Re: CONC^4 Re: "NASA Ends Project Intended to Replace Shuttle"

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Tue Mar 06 2001 - 10:36:29 MST

"Michael M. Butler" wrote:
> Adrian says:
> > If they can't self-assemble, then you lose a lot of the
> > advantage of LEGO et al: once something is assembled, you can't easily
> > alter it (including repairs) on site.
> Say what? LEGOs ca. 2001 can't self-assemble. What are you talking
> about?

LEGOs can't self-assemble, but that's moot since they have an on-site
assembler (the user). What do you use to do the assembly in orbit, and
how do you control the assembler?

> > when building a machine that can only be tested after a lengthy
> > shipment to where it will be used, the time and money cost per test
> > cycle mean you can't do as much testing - for serious projects - or
> > playing - for non-serious.)
> The smaller the assemblies, the easier it is to set up a spacelike
> environment down here. The fewer the dissimilar materials, the fewer
> surprises due to the space environment.

Vacuum can be replicated; zero-g can't (for indefinite amounts of time,
anyway). Zero-g makes a big difference mechanically.

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