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About OleB

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    Bottle Rocketeer
  1. Disbelief generator ? I guess the ancient egyptians had trubble with that one too BEFORE they build the pyramides ....perhabs Neil Armstrong also tried to turn it off just before the landing , but aparrently it got stuck on halfway , because a lot of young people today dosnt believe he ever made it to the moon . Sad .
  2. Even if the crew is frozen , many machines will have to keep working with moving parts , such as periodic attitude control for course corrections to avoid obstacles too big to vaporize or absorb into the shield of frozen fuel travelig in fornt of the ship , the cryo-system , periodic checkouts of all major systems including the main motor for braking . Even solid state state tecknology of the kinds we use today are slowly degraded by high energy particles. An auto-targeting system for vaporizing incoming projectiles ,or whatever, will have moving parts as well , and will demand maintenance and eventualy re-manufatoring. The main idea I try to advance is for a ''Plan B'' which does not demand several major tecnoly breakthroughs and which can maitain itself for at last 500 years and probably alot more . . The one big exception is the propulsion system , where a breaktrough IS needed , but this can be expected to happen as a byproduct of research into pellet-fusion for general energy purposes . ''Nothing more to remove'' can best be understood as the simplest possible solution to a given problem ... in this case the smallest possible crew capable of delivering our simplest possible starship with its cargo of a million frozen embryoes to another starsystem with at least a potentialy inhabitable planet. - - - Updated - - - A good story for an SF novel , but it would demand an almost infinite energy supply to moove such a heavy chunk up to 0.1- 0.2 lightspeed , which is our benchmark velocity . It would also demand an army of dangerously intelligent robots to maintain and operate the whole thing ...if the asteroid-ship travelled much slower than 0.1 light speed , it would only give the robots more time to mutate into enemies .
  3. Great ! We already found one perfect being , and he almost volunteers ! Send the guys with sunglases to collect and freeze him imeadiately !
  4. A really big generationship would be perfect , but the probability of such a ship ever being build does not seem good in the foreseeable future... . Thats why we need a ''Plan B '' , which is the cheapest possible solution, demanding as few as possible tecknologic breakthroughs . As tecknology improoves in the coming decades , such a solution might become cheap enough to be financed WITHOUT counting on politicians to do the financing . Crowdfinancing would be the perfect solution , perhabs combined with som private sponsors hoping to improve their corporate image ... The problem we need to solve is of course transplanting humanity to another star system , hopefully one without too many tall blue aliens ... The problem of radiation might need a biologic solution . Some algae have incredible DNA-repairing genetic modules , sliding along the DNA chain while repairing with incredible speed . If a varaition of such a module could be grafted to human DNA , our generatioship would become much easier and cheaper to build -
  5. If we develop the ability to freeze people for hundreds of years and wake them up without any brain damage , then of course ''cyrosleep'' might be the way to go. A generationship with a sleeping crew will demand the development of extremely smart ''maintenance'' robots who ,for at trip of at least 500 years, will have to not just maintain but also recycle and re-manufacture many of the ships major components, including the ability to manufacture ITSELF . A robot THAT smart might get ideas of its own .....this is far beyond any kind of present day tecknology and might prove itself either impossible or very very dangerous . In contrast a well designed Crew does not need any major tecknologic breakthroughs . There will be lots of time and brainpower to deal with arising problems , many of which will be completely new ( we normaly dont build machines to last for more than 20 years ) , and demand intelligent decisions . As for the ''manipulative'' and ''distopian'' problem , much remains to be done because nothing really HAS been done . Selecting the best fitted individuals for the crew will not be easy , but might go along way toward finding individuals who actually LIKE a confined environment and a limited social framework , where everybody knows everybody else very well . History and anthropology can tell us that very small groups of people have lived normal lives on small isolated islands in the pacific for thousands of years without too many problems , because their culture was adapted to this situation . How this was possible should be a subject for research.. - - - Updated - - - Nothing to do ? ever try to build a machine that should last for 500 years ? after 10 years even the best of ANY kind of machines need maintenance . After 50 years many parts will have to be recycled and re-manufactured , after 500 years much of the original materials will become dust particles which have to be trapped somewhere , in order to be recycled ...just to mention a few of the daily life jobs Crew will perform . Sleeping all the way would be nice , but as long as this is far away from todays tecknology , we need a Plan B , otherwise we might never get anywhere .
  6. I guess the text wasn't clear enough , just dreaming away ! About ''genetic degradation : This idea is a method to design a very small crew(perhabs 70 people ) that can survive for a very long time .The cloned crew exist as frozen embrioes until they are implanted in a female crewmemeber , who then give birth in the same way millions of ''test-tube' babies have already been born since 1987 . So far nothing has been found wrong with these, and the frozen embrioes have so far prooven heathy after at least 30 years of cryogenic suspension . So , the only kind of genetic degradation relevant is the one that might happen to the embrioes after having been frozen for a much longer time than the 30 years . If and when this would become a problem , it would be necessary to give give birth to as many crewmembers as possible , and re-clone them in order to start again whith a fresh embrio population. The advantage of this whole plan is that it does NOT demand any great breakthroughs , in opposition to cryosleep which may never become possible. About disease control : The most effective plan I can imagine , is to divide the ship into at least 2 completely separate and independant units plus a carantine bay , each of which can be completely sterilized if necesary . ...hopefuly only after the healthy survivors has been evacuated ! About social structure , mutiny, politics and all that : the selection procses is the tool for dealing with this . One out of a million people will find this environment perfectly normal and stimulating , the problem is to identify these individuals by building an advanced selection process , perhabs a proces lasting for generations in it self ....
  7. The most important component of a generationship will be The Crew , so I read up on how this component was designed i various SF stories and spacerelated games . It seems to be a very hot putonium-potato that most authors realy wants to stay far away from , exept when playing in teddybear-universes .... Many authors could agree about some of the problems our Crew must face , which in the real life will be about living in a small and depressingly limited space-can while maintaining and re-manufactoring a lot of VERY complicated mashinery for at least 500 years , and probably a lot more . In short the main problem will be to stay sane and focused for many generations . Some SF stories has described how the failure to maintain an original culture would cause total failure , others have described how certain heroic individuals somehow have managed to overcome various crisis situations . Very few have incorporated the real-life economic necessity for limiting the creew to the absolute minimum . None that I could find realy focused on how to design a high quality Crew ,small but capable of delivering the goods . The only usefull clue is some vague ideas of a selection process where millions of people are screened and tested . Selection of the best candidates is obvious , even todays astronauts are a good start , but this will not last for more than one or two generations . Very few exceptionaly capable individual have children of the same capabilities , after a few generations of natural breeding most of the Crewmembers wil more or less just be normal average humans . So normal breeding is out...thats the hot plutonium-potato ! what we need then is total functional separation between the Crew and the colonists . The Crew must be designed while the colonists must be normal healthy people . Functional design of human beings is more or less a tabu- subject , but if we want to reach the stars this holy cow needs a good kick .. Genetic engineering as a whole is far , far away from being capable of being much help in designing the Crew , exept for one specific disipline : Cloning of embryoes . This would be a good place to remind everybody that a geneticly identical cloned person is exactly the same as a naturally ocuring twinn broter or sister ! If we imagine a selection process capable of finding a few hundred people perfect for Crew conditions , these same people can be born again every second or third generation ...this would mean that mothers would rarely give birth to their own biological children , they would give birth to another crewmembers parent or grandparent ...or perhabs their OWN ! If we acept this to be the logic shortcut to designing a crew , onely one real heavy problem remains : how to verify that a cloned crewmember behaves as well in the stressful tincan-environment as his original selected twinn....?
  8. The start ? seing Neil Armstrong landing on the moon when I was a child , a shattering moment of triumf in defiance of everything the adults around me had been saying before the event ....I suddenly realized that the world does not have to be a boring place without heroic struggles towards mindblowing achievements . That feeling has never left me .