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Re: Re: starship-design: going the slow way

Very true.  Even a ship that takes a century to get somewhere is very likely
to get their after the ships of their decendants from back home.  Also as soon
as you go multigenerational.  You probably need a ship at least ten times
larger.  If you need a completly self suficent high tech society, you probably
neeed a ship with a population of millions.  Its REALLY easier to just build a
faster ship in the first place.


>>>Subj:   Re: starship-design: going the slow way
Date:  Wed, Jan 20, 1999 6:55 PM EST
From:  nlindber@u.washington.edu
X-From: nlindber@u.washington.edu (N. Lindberg)
Sender: owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
Reply-to: nlindber@u.washington.edu (N. Lindberg)
To: starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu (starship design)

Well I read about the guy's 'generation ship' and I suppose I'd like to
try and start a thread here, since SSD has been so quiet recently.
Personally, I think that the idea's biggest flaw is the timescale
involved.  During the course of a 10,000 year journey, the ship would
become _very_ obsolete.  Also, stuff would wear out.  The ship would need
to be designed to be completely refitted from the superstructure on up,
every hundred years.  I can't really see any way to replace some things
while rotating the ship.  Next, in any society of 1,000,000 there is bound
to be a lunatic fringe whose very presence would endanger the whole ship.
Also, while the first set of crewmembers would likely be a fine and
upstanding group of folks, later generations are likely to be dissolute,
rebellious, and imprudent.  Remember the Chineese proverb "In the third
generation comes destruction."   For my money, I'd rather have a quick and
dirty 1000-man 70 year mission somewhere and right straight home again, tn
thousand years is entirely too long to wait for something to go wrong.
Best Regards
Nels Lindberg