White House Petition: Build the USS Enterprise!

USS-EnterpriseEarlier this year, an engineer who goes by the alias BTE Dan claimed that a working model of the USS Enterprise could be built with existing technology and completed within 20 years. And this was a full-scale Enterprise, complete with a lower hull, upper saucer section, artificial gravity, ion engines, nuclear power, and a 100 kilowatt laser.

Well it seems that Dan wasn’t finished just yet. To follow up on this move, he stated a White House petition to do a feasibility study and conceptual design of the USS Enterprise interplanetary spaceship. This, he sees as a viable step towards ensuring that a segment of scientists and engineers in the space industry take an active interest and help move the concept forward.
entpriseAs it stands, the concept still has numerous technical flaws, Dan admits, but that is precisely why he is seeking professionals help. As he put it, “There is a lot of waste heat to get rid of, today’s ion propulsions engines need major advances, and perhaps stability problems will be found with the gravity wheel.” And that’s just for starters…

What’s more, his initial visit with NASA space engineers and space contractors did not go so well. As he put it, “I am an outsider poking around in their sandbox, and human nature is that people don’t like that.” However, since the story first broke earlier this year, Dan’s website has crashed because of the massive increase in traffic.

USS-Enterprise-size-comparisons-640Mainly, people are impressed with the depth and detail of his planning, which not only includes conceptual designs and designs specs, but also comes complete with a funding schedule and accounting for just about every detail of the ship’s construction. But mainly, I’m thinking people are intrigued by the possibility that such a project could actually be feasible, and are impressed with Dan’s passion and commitment to seeing it happen by the 2030’s.

As of this evening, the petition has collected 19,804 signatures, and needs only 5,196 more to reach the minimum required for consideration. Personally, I recommend we get on it. It’s just a feasibility study, after all, and I for one am interested to see if it could really be done. To read and/or sign the White House petition, click here. And be sure to check out the video below of some of the proposed star craft’s inner workings:

Universe Today.com, Build the enterprise.org

Starship Enterprise… in 20 years!

My pal Fraser Cain over at Universe Today has once again posted the latest from the sci-fi universe. Despite my best efforts, I just can’t seem to keep up with the professionals! Apparently, an engineer has stipulated that the original Enterprise, the Constitution-class vessel from the original series, could be built in 20 years.

In the original series, this ship was built by a team of Star Fleet engineers in the year 2245. However, this engineer describes – in excrutiating detail- how we could do it by 2032, and using current technology.

Everything from the ion drives, the artificial gravity, a 100 megawatt laser, and landing pods and shuttles. Everything but the warp drive… that’s going to take some more time. But dammit, the Star Trek engineers never specified how that whole “warp bubble” thing works anyway!

This ship could make the trip from Earth to the Moon in just three days, and Mars in ninety. Such a ship, with the capacity to carry a large crew and land people with its compliment of shuttles, would be the first step towards colonizing the Solar System. First the Moon, then Mars, then Europa and Ganymede. Perhaps Oberon and Titan too… Skies the limit, apparently!

Like many things, this latest revelation teaches us that the future is coming faster than previously thought. Already we’ve seen compads and peronsal communicators arrive early (iPads and cell phones). If starships make it on the scene a full two centuries ahead of schedule, then it will just prove what guys like Kurzweil say all the time. Technology is not linear, its exponential, and everyday the future gets that much closer… Profoundness! Cue Star Trek music!