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

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

You're right.  It makes the difference between a doable and an
undoable problem, at least early on.

If it only cost twice as much to do a 2 way mission, then I'd
be all for it (I might not feel like coming back if I were
going, though).  However, with a choice between doing it and
not doing it at all...

>Frankly if you can get there and refuel, geting back is a
>default ability of the ships.

Yes, but refuelling is a very difficult problem, especially for
a first manned interstellar mission.  Really, the only way we're
going to be able to figure out if there is even a practical
resource to exploit for refueling is with a manned mission.
It would be phenominally lucky if the first such mission had
the capability to exploit that resource.

>(Assuming you don't wear out the engines on route.)  Thats one of the other
>reason I wanted a plentiful fuel like Lithium.

Deuterium would be more plentiful.

>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.

Compared to what?  Compared to a mission which carried equipment
suitable for refueling?  That's some pretty heavy stuff, there,
even if you had precise information about the resources you wanted
to exploit.

>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.)

Are you counting on refueling at the target system?  Where do you
propose getting fuel out of Alpha Centauri?
    _____     Isaac Kuo kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu http://www.csc.lsu.edu/~kuo
/___________\ "Mari-san...  Yokatta...
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