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RE: RE: starship-design: YES, we might do it.

> From: David Levine <david@playlink.com>
> > From: 	Zenon Kulpa[SMTP:zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl]
> > 
> > And there is a big bootstrap problem:
> > space mining is impractical without developed human 
> > space infrastructure, and building such infrastructure 
> > is impossible without space mining...
> > 
> And that's where space-tourism comes in.
Or something other we may not yet foresee.
Usually sooner or later something surfaces.
Space tourism may, but it may not, mostly because
it will be rather short-distance (at most to the Moon) 
until advances fuelled by other areas of space exploration
make the trip to, say, Mars at least no harder 
than trip to low orbit today.  

Hence I think that bulding a permanent base on Mars, 
even by a governemnt agency, will be a good step in
this direction. Necessity to sustain people there 
for years will drive advances in cheaper propulsion 
systems and other advanced technologies, opening
this area for space tourism and early asteroid-mining 
assessment missions.
I think NASA should abandon completely the ISS
(which in current situation seems only a complicated 
way of transferring funds to Russian mafia),
leave low-orbit human missions to space tourism companies,
(or possibly to an occassional Hubble repair ;-)
and use the money for frontier-breaking endeavors 
like the Mars Base.

-- Zenon