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RE: starship-design: unmanned missions, AI, etc.


> It may seem a bit unlikely, but our technological level basically jumped
> right on us. If the same thing happened to them; we'd send a fly-by
> first,
> and later, before it got there, they could have the technology to detect
> it.
> While you are correct about the rapidity with which our technology grew
into place, it does not necessarily follow that is the rule for all races
everywhere. Even in our own history, many civilization grew and ebbed at
wildly different rates.

However, if you want to use the line of reasoning you present as a baseline
for comparison - WE can't detect a flyby mission right now. So assuming
fifty light years as a detection range from Earth and perhaps one light year
in advance of the probe itself, we should be able to avoid stumbling across
another civilized star system accidentally.

The worst case scenario would be one of stumbling across another scouting
ship from a more advanced civilization. If it was able to detect our probe
before our probe detected it (likely) then they would at least be able to
get a rough bearing. Of course, we could always make it a practice to flyby
multiple star systems using the gravity well of each system to alter to a
heading for the next destination. If we used only "known" uninhabited
systems, it would make it substantially harder to backtrack a probe to us.

Even this scenario has a good side. Assuming that no one involved here can
yet go FTL, then we would have quite a bit of time to prepare before they
could get here. The other ship would have to return to its nearest inhabited
world which would probably be at least as far away as we are from the point
of contact, which would produce a minimum response time of two to three
times the distance in light years, perhaps even more.


                                                      (o o)

He who thro' vast immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What varied being peoples every star,
May tell why Heav'n has made us as we are.
					- Alexander Pope