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Dedicated Starship Construction State

Set up a new state devoted as far as possible to building and launching starships
  [vote for,

I note that the estimated cost of the Orion mission to Alpha Centauri, adjusted for inflation, amounts to around two trillion dollars, which is the approximate GDP for Italy or India. There is an interesting contrast between the populations of those countries based presumably on their standards of living. Meanwhile, India has just launched something like a hundred satellites into space with one rocket and might be sending a probe to Venus. It's supposed to be the country of choice for space launches because it's so cheap.

There are certain parts of the world with fantastic mineral resources which, however, are for that very reason horrible places to live, with corruption, political instability and terrible working conditions for their citizens with enormous discrepancies in distribution of wealth.

However, there is also the ocean and manganese nodules, sea water with useful elements and the like.

My suggestion is this: cause to form or construct a new island out in international waters somewhere on the equator. Divert funding from all space programmes in all nations with them to this island. Create open borders for anyone who wishes to work there and incentivise people with the more relevant skills. Once there, minimise economic activity other than that required to research, build and launch starships, probably space arks, and space habitats within this solar system, and locate possible habitable planets. Allow any new ideas or technological fallout to be used royalty-free by the rest of the world. Also, allow anyone, from any nation, free access to the country if their income is below a certain level, up to a certain population, in return for working on the projects.

I'm sure this would never work and that you're about to point out why.

nineteenthly, Feb 16 2017

jfk We choose to https://www.youtube...watch?v=th5A6ZQ28pE
go to the moon. Time for a update? [popbottle, Feb 17 2017]


       // Divert funding from all space programmes in all nations   

       made sense until this
ixnaum, Feb 16 2017

       An opposite of "duplication of effort" is "putting all your eggs in one basket". Neither is a good idea in the long run. And now that I've noted that, I'm completely unsure of what is the actual best way to go about it.
Vernon, Feb 16 2017

       Okay, I have to admit the second paragraph doesn't quite follow from the first. What if I take out the diversion of funding?
nineteenthly, Feb 16 2017

       then you're proposing a different way to spend our space dollars that shoehorns in your beliefs about immigration and politics, which would ultimately cost a lot more due to the price of shipping if nothing else. The same technological mecca could be built in literally any Western society for a lot less, even factoring in the extra launch weight you would get at the equator. Buying part of Colombia would also cost less substituting security spending for launch weight spending.
Voice, Feb 16 2017

       Building vehicles on your planet's surface and then hauling them up and out of its gravity well is incredibly expensive and inefficient.   

       You've got a nearby satellite with low gravity, abundant solar energy, no worries about biosphere pollution, untapped mineral resources, and a relatively small population to relocate. There's your shipyard, ready to go.
8th of 7, Feb 16 2017

       This didn't start off as being in the middle of the ocean. I considered the idea of putting it in the Congo but decided it would probably just perpetuate the war, so I wasn't particularly thinking about immigration, but if something is new land out in the middle of the ocean, all there is, is immigration or it'd just be uninhabited. I also wanted to put it near the equator because I thought it'd be a better launch site, taking advantage of the velocity of the planet's rotation at that latitude.
nineteenthly, Feb 16 2017

       Could probably do it for a couple tens of billions, from pretty much anywhere except the surface of the Earth.   

       Phobos is nice this time of year. Tidelocked, and I think there's a crater facing Mars directly : a site completely shielded from cosmic radiation, with plenty of raw materials. Stop by Ceres for some ice, and you're on your way.   

       but the best funding would probably be from tourists. Spend a week in orbit around the Earth for a mil', or a week on the Moon for 5.
FlyingToaster, Feb 16 2017

       //relatively small population to relocate   

       Jeez, the Clangers are getting evicted?
not_morrison_rm, Feb 16 2017

       // You've got a nearby satellite with low gravity, abundant solar energy, no worries about biosphere pollution, untapped mineral resources, and a relatively small population to relocate. There's your shipyard, ready to go   

       I was going to suggest South Australia but your low gravity thing edges your suggestion ahead.
AusCan531, Feb 17 2017


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