Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Prison Planet

Kyra  - The Chronicles of Riddick

Exporting convicted criminals to the moon or distant planets has been common theme in Science Fiction stories for years. I always pooh-poohed it because of the enormous cost of putting anything into orbit, but then I got to thinking (always a dangerous thing to do, I know). Looking back to the days of sail when Britain was sending convicts to Australia, a sailing ship was about the most expensive thing you could buy. Then you look at the cost of keeping someone locked up in a modern prison, one that doesn't violate any of their rights, and I begin to wonder if shipping them to the moon might be cheaper.
    There are a couple problems with this idea. The first is that it is still dreadfully expensive to put a man into orbit, much less send him to the moon. Another is that there are a whole bunch of people who claim they want to go into outer space. If we started exporting criminals, we might have a whole new bunch of criminals, people who commit crimes in order to get "transported". A third is that it is a whole lot easier to get back from the moon than it is to get there in the first place.

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