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Re: Engineering Newsletter
Tim thanks for forwarding the missing letter.
Re: 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
> >there while to develope fusion systems.
> Indeed, but so would anti-matter systems after a while.
Fusion is an extreamly usefull general purpose technology. Anti-matter is
far less so, and far more dangerous on the scale we would need. I wouldn't
expect a lot of anti-mater ships in 50 years.
> >>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,
> >>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
> future 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.
Oh, that would be beyond the resources and tech of the project. Also it seem
a waste of time. Sort of novelty project for the record books. With no
practical reason to stay perminently there the bases would be prefab ghost
towns. Future missions to other solar systems would have to be based out of
dynamic, growing, large scale, civilizations. Not out of a staging camp in
the middle of nowhere.
> >Research I can understand, but obviously they can't do that forever.
> Why not, there will be plenty to figure out.
Forever? Do you expect earth to keep funding these people in this base
forever? With continuous supply flights from sol to keep them going? We
couldn't even keep the moon program going for more than a few months after it
planted its flag.
> >Nor do I expect to settle for living out the rest of their lives in the
> Why don't you expect them to do that? I still don't see that as suicide,
> they can live perfectly healthy lives.
Thats like condeming somone to spend the rest of their lives in an
apartment/shoping mall! Good researchers will want to retire or go on to
other projects. Not sit around in a worn out ship, in the middle of nowhere,
with nothing to do.
> >I can't see corporations droping probably hundreds of billions of dollars
> >a project like this. It absolutly would have no short term benifit
> >at least) and advertizing would supply this kind of money.
> One Japanese building company is seriously thinking about how it could
> 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
Japanise think big (and talk big), but seldom can carry out those big plans.
Companise are in busness to make money for people. If they don't do that,
they are taking their investors money under false pretenses. Which can get
their executives fired or jailed. Droping money on a scale like this for no
reasone other than as a charity project for prospace people would be criminal
mis-appropriation, and comercial suicide. Assuming they weren't thrown in
jail, the company would be so weak another pragmatic company could easily
take it over.
> >International projects ARE A DISSASTER!! I was in the International Space
> >Station Freedom Program, and can assure you it convinced about everybody
> >international cost everyone far more, slowed the program WAY down, and
> >generally made it impossible. If a project like this requirers
> >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"?
A single country could have done it far cheaper and quicker then all
> 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
Sorry, no. In large projects like this the sum of the parts is the lowest
common denominator of everyone. It becoming a big issue in the U.S. The
more people you get on a project, the less energy and inovation is avalible.
Things get bogged down, lost in committe misunderstanding, ecetera. Costs
can go up to hundreds of times what a small tight group could do it for.
Thats one of the reasons that over the last decade or two, NASA has been
incapable of trying, or developing, cutting edge technologies or programs.
> >> So how do we solve that? Walking in spacesuits all day isn't that much
> >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...
Curiosity, greed, a chalenge, desire for fame or acomplishment. Exploration
is generally horiobly uncomfortable and life threatening. But its very
chalenging, and its atractive to know your one of the few to ever do
something, know something, etc... Even if you know its killing you.
Like an anthro professor my wife had. He loved studying aborigional tribes
in the backwaters of the Amazon, but he frely admitted everyone who does it
expect that they've paid with decades off their life expectancy.
A ground team to a worl with a eath like bioshpere could expect to losemost
of the team over a couple of months even inside the biosuits.
> >> 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
> >> this will only be better and more advanced.
> >True, but its taken us centuries to get this far in our medical skills.
> >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
> find a specific cure.
Since your dealing with radically differnt life forms. Its unlikely the old
rules, or solutions, would hold. We mostly will be starting from scratch.
After all, we have no experience with alien biospheres.
> >>>So if we want to continue the SD project we should make it 2140 instead
> >> Very possibly
> >If we shove the calendar to 2140 from 2050, we'ld have nothing to base it
> > We would have to debate what type of physics, much less engineering we
> 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. --
We're in a serous bind. The tech we can expect in 50 years isn't enough for
a T.C. flight. Or all but the most modest interstellar flights. NOr would
they be that likely to be interested in footing a huge program. Yet if we
back up the date by a hundred years we could be much more confident that they
could do it, and do it affordably, but we wouldn't have any credible idea
> >We obviously arn't going to NEED to go to another star system, and
> >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
> >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.
Your not talking about two planets. Your talking about earth, a fleet of
colony platforms in sol and an outpost in another star. And the outpost is
totally dependand on sol.
Put another way. Are we that likely to be so afraid of human extinction,
that we'll rush to do such a project in 50 years?
> 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.
> 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.
Oh certainly. The united states gets several million of them a year! But,
another star doesn't offer much opportunity. It isolated, expensive, no
markets to go to, few resorces that you can get at. No home world to go to
on vacation to. Your very dependand on the supply line from Sol, and their
for far less independant than you would be in a colony in Sol.
Also, the kind of people we would send on such a ship. Would be the ellete
that would have a lot of opportunity back home. The people who want a new
start, wouldn't be sent on the ship.