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RE: starship-design: Numbers needed for Colonization (was Antiproton-Catalyzed Propulsion System)


> And YES a planet is maybe NOT neccesary for the colony to
> survive, but it
> probably IS neccisary for the endevour to make "economic
> sense" even in
> the long run. (If the target star system doesn't have
> planetary bodies you
> wanna exploit, why go there???)

Actually, given the fact that resources not on planetary bodies are much
more plentiful and easier to get at than those on said bodies would argue
against settling planets once you were in space....

> The other factor, the GROWTH RATE of the colony neccesary is more a
> question of how "long-term" the people back on earth view the
> investment.
> I.e. when it is neccesary that the colony starts to be a net
> producer...

Umm, well that was a given in the original problem statement. ALL colonies
must be self-sufficient, therefore they are either net producers or at least
non-negative. I'm afraid the concept of trade or commerce is out of the
picture, at least until someone invents a much faster way of getting there.

> Yes, it probably is a better solution for Livestock etc... It
> might also
> be a good "back-up" in case of any large "Disaster" happening to the
> colony and wiping out part of the gene pool, though I agree
> with you that
> the social/moral/ethical concerns may be a factor to prohibit
> it's use as
> "standard procdure".
> You also have the question of giving birth to all theese
> "frozen embryos",
> every woman can only be excpected to carry so many babies
> espesially since
> in the early stages you'll probably need every adult member
> of the colony
> as a productive worker as well...

Well, that kind of goes with being a pioneer and always has. You are
reasoning from a modern western viewpoint, and I am afraid that is all it
is - a single point of view. It is by no means the only one, much less the
correct one. The other ninety percent of the world's women can tell you all
about giving birth to lots of babies and working all the while.

> Actually I disagree with this... It's probably MUCH more easy
> to adapt the
> colonists than the planet if the changes are small. For exsample with
> Vaccines, imunization or other "artificial" bio-medical
> solutions then to
> try to change the whole microbiological Eco-system of the
> planet. This may
> of course also have large social/moral/ethical concerns as well as
> practical problems. (For one thing, it might be inposible for "Earth"
> humans and "colony" humans to interact personally w/o risk of
> plagues.)

You seem confused on what adapt means. Genetic changes to the basic human
genome constitute adaptation and I would not expect to see much of that,
though I could be wrong. After all, that is also just a viewpoint and not
necessarily the right one... Vaccines and immunizations are not adaptations,
but they will certainly be necessary. If planetary colonization becomes a
question, that is the purpose of the Explorer class. It will take years for
a 700 person crew to fully catalog and identify the biosphere of a planet.
In fact, we have not yet completely done so on our own planet!

In earlier discussions it was put forth that perhaps the best thing to do
was to simply remain in space and exploit the resources of the system and
avoid planetary surfaces altogether, at least those of Earth like planets at
any rate.