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Re: Mirrors (first draft)

>From Brian 3:10 PM 3/5/96

>Frankly, I have a problem with a system that starts with selfreplication
>constructors, generating enough power to fry a planet, beaming it (with
>optical precision) over interstellar distences, to mesh structures the size
>of large planets.  When you then have to go from there to the complicated
>stuff (like stoping, shielding, erosion, etc..) I get the feeling were
>doing something wrong somewhere.

<grumble grumble>

I used to have the same problem with such fantastic leaps of technology. 
 Remember how I so distrusted Kevin's proposal that he stretch this power 
cord to TC?  Now I'm not only a believer, I'm preaching it.  Amazing what 
we'll believe if only it will let us do something.  Kind of like believing 
in God so we'll get to go to heaven :)

But you are right about there being engineering problems here the size of 
Jupiter (absolutely no hyperboli implied which is really scarry).  Has 
anyone given thought to how we plan on connecting the wire mesh sail to the 
ship without tearing the delicate chicken wire strands?

I've thought up  ideas like bundling the mesh into a tight rim that is 
connected to stronger cables.  Another idea is to rap the Asimov up in a 
ball of mesh with a large radius so that the force of tension won't be so 
concentrated.  I really don't know how we'd accomplish either idea but at 
least these are ideas to work with.

As for shielding.  Where the mirror is concerned, it will just have to 
endure the hazards of space and be repaired as necessary.  Yuck.