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

In a message dated 10/5/98 1:59:07 AM, stevev@efn.org wrote:

>KellySt@aol.com writes:
> > This runs into the two big questions:
> >  - Who'ld pay for all this?
> >  - Why?
> > 
> > We could never figure out why anyone would fund a exploration leval
> > a migratino through the galaxy mission is really over the top.
>With our current level of technology and planet-bound economy, I
>can see how it would be hard to imagine how to fund interstellar
>When we have an interplanetary economy, with the level of
>technology and access to resources that implies, answering the
>question "Why should we go to the stars?" with "because we can"
>will make a lot more sense.  If we have self-sustaining orbital
>colonies, then the expertise and infrastructure needed to build
>interstellar spacecraft is far more likely to be there, and the
>expense of obtaining the materials and construction labor will be
>far less.
>In other words, the culture that goes to the stars will be a far
>different culture than we have now, particularly in the economic
>sense.  This isn't the first time I've had to remind Kelly of

Two problems with that.

1 - such a economy is unlikely to develop to that degree (where interstellar
missions can be aforded as a lark rather then for a valuble purpose) within
the next century or two.

2 - within that time period all current sci and tech limits will be invalid.

In other words, yes at some point in the future our technology will bring down
the cost enough, and our our economy will make indeviduals or clubs rich
enough, to pay for a star flight.  Not soon, and they likely will just be a
flight out, a few tourist or research photos, then everyone comes home.

Colonies, regardless of the tech, are done for reason of profit and loss.