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Mission type

Mission Flight Type

This is a summary of the various types of flights we might use to send a
mission to another star (Round trip, pick-up and return by follow on
flight, construction of return equipment at target star, Multi-star,
Multi-generation, hibernation, and one way).  It breifly describes each
flight type and its advantages and disadvantages.

Round trip

Ship and crew return to Earth at mission end.


*Simplest option, and one with little likely hood of public objection.

*More likely to get more volunteers and better qualified volunteers for flight.

*This option implies that the mission is fairly short. I.E. within the
professional life of the crew. This would imply its short enough to return
information in a useful amount of time. (I.E. it would get there and back,
before a later faster flight could do it.)

*It would return far more information than an interstellar communications
link could manage.

*It obviously avoids the grisly public relations and crew morale problems
of a one way mission.


*Technically more challenging. Getting a ship to the target starsystem is
hard enough. Getting it back would make it harder. But this must be traded
off against the added complexity of a ship capable of supporting its crew
for the rest of their lives.

*It has to be a fast enough ship to get back in an acceptable amount of
time. Too slow and theirs no practical reason to send it.

Pick up and return by follow on flight


*Most of the advantages of the round trip model, and would allow the first
ship to be a mobile research station or other specialized ship, with faster
courier ships providing round trip flights.


*High risk and more complicated. Multiple ship types, and concerns that the
first ship might be left stranded. The multiple ship types (the first being
a big heavy slow boat, the latter faster smaller ships) is probably
manageable and might even have advantages. The problem of assured crew
return would have to be handled conclusively.

Crew constructs equipment for return flight

This option come up with light/microwave sail craft, beamed power craft,
and fuel launcher craft. The crew would construct automated duplicates of
the systems that launched the ship from Sol space.


*Would establish launcher facilities in both star systems. Which could
allowing faster two way flights with specialized fast light ships.

*The crew might get back faster with their ship using the constructed
launcher systems for assistance.