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Re: RE: Re: starship-design: The Way ahead & Bugs

On Wed, 14 Oct 1998 KellySt@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 10/14/98 8:45:49 AM, f96bni@student.tdb.uu.se wrote:
> >On Tue, 13 Oct 1998, L. Parker wrote:
> >
> >> Sorry, but with alien microbes, ALL bet are off. We just
> >> don't know what may be possible, and the possibilities are just too
> >> frightening to contemplate.
> >> 
> >> Lee
> >
> >Well, the road towards progress is flanked by millions of casualties,
> >always has been always will be... As for venturing into the unknown,
> >NOTHING should be soo frightening that it isn't tried at least once. You
> >can't make an omelet without breking any eggs, and this is a mighty BIG
> >omelet...
> >
> >
> >/Bjorn
> One factor I suggested long ago in the group was that our starships group
> survey tems would be few in number, and subjected to intence quarenteen.  If
> they arn't sure their clean, they don't get to come back to the ship.  If the
> ship can't convince earth they are clean, the decel microwave beam isn't
> turned on.
> Kelly

Well personally I strongly prefer "one-way" missions, that would totaly
eliminate any treat to earth. As for your other precautions they are
generally sound...

As for the one-way vs two-way issue please consider this:

Let's say we have a starship that can get to one of the nearest stars in
10-20 years, carrying a few 100's to a few 1000's of scientists and crew.
(I think this is fairly typical for most of this groups proposals is it

Now if they should have life-suport and suplies for a round-trip they
would need to have about 40-50 years worth to have a few years on station
and some safety margin. Now the people that would go would likely be
around 30 when they leave, given that most of them should probably be at
least PhD's and also have a few years of specific training for the
mission. Now this means that when it's time to go home most of them would
be in their late 40's or early 50's. Now this would mean that the
scientists and crew would have to chose between living most of their
remaining lives aboard the ship during a tedious trip home OR they could
live out the rest of their lives scouting and researching this facinating
new star system... I know which one I'd chose...