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starship-design: Latest letter>

Re:  Your Starship Project.


In a message dated 9/11/97 4:04:57 AM, you wrote:

>I have read with great interest the details on your website of starship
>design. Firstly I must say how well all of the information was presented, it
>was refreshing to read a scientific document that did not heap on loads of
>statistics and calculations. But it was quite suprising for me to learn that
>such a craft would be feasable by the year 2050. I always belived that this
>sort of expedition would take place much later, possibly not until the 22nd
>Don't get me wrong, I'm no scientist and my knowledge of physics and
>mathematics is somewhat lacking, but my friends (university graduates, but
>don't think that makes them experts) tell me that such a journey is
>impossible. I argue the case that it is impossible with todays technology
>but who knows what we will have 20 years into the future. One friend of mine
>claims that to reach the nearest galaxy to ourselves would require all the
>resources we have in the solar system. Is this correct?
>Either way, your project has opened my eyes to the possibilities of
>interstellar travel.
>It was also good to find a site that covers space travel without mentioning
>Star Trek! 
>Thanks again
>Mark Hasted

Glad you liked the site Mark.  Yes, the LIT Starship design group does (we
still have corespondence) try very hard to come up with practical concepts
using extreamly likely mid 21st century technologies.  No warp drive,
nanotech, mass conversion, etc.  This has been hard for all involved, who see
how even a slight breakthrough in physics or ultra technolgy could vastly
simplify such a project.  After all the one thing we can be sure of is that
the real physics and technology of 2050 will have a lot of completly
revolutionary, and completly unanticipated parts.

In a way we like to think out concepts are like the British interplanetary
societies turn of the century project to devise a concept of a moon landing.
 It was very crude compared to the actual apollo project.  But it did show
the idea was possible.  Our concepts (Explorer, Fuel/Sail, M.A.R.S., etc)
could open the near by stars, are technically possible, but seem far to
expensive and impractical for reasonable use.  (Thou Apollo also depended on
an extrodanary political need to drive it.)  No doubt the expectable
unpredictable technical progress over the next few decades will make these
concepts seem ludicrusly crude and expensive.  Several theories are already
showing such possibilities.  But we're pleased to have at least come up with
ways that could work.

Kelly Starks