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

> From: Bjorn Nilsson <f96bni@student.tdb.uu.se>
> On Wed, 21 Oct 1998 KellySt@aol.com wrote:
> > Zenon Kulpa wrote:
> >
> > >The analogy of Antarctic or deep-sea exploration
> > >is not valid here - they are not pursued for quite different reasons
> > >(e.g., international treaties asking for leaving Antarctide
> > >pristine [e.g. banning assimilating any outside animal species],
> > >or exluding private rights to deep-sea resources).
> > >There will be one more fight needed from space-exploration 
> > >advocates: stopping atempts to make space & cellestial bodies 
> > >equally "protected" from human enterprise.
> > 
> > Well their are similar treaties for space, but that doesn't really mater.
> > If there was money on the line those treaties would go the way of their
> > predisesors. The big problem is they all proved not worth the bother. So
> > Arctic bases arew maintained for political reasons (so all claiments keep
> > rights to Antarctica in case they want it in the future) and the undersea
> > labs have all been pulled out or sold.
> > 
> Hmm, I thought those treaties technicaly only prevented _NATIONS_ from
> makeing claims on extra-terestrial objects, not individuals or
> corporations...
As for the undersea, as far as I know the treaties specifically
prevented private rights to undersea resources.
That effectively stopped ongoing plans of private corporations
to mine rich sea-bottom ores.

I do not know how it is currently with space-treaties;
I am afraid that even if the situation is different,
there will be strong pressure, especially from not-yet-spacefaring
nations, to include such measures in them - simply to slow down
the exploitation of space by more advanced nations until
the less-developed "catch on". Which they of course will not,
as there will then be little incentive for them to hurry,
and they will be unable to do all the necessary technology
from scratch all by themeselves.
The net effect will be considerable delay in conqureing space,
or even stopping it for long altogether (except for some
small Patfinders every few years to "show off"...).
Just the same way as it happened with undersea mining
(and hence, also development of suitable undersea equipment, 
which could be later used to build more permanent undersea 
bases and habitats), despite the fact that there seems to be
big money there.

That there is "big money" in something does not suffice -
there was potentially big money in launching private enterprises
in former "socialist" countries, but somehow the companies
did not thrive in them before substantial changes
in political system and law took effect...

-- Zenon