Re: SETI Microprobes and Interstellar Travel


David Woolley (david@djwhome.demon.co.uk)
Thu, 9 Sep 1999 08:21:07 +0100 (BST)


>
> First up, where is everybody? Is it just me that is getting maybe one

Probably running Probably running SETI@Home or on alt.sci.seti, or one of the many,
disjoint, vanity SETI forums on the portal sites.

> David, I know you were not arguing interstellar microprobes were
> impossible, just that there were technical challenges involved. This is

You don't seem to be describing microprobes here.
                                ^^^^^

However, in general, I don't think one should ignore technical problems
and hope they go away. On the other hand, once you have properly
quantified them, you can find solutions for the consequences (whether
that means better designs of outgoing probe, or a shift back to
electromagnetic modes of communication).

Incidentally the book I quoted described interstellar spacecraft that
were practical, although required leaps in materials technology that
may or may not happen. (It also described zero point energy drives,
which feel like perpetual motion machines to me, but also had drive
technologies that seemed plausible (laser illuminated sales, with
anti-matter/liquid hydrogen for fine control)).



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