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RE: starship-design: scoops and sails and something to push against.

> From: "L. Parker" <lparker@cacaphony.net>
> I am still working on this timeline and I have spent a great deal of time
> studying what not only NASA, but various private organizations and
> individuals have put forward regarding known technologies and expected
> advancements. Facts like the expected flight test of a VASIMR engine in
> 2005, successful laboratory testing of hybrid antimatter/fusion drives, etc.
> The biggest thing we have to deal with though is NOT technology, its
> infrastructure. Without the space based mining, manufacturing and production
> infrastructure with years of experience in building functional, reliable,
> dependable spacecraft - well we aren't going. I think that 2050 is maybe a
> little soon for that kind of infrastructure. maybe I'm wrong, the American
> frontier was certainly settled sooner, but I don't think so.
> The major road block today is our various government's involvement in space
> exploration. Unless we can get the private sector heavily involved in the
> development of space, it will be two or three hundred years until we get to
> a point where we can send out an interstellar probe.
That is also exactly my point. Hence I think that the best thing
we can do to make interstellar flight possible is to advocate
and support the manned exploration and settling of Solar System.
As fast as possible (or faster) and as extensively as possible 
(or still more...). Initiatives like Mars Direct and Zubrin/Gingrich
concept of financing them by the "Mars Awards" to the private 
enterpreneurs are certainly the most promising here. 
The Mars Society awaits us...

> In one thing at least you are right, when we do go, it will be in fleets.
> Not necessarily all to one star system, but there will be hundreds and even
> thousands of ships going out, to every star within reach, all looking for
> one thing - a new chance on a new world.
Yes, and it should also settle my perennial quarrel with Kelly
re one-way missions: by definition, most of these missions will be one-way...


-- Zenon

* * *  URANOS: Club for Expansion of Civilization into Space  * * *
http://www.uranos.eu.org/uranose.html          uranos@uranos.eu.org
All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct [Carl Sagan]