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

In a message dated 10/13/98 1:40:52 PM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl wrote:

>> 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.  

Space tourisms ability to leverage costs to LEO orbit down to current trans
ocean air-freght cost numbers is a big step up in accessing and using space.

>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.

Government programs like this or our arctic and deep sea bases tend to have
little significant impact.  They have no reason to develop or use practical
systems, and large reason to do flashy but useless projects for political

>I think NASA should abandon completely the ISS
>(which in current situation seems only a complicated 
>way of transferring funds to Russian mafia),

Big agree!!

>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.

At least a Mars base would be pushing a frounteer.  Its not in itself usefull,
but its better then ISS.  I think NASA should be leveraged out of launching
and routine ops and focused on cutting edge research and exploration efforts.

>-- Zenon