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

In a message dated 12/8/97 3:24:52 PM, you wrote:

>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).

I disagree strongly.  A construction expidition or a long duration mission
would need to be far better equiped, and far larger.  Hence, both would be
more expensive.

>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.

No, we would not go somewhere just to go to an outpost.  In itself, an outpost
isn't a goal or a reason for going somewhere.  At best its a tool to allow you
to do something there.  At worst its a stunt.  (Been there, done that, took
our bows, and went home.)  If your assuming a maned outpost, it would be a
strong incentive to cancel the first mission.  I.E. to prevent being forced to
eather: send a retriaval expidition to bring them back, or to take the heat
for leaving them to die for some Apollo like stunt.

>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!

I thought you had used that as an argument!?  Why else would you not equip an
expidition with a return capability?  I thought your whole suggestion for this
started as a suggestion to save money?

With the systems were talking about, and about any others I can think of, a
long duration mission would cost more then a shorter duration one.  This is
especially true if the expidition got long enough for te crew to get really
old.  So coming back would be shorter and cheaper.

In any event politically it would always be perceaved as an expediant by the
agency to save money

>> >> 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."

Tese missions would in no way make us a more 'spacefaring civilization'.  They
would however require us to already be a very space faring civilization to
launch them.

>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

I'm not sure what your talking about as symptoms, but their are plenty of
other visionaries.  Many working to build more realistic and grand visions.
But they aren't as interesting to the public at the moment.

Personally I think interest in space will perk up when space does do things.
At the moments its effects have been quite underwelming given the levels of
effort.  A more productive space program, should gain more interest and