Doug posted this URL:
which seems really interesting when I look at this URL
recently posted to the Europa list:
Not much of a window from the time MiniSation 1 goes up (2004)
until the time the Russions want to stop flying the lifeboats up
to the ISS (January 2005).
However if NASA takes the bait and funds 2 Soyuz life boats
then that means a flight every quarter presumably paid for
by NASA. But that is only ~2 weeks (out of 12) per quarter
of MiniStation "occupation time" leaving room for 5x as many
"private" flights. I wonder if the demand for that is there
In response to G.P. -- I do not consider "space development"
to be preparing the way for human settlements in space.
I consider "space development" to be the development of
the designs and manufacturing capability that can utilize
space resources in a productive fashion (e.g. the construction
of solar cells from materials in smaller gravity wells than
the Earth, the harvesting of fuel resources (H/O) from aged
comets, etc.). Some of the papers from the Colorado conference
are focused on these issues. Humans did not evolve to be compatible
with the environment in space -- we should evolve "machines"
compatible with that environment, preferably derived from
resources found in that environment -- only in those
circumstances will you have real development.
Will humans eventually go there? Yes of course, but only after
we have developed the technology of effectively using the resources
one finds there (think plows, tractors, dams, blast furnaces, etc.).
We have put the cart before the horse for too long and need to
correct that situation.
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