[RC5] Time to completion

Richard Freeman rfreeman at netaxs.com
Wed Nov 26 11:34:37 EST 1997


On Wed, 26 Nov 1997, Robert Brooks wrote:

> >On a side note, I've always imagined a class of problems that could be
> >described like this: If you started to work on them now, by the time they
> >were finished another machine would have been invented that could solve
> >them before the older machine is done (ie, the sooner the better doesn't
> >always work).
> 
> Wasn't there a sci-fi book where a "generation ship" is built to reach
> another star system, is lost and forgotten, then is found generations later
> by a ship using technology that makes the hundred-year's trip in a few
> days?  Or was that an idea I had after too much tequila in college? 
> 

I've heard of this concept before - not in any particular book as far as I
know.  That is the whole problem with trying to travel to another star -
since most plans that are actually constructable with current technology
would take hundreds of years to arrive, there is the risk that 100 years
from now we figure out how to cut that time dramaticly, and send a new
ship for a fraction of the cost which actually arrives before the first
one that we send...  I suppose the distributable approach is to make the
ship modular, and as it is on its way, send updated parts...  Maybe just
launch the chasis and as suitable parts become available send them along
afterwards, and then construct the full ship once you arrive there... :)

I know that this is totally absurd - just wanted it to look at least a
little on-topic :)

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Richard T. Freeman <rfreeman at netaxs.com> - finger for pgp key
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