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RE: RE: starship-design: FTL travel

In a message dated Thursday, April 20, 2000 5:48 PM, KellySt@aol.com writes:
> In a message dated 4/19/00 8:48:13 PM, lparker@cacaphony.net writes:
> >> Unless your building something huge its a wast of time.
> >
> >Nope, you can prefab small too.
> Can doesn't mean its a good idea.

Huh? Why not? Or should I point out that you have your economies of scale
reversed? It is easier, cheaper and more profitable to mass produce a small
object than a large one. Who ever heard of mass producing the Titanic?

> Chose the best system for the project not the project to
> promote your agenda.
>  Dson't think like a advocate.  You couldn't possible mine,
> smelt, and
> manufacture most of what you'ld need - certainly not for less
> launch mass
> then a reasonably sized station.   Why do we NEED industry in
> orbit?  If the
> answer is you feel industry in orbit is important, go to
> jail, do not collect
> $200.  You need to bepractical and profitable.  Launching the
> material from
> earth for initial projects would be far more cost effective
> and safe.  Most
> you couldn't make in space anyway.  At least you exercise the
> launcher and
> save some serious bucks.

Whose promoting an agenda? <G>

Seriously, though; you might get away with building interplanetary probes in
pieces and assembling them in orbit, but as long as it is done that way you
are promoting large heavy lift, expensive to launch boosters. On the other
hand a permanent manufacturing presence in orbit would require LOTS of
small, efficient, cheap launches to maintain.

Second, an interplanetary craft might max out at only a few hundred tons,
hundreds of times smaller than an interstellar probe. Add up the launch cost
of oh, say a 10,000 ton probe if every piece is lifted to orbit from Earth
on Titans and Arianes. What fraction of the PLANETARY Gross Product is that?

Third, what do you want to see, a repeat of Apollo? Okay lets spend ten
trillion dollars to put a man on the third planet of Alpha Centauri and then
go home and quit? Not me.

I want to see a thriving orbital industry sending hundreds of ships out to
mine asteroids, ferry goods to and from orbital installations, the moon and
the planets. Research stations all over the solar system, inhabited stations
all over the place. In short lots and LOTS of experienced orbital know how.

Anything can be manufactured in space. Many things can be manufactured
BETTER. I have a get out of jail card and I think space is the equivalent of
Boardwalk and Park Place with hotels...very profitable.

> Asteroids an't thought to be solid.  Best bet is sticky ruble piles.

Some are, some aren't. Depends on what they are made of. Some are thought to
be rubble piles, some are thought to be solid. For mining purposes the
rubble pile actually works better. The slag form the smelting operation can
then be fused together to make large structures. The University of Minnesota
has a good class on this.

> I though congress changed that law last year?

The law has nothing to do with Congress, it is the FAA that has to change
it. I could be wrong, but I don't think they have actually done so yet. It
was one of the major reasons Kistler Aerospace took there project to
Australia and it did have some influence on SeaLaunch as well.

> Oh, folks are also working on the space planes themselves.

Lots and lots of folks are working on space planes! Mostly they are after
the X-Prize. Some actually intend to make money at this.