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Re: Re: Thanks, from Brian

At 5:26 PM 3/15/96, DotarSojat@aol.com wrote:
>Brian                                       Mar 15, 1996
>Your chosen field of biochemistry is certainly key to solving
>the life-support problems of long-term space flight.  Unfortun-
>ately, until NASA has successfully accomplished a crewed Mars
>mission, I feel that attempting to define the technology re-
>quirements of long-term life-support systems for interstellar
>flight will be futile.  We need real-world, empirical knowledge
>of the interactions between the crew and their environment and
>among the crew members.  And before the Mars mission, I believe
>that the most significant step that NASA could take to lay the
>groundwork for that mission, both in addressing the life-support
>technological concerns and in stimulating public interest and
>support for a Mars mission, would be to do Biosphere II right.

We do have a couple decades of submarine experience.  Not as long term as a
Mars or interstellar flight, but far more successfull than Biosphere-II.

Air and water recycling is probably not to much of a problem (and we found
food was a non-issue), but I do worry about trace contamination.  Decades
in a sealed building could get toxic without some good decontamination

>If consideration of long-term life-support systems (as well as
>related human-factors provisions) for interstellar flight should
>be postponed until Mars experience is available, not so with
>propulsion systems for interstellar flight.  A competent trans-
>Mars propulsion system can be assembled from today's state of
>the art (as I show in a 1993 IDA Paper "Entry Velocities at
>Mars and Earth for Short Transit Times").  A propulsion system
>for interstellar flight, however, is not only well beyond our
>current propulsion technology, but it stretches our projections
>of current physics to the breaking point.

I'ld be interested in your Mars paper.  Perhaps you could publish it on the
nearer term sections of the new LIT site?

Unfortunatly I tend to concur with you analysis of interstellar propulsion.
Our ideas are possible within the relm of physics, but laughable within
the world of the pragmatic.  But we try to remain optimistic about coming
up with something.



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