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Re: starship-design: FTL travel

In a message dated 4/19/00 10:15:37 PM, clmanges@worldnet.att.net writes:

>   L. Parker wrote:
>> > >  Has anybody even considered it? Living areas require volume
>> > >  construction, and that type of construction has to be done some
>> > >  time in space. You get me into space and I will prove that one man
>> > >  could do it.
>> Yep, considering it right now....
>> >
>> > Unless your building something huge its a wast of time.
>> Nope, you can prefab small too.
>> > Easier to prefab it
>> > in major parts, and launch and dock the parts.  Far easier.
>> Nope, mine it, smelt it and manufacture it in space, the only launch
>> art for initial equipment boost, personnel rotation and consumables.
>> Boosting prefab housing or anything else is just perpetuating the problem.
>> We NEED the industry in orbit, not on the ground.
>Thank you, Lee, I was going to mention this and you beat me to it. Once
>you get enough stuff up to make one, you can build an automated factory
>for your structural steel shapes. Power it with solar, feed asteroid 
>iron in, and it could extrude your choice of structural section to 
>indefinite length. Weld the stuff up to any size you like. You could 
>even roll it into curves for making cylinders and such.
>Welding should be easy; I used to do it for a living, and the biggest 
>problem (down here) is keeping the oxygen away from the weld puddle. 
>However, I don't know how a weld puddle would behave in zero gee; that
>may not be too bad either, though, since I learned to weld overhead.
>Once you've gotten to this point, you'll also have access to cometary 
>ice for water, hence oxy and hydrogen for breathing and fuel.
>All the materials we need are out there, including C, N, S, etc for 
>plastics and such, plus free power; the tough part will be getting out
>there to get at them. I see the hardest thing at that point being food.
>I don't know if gardening would work in zero gee, but what the hell, you
>could grow some _very_ tall beanstalks on Luna. :-)  And, of course you
>could spin a cylinder . . .

So before you get a few tons of Ibeams and sheet metal, you first need to 
orbit and bild a full mining manufacturing, machining, etc factory?  All to 
build your small space station.  So how do you build the mining etc space 
statin?  How do you outfit it?  Where do you build and operate its support 
ships?  After all this was all started by the questin how to build a 765 
person station and you guys first responce is "launch Pitsburg?!"  And in 
case you didn't notice.  That mill can't make the bulk of the station and its 
fittings.  And of course if fanomonaly more expensive - which will help to 
convince everyone the space is to expensive to be at all usefull.