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Re: Argosy Mission Overhaul

At 10:06 AM 3/14/96, Brian Mansur wrote:
> ----------
>From: kgstar
>To: T.L.G.vanderLinden
>Cc: KellySt; kgstar; stevev; jim; zkulpa; hous0042; rddesign; David;
>lparker; bmansur
>Subject: Re: Argosy Mission Overhaul
>Date: Tuesday, March 12, 1996 9:51AM
>At 3:11 PM 3/12/96, Timothy van der Linden wrote:
>>To Brian,
>>>>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.
>>>Actually, I'm assuming that robots would have limits based on their
>>>programming.  I imagine that the first working, completely automated
>>>would, in some ways, be less efficient in computer controled hands than if
>>>humans were doing the same job.  For example: how do you think computers
>>>robots would have handled the job of bringing home the  Apollo 13 crew?
>>In my opinion such robots are intelligent or they aren't (no way between).
>>Say that you have figured out a machine with an IQ of 40. Then you could
>>probably link them up in such a way that 10 of them together would have an
>>IQ of 100.
>>Have you ever tried putting a room full of morons together and expect them
>>to do one inteligent persons work?  It doesn't work.  Mobs tend to be less
>>equivelent then the sum of their parts.  Given that we have no idea on how
>>to make an A.I. work its hard to tell what it could do, or what its
>>limitations would be.  It could be far more inteligent than humamans, or be
>>an idiot savant.  Great at one thing, and hopeless in general.
>Point taken, but I see no other option than to assume that we can create
>them.   We need them to set up opposing maser arrays at TC.  And these
>robots may (or may not) be doing an "intelligent person's" work.  Even by
>2050, we can expect automation in the factory to increase even beyond what
>we have today.   We already make cars with minimal human supervision.  Why
>not maser cannons and solar arrays.  Then we build computers and program
>them to run the whole system.

The whole issue of heavy construction at the target star system(s) is a
mess. The Explorers would need a lot of minning to fuel them for the return
flight, or a lot of prefab laser launchers.  The sail systems would need to
mechaform (terraform to a machine world) a planet into a maser emmitter.
These are the weakest parts of our ideas.

Given that the A.I.s would be forced to work in an uncontroled environment
(I.E. not in a factory.) and expected to self replicate they would be way
over the top technically.

>Of course, if we want to lower our terminal velocity to .33c, we could
>launch our ship via maser sail and decel into TC using a 144:1 fuel ratio as
>figured in New idea Laser launcher/scoop systems.  This would allow us to
>scale down AI's to mindless robotic machines that are task specific.  We
>take some along with us to mine iron ore from asteroids for the trip home.
> Of course, going to TC would take forever at .33c (compared to what you
>guys want).
>Here is a thought I've heard before.  We could even break down the sail for
>added fuel.  Still, the extra fuel is going to increase the sail size.  And
>for the ions from the sail to be useful, they must be of the same kind.
> Unless we could separate them during the breakdown process and feed only
>one kind of ion at a time into the ion drive.  Oh boy.

Problem is, sails arn't built out of fuel.  We could use them for reaction
mass, but that doesn't help without power.


Kelly Starks                       Internet: kgstar@most.fw.hac.com
Sr. Systems Engineer
Magnavox Electronic Systems Company
(Magnavox URL: http://www.fw.hac.com/external.html)