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Using a long series of estimations whose details can be found in Rick's article he concludes that the annual operating cost for an airliner is about million (not counting fuel, landing fees, and taxes).An airliner's purchase price is 0 million so one year's uses costs about one-third of the purchase price.They go fast, can carry lots of people and cargo, and are the most advanced technology that can be massed produced.The ticket prices will not be similar between airliners and starships because FTL interstellar travel will probably take more than a few hours for the trip.With creative maintenance, the service life might be longer than 30 years, see below.Question: how many cargos can a merchant starship carry in 1 year?There is a long history of SF novels about interstellar free traders eking out a marginal existence on the fringes of the huge trader corporations, from Andre Norton's Solar Queen novels to the Space Angel series by John Maddox Roberts.

Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new: That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do: For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be; Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails, Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales; This section is basically a rough outline of Rick Robinson's Interstellar Trade: A Primer.Therefore if the cargo was available for free at the origin the minimum selling price at destination is 0,000 per ton, or 0 per kilogram.The implication is that only very high value cargo can be profitably shipped interstellar.Assumption: starship purchase price will only be about

Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new: That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do: For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be; Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails, Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales; This section is basically a rough outline of Rick Robinson's Interstellar Trade: A Primer.

Therefore if the cargo was available for free at the origin the minimum selling price at destination is $100,000 per ton, or $100 per kilogram.

The implication is that only very high value cargo can be profitably shipped interstellar.

Assumption: starship purchase price will only be about $1 million per ton of cargo capacity instead of $2 million, because starships are orbit-to-orbit, need no landing gear, need no wings, can use lighter structure because they accelerate under 1 g, and we will assume they can carry twice as much cargo per deadweight (inert mass) as a cargo jet.

Assumption: cargo starship operating cost is similar to cargo jet.

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Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new: That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do: For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be; Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails, Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales; This section is basically a rough outline of Rick Robinson's Interstellar Trade: A Primer.Therefore if the cargo was available for free at the origin the minimum selling price at destination is $100,000 per ton, or $100 per kilogram.The implication is that only very high value cargo can be profitably shipped interstellar.Assumption: starship purchase price will only be about $1 million per ton of cargo capacity instead of $2 million, because starships are orbit-to-orbit, need no landing gear, need no wings, can use lighter structure because they accelerate under 1 g, and we will assume they can carry twice as much cargo per deadweight (inert mass) as a cargo jet.Assumption: cargo starship operating cost is similar to cargo jet.

million per ton of cargo capacity instead of million, because starships are orbit-to-orbit, need no landing gear, need no wings, can use lighter structure because they accelerate under 1 g, and we will assume they can carry twice as much cargo per deadweight (inert mass) as a cargo jet.Assumption: cargo starship operating cost is similar to cargo jet.

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