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RE: starship-design: What is safest?

On Monday, December 29, 1997 10:27 AM, Timothy van der Linden 
[SMTP:TLG.van.der.Linden@tip.nl] wrote:
> [I think you forgot a "not" at the * in the above paragraph]
> It has to be tough, but not into extremes, since backups are available or
> will be shortly. I'd guess that if military cars had to be made more
> reliable, they should not use air-pressured tires. Chances of a car
> getting
> stranded by a punctured tire on rough terrain seem to be rather high.

They ARE designed that way...they have special foam filled tires on all 
military combat vehicles that use pneumatic tires. Of course for ordinary 
vehicles on base, they don't waste the expense.

> BTW Many successful explorers from the past used equipment that they 
> repair or rebuild themselves without outside help. Several expedition
> leaders designed equipment with that criterion themselves before they
> went
> exploring.
Which is probably a lesson we should keep well in hand.

> While some applications may ask for highgrad computing power, many don't
> need to. In much electric equipment limits are pushed, something that we
> certainly can't trust to do in our starship.
> So we should make circuits/chips that have the computing power of x years
> back but use the much more precise and reliable technology of today.
> Similar to what Zenon wrote, we shouldn't expect the same luxuries as in
> our
> homes.
Well, the technological level of many of the systems in the ship will be 
many years behind the "bleeding edge". This is almost a fact of life with 
NASA. Your average hand held organizer is smarter than most of the 
computers on the space shuttle...

> If a fusion engine is so simple, then a fusion power plants should not be
> to
> hard to build and maintain either. What I've seen from fusion power
> designs
> is that they look pretty complex, more complex than chemical rocket
> engines.

Timothy, that wasn't even logical. A napalm bomb is a fairly simple device 
compared to a gasoline engine and they both use the same fuel, think about 

> >That depends un what the circut board controls.  Circut failures can and
> >do
> >kill people rapidly.
> I don't know what kind of circuit failure you mean.

Umm, how about a short in the sensor that controls the level of residual 
CO2 in the atmosphere of the ship? Or maybe the circuit that activates the 
refueling valve for the oxygen supply, thereby venting the oxygen to space? 
There has to be at least a million ways...