Re: [gundam] Civilian Space Travel


Paul Lampshire (gbc76@dial.pipex.com)
Sun, 4 Apr 1999 23:24:38 +0100


>> Oh, that's not true at all!
>> People are _more_ than willing to work on it now, but just as the
>> ancient greeks couldn't have possible achieved flight technology or
>> Bessimer converters, so is this technology beyond the current state of
our
>> own currently.

Although, IIRC they *could* have invented steam power and the gramophone.
[Now there's an idea for an alternate history]

>We are at a point in technology today that allows anything to be
researched,
>engineered, and built, as long as proper funding is available.

But what do you spend the money on? Somebody has to decide, unfortunately.
What's the funding like on hot fusion atm, btw? That seems to have been 30
years away since as far back as I can remember [But that's only last week!
No seriously, it's been just round the next bend for a very long time]

>No dough, no
>go. Cold Fusion is one decade, or one billion dollars away from fact.

Cold Fusion *might* be that close. OTOH, it might turn out to be something
that just doesn't work. Has anybody come up with a satisfactory explanation
of Cold Fusion, or are we all just p***ing in the wind here?

To put it another way - the Wave Motion Engine from Yamato - after all it's
as good a concept for an FTL drive as any other that's been suggested -
probably couldn't be produced just by throwing money at the problem.

Some things won't happen anytime soon - regardless of the effort put in: FTL
communications/drives are a good example of this.

>Real
>space travel as anywhere from 10 years to 10 centuries away, based on how
>much the world is willing the spend on it.

Define 'real space travel.' In some ways the technology is already there
[Hotol, for example, assuming it actually works] and could possibly be
brought in much sooner. [How long did Concorde take?]

>Technology today is directly
>proportional to the amount of money pumped into it. New technology equals
>more money spent on it. What cost $60 million to produce 50 years ago would
>cost $30 billion today, and come in past do and over budget.

And it would have done so then as well...

>Impossible does not exist, but too expensive does.

<sigh> You don't mean that [not literally] and I'm the only one picky enough
and dumb enough to argue. Impossible *does* exist - perpetual motion
machines that do useful work - FTL travel [for now] - conventional
microchips operating at 5000MHz - turning lead into gold [cost effectively]
[Demi Moore making a film and *not* taking her clothes off : )] - VHS tapes
that never wear out. Lots of things are just plain impossible.

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