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Re: starship-design: Go Starwisps
>In a message dated 6/25/97 11:32:50 AM, email@example.com (Zenon
>>> From: "L. Parker" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>As a scientists, I am used to carefully check my data before
>>drawing any conclusions from them ;-)
>>> I just wanted
>>> everyone to see that there were FIFTY EIGHT stars within our reach
>>> If you expand that another 5 parsecs there are THOUSANDS. I think we
>>> wasting time here...we need a couple of gigawatt free electron
>>> 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
>>> 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
>amount of info via super sized telescopes, and the robots would report
>for decades (by then the whole projects likely to be obsolete). I'm
>woundering if robot probes aer very usefull?
Robot probes could determine for certain the type and sequence of nearby
stars. Telescopic observation alone has not been capable of dispelling
differences of interpretation on this issue.
Solar wind-sampling and orbital reconnaissance bring in much more
detailed and clearer data than interstellar spectra.
Of course, humans are good at fixing tings, which tend to go wrong on
long trips. But then again, 21st century tech just might be good enough
to produce successful interstellar probes - what with all the testing on
that good old Oort Cloud and whatnot... 8-)
There is nothing like being there.
Antonio C Rocha