Wanna Be Star Trek USS Enterprise Could Be Built for 1 Trillion, No Warp Speed


There are Trekkies who like to build scale models of their favorite starship. Then, there is a guy called BTE-Dan who not only has ambitions to build the real thing; he already has created a remarkably detailed plan on how to go about do it. The Build The Enterprise website has been up for about a week, getting overwhelmed by traffic from fellow Trekkers and regular aerospace fans alike.

BTE-Dan (Build The Enterprise Dan?) has published specifications for the iconic spacecraft, as well as estimations for the costs involved. He also has a mission plan and funding strategies, demonstrating that he has really thought this out. If everything goes according to plan, he said the real USS Enterprise (called the Gen1 Enterprise) could be built in as little as 20 years.

While his proposed Gen1 Enterprise will bear a resemblance to its sci-fi counterpart, its function will be a little different. This Enterprise will be a “spaceship, a space station, and a spaceport,” working in some ways similar to the current International Space Station, though BTE-Dan decries the lack of gravity on the ISS. He’s overcome it with a rotating magnetically-suspended gravity wheel in the saucer section, generating 1g. He also bemoans the “comical and primitive” toilet facilities and the cramped quarters. His Gen1 Enterprise would be home to about 1000 people.

As expensive as it sounds, Dan claims the the project would constitute only (I say only) 0.27 percent of the United States’ GDP, and would allow the construction of ever-more advanced Enterprises every 33 years. Dan claims this compares favorably to the Apollo era, when NASA’s budget averaged 0.5 percent of the country’s GDP. Further, at a spend of $40 billion per year, Dan reckons this equates to 1.1 percent of the 2012 budget.

This spaceship is not designed to “boldly go where no one has gone before.” Instead, the 1.5 GW nuclear-powered ion engine is for intra-solar system missions, reaching the Moon in 3 days and Mars in 90 days. It would not have any “faster than the speed of light” warp drives. One small step for man? One giant waste of time for mankind?

[Source]


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11 Comments

  1. francis says:

    wheres scotty when you need him??

  2. Shootisttx says:

    It is a much better idea than most I have heard come from our government recently.

  3. Greg S says:

    Nice idea..except why would we build it 3 times + larger than the sci fi version (which is 305 meters)? It would take at least that much more energy to propel it…..and probably 10 times as much money to build it!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Not entirely convince that this is not some kind of viral marketing campaign for the next star trek film. 

  5. I think we need to start rethinking the role of humanity.  We won’t reach another star…at least its EXTREMELY unlikely.  We won’t “terraform” Mars…..we’re in a race right now between mass extinction from depletion of natural resources, mass extinction from an unstoppable super virus, and slow genetic meltdown from socialization.  Lets face it, we’re NOT going to be around forever.   Nothing we do REALLY matters in the cosmic scheme, but we can feel good about ourselves while we’re here.  I’m of the opinion that the two greatest endeavors toward the “feel good” goal are one:  control the population (fixes hunger, disease, poverty, and a list of other problems.   And two:  build an Enterprise.

    • Greg S says:

      Geeze…..you put it that way we should just all give up and hang ourselves! Fortunately we will find some other way to power our civilization (since we have had hydrogen power since the 1800′s, someone will pick it back up), we have plenty of guns for the zombie apocalypse, and as long as we don’t start cloning ourselves, we should be OK genetically……but I do agree with you, blow up, err I mean build the damn ship!

  6. Cph says:

    They can’t build a functioning website and they’re set to build a starship?

    • Anonymous says:

      What is wrong with the website. 

      If it is slow, that could be down to the fact that it has appeared in a few national new papers websites and probably attracting a lot of people. 

  7. The gravity wheel is NOT a gravity wheel, it is an inertia wheel.  This is certainly not how our planet earth nor bodies of mass produce gravity today.

  8. Mars in 90 days?! That’s awesome! I’m sold.

  9. Joe says:

    Yes, actually, it WOULD boldly go where no one has gone before — Mars, for example.  And the asteroids, and Jupiter, and maybe Venus and Mercury.  Your scoffing seems unfounded.  I salute him for such a bold proposal, and for working it out in so much detail.  I just hope he gets a beefier web server, since I can’t get through to the current one!

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