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Re: starship-design: Infrastructure in space [was: FTL travel...]

In a message dated 4/21/00 12:41:12 PM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl writes:

>> From owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu Fri Apr 21 17:29:04 2000
>> From: Curtis Manges <clmanges@worldnet.att.net>
>> > 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...
>> This is all going to be tricky, I think. The commercial/industrial-scale
>> infrastructure will be needed to establish and maintain settlement 
>> and profitability, but nobody will want to pay for it all up front, 
>> and I don't see how it could become profitable until it's established
>> a catch-22 of sorts. 
>Exactly. It is the biggest problem on the way to make mankind 
>a truly spacefaring civilization. One possibility seems to be 
>a happy event of some new space industry popping up - such that 
>it is profitable up front, as operated from Earth, but at some time 
>of its development it is found to become even more profitable 
>when it starts using space resources - enough so to justify 
>the next big investment in, say, asteroid mining or something. 
>What kind of an industry it could be?
>Nobody knows as for now, I am afraid. Clarke back in the fifties
>thought it will be large manned geosynchronous commsats - but it 
>fizzled, as miniaturization, automation, and reliability of electronics
>made human crews redundant. Currently many look with hope 
>towards space tourism - but I am not so sure here...

What are your concerns about space tourism?  Its currently the mostlikely 
reason to develop major space launch infastructure and orbital facilities?