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Re: starship-design: Go Starwisps
In a message dated 6/27/97 6:50:50 PM, email@example.com (Zenon Kulpa)
>> From: KellySt@aol.com
>> In a message dated 6/25/97 11:32:50 AM, (Zenon Kulpa) wrote:
>> >> From: "L. Parker" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> >> 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
>> >> 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
>> 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,
You don't need to send a probe on an interstellar flight to check out the
engines, and we have a fair idea of what radiation is in interstellar space.
A bigger concern whould be what material is in interstellar space. If as
one theory suggests, theirs traces of lots of lose carbon molecules in deep
space. Runing into them at near light speeds could be real hard on a ship.
It would also shread a starwhisp or micro wave sail very quickly.
Probably we'ld have to assume the worst and build in counter measures. Like
per blast a area of interstellar space with the big maser area and see what
glowed, and launch a dust cloude ahead of the ship to blast a path clear.