interstellar travel

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Bxmkr, May 19, 1999.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I see politics and economics as mere irritating variables to space exploration, off Earth settlements, and Inter-stellar travel.
    All we need to do [and I obviously think we will] is overcome and rectify our Earthly problems and follies, and hope that we are not made extinct by some astronomical catastrophe. The latter of course will be a lot harder to avoid if the situation ever arose.

    In other words, as long as we can survive, we'll keep achieving and discovering all that is to be achieved and discovered.
     
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  3. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think it will be "dangerous" except to robots perhaps. Man-rated space craft are at least 10 times more costly than those carrying the same weight of robots. - Why only robots have gone to Mars. (There are plenty who would willing make the one-way trip. I'm old but in good health, have Ph. D. in physics, and might considerate it if convinced the launch and landing would be safe. )

    No it will not "happen sooner or later," not if much cheaper alternates are available on earth, and they are already for getting ANY material you care to name. Even light weight and very valuable per gram, He3 fuel for 2nd generation fusion reactors, can be PRODUCED on earth more cheaply than returned, even from just the moon, which has essentially Earth's orbit.

    If looking for "living space," the population density on Earth is very low; less than 10 billion (1E^10) persons on our planet with surface area of ~4(pi) 4000^2 miles. (< 200E6 = 2E8). or 50 people per square mile. Much cheaper and much less cramped than a spacecraft travel a decade or more even in spacecraft time to some star with an inhabitable planet is to make controlled-atmosphere all electric small cities under Buckminster fuller like domes 10 or more miles in diameter and 5 or less miles tall at the peak only on land for a few hundred years, but population will peak at less than 1E^10 so no need to ever use the 2/3 of ocean for floating cities.

    If man wants to pay (which I strongly doubt he does) for a Noah's arc as protection from extinctions via large asteroid hit of earth for a static population of a 100 or so fertile smart healthy women (and a couple of liquid N2 tanks storing male sperm from 100,000 very fit and smart men) living on the moon, fine. They should be able to ride out the "nuclear winter" the asteroid makes in less than a decade and return to re-populate earth with more than adequate genetic diversity and significantly improved average intelligence of vegetarians until the genetic code of cows etc and technology allows for their recreation, if desired.
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Robotic exploration will generally be the forerunner to any manned excursion, as has happened on Mars...and more will take place before the Inevitable manned missions.

    The main reasons for asteroid mining will not be to bring the stuff back to Earth, but rather to supply essentials for eventual trips to Asteroids and Lunar and Mars outposts.
     
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I agree and reopened this older thread (post99) to state exactly your 2nd paragraph. I agree with 1st too except part I made bold. I think my post 102 proves that bold while possible for a few with brief stays, will not serve as well for either the "Noah's arc life boat" against extinction or for more "living space" than is described there in 102. Further more, without hundreds of long space trips, the capital cost of the re-fuel station, even just on the moon, is never going to be returned.
     

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