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

> From owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu Sun Apr 23 04:00:24 2000
> From: KellySt@aol.com
> In a message dated 4/21/00 9:17:50 AM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl writes:
> >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.
Of course you are right, Kelly, I am saying exactly that!
And for this very reason I am calling for looking for
that "something profitable" which may lead to the space
infrastructure - before thinking seriously about building starships, 
as they will not be build anyway without that infrastructure.

> >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.
At the start, of course. Hence, until they became sufficiently
independent (which they will strive to, once established...),
you have two possibilities:
- to be profitable to Earth;
- to entertain it so that it is not bored...
Ehem, so we found additional factor besides profitability -
thanks, Kelly... 

> >> From owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu 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... ;-)
> Your asuming we'll be burning oil in 300-400 years?  ;)
Ahh, here is the catch - we will use it NOT for burning
(especially in space ...)

> >> 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... ;-))
> But the oil hungry homes ae down here.  ;)
They will be in space too - but will not use it for burning...

-- Zenon