other than space suits, or staying in the ship and using
>tele-operated robots.

Exploration isn't much fun? What else drives people to such far places...

>> The place I live is save, even if all the polar ice melts away. :) (33
>> metres above sealevel)
>> What you write may be true, but is not complete, we have found cures for
>> many diseases and our understanding gets better all the time. In 50 years
>> this will only be better and more advanced.
>True, but its taken us centuries to get this far in our medical skills.  We
>won't have centuries, or even decades, to learn how to fight the alien

In all these centuries we accumulated these skills, a lot of these skills
can be used as general solutions and not as specific solutions. Often if a
cure for one disease is found, a lot of similar diseases are cured too.
It is not the specific case that takes decades to develop but the general
solution. So since we want to know what is out there, we will study those
creatures that have the potential to make us ill. Probably that is enough to
find a specific cure.

>>>So if we want to continue the SD project we should make it 2140 instead of
>> Very possibly
>If we shove the calendar to 2140 from 2050, we'ld have nothing to base it on.
> We would have to debate what type of physics, much less engineering we could

So, what should we do? The main problem is the source of power that we are
allowed to use. So before we start discussing how the engine looks, we
should know what techniques we can use and in what AMOUNT. Just saying that
money doesn't matter isn't enough, money means manpower. Whatever the futere
will bring, the amount of capable manpower will be limited.

>We obviously arn't going to NEED to go to another star system, and certainly
>we've never come up with a reason anyone would want to stay in this other
>starsystem.  (Trade obviously isn't practical with the technology we're
>discusing.)  But that doesn't meen people wouldn't be interested in finding
>out what is there.

It could be a goal for better survival of the human species. Two so separate
worlds are unlikely to become extinct at the same time.

The reason for people to stay in such a desolated area is quite obvious, to
start a new or other life. Think of the people that went to Australia the
last 50 years (not the prisoners), a lot of them wanted new chances. Chances
they could not realize at their previous home. My guess is that there are
millions of people that want to get away from their present life and start
somewhere else.