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RE: [Fwd: starship-design: HIGHLY OPTIMIZED TOLERANCE]

> Hmm I picture the Tasmanian devil from Bugs Bunny in a space suit.
> My own view is that the technology of a space faring race is about
> early 1980's era and very boot-strap-able. This is because things have
> to
> be repair-able and easy to manufacture by hand if need be. In a closed
> environment the type of non recycle-able waste is the major limiting
> factor
> of growth. Take computers, you don't need Star-trek type technology to
> run 99% of the stuff computers are used for. What you need is simple
> rugged technology, that does not die after 10 years of storage or use.
> Ben.

As Steve already pointed out is isn't necessarily how simple the technology
is, but how robust and rugged. The two are not equivalent. My entire
question when I posted the article was how are we going to design for
robustness (or as someone else put it - mediocrity)? In a ship whose systems
are supposed to last for several human lifetimes, adaptability, ruggedness
and robustness become engineering design criteria that are more important
than sheer cutting edge state of the art design.