Re: SPACE: Beyond Apollo

From: Robert Bradbury (
Date: Sat Apr 15 2000 - 07:31:56 MDT

On Fri, 14 Apr 2000, Technotranscendence wrote:

> On Sunday, April 02, 2000 7:49 PM Michael S. Lorrey
> wrote:

> > [snip], so I can't presume to understand the scope of storing the
> > engineering drawings for the most complex machine ever built to that
> > date, [snip]

Is this really still true? How many parts were actually in a Saturn 5?
I would have to think that much of a Saturn 5 is nothing but big hunks
of sheet metal, fuel tanks and some plumbing. Size does not equal
complexity. The parts count on things like the 767 is in the millions
(though most of the parts are rivets). Then you have dozens of chips
out now in the 10-100 million transistor size range.

I would bet that the complexity of the command module was greater than
that of the Saturn 5 itself.

The minimum self-replicating bacteria, would seem to be able to
do basic metabolism *and* self replication with a unique parts
count of ~300.

What should one use for *real* measures of complexity?

For example, was the Apollo command module more or less complex
than an Iridium Satellite?


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