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Re: RE: starship-design: Infrastructure in space

KellySt@aol.com writes:
 > We're around a middle aged star.  Its got another 4-5 billion years in it.  I 
 > can't see that being a major driver.  Not to mention unless we develop star 
 > ships that could carry millions of people we couldn't set up viable self 
 > sufficent colonies on other stars.

That's making the assumption that one has to have millions of people
around to make all the various bits of technology needed for a
self-sufficient technological society.

It's not untenable, although not soon to happen, that automated
production methods using robots or nanotech could produce a fairly
compact general-purpose assembler that could be used to
self-sufficiently manufacture the kinds of things it takes millions of
people to manufacture now (when you count obtaining and refining raw
materials, running the various social structures needed, etc.).

One of the things I see you do over and over again, Kelly, is assume
that the current constraints on space travel and technology will always
be true from now on.  Space travel won't always be in the hands of NASA
or government bureaucracy; current economic conditions and constraints
won't last forever; technology won't always be just what we have now.
If you're talking about the near-term problems with building space
infrastructure, then the kind of assumptions you make aren't too
unreasonable, but your assumptions will be long dead when we actually do
build interstellar spacecraft.  You may as well say that the technology
we have now couldn't really exist because of limitations of medieval
technology and government.