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RE: starship-design: What if...

Kelly et al,

Kelly and I once discussed my view that we may not even WANT to plan on colonizing the planet immediately. From a commercial point of view this may be the LEAST desirable option. 

Jim Benson of Space Development Corporation is currently studying methods of mining near Earth asteroids. Unlike Earth-bound mineral deposits,  evidence indicates that not only are asteroids significantly richer in mineral deposits than planetary deposits, but that they are also more concentrated.

He gave an estimated value figure for a typical asteroid at 10 trillion dollars! Certainly that is quite an inducement for private enterprise and may provide the impetus for the first push not only off of our planet but out of our solar system.

Exploration of the new planet or planets may be carried out more effectively from space initially anyway. I think the prudent thing to do if there is a habitable planet is to establish the orbital infrastructure first, build low orbit stations to carry out ground-based research and exploration with two levels of quarantine containment for personnel. 

The first would be ground based, the second in low orbit. Since we would have spent YEARS studying the planet by remote probes from orbit first, we would already have a good idea about the chances of their biochemistry interacting with ours, before the first unprotected human steps out on the surface.

Meanwhile, we have built an extensive industrial base in orbit and perhaps on some of the moons to provide things such as repair parts and fuel for starships and perhaps be well on the way to building another starship for the next jump outward. Returning starships could be carrying valuable mineral resources rather than simply running empty. In other words, trade and industry would be under way without the steep penalty of a planetary gravity well.

Lee Parker

Long experience has taught me not to believe in the limitations indicated by purely theoretical considerations. These - as we well know - are based on insufficient knowledge of all the relevant factors." 

Guglielmo Marconi

-----Original Message-----
From:	KellySt@aol.com [SMTP:KellySt@aol.com]
Sent:	Wednesday, June 11, 1997 10:41 PM
To:	stk@sunherald.infi.net; owner-starship-design@darkwing.uoregon.edu; starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
Subject:	Re: starship-design: What if...

In a message dated 6/11/97 12:07:57 PM, stk@sunherald.infi.net (kyle) wrote:

>Hello fellow starship designers!

As to inteligences.  Try to talk.  If that fails, study them A LOT.

(Hey I never wanted to colonize the planet antway.  ;)  )