[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

L. Parker wrote:

> > I think the original Pathfinder was too small but the idea is
> > sound. I think the
> > Explorer
> > doesn't account for advances in computer technology and AI
> > properly I hold my
> > view
> > that it is too large for inital exploration purposes. It's
> > the sort of ship we'd
> > all love to build,
> > a do-anything ship.
> Well, this is where we get to opinions I suppose. I was trying to be
> compromising. Kelly is assuming that I will require the vast resources of an
> Explorer class vessel to catalog a new system sufficiently for potential
> colonization and he may be right. I think that AI will make a great inroad
> into the amount of human oversight that is required, but that AI will not be
> sufficiently versatile to handle unknown or unknowable situations. You are
> finding the need for humans to be just a little greater than I do and less
> than Kelly does.
> Lee

Lee it's not just an issue of how many people it takes to do the mission but
also could you as a member of a crew on a small ship, that spends at least 20
probably 40 years of your adult life on a mission in deep space, so far from
that it's impossible to communicate with anybody from your family in realtime,
with interacting with only nineteen other human beings ?

That's without getting to the mental state that when you arrive back on Earth
meet the president wearing your underpants on your head and having two
pencils stuck up your nose, while doing an impression of a moo cow. :-)


Incidently if anybody on this group debating the size of the crew haven't read
Kim Stanley Robinson's RED MARS I really suggest you do so. It's not only a
reasonably good book (well it's passable.) but I reckon highlights some of the
'crew problems' your going to get on any voyage that takes longer than a year
to complete.

Or you could read Stephen Baxter's TITAN that's got a crew of six of which
two die and one goes blind and insane by the time they reach Titan. Though
RED MARS is more relevant to this discussion.