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

In a message dated 12/11/97 1:37:55 AM, lparker@cacaphony.net wrote:

>On Wednesday, December 10, 1997 1:53 PM, Kelly St [SMTP:KellySt@aol.com] 
>> The deep space probes like Pioneer, Viking, and Voyager  had multi decade
>> service lives.  Thou thie trivially simple compare to these ships.
>Oh don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we can't design a small system to 
>operate for 20 years without failure. Only that the bigger the system gets 
>the less likely that we can engineer EVERY part to those tolerances and the 
>more likely that cumulative failures of subsystems will eventually add up 
>to major system failure. We have had quite a history of such failures 
>already in the space program.

Definatly agree.  This stuff will need serious fault tolerance and redundancy,
and some good repair systems to make 40-50 years.  Best we can hope for is
some recom probes left behind work for a few more decades after the ship pulls

>> Oo, excelent example.  I forgot about material decays in plastics.
>Isaac still hasn't thought about it...

Hard to hear others when your sure you know it all.  ;)

>> Excelant point.  One possible siolution for a star ship would be solder
>> joints
>> on all seals.  If you want to rotate something, you heat the joints until
>> they
>> melt, rotate them, then cool and resolder the joint.
>> Still would leak out all the air every few years thou.  Ox and CO2 isn't 
>> big
>> problem, we can store tha in chemical bounds, but how the hell do you
>> store
>> nitrogen?!  It doesn't bound well with anything,and cryo tanks would 
>> off
>> long before we were done.
>Isaac hasn't got this one either. Lack of real world experience.

The real world is so much messyier than what teachers tell you.  I did think
his "current phyisics knows it all.." were hysterical.  "Yes we have reached
the limits of sail technology so no ship can ever reach the new world in less
then..."  ;)

It is surprizing how few folks realize everything wears out.  I mean we spend
our lives watching our cars, houses, and cloths wear out around us.  Yet
expect other things to go for centuries without change.  Weird.