[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]


>> The real difference is that you have to get used to the
>> concept that in
>> some things, such as modern electronics, you are often better
>> off to throw
>> a bunch of parts at a simple task than to make something custom.
>Kelly already discovered this with consumables. It turns out that weight
>wise it is easier and more economical to carry stores than to attempt to
>implement a completely self sustaining closed eco system for any trip less
>than about a hundred years. 

well, I think it was more like 40.  ;)  But it does blow the assumptions of 
needing a full eco/fam system all the time.

>Most of us here are not trying to build a
>generation ship anyway, so the same reasoning applies. Design the ship
>last for the length of the voyage plan on some repairs, use modular
>components wherever possible, and cross your fingers...

You pay's your money, and takes your chances.

>> Another way to extend the mission duration is to send supply
>> ships ahead,
>> or send them faster from behind with some replacement stuff.
>> Since "stuff"
>> doesn't need gravity or environmental controls or oxygen or
>> food or water
>> it can be moved much faster and much cheaper than we can move people.
>> Although re-supply may be distasteful to "pure" starship travel the
>> reallity is that even here on earth it was, and is, considered normal.
>> Aircraft carriers and submarines and space stations do it, the only
>> difference is distance.
>Practical idea in theory, and it may be the only way. However, logistically,
>it will not be anywhere as easy as you make it sound. I tend to prefer
>first mission as a Pathfinder mission, specialized crew of around ten to
>twenty, LOTS of computer support, running fast and light. It would be sent
>to targets that had already been identified as special in some way, such
>the presence of Oxygen in the spectrum of its planets.

Given any near future trip would take decades of ship time, is a ship that 
small practical?  Could that few people do any real survey of a star system?

>The Explorer mission would follow only after a Pathfinder reported back
>there was a reason for more extensive exploration, such as a potentially
>habitable planet, or perhaps just to study life already there. This mission
>would actually be a small fleet consisting of the Explorer ship itself,
>several freighters slaved to the Explorer. The freighters would carry
>spares, extra supplies, machinery, tools, and intrasystem craft including
>landers. The Explorer mission would consist of several hundred to several
>thousand people, enough to establish at least a permanent research presence,
>including establishing mining and manufacturing operations sufficient to
>support the mission and any follow on missions.

Why send separte frieghters?  Its easier and simpler to maintain, to just 
integrate the stuff in one ship.  

I used to like the redundancy of multiple shipsm but given the size one ship 
would need to be, multiples started sounding crazy.

>The last mission would be the Caravan mission. This is the big one. The
>colonists would arrive in one or more very large ships, hopefully in some
>sort of cryo sleep to conserve mass, so that the trip would go faster with
>fewer support craft or resupplies. Tools, supplies and machinery needed
>the colonists would already be there ahead of them, built by the automated
>factories put in place by the Explorer crew.
>I agree that FTL probably won't happen any time soon, and that isn't the
>purpose of this list anyway. I DO think we will be able to reach close
>the speed of light with derivatives of today's technology within a hundred
>years. It is after all really nothing more than a brute force application
>things we already know or suspect how to do.