Re: SPACE: How hard IS it to get off Earth?

Spike Jones (
Thu, 11 Nov 1999 23:48:18 -0800

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

> > > Rebuilding a viable population wouldn't take more than a few tons
> > > of humans--a dozen young, healthy, diverse fertile women and a
> > > dewar full of sperm...

> What if there happens
> to be some bacterium in the uterus that plays a vital role in fetal
> development, but that can't survive in low gravity?...

Looks like we could send independent redundant colony seeds. Not one ship with three women, but three ships with one each. Isnt that just like an aerospace engineer to suggest that approach? {8^D

This is old ground, but I will ask again: what is the advantage of a dewar of sperm over a dewar of embryos? Remember, that first generation of children will likely be required to mate with *each other* therefore it is desireable to have them genetically unrelated. And, one woman could carry tens of thousands of them. I admit it is a high risk approach, but consider greatly parallel redundancy, and at least one should take hold.

I got in trouble for suggesting this last time around, about 8 months ago, but looks to me like the potential mothers of a new race could have their birth canals surgically enlarged before they go, in order to give them a better chance at delivering their own babies alone and surviving the ordeal. Have we any doctors on the list? Suggestions? Human babies have huge heads, compared to the young of other species, do we not?

Next, consider using left over military missiles. I was on a study back in 1994 in which we were studying what we could use the solid rockets for, that were obviated by the signing of an arms limitation agreement with the commies.

If we removed all the nukes and support equipment, could we use those things to give a rich people joy rides in LEO? Answer: almost. If the person were not large, and we dispensed with *all* the luxuries, and we could settle for a really low orbit, then yes a cheap former-nuke-carrying solid rocket could be adapted, however this still doesnt help us in GB's scenario. We would need something Saturn V-ish, and that would cost buttloads of money.

Of course, Im still not getting at GB's question, since I was assuming the old fashioned approach and he was assuming nanotech, about which I know too little to speculate. But this much I will stay with: the first colonies will need small crews, both in stature and numbers. Maybe one, Probably two women on each launcher. This minimal crew notion will likely hold, even with nanotech. spike