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2 Considerations for Sleeper-Ship Proposals
Considerations for Generation-Ship Proposals
It would have to be large, and the only adequate technology likely to be available (even assuming the most favorable economic and political factors) soon enough to make plans around, is the Orion concept of propulsion by nuclear impulses. The largest spacecraft design analyzed in the Orion project had a 400-meter-square footprint and weighed approximately 8 million tons. It could be large enough to host a city of a hundred thousand or more people.
The purely engineering issues above concern building, in space, a physically self-sufficient craft. In light of the many generations that it would take to reach even our nearest neighboring star system, Alpha Centauri, further issues of the viability of such arks include:
Tho much discussed, cryopreservation and other forms of "cold sleep" lasting decades or longer are, for mammals and as of 2003, merely speculative possibilities, suggested mainly by short-term hibernation in a small fraction of mammalian species, and by the surprisingly low oxygen needs of people close to death by hypothermia. These conceptual methods' appeal rests on hopes of