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Re: Engineering Newsletter

> I've sat back and watched this talk go on for sometime now.The
> nature of this is interesting but not getting us to designing the ship. It
> is obivous we are having trouble coming up with a mission statement that
> nails down where we are going and for how long. I feel this discussion is
> just going to keep going around and around.
> Like Dave said. TC is arbitrary and the focal point for the ship design. 
> Can we design a ship to take 1000, 2500 people?
> Can we insure we can have the proper and correct amounts of food and spare
> parts?
> Can we drive, ( stear ), the danmed thing?
> Can we stop it once we get it going?
> Can we get it started at all?
> The big problem as I see it is building a drive to get us to TC and back if
> we want to. The rest we can probably do with the technology we have today
> in the next ten years.
> I know I know Nothing about the physics of all this that many of you are
> writing about. But I do know we are running in circles right now. How do we
> proceed? I don't have a clue. Just give me a hammer and some nail and I
> start building the ship :-) You guys come up with the steam engin to push
> it.  Maybe we need to concider several types of propulsion. kind of like a
> small sailboat that has sails, outboard motor and oars. Or just build the
> thing large enough to carry all the rocks we will need to toss into the
> ramscoop.  Or, maybe we just might have to set our sights closer to home.

Your essentially right.  Other than the drive systems the rest of the ship is
straightforward.  BIG, but given a large space industrial infastructure (a
reasonable expectation for 2050) we could build it.  The drive system is
another matter.  We've come up with no credible near light speed drive.  The
closest we've got is the Microwave-sail/Mars system, and it frankly isn't
do-able.  So we cant get to T.C. in a use-able time period.  We have ideas
that could get us to a fraction (.1 to maybe .3) of light speed at
considerable expense, but that won't get us to T.C..

I'm working up a draft list of the general ideas for missions, drives, etc..
(IN BRIEF!).  When I finish it I'll send it around for review and critique.