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Kelly Starks x7066 MS 10-39 wrote:
> Thats a very long time to wait around for first initial survey reports!  At
> 61 years (2111) you'ld get you first report back from Tau.  If you were
> that patient, you wern't that interested.  You might as well have just done
> photo recon from orbiting 1000 kilometer telescope arrays.  You'ld get a
> lot of the data, 60 years earlier.
> If your 60 years patent, you probably arn't interested enough to pay the
> big bill for this stuff.

I agree.  If you launch a mission that will not return
scientific results in your lifetime (assume you are in your
30s or 40s when you send the mission off), most people would
probably just say "why not let them do it -then-, instead?"

The payoff is too distant for most corporations, and the
bill too big for governments to justify to the people when
considering the length of time involved.

If we can't do it faster, we're not going to do it.

Too bad we don't have a target system with already-contacted
ETs.  Deceleration seems to be our biggest problem.  They
could construct an in-system maser decelerator... Of course,
assuming they trusted us.  I don't know what we'd do if an
alien civilization contacted us and asked us to build a maser
array to decelerate their spacecraft.

Interestingly, many people say that interstellar travel is
so amazingly difficult (and we are seeing part of it) that
it won't be accomplished for millenia, if at all.  One of
the responses to the Fermi Paradox. But lately I think we'd
agree that interstellar travel is, in fact, possible, but
at horrendous cost.  If we had a pre-existing deceleration
system (i.e. cooperative aliens in the target system),
however, interstellar travel may actually not be too difficult.
It makes me think of an area of the galaxy where civilizations
may arise frequently, and there is some sort of trade route
set up with masers.  You could travel easily between stars if
there were lots of aliens around... But, if (like us) you
seem to be alone, you might be stuck at home.  Interesting
paradox - if there are places to colonize, you can't go there.
If everywhere is filled up already, you can go there.

Just rambling.