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RE: Re: RE: starship-design: Depressing news


> Ah, I hate top burst your buble, but one thing space station has
> shown is the impracticality of inmternational projects.  NASA estimates
> that if it had to do the whole spacestation itself.  It would cost NASA
> 10% less then its current cost for its part of the current station
> International programs bring multinational overhead and contradictory
> political goals.  This slows things down a lot, and raises costs.
> For example the US skylab station (in many ways larger and more capable
> the current design) took us 18 months to plan, design, build, and launch.
> Regan started this station project in '84.

Not only do I agree with your analysis, but if you want to really get right
down to it, corporations are working for a profit and really tend to take a
dim view of missing deadlines and objectives when missing said deadlines and
objectives will cost them money (this neatly exempts most current aerospace
contractors, neat how I did that, huh?).

Anyway, as I have said before, the ONLY way we are going to get into space
to stay is if there exists some clear commercial (profit) advantage to do
so. At the moment the only ones I see are mining resources that are either
more difficult to get at than on Earth or in more limited supply on Earth.
Near Earth Asteroids seem to supply the answer. Not only do they provide an
abundance of minerals, but most seem to be in a more concentrated and pure
form. As an added bonus, precious metals seem to be a lot more common in
asteroids than in the upper layers of the Earth's crust. One good find and
you have just paid for your entire development effort.

Lee Parker

                                                      (o o)

Two people are traveling in a balloon over a landscape unknown to them.

“Where are we?” one calls down to a passerby.

The passerby looks carefully at them and finally yells back, “You’re on a

“He must be a mathematician,” says one of the travelers to the other.

“Why is that?”

“First, he thought awhile before answering. Second, his answer is
absolutely precise. And third, it’s utterly useless.”