[ExI] Alpha Centauri

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 18 05:33:39 UTC 2012

On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 3:02 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> And unless we leap instantly to near lightspeed transport, the first generation ships will be muchly discouraged by the knowledge that their journey will be so long that they will almost certainly be overtaken by second and third generation transports.

> So first generation ships might as well not bother.

Let's see...

First gen ships set out. Gonna be a bunch of people, and it's gonna be
a long trip, so there'll be lots of supplies, and a very big ship.
Perhaps hundreds of miles long and tens of miles wide.  Fully shielded
and with sufficient energy stores and the necessarily proportionate
supply of reaction mass.  For both acceleration and braking, of
course..  Big.  Very big.

If most everyone cycles into and out of suspension, and everything is
destination focused, you reduce the need for supplies and the ship can
be smaller.  But if the awake population is large and actively living
their lives aboard ship, then you have a really large ship.

Now, to my point. Later generations of ships might not get there first.

Contact with the home planet would be continuous, no?  Advances in
ship design originating on the home planet would be communicated to
the ship, no?, and the ship upgraded, no?  Also, aboard ship there
would be particular interest in such performance upgrades, and so
research along those lines would be a priority.  Consequently, the
shipboard culture would quite possibly be in the vanguard of starship

I mention this because the old notion about the futility of setting
out at all, because someone will inevitably be there to greet you when
you arrive,...has always been bothersome to me.  the self-fulfilling
self-defeating character of it.

So now consider it a race.  The first to set out, likely to be the
first to get there (or alternatively, disappear into the cold
unfeeling void).

Best, Jeff Davis

 "My guess is that people don't yet realize how
   "handy" an indefinite lifespan will be."
                     J Corbally

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