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Re: starship-design: The Case for Space

In a message dated 10/15/99 9:17:18 AM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl writes:

>> From: KellySt@aol.com
>> In a message dated 10/14/99 11:00:20 AM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl writes:
>> >> From: "L. Parker" <lparker@cacaphony.net>
>> >> =======
>> >Still that longing for impossible "equality",
>> >whose only effect is stifling all development,
>> >and leading only to equality in misery.
>> >As they say in Poland - "Shit, but distributed equally..."
>> >[in Polish it is shorter, and with a rhyme].
>> >Strange the "equalists" here are still wildly popular...
>> Generally rich countries who feel guilty for succeeding 
>> where others around them failed.  Dumb!
>The mankind has no future... 
>[if that tendency prevails, that is].

True, but such attitudes are fads, and fade in and out of favor.  Obviously 
folks with such attitudes can't compete with less self pitying folks.

>> >[...]
>> >> 
>> >> This may be the most serious problem facing the planet -- not how
>> >>is being taken away from it, but how much is being dumped back into
>> >>
>> >Pollution is essentially the problem of recycling technology only -
>> >until we are only here on Earth, we really do not either take away 
>> >or dump back anything - we only change the distribution of elements
>> >between various places...
>> I have wondered why noone notices that!  ;)
>Me too...  ;-)
>> >> =======
>> >It seems to me that you all think in this thread only in terms of
>> >"what profit space operations can bring to people living on Earth".
>> >Generally I must say it is a wrong perspective - space operations
>> >will be mostly directed at, and bring profits (and sustenance)
>> >to people living OFF EARTH. Because the real rationale for
>> >going massively into space is to install a self-sustaining
>> >populations of people living out of Earth. And it is not 
>> >the matter of profit or building a comfortable paradise
>> >for growing amounts of people on Earth, but the matter of survival.
>> >Because, as I wrote recently in a discussion with one environmentalist
>> Here we disagree. No one will build space colony, to build space colonies;
>> and it will take generations - to centuries for them to develop a really
>> autonomous economy. Cities and settlements are built for profit of 
>> the builders. If they fail that measure, they become ghost towns.  
>> We have many current Ghost towns / former idealistic colony. 
>> in this country.
>Generally you are right, but not exactly.
>Towns become ghost because there are other, comparatively near
>places where the inhabitants can go for better living,
>whatever that means. When the move is hard or costly,
>it may be more reasonable to stay and work hard to built 
>a better place just here instead.

Over here even places that were very isolated were abandoned.  Once you 
packed up to move somewhere, its pretty easy to do it again.

>Also, you should distinguish the case when the builders
>wanting the profit stay back home and transfer the profits
>form the colony back too, and the case when the builders
>stay in the built colony and eventual profits remain there too.
>Colonization usually starts from the first type of a colony,
>but soon - especially when the colonized land is far away from home -
>the second type starts to prevail and shortly after that
>the colony becomes more or less self-sustainable and
>(economically) independent.

The later only happens after the colony gets big an diverse enough to absorb 
the interest and money.  That doesn't happen to most places unless they have 
a huge long term cash flow and are a place people want to stay at, in space 
it could take a very long time.

>> >
>> >Of course, the way to the really spacefaring civilization
>> >most probably will lead through an earth-bound civilization 
>> >profiting from space exploration, but it will be a comparatively 
>> >short, transitory phase only.
>> Define short? North America was originally a profit center for Europe
>> for centuries after settling started.
>Things run much faster nowadays...
>For space colonies, it will however depend critically 
>on the technology advances, so it is hard to predict. 
>However, let me play a seer for a while: 
>with nanotechnology - some 50+ years, 
>without - 150-200. OK?
>It may be still too conservative, I think - 
>for North America it was about 200+ years only...

As to time periods a big factor is when does a place become a preferred home? 
 When will a filth rich space worker prefer to stay and raise a family on a 
O'Neil rather then go back to Earth (on Luna or Mars he/she couldn't).

With nano-tech space industry may have the legs shot out from under them.  
Why worry about cheap high grade ore, if you can process anything and get 
pure materials?  Why worry as much about cheap power it power plants can grow 
from nanotech seeds?  Zero-G manufacture is a joke if you can assemble to the 
atomic scale down here.  Investment funds to space stations and platforms 
would be diverted to the more profitable and promising nanotech development 
projects.  Same way space development funds ae now being draw off by internet 

>-- Zenon