From the Enzmann Archives: Contract Systems for Galactic Central
Dr. Enzmann ca. 1980s
Although space is now a new frontier, soon, men, women, and children will explore interstellar space and colonize it. Then, the Grand Design will be realized.
Contract Work for Fleet
1) Interstellar Data-links
3) Refueling Station
4) Rescue Station
5) Interstellar Beacons, Warning Buoys
6) Data Relay to Earth
7) High-Speed Return Probe
Humanity, throughout history, seems always to have banded together to assist private and/or public organizations working to build better transportation systems, communications systems, waterworks, and other cooperative efforts that could benefit everyone. The beginnings lie in the glowing, almost transparent mists of time gone by from whence we came. Examples include the beacon lights of the Gravettians 26,000 to 33,000 years ago. The Minoan beacons and semaphores supported their government over 5000 years ago, as did the relay lights built on ziggurats of Sumeria 4000 years ago. Alexander the Great and his successor, the Roman Empires, built signal towers that could send messages from Spain to what is now Afghanistan in less than a day using heliographs during the day and fires at night. More recently, post roads were subsidized, railroads were subsidized, packet boat lines were favored, and now the space utilities in the Solar System are aided by governments.
Although now The Frontier, in but moments of history to come, the first of us – men, women, and children – will enter interstellar space, and Robert Goddard’s Grand Design will be realized. Systems that may be deployed by Galactic Central will benefit all mankind and will certainly help to subsidize the single ships and fleets, include:
Chain-out explorers: to seek, to discover, and to help show the way.
Interstellar data links: At each landfall, be it wroth colonizing or not, the ships’ companies should place a data link. It will relay data to Earth and information to other ships and colonies as they appear.
Refueling Stations: At each landfall, the ships’ companies will have to refuel. They should leave a refueling station for those who might come thereafter.
Rescue station: At each landfall, a rescue station should be left as a minimum aid to groups in distress who might follow.
Beacons and buoys: Space is not a vacuum. Some volumes may be invisibly hazardous. Some may be useful for the scooping of fuel or making a magnetic drogue turn. They could be marked with interstellar beacons.
High-speed return probe and datalink to Earth: very small probes can return to Earth acceleration at 1000 to 100,000 G, a datalink to Earth from colonies would profit all.