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RE: starship-design: Infrastructure in space

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
> [mailto:owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu]On Behalf Of
> KellySt@aol.com
> Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2000 8:55 PM
> To: starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
> Subject: Re: starship-design: Infrastructure in space [was: FTL
> travel...]
> In a message dated 4/21/00 9:17:50 AM,
> zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl writes:
> >Geez, let us cut off that silly FTL travel thread...

Hereby renamed...<G>

> >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...
> You have it backwards.  Unless the space platforems are
> needed for something
> profitable (i.e. returns more value/resources then it
> consumes) they will
> never be built, because they will not be part of a better
> future.  Same for
> the ships - or at least more then a couple token ships.  A
> token fleet won't
> need the space mining eiather.

No, not backwards, just interdependent. It's a Catch-22 situation.

> >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.
> Sorry, Earth has to pay all the initial bills, and will be
> suplying the bulk
> of the technology and industry for a long time.  The space
> colonies and
> starship projects ae utterly dependant on Earth.  Unless they
> can pay their
> way, they will be shutdown when earth gets bored just like
> the Apollo and
> Russian lunar programs were as soon as their govs got bored
> with them.
> Unless you are productive, you are a pet.

That wasn't what Zenon said. He said "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", your argument was about INITIALLY being
Earth centered, which we would all stipulate without contest. I think it is
fairly evident that the whole point of being there initially would be
Earth-centric, but I think it is equally evident that as the off-Earth
presence of people increases, more and more off-Earth market will develop.
It really doesn't matter which it is or even in what proportion, as long as
there is _enough_ industry of the right kinds to make building a starship
economical and practical.

We have already discussed the other point here several times. It is most
unlikely that the first ships to go out will be anything _but_ government
funded, for the same reasons. Until we get there and find out what is there,
there will be no economic reason to drive a private mission to or presence
at another star.

> >> 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... ;-)
> Your asuming we'll be burning oil in 300-400 years?  ;)

I doubt that also, but stranger things have happened.