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Re: Engineering Newsletter

Just a quick note:

Many people seem to be saying "What's the point of going
there?  We don't know for sure that there's anything
interesting, and this is going to be hellishly expensive,
if it's even possible."  If this is going through
anybody's mind, please remember that this is a thought
experiment.  We're trying to decide how we could go to
the stars, if we wanted to.  Yes, right now we probably
don't want to.  But assume we did.  Assume that several
planets have been detected at our target star, and
spectral analysis even reveals the presence of
chlorophyll, or some other definite indicator of the
existance of life of some kind.

Of course, if such a situation arose, we probably WOULD
try to get something out there ASAP... but it would most
likely be an unmanned probe.

And while I think everyone agrees this would be a more
sensible course of action, it's not as inherently
interesting as a manned mission.  And unmanned
missions have been designed many times before.  Manned
missions have only been looked at sporadically.

So let's assume that there is some reason to send
people as well.  I'll turn this "excuse" over to
someone else...

Anyway, remember: this is a thought experiment.  Why
we are going is not as important as HOW we are going - is
it possible, and if so, how could it be done?