[extropy-chat] next generation of ion engines

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Sat Jan 14 21:08:21 UTC 2006

--- Robert Bradbury <robert.bradbury at gmail.com> wrote:
> Without directly meaning to be a "killjoy", what is it
> precisely that
> you
> are trying to accomplish?

Well...what I was hoping was a path to, within several years
(well short of the Singularity, and probably sooner than a space
elevator could be constructed), have a much cheaper way of doing
Earth-To-Orbit operations - the prerequisite to dong *anything*
in space.  Although, it looks like this is probably not quite
there yet.

> Though we probably do not like to discuss it there *is* a
> point in
> the
> development in the singularity where later launched spacecraft
> will
> have
> resources at their disposal that significantly exceed the
> capabilities of
> spacecraft launched at an earlier time.

Unless you're talking about missions which are intended to be
complete way before said development.  Which includes most any
point-to-point traversal mission within our solar system today.
(Doesn't include, say, building Dyson spheres.  But does
includes missions to Pluto.)  Practically no one with the
ability to actually build spaceships is currently constructing a
ship that is intended to go past the Oort Cloud - and, frankly,
given the time scales, you'd have to have a mission that won't
reach its destination for multiple decades before it makes sense
to even consider banking on technology that has yet to be

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