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starship-design: Infrastructure in space [was: FTL travel...]
Geez, let us cut off that silly FTL travel thread...
> From email@example.com Fri Apr 21 05:22:51 2000
> From: KellySt@aol.com
> In a message dated 4/20/00 8:29:57 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> >In a message dated Thursday, April 20, 2000 5:48 PM, KellySt@aol.com writes:
> >> 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>
> >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?
> If your lifting 10,000 tons you can cut lift costs dramatically.
> Cut costs to 1/100th that of a titan or such and the total
> lift cost would be $2,000,000,000 About the cost of 1 year
> of shuttle launches (under 200 tons possible lift).
> Now obviously your not going to want to lift millions to hundreds
> of millions of tons for a big starship if you could get it cheaper
> in space. But you wouldn't want to life a thousand ton steel mill
> to make 40 tons of steel.
Of course, you are right, Kelly, when speaking of building
a single orbital station (or possibly even some tens of them),
or a single interstellar ship (and unmanned for that -
you cannot send people for tens of years journey through space without
prior experience with long-living self-sufficient space habitats).
However, the really permanent presence of mankind in space
(including long-duration long-range interstellar travel)
cannot be assured without building industrial and settlement
infrastructure in space (meaning outside Earth) as well.
You better start to think how to build it as fast as possible,
instead of finding only excuses for postponing it toward some
"better future". Otherwise, the "better future" never happens...
> >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.
> Then you don't want the interstellar or any exploration missions,
> you want a earth side market for your space based industry.
> Without that it will all blow away to dust like NASA after Apollo.
> Doesn't mater how much stuff you put up there.
> If its up there for no real general pourpose, It'll be abandoned.
Sure, if you assume that any installations in space are eventually
Earth-centered, i.e., their only end purpose is to bring
something useful down here. However, the space infrastructure
Lee is speaking about will be needed in most part for space
operations - not for sustaining Earth people,
but for sustaining people living outside Earth.
> From email@example.com Fri Apr 21 05:55:56 2000
> From: KellySt@aol.com
> Subject: Re: starship-design: How to build a station.
> Projects ae with current projected reserves, we can meet all
> growing oil needs for 200-300 years. Prices have been going down
> (eratically) for a century, and is likely to keep doing so
> for another century or so. If need be, there is LOTS of oil
> drifting around near earth space.
So you see, infrastructure in space will be needed anyway... ;-)
> So if you can cut the launch
> costs of empty frighters enough, you can sell oil from space down
> here. Global warming folks will scream though. ;)
One more reason to put the oil-hungry industry in space instead.
You will get an additional benefits: the industry in space
will rather use small amounts of oil to burn. That is,
unless you are ready to ship up lots of oxygen from Earth... ;-))
-- Zenon Kulpa