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Re: Re: starship-design: One way (again...)

In a message dated 12/8/97 9:19:56 AM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl wrote:

>> From: Kelly St <KellySt@aol.com>
>> In a message dated 12/5/97 2:48:49 AM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl wrote:
>> >Wrong. I never was happy with THAT.
>> >
>> >I was happy with a one-way non-suicide mission.
>> >That is, no return, colony/life support sustainable
>> >till natural death (say, 200 year supplies should suffice, huh?).
>> >An what the folks are doing back home... who cares?
>> >My home will be over there...
>>   ;)  Ah but that one would be impossible, or at least an order or two
>> magnitude more expensive.
>?? As follows from all our discussions,
>the biggest problem is the propulsion.
>And the one-way mission has only HALF of this problem.
>So you calim that having half the problem makes 
>it impossible or more expensive?

?!  A one way flight does not halve the propulsion problem.  Frankly if you
can get there and refuel, geting back is a default ability of the ships.
(Assuming you don't wear out the engines on route.)  Thats one of the other
reason I wanted a plentiful fuel like Lithium.

On the other hand if the ship has to keep functional for several more decades
(until the likely demise of the crew) the ship would need to be much bigger
and heavyier, and far more self suficent.  These would make it, and the
mission more expensive.

>I agree that the one-way outpost-building mission
>will need more supplies (including a sort of factory
>to build even more at the target), but I think
>this additional cost will be negligible as compared with
>the cost of engine/fuel needed for the way back.
>The engine for a two-way mission must be made reliable 
>for twice the time and for two start-cruise-stop cycles.

The engines would need to boost for months at a time anyway.  So that demands
a pretty stable and durable system.  But since it has few moving parts (other
then the fuel feed systems), and mainly electrocal and magnetic manipulation
(or laser pulse) manipulation and fusion, it should pretty durable.  So
doubling its service life (or making it repairable) should be doable.  The
alternative of a far larger ship would require bigger heavier engines anyway.

>> Oh, the folks back home would have to pay the bills. You have to care what
>> they want, or they woun't pay for it.  (Capitalism rule one)  ;)
>Agreed. But they will pay less for the one-way mission...
>(Take also into account the costs of awards, medals,
>and retirement funds for the return crew  ;-))


No I strongly beleave a two way mission would be cheaper and simpler to launch
then a one way mission.  (And politically much more viable.)

>-- Zenon