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From: David
To: Kelly Starks x7066 MS 10-39
Cc: Brian Mansur; hous0042; KellySt; lparker; rddesign; Steve VanDevender; 
Subject: Re: MARS HYBRID DESIGN II (First Draft)
Date: Monday, March 04, 1996 4:35PM

Brian 4:08 CT 3/4/96

Kelly Starks x7066 MS 10-39 wrote:
> Thats a very long time to wait around for first initial survey reports! 
> 61 years (2111) you'ld get you first report back from Tau.

Actually, it will take 50 years.  That assumes 35 to 40 years from the time 
of the deceleration mirror launch to the final deceleration of the Asimov. 
 Remember that the Asimov will be launching just 15 to 25 years after the 
reflector has been sent up before it.  After final deceleration and 
exploration begins, the first survey reports will be received 12 years later 
around the year 2100 (assuming a decel reflector launch date of 2050 which I 
am not).

I would like to point out that I haven't seen an answer to my question about 
the doplar shift effect on a fast moving reflector.  If the doplar effect 
simply decreases efficiency of the beam before it reaches the Asimov, that 
can be compensated for by using more power.  Of course that means building 
more solar panels and masers but then I'm assuming increadible automation 
capability where there is virtually no human cost.

>If you were
> that patient, you wern't that interested.  You might as well have just 
> 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.

Who was that one European prince that started looking for a route to India 
by sailing around Africa?  Didn't it take about 50 years for his dream to 
come true.  And that after he died?  Of course most of us aren't that 

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

This lack of patience on the part of human society is starting really to bug 
me.  Of course I've no right to complain seeing as how I should have been 
patient enough to do my Calculus before replying to these e-mails.

>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.

Perhaps let them come but I'd certainly make sure that they'd have to go 
through serious customs checks before we let them anywhere near Earth. 
 Can't have illegal aliens running about now can we?

>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.

I call it brainstorming.  Thats where ideas often come from.