Then Country Y invests in new technology and starts building their new ship in, say, 100 years.
It's possible and likely that Country Y's starship is more capable and faster than Country X's ship as they would have waited for and capitalized on scientific breakthroughs that make interstellar travel better.
If it's a period of collapse, perhaps complete collapse, humanity will have lost an opportunity by delaying the launch.
An interesting example was "Interstellar Travel - The Wait Calculation and the Incentive Trap of Progress"¹, which somehow isn't on libgen [yet?].
1. http://www.jbis.org.uk/paper.php?p=2006.59.239 - The incentive trap of linking to a £5 download for fifteen year old paper is another paper entirely.
(edit: I presume the downvotes are for linking to Researchgate? I know they're not held in high regard like Arxiv, they're more like a sleazy Linkedin for academics, but if there's valuable content there why not use it?)
For example, in the Honor Harrington books by David Weber, the Manticore system colonists traveled to their target a couple hundred years in hibernation. But as it was likely propulsion technology will advance before they reach their destination, they also left part of their money in a trust fund back on Earth, to make sure the Manticore system won't get squatted in the meantime.
This proved to be a sound idea, as practical FTL drives have been invented after the colony ship has departed and they have been greeted by the Manticore Trust navy upon arrival, that has secured the system a couple years earlier, arriving by the newfangled hyper drive. :)
The lore is quite amusing and poignant. Many of them met a sad end in one way or another, reminiscent of Fallout.
Not to develop a ship that can travel for 100 years. (Even though that might be the case)
It doesn't seem that the purpose is to come up with a working concept but rather a concept that's interesting enough to push the topic forward and tickle the imagination of scientist, engineers, etc. for generations until the practical implementation is achievable. So I expect right now branding and design are more useful in popularizing this.
Seems like this was a big scam.
My uninformed take on it: if the initiative was more on the level of "Here's my amazing ship design, prove me wrong" they would have gotten way more involvement. Even if Version 0 was a Jules Verne design...
Sure, but there is that pesky problem where the solutions need to be theoretically possible.
This actually fits nicely with the name "Death Star", as you take all the energy or a star (via an orbiting Dyson swarm) and turn it into a concentrated beam of death.
b.) Death Star isn't theoretically impossible. We know you just need to direct a massive amount of energy at a planet to blow it up, the only question is figuring out how to get that kind of energy. Teleportation though, we literally have no idea how it would work or what it even means.
You basically send your digitized DNA & personality copy to the target (needs to have reasonably high tech infrastructure already in place), where a blank body is grown & "flashed" by your personality. And voila, you are now walking the surface of another world couple light years away from your destination. (And you likely also now effectively exist at least twice, but oh well.)
There are serious ethical and security issues with this technique, but it might still be useful none the less. :)
No I'm not, my clone is. My consciousness is right where it started, making this an extremely limited form of "travel"
"... a couple light years away from your transmitter"?
Imagine making a copy of someone like Fabrice Bellard  and spinning up 100 of them to write your flappy bird clone for you and then shutting them off.
Would this be a terrible crime, or a paradise? This is an idea known as Hansons "ems" .
Ian Banks' Culture novels look at this a few times.
Appreciate the article links, will read them after work today.
Not really. You're assuming this "machine storage" mechanism can preserve state forever. Even if you manage to upload consciousness losslessly and maintain all the ineffable qualities of "life" or "soul" or whatever (that we don't even really have solid philosophical definitions for), you'd still need to contend with data corruption and bit rot over cosmic time-scales.
You basically encode a message (say, it's 10 some data storage unit unit long) into a much bigger lot of chunks (say 1000 0000 units), which you then transmit. As long as you receive a pre-determined amount of the chunks (1000 units might be enough), regardless of order, you can reconstruct the original message.
With speed of light lag, you can't really expect re-sends & will have to use some encoding working on a similar principle to this one.
Sci-fi is great for postulating dystopian outcomes so we can at least anticipate bad choices and guard against them.
More seriously, if we can send software, why care about this muddy consciousness stuff?
Of course, if the philosophical zombies end up being evangelistic transhumanist zealots, we'd be screwed.
Are you under the impression that hardware never breaks down, or that media never rots, or that software never fails?
Imagine today's equivalent of having your data on 2-3 hard drives, in the cloud, on 3 email addresses, and in a printed copy. You will backup a brain dump every evening to a satellite backup storage and 3 data centers around the world, maybe even to a cold or hot spare body. Someone stealing or altering a copy of you, or altering you (lots of philosophical questions around who is you anymore) would be the real worry.
If anyone told you today your life depends on a piece of electronic data in your possession I'm sure you wouldn't let HW failure or data rot become a problem. Your birth certificate is in a single paper copy and it's damn hard to get a replacement and yet most people have no problem keeping it safe for decades.
Decades might as well be seconds if we're talking about interstellar travel times.
You are projecting today's problems on tomorrow's technology. And I'm being generous here, we're actually talking about multiple generations probably. We're just as close to understanding such future technology as people (scientists) 100-150 years ago were to understanding ours. Saying "in 200 years we'd surely lose the data to HW failure and bit rot" is no different from them saying "you can't fly without flapping the wings" 150 years ago.
Those future generations face challenges we can't even imagine today. Like if I whip up 5 copies of myself who is "me"? And if 4 died will it be a loss of data or just loss of redundancy? Will it actually be just one combined copy running on multiple machines (Borg style)?
Entropy is just a fundamental aspect of how time progresses. It's basically axiomatic that anything we have degrades without actively recreating/reinforcing it with additional work.
Theseus's ship, theoretically you are not the same you from 10 years ago, cells have changed, DNA was altered, shape, consciousness, etc. are all slightly different. But for all intents and purposes you are you. So having a "good enough" copy of yourself may just be enough. Once it's in a machine it does not matter anymore. Thermodynamics allowed this comment you are reading now to be transferred from my mind to your mind (in its literal form, regardless of personal interpretation) or at least from my keyboard to your screen exactly how it was intended, with no discernible loss of fidelity.
You're taking the purely theoretical stance where it's not the same photon of information. I'm taking the practical stance where it doesn't have to be. And even losing some bits of your data might not be a practical concern.
The main thread of discussion is interesting enough to set aside quibbles about support technology that would have to be developed in tandem for it to be a viable process.
Merging and deconflicting if you want to reunite forks could be a fun problem to solve in the future
Future forks: "One of us."
(Thanks to I, Robot for a cute scene.)
That is, Quetzalcoatl came to the middle east to offer the good word.
(I always tell Mormon missionaries about Quetzalcoatl and they haven't heard of him, but the Quetzalcoatl cult did start around the same time as when Jesus came +/- 100 years or so.)