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Re: RE: RE: starship-design: Go Starwisps

In a message dated 6/29/97 10:59:56 AM, lparker@cacaphony.net (L. Parker)

>>Actually their are proposals to start building such scopes now using
>>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
>>a virtual scope whos lens is as big as the size of the area the group
>> 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 atmospher about as well from here
>>as from a small probe.  Besides.  So what if the air was composed of
>> 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 the robots as support craft.
>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.

No atmosphere would be breathable to us.  If it was earth like, the ecosystem
would be deadly (or at least thats likely enough so no one who breathed it
could be brought back on the ship).  If it wasn't earth like it still
wouldn't be breathable.

>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. 

Why would a high value star system be worth launching to?  We're awash with
resources here where the market is.  Why to go to the stars is a difficult
question (especially at the price tages for our concepts) but minning and
industrial development seem pretty unlikely.