We can build the starship USS Enterprise according to BTE Dan’s grand plans. With meticulous attention to detail Dan has over many years assembled the schematics and planning information required to build a starhip using today’s technology.
Building a craft that would dwarf the pyramids is no easy venture. Estimated to cost $50 billion a year for 20 years, just under a trillion dollars total. The costs may initially seem high but you are building a an Enterprise starship. A completely self-contained spaceship for exploring the stars.
In contrast the TARP bank bailout fund in the US was funded with $700 million USD while other governments around the world also threw 10’s of billions of dollars at the problem. The trillion dollar price tag for the Enterprise doesn’t seem so bad in such context.
By day Dan is a systems and electrical engineer, by night he is training to be Captain Kirk. Achieving the first stage of his mission, Building The Enterprise, Dan has proven that technically it is feasible, the technology required is within reach, only the will required is absent.
A trillion dollar project such as the Enterprise would require international funding and co-operation, the starship itself would constitute the largest machine ever made by mankind. Breaking many records even before complete.
Dan “The USS Enterprise from Star Trek is a cultural icon, and we should latch part of the US space program on to this icon and build from there. We need a far grander vision of what we should be doing to get humans up into space and how we might gain a permanent foothold there. If we aren’t going to get a sustainable presence up there, then we should stop spending money for putting humans into space and instead focus on robotic missions like sending more advanced rovers to Mars, Venus, and elsewhere. If we are going to ask taxpayers to pay billions of dollars for projects to put Americans into space, it should be for an idea that they can relate to and be inspired by. The general form and characteristics of the spaceship should be inspirational – and building the first generation of USS Enterprise would surely be inspirational.”
There are two options to consider as far as construction site is concerned, water based dry-docks (on planet) or space based construction. If construction of the Enterprise were attempted on Earth it could be achieved using a dry docks. The size of the dry docks though would require a crane with 500 meters of reach and close to a square kilometre of water to support the assembled craft. Launching such a spaceship with existing propulsion systems would be impossible. 84,000 tons of composite and metal is no easy to lift.
Assembling the craft in space however negates all of the difficulties that gravity poses on such a craft. Construction is easier with gravity taken out of the equation, the space environment though is a difficult one.
In reality construction of these sized craft will require an entire space based mining and construction industry to be built from scratch. This is the time consuming and costly part of the operation that may take decades to perfect even once underway.
Once powered up though, in space the triple Ion engines will propel the starship through space. Electrically powered and providing constant thrust Ion drives are already in use, on smaller scales of course. Nuclear power would provide the juice for the space-ship, controversial but more than feasible.
Dan has put together a complex and detailed plan but more importantly he has created an excellent conversation piece, an instrument to get people thinking about the future, dreaming. One day maybe we call all go Star Trekkin across the universe.
Reference: Build The Enterprise