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

David Levine wrote:
>> From: 	kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu[SMTP:kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu]
>> Transport shuttles?  What's the point?  You'd want some unmanned
>> probes so you can get data from multiple points without wasting
>> months and fuel flitting around (e.g. an orbiting probe to measure
>> magnetic fields at various distances).
>> Most observations, however, could and would be made from the main
>> ship directly.  I'm not sure why you expect the ships sensors and
>> systems to wear out after only 40 years.

>I'd have to say if you wanted manned vehicles to land on planets, you'd
>have problems after a while - these can be delicate systems undergoing
>enormous stress and requiring lots of maintenance (after all, look at
>the space shuttle).

I make the assumption that there aren't any planets.  Maybe there will
be small planetoids--in which case you could slide your ship next to
one and use EVA maneuver suits to explore it.

For the near future, any planetary landers must be planet-specific,
so building a "general purpose one" meant to land on completely
undiscovered planets is too much of a tall order.

>If you are content to observe the planets from
>orbit, but still need several vehicles (i.e. to split up into smaller
>teams exploring the system), then you have less of a problem -
>space-only in-system vehicles are likely to undergo much less stress, be
>much simpler in design, and require much less maintenance.  Same deal
>with unmanned probes - Voyager's a lot cheaper and simpler if you launch
>it from orbit.
    _____     Isaac Kuo kuo@bit.csc.lsu.edu http://www.csc.lsu.edu/~kuo
/___________\ "Mari-san...  Yokatta...
\=\)-----(/=/  ...Yokatta go-buji de..." - Karigari Hiroshi