[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: starship-design: Go Starwisps

> From: KellySt@aol.com
> In a message dated 6/25/97 11:32:50 AM, (Zenon Kulpa) wrote:
> >> From: "L. Parker" <lparker@cacaphony.net>
> >> 
> >> I just wanted 
> >> everyone to see that there were FIFTY EIGHT stars within our reach NOW. 
> >> If you expand that another 5 parsecs there are THOUSANDS. I think we are 
> >> wasting time here...we need a couple of gigawatt free electron lasers 
> >> in orbit to start pushing out Starwisps as soon as we can. 
> >> We should be getting the first results back by the time we figure out 
> >> a better way to push manned starships to the stars.
> >> 
> >I do agree.
> >
> >Generally I consider it obvious that starting interstellar manned 
> >missions must be preceded by a series of robotic flyby/pathfinder 
> >missions (various scenarios of this sort were posted on this list,
> >e.g. by me and, just recently, Lee).
> >And these robotic probes are far easier to design, build and launch 
> >using even today's technology. In the same time, they constitute
> >a good exercise in interstellar flight technology,
> >necessary to be advanced and tested before any attempts 
> >to actually build and use a manned starship.
> >Possibly we should switch (at least for some time...)
> >into design of such robotic probe(s)?
> I used to agree with this.  But given you can probably gain about the same
> amount of info via super sized telescopes, and the robots would report back
> for decades (by then the whole projects likely to be obsolete).  
> I'm woundering if robot probes aer very usefull?
Hmmm, that is a point...

1st, even super sized telescopes have their limitations
(e.g., gathering such important [for manned flight] data
as radiation & other conditions in the interstellar medium
is hardly possible with a telescope),
and they may cost even more than a robotic starprobe 
(see also Lee's answer to the above), and 

2nd, another (even more) important reason of sending the probes 
is to test in REAL conditions the fledgling starflight technology,
before risking lives (you are, Kelly, against suicide missions,
aren't you?).

-- Zenon