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RE: starship-design: Battleship galactica?

On Thursday, October 02, 1997 3:17 PM, Gertchen1@aol.com 
[SMTP:Gertchen1@aol.com] wrote:

> Now, a word about "Battlestar Galactica". many people may joke about 
> but unfortunately it is frighteningly real. If the russians could create
> a
> warship and actually get it into space, that would make them superior to
> us.
> Now, saying that it's common sense to assume that there is other life
> besides
> us, isn't a wise precaution to assume that there is life out there that
> is
> hostile? I dunno about you, but I would much rather go into an unknown
> system
> with guns ready, and lots of armor than to go into a system saying "hi! I
> wanna be your friend!" only to discover this race of being shoot, then
> shoot
> again, shoot again, and ask no questions later.
> Just my two bits ^_~
> Gerty


We had already discussed this somewhat. Any first probe of a system will 
likely be a high speed flyby of an unmanned robot that is so small it won't 
be easy to detect. This is less for our benefit than it is for the benefit 
of the inhabitants. We may not want to make our presence known to them 
irregardless of their tech base, or aggressiveness. Plus, there is no need 
to send a manned colony ship (expensive) type of explorer to an empty 

As to "stumbling" into a system full of aggressive xenos, it isn't likely 
to happen for the following reasons:

1)	Any race capable of causing us significant damage is detectable at 
interstellar distances
2)	No races have been detected in our local region of the galaxy - we've 

Therefore, since there are no inhabitants of the nearest 200 stars or so, 
we should be able to explore them in relative safety. The only bet this 
leaves uncovered is if we accidentally stumble on another exploration ship 
at the fringes of our current detection range. By which time we would 
probably be well invested on fifty or so planets spread across 100 light 
years of space. This event is so far in the future it doesn't merit 
worrying about. Battlestar Galactica is a space opera written to entertain, 
it has very little attention to reality or fact. Reality is too boring to 
make good TV fare.

Lee Parker