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Re: starship-design: Antiproton-Catalyzed Propulsion System

L. Parker wrote:

> By the way, I want to stake out a new ship class. Kelly is calling his class
> Explorer. I want to delineate one called Pathfinder with a crew of only ten
> to twenty specialists. More later on design and mission profile...

Good idea but as Christopher says in a later email flawed because it's only
twentypeople. I reckon a small ship than Explorer is nesscary perhaps with a
crew of
say 50. And instead of sending one ship send two or three. Now I don't mean
build two ships and have one for supplies and one for crew I mean have two
more or less identical ships. You've then got two ships that can help each other

out if things go wrong.

> I think we also need a class for a heavy colonization vessel called Caravan
> that would be a follow on to the Explorer mission.
> The sequence of events I had in mind was Pathfinder -> Explorer -> Caravan.

I disagree with this policy of building huge 700+ people crewed ships and
them off by themselves. First of all the bigger the ship the more problems you
create with your designs, and the fewer propulsion systems are open to you.
of all if you lose one ship you have a massive loss of life on your hands, along
with huge
economic impact on the world. If you lose one Explorer class ship your going to
interstellar exploration for hundreds of years.

I also disagree with the idea of having a heavy colonization vessel. Just outfit
size ships for colonization and build up the number of people on your colony
If you must colonize in large numbers use an Explorer with a caretaker crew of
say a
hundred or two hundred people and put the rest in suspended animation of some
dead people don't eat, produce much waste or need private quaters, you could
get an Explorer to haul 1000 people including the crew if you put 800-900 of
them in
suspended animation.

In fact my opinion would be to send probes followed by two or three small 50-75
ships to set up a colony and then send two Explorers with 3/4 of the compliment
in suspended
animation. Big ships are just too much like putting all your eggs in one basket.