[ExI] Alpha Centauri

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 19 18:51:12 UTC 2012

On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 4:44 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 6:33 AM, Jeff Davis wrote:
>> 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.
> Large interstellar ships the size of cities which take many
> generations to arrive at the nearest star are one often considered
> option. The main problem I see is persuading that many people that
> that is the way they want themselves and their descendents to live.

I don't see that as a problem.  I believe that any number of millions
would love to get the hell off this moron planet, where they are
treated like cattle by the Mafia sovereignties and their dictatorial
ruling elites.  A poll needs to be taken to answer the question.

> This option is usually suggested as a desperation measure in the face
> of the imminent destruction of Earth. So it is not really a method of
> choice. Most people would rather wait for the new Chinese high-speed
> train instead.
>> 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
>> technology.
> You need a really huge ship

Bingo!  Really big.  But that's no problem. The Asteroid belt, Kuiper
Belt, and Oort cloud have all the raw materials necessary.

> that contains science labs and
> manufacturing facilities (and raw materials). And
> scientists

The ship would be a complete society in an of itself, an O'Neil
habitat with propulsion and a vast inventory of extra raw materials
(which would clad the structure and serve as additional shielding
until needed.

> to understand the tech sent from Earth and
> universities to train future generations.

> The ship is going interstellar, so there will be
> years of delay in communication.

I expected the communication delay to come up.  If the trip takes a
long time compared to the communication delay, then it doesn't matter.
 The delay in receipt of new tech breakthroughs from earth would be at
most a couple of years, and the research focus aboard ship might well
keep them ahead of their earthbound counterparts.

>> 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.

> Unfortunately the universe doesn't care about our feelings.

Just as it doesn't care about the ungrounded opinions of those --
present company excluded -- who say, "It'll never work."

Best, Jeff Davis

"Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                              Ray Charles

     "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                              Ray Charles

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