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Re: Argosy Mission Overhaul

To Brian,

Your story about probes made me remember a story of Startrek. An alien probe
"programmed" one of the crew-members who became very intelligent. Driven by
his new intelligence the crew member changed the matrix of
quantum-space-time in such a way that the whole Enterprise traveled 10,000
ly in a few seconds. There an alien race waited for them. That alien race
figured it was much easier to make other races come to them than the
otherway around. (I found the whole idea, quite fascinating)

>Think about it.  The maser/laser driven sails need 1E18 (probably  1E20 to 
>account for efficiency) to fly.  That means planet size power arrays if the 
>source is solar.  The RAIRs need lots of fuel that has to be packaged and 
>put into position by some kind of infrastructure.  That _just_ might be 
>within the capabilities of human manpower.  Anti-matter energy has to be 
>made from an equal (or greater depending on efficiency) amount of energy. 
> That equates to huge power stations to do the matter/anti-matter 
>conversion.  Simply launching rockets with fusion pellets as their fuel 
>(like the Daedalus) may be doable for small loads but we would quickly run 
>out of rare isotope  fusion fuel.  Unless, of course, A LOT more could be 
>made by some trick of physics involving fusion techniques perhaps.  Of 
>course, a rare isotope factory would most likely require a huge power array 
>to run it.

Although the use of robots is tempting, we should try to focus on other
ideas that include less intelligent automation. We "know" AI-robots could
make anything work but that solution would be a bit too simple, unless we
could come up with a rough design for such kind of robot.

>There does seem to be some hope for an easier future, powerwise.  If this 
>cold fusion thing that Tim alerted us do is not a hoax or is less fantastic 
>discovery than it sounds like, we could be going places we thought were 
>going to be out of our reach for decades and centuries.

I'm not sure if I was the one who alerted everybody, someone else asked what
it prospects were and by coincidence a few days later I got some information
about it.


P.S. I'm wondering if you haven't given up sails too fast, anyway continue
your search for new possibilities.