We could have the Starship Enterprise in 20 years

Gahars

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So, the USS Enterprise from television classic Star Trek is pretty much one of the most famous and iconic spaceships in popular culture. Even if you've never seen an episode of Star Trek (TOS or otherwise), you'd probably be able to recognize it anyway.

For scientists, the ship stands for something greater: an ideal to strive for so that one day, like Captain Kirk and his crew, man can roam the final frontier.

Well that dream may not be so far off anymore. An engineer has declared that, with proper funding, we could have the USS Enterprise operational in 20 years.

No, I did not forget a zero.

In Star Trek lore, the first Starship Enterprise will be built by the year 2245. But today, an engineer has proposed — and outlined in meticulous detail — building a full-sized, ion-powered version of the Enterprise complete with 1G of gravity on board, and says it could be done with current technology, within 20 years.

"We have the technological reach to build the first generation of the spaceship known as the USS Enterprise — so let's do it," writes the curator of the Build The Enterprise website, who goes by the name of BTE Dan.

This "Gen1" Enterprise could get to Mars in 90 days, to the moon in three, and "could hop from planet to planet dropping off robotic probes of all sorts en masse — rovers, special-built planes and satellites,” BTE Dan says.
:arrow: MSNBC

Here's an outline for the design of the proposed ship, if you're interested.

BTE Dan has clearly done his homework. He intends for the ship to serve several purposes: it would act as both a spaceport and space station, use lasers to enable probe exploration, and even offer a fascinating venue for adventurous space tourists. This is more than just a passion project of a single trekkie. This would be a valuable, and hugely profitable, tool in our missions to space.

Especially with the current economic situation, getting the United States' Congress to fund such a project is a large obstacle. Again, however, BTE Dan has it all planned out. He has created an entire list of the cuts and tax increases necessary to fund such a project; they are all so spread out, however, that they would be minimal and hardly noticeable.

(If you want to look more into this, ask the man behind the idea some questions, or whatever, you can visit his site here.)

I mean... wow. It's certainly a bold claim on the engineer's part, but he has clearly put a lot of thought into this proposal of his. I never thought that we could have such a thing in our lifetime, but I guess the future is a lot closer than I thought. Gene Roddenberry would be proud.

My verdict?
 
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thegame07

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The US is the number 1 chance with their trillions of dollars in debt? are you sure about that? The way things are going they won't even be able afford projects for this much longer. I'm not criticising America cause We aren't exactly in a good shape either. I think the money they put into space programs should be used to clear the current debt, don't you think?
 

Hyro-Sama

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The US is the number 1 chance with their trillions of dollars in debt? are you sure about that? The way things are going they won't even be able afford projects for this much longer. I'm not criticising America cause We aren't exactly in a good shape either. I think the money they put into space programs should be used to clear the current debt, don't you think?

I'm inclined to agree with this. I believe China or Russia would have a higher chance of achieving this. Especially if Obama gets re-elected.
 

Gahars

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The US is the number 1 chance with their trillions of dollars in debt? are you sure about that? The way things are going they won't even be able afford projects for this much longer. I'm not criticising America cause We aren't exactly in a good shape either. I think the money they put into space programs should be used to clear the current debt, don't you think?

A) I guess you didn't see that was just an excuse to work in a Star Trek reference
B) As I mentioned in my post, a budget has been drawn out for this. While there would be cuts and tax increases necessary to make this project a reality, they would be across the board; the impact would be minimal on the debt situation.
C) A ship like this, up and running, would be hugely profitable from the discoveries it would make alone (not to mention the opportunities for space tourism). It would be an investment with a far greater pay off (which could, in turn, be used for the debt).
 

Qtis

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Interesting way to spend limited resources. No government has the money to make this happen (China could possibly do it by pumping all debts back, but I doubt it). Occupying the Moon or Mars could be considered as ambitious, but possibly fruitful.
 

Gahars

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Mars in 90 days, no warp speed then.

Yeah, that's still out of reach (sadly). The article mentions, however, that the ship would rely on several nuclear reactors for all its propulsion (and other energy) needs.

It can't beat warp speed, obviously, but it will make a handy replacement until we can work out something better.
 

tbgtbg

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Might as well claim we could have the Millennium Falcon in 20 years for all this has to do with the Enterprise.
 

Hyro-Sama

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What about Fahrenheit 451? Didn't that book inspire Sony execs to make earphones? IIRC, Ray Bradbury even said in an interview that some employees from Sony visited him and showed him prototypes.
 

Gahars

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What about Fahrenheit 451? Didn't that book inspire Sony execs to make earphones? IIRC, Ray Bradbury even said in an interview that some employees from Sony visited him and showed him prototypes.

I've read something along those lines about the headphones. If you want another example from that novel, just look at the televisions.

In the book, the characters have access to flat screen televisions that take up entire walls in their homes. Considering how television technology has advanced, that isn't such a far out idea anymore...
 

FluffyLunamoth

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Think of how many ads they could put on this thing...! :D Seriously though. We don't even have the technology to start this, do we? Didnt the Enterprise still have FTL engines? Or at least Speed Of Light?
 

Gahars

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Think of how many ads they could put on this thing...! :D Seriously though. We don't even have the technology to start this, do we? Didnt the Enterprise still have FTL engines? Or at least Speed Of Light?

...Did you read the original post/article/the whole thread?
 

Guild McCommunist

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Think of how many ads they could put on this thing...! :D Seriously though. We don't even have the technology to start this, do we? Didnt the Enterprise still have FTL engines? Or at least Speed Of Light?

Warp is varying amounts of speed past the speed of light, with Warp 1 breaking the light barrier and everything past that even faster. Although there's been contradictions throughout the show on the levels of Warp drive, with Star Trek Voyager saying Warp 10 and above is infinite velocity (allowing you to occupy every part of the universe simultaneously) while older series (like TOS) have "Warp 15" and stuff like that, although this can be accounted for by engineers simply scaling warp in relation to how fast ships go with something not reaching "Voyager Warp 10" but going significantly faster than Warp 9 being calculated as "Warp 10" and such.

But yeah, the topic says it won't reach Warp drive and the means they achieve it in the show is mindboggling (the reaction created by matter and antimatter creates enough energy to fuel Warp drive). Hence why they said it would take 90 days to reach Mars while in the shows it takes literally seconds.

BUT I DIGRESS.
 

DiscostewSM

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All we need is to develop and successfully try out a Warp engine at the exact moment a Vulcan ship passes through our territory of space.

Joking aside, this is still interesting news. It's just unfortunate that our world has so many problems that we can't cooperate together and use our resources for the good of humanity.
 

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