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Re: starship-design: build it now...
Uh, hey, look, I do too! Agree with Kelly, that is, and the rest
of you who posted on this.
> >> From: KellySt@aol.com
> >> >===Is what we really want, a super cannon so cheap to
> >> > build that Mauritania can have all the satellites it
> >> > wants? The threshold for non shall we say governmental
> >> > institutions, e.g. gangs, to have hypervelocity artillery,
> >> > is crossed long before the smallest nations put up their
> >> > peaceful scientific payloads. ==
> >> Interesting. That was the same logic the White House
> >> and DOD used to stop funding of low cost launcher
> >> studies. The high cost of access to space keeps
> >> the lessor natinos and groups out of the big guys
> >> battle space. Not the best
> >> reason in the world to lock a frountier.
> >I fully agree with Kelly here.
> > Sorry for possible breach of netiquette with such
> > an "one-liner", but I have thought it important to
> > state my opinion on this issue.
> > -- Zenon Kulpa
> Thank you.
> Actually the logic kinda scares me the more I think about it. Don't built
> the space craft because it could be misused. The same logic would have
> canceled aircraft, household cleners, computers. Worries me when that kind
> of attitude gets seriously listened to in areas of power.
I feel that the economic barrier to space access is really kind of artificial.
It's a cover for control games, basically played by the big power governments
which now have space access. The problem is that the powers that be, don't
want people to go far enough from their physical jurisdictions, that they might
get out of control. So the big power instinct, is to fake a desire for a manned
space program ( on any significant scale ), while actually operating
to prevent any activity which could result in spontaneous migration into space.
Well, you know, it's just a guess. If you have to have a conspiracy theory,
pick one that's obtuse and incomprehensible, so you don't worry people.
SF for a long time worked over the thesis of governments restricting space
travel to a privileged few. Then came the beatniks, and the hippies, with their
real and persistent desire to be detatched beyond the reach of control and
coercion. With the information revolution now a fact, odds are good someone
will find a way to tunnel through the economic barrier, with the result that
physical energy considerations, rather than economic illusions, will make up
the bottleneck which limits the rate of human migration into the solar system.
Want me to go over that again, and this time make sense? Low cost access
to space, is a concept which has hooks to political and economic controversy.
As its proponents, we would like to consider its simple, pristine elegance in
isolation, for the good of humanity. Military interests, and their cronies, do
not want individuals moving off Earth at will. Thus they will attempt to control
the technology of orbital, and of deep space access. Only if the launch
is so blatantly simple as to be inherently uncontrollable, will we get a portal
to space in the forseeable future, a gateway through which large numbers of
people can travel at will.
That's why the Paper Cannon was developed. We may be hesitant to
consider this as a man-rated launch system, but I for one, feel the same way
about solid rockets, and did feel this way throughout the 26 Space Shuttle
missions I worked on, STS-2 through Challenger. ( It's a bad idea to put
people on solid rockets. You can't throttle them, and you can't turn them
off. ) A basic characteristic of the Paper Cannon concept is its scalability.
You can build it big, or you can build it small, and still make something go
thataway real real fast. The military is not going to ignore that, not in our
world. They will make a lot of popguns like this, which will cost them lots
of money, so they will take reassurance that it's not all that cheap, after all.
I know people don't like to hear about this kind of realism. I've been
around the block a bit, and I think it's a pretty fair guess about people's
reactions. The roots of conflict lie in our need to get to very high speed
in order to escape Earth, and things that go very fast catch the eye of the
military, who instinctively want to get them under their control. Only if
the design is open and published work, in short an Internet project,
can the military interests be completely foiled in their presumable desire
to bury it. Follow all that?
So please, don't attribute to me any desire to restrict space development.
I have very much the opposite attitude, even though I wrote the paragraph
everyone finds so misleading. Excuse me.
per aspera ad astra,