From: Dani Eder (email@example.com)
Date: Wed May 03 2006 - 05:28:03 MDT
it's not clear to me how the vast
> gulf between survival
> on the surface of a planet and becoming a
> spacefaring species independent of
> a life-sustaining planetary environment would ever
> be bridged.
Once you have automated manufacturing systems capable
of making copies of themselves, all it would take is
one person deciding to do it. By automated
systems, I'm not necessarily talking about nanotech
assemblers. I'm talking about automated machine tools
Point is, with systems capable of copying themselves,
you only need a seed factory to initiate an expansion
into space, and the seed factory can be here on
Earth. It would copy itself as many times as needed,
including it's power supply (solar or wind), then
switch to making parts for a high capital but
efficient space launcher.
The DARPA Grand Challenge cross-country robot races
show we are very close to having autonomous mining
robots. Inside a factory automation is well
established, so the major missing piece is automating
large scale construction, as in buildings.
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