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Re: RE: starship-design: Freedom city ship

In a message dated 8/9/98 6:55:06 PM, lparker@cacaphony.net wrote:

>I saw a news article on that several months ago, but didn't think about it
>in relationship to our search for a comparable model to an interstellar
>expedition. With two small exceptions, you are correct that this is the
>closest approach yet.

Actually I was thinking of it more as a model for space development,
specifically space stations, but they are obviously similar.  Thou a 50,000
person floating city is a big jump past a 700 person interstellar survey ship.

>The exceptions are transport costs to the vessel and mission fuel
>requirements. It costs considerably less than the current $10,000 per pound
>to Earth orbit to send a supply vessel or ferry to this ship and the fuel to
>weight ratio is certainly in its favor as well.
>When we CAN match these two parameters in a spaceship, interstellar travel
>will be commonplace! In the meanwhile, we must go anyway and accept that it
>will take longer, cost more and we will have to send fewer people, but go we

Well the current cost to orbit is a side effect of political factors and the
current trivial flight rates.  Obviously just lifting the fuel for a starship
like ours would drive the launch industry up orders of magnitude in size, and
down orders of magnitude in costs.  However the resulting cost (assuming
current technology) might be less then an airliner, but far more then an ocean

>Historically speaking, we are at the stage of the Viking explorers when they
>found Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and it is a long way, technically
>speaking, from a Viking longship to a floating city!

Well were not that far down.  The Vikings could even dream of the technology
the floating city would use.  We already have most of the technologies a
starship would need.  Thou obviously some wild cards like zero=point energy
would be a BIG help.  ;)