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Re: Re: starship-design: Antiproton-Catalyzed Propulsion System

In a message dated 4/27/98 2:21:42 PM, stephen.harley@dial.pipex.com wrote:

>L. Parker wrote:
>> By the way, I want to stake out a new ship class. Kelly is calling his
>> 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
>out if things go wrong.

We had oriigionally considered that,  But the need for a 1-G centrafuge
habitation deck demanded a very large diameter wheel.  Which made for a pretty
big ship.  Also its difficult to launch two ships at the same time with most
of the drive concepts we came up with, and sheilding mass is proportionate
much less on larger ships.  So we drifted toward one large ship, but with a
lot of internal redundancy.

>> 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
>create with your designs, and the fewer propulsion systems are open to you.

I can't think of anything like that we ran into.

>of all if you lose one ship you have a massive loss of life on your hands,
>with huge
>economic impact on the world. If you lose one Explorer class ship your going
>interstellar exploration for hundreds of years.

Not nessisarily (we lose hundreds in many accidents but it doesn't greatly
effect the use of the systems.  Also 700 in one ship might be a lot safer then
700 in 7 ships.

>I also disagree with the idea of having a heavy colonization vessel. Just
>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
>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.

Ignoring the fact we haven't a clue on how to do suspended animation.  To make
a selfsuficent colony you'ld need millions of people, and a major O'Neil sized
space station (no you can't colonize planets).  A non-selfsuficent colony
would be a MAJOR expense to ship suplies to (and very unsafe).

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

Kelly Starks