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

From: Kelly St <KellySt@aol.com>
> In a message dated 12/7/97 7:47:18 PM, lparker@cacaphony.net wrote:
> >> First you send Lewis and Clark, then the pioneers, then the rail roads.
> >>  ;)
> >
> >I will grant that is the way it was done in the past but this isn't 
> >comparable. The FACTORY has to go first to build the railroad so that  
> >Lewis and Clark can go...
> Then don't go by train. Most of our systems could get their once and back
> easier and cheaper then going their and seting up infastructure.
That is debatable.

My opinion is that it would be cheaper to go one-way to establish
infrastructure (as I have written before the biggest problem as for now
is the propulsion - certainly going one-way halves this problem).
Especially in long run: two-way leaves practically nothing
over there to go back for; establishing an outpost - well,
establishes a target to return to (at least to help with new
supplies them struggling over there...).

Remember Apollo - a plant-the-flag mission has little consequences
and does not lead to sustained exploration. 
The Russian "Mir", being a true outpost in near-space
is since many years the only long-term space project -
one of its main effects being prevention of Russian space program
from a total collapse... 
The two-way mission "just to show it is possible" will also make 
a much less impact and consequence than the outpost-building.

And, Kelly, you seem to contradict yourself at the costs issue -
in another post you have written:

> From: Kelly St <KellySt@aol.com>
> Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 10:59:57 EST
> [...]
> Thats effectivly a suicide mission.  I know a few folks in this group
> disagree, or don't care, but it still would meen no government on earth 
> could get permision for such a mission.  
> I.E. your throwing away a crew for no critical reason.
> Specifically your doing it to save money,
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
> which is really not going to sell.
I.e., you assume (and use it as an argument!) 
that one-way will save money... Voila!

> >> Seariously a big question we've never gotten very far with is why 
> >> anyone would send such a mission?
> >
> >See, above. I still haven't found a sound reason to send any mission.
> >
> >Lee
> Me neiather.
> Kelly
Yes, in short term, there isn't any.
But remember Sagan: 
"All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct."

Of course, we must first settle our system to a significant
degree (at least to be able to built a HUGE starship
without hauling all that mass from Earth's gravity well).

Thus, barring some great breakthrough like FTL,
I do not see any real possibility (if not technological,
then psycho-/econo-/political) to send a manned interstellar
mission within 50 years or so.

Returning to Sagan, his prediction already seems to turn
the dangerous way - as Kyle has remarked:

> From: "Kyle R. Mcallister" <stk@sunherald.infi.net>
> The visionaries of our world are nearly gone. What I mean by this is  
> the ones that saw true worth in our exploration and expansion,  
> those such as Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, and the like are all dying. 
> The sad thing is, there seem to be few if any new visionaries 
> like them. I, being a teenager, spend considerable 
> time with other teenagers, and can tell you that the vision is gone. 
> Arthur C. Clarke and Rober Bussard won't be around forever. 
> I just wonder where the human in humanity has gone.
Without opening a real big frontier in space, the humanity will
decline even faster and earlier than we may expect.
The symptoms are already quite visible.

-- Zenon