Re: why 30? one good woman will suffice/SPIKE

Spike Jones (
Thu, 01 Apr 1999 20:17:06 -0800

> Spike Jones wrote:
> > Yes, but this estimate is more optimistic than mine by an order of
> > magnitude at least.
> Billy Brown wrote:
> My "$1 million apeice" figure was based on the assumption of a massive
> program aimed at shipping large numbers of people. Such a program would
> require a high volume of big launches, which combined with the...

OK, now I understand how I could have made it cleared up front what I had in mind. My minimalist approach, with the single tiny woman and the dewar of embryos assumes no other humans cross the interplanetary gulf, at least not until we have nanotech and/or biosuspension (which would make the whole task much easier).

The minimalist approach requires no technology that we dont already have. The lander module I have in mind would be very small, too small in fact It would be just sufficient to sustain a little bit of human life, until the machines could build farm and hab modules for the generations that would follow, all born right there on the red planet.

Now, even that approach would require some cutting edge engineering: software for the machines so that they could operate semi-autonomously, for instance. The sole advantage to the minimalist approach is cost. But the sacrifice required on the part of the colonist is profound, I must admit.

For a while I toyed with the idea of offering the job to a condemned criminal who would otherwise be executed. However, I realized this approach would not work: there are not many women who are on death row, and I doubt a suitable candidate could be found among that limited pool. I do not wish to restart the capital punishment virus here. Please.

So again, I am back to: how small could the mission be scaled? spike