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RE: RE: starship-design: Go Starwisps


I think you missed my point, telescopes cannot possibly pick up trace 
metals and/or biocontaminants in the atmosphere at the miniscule 
quantities required to make an atmosphere unbreathable. The only way 
to do that is to sample the atmosphere.

Also, for space based industry, asteroids and small high metallicity 
moons are more valuable, which you would have to be able to image 
directly from here in order to detect. The latter may be possible, 
but I doubt you will be able to get a spectroscopic reading at this 
distance. There is no point in launching a manned mission to a low 
value system at all. 


Actually their are proposals to start building such scopes now using current
tech.  The idea is to launch hudreds of 1 meter scopes and land them on the
Moon.  Then do a phased array integration of the results.  Effectivly you get
a virtual scope whos lens is as big as the size of the area the group covers.
 Potentionally hudreds of miles across.  You could get aireal photo grade
immages of planets in near by star systems.

I'ld think we could spectral analize the atmosphers about as well from here
as from a small probe.  Besides.  So what if the air was composed of cyanide?
 We can't breath it regardless, and it would still be interesting to study.
 Especially if we saw an ecosystem.

You could launch a manned mision with tghe robots as support craft.