At least one dude thinks we could. Some total random known only as BTE-Dan has put together a surprisingly large website detailing (really really detailing) what it would take to Build The Enterprise over the course of 20 years.
As BTE-Dan sees it, all the main technologies we’d need to construct a real life starship are pretty much at hand. Of course it would take scaling them up a bit. Like, way up. Like, to space. But, hey, even if we couldn’t figure out how to build huge ion propulsion engines or a 1.5 gigawatt nuclear reactor or a spinning disk with a diameter taller than the Burj Khalifa—ahem. Tallest building in the world—at least we put our minds to figuring out those limitations.
Aside from being the coolest franchise in television history Star Trek helped to inspire generations of engineers, scientists, inventors, and very cool bloggers to create the world we know today. There are a ton of gadgets that we use now that are as cool, if not cooler, than the stuff Kirk was using in the Original Series. Plus the things we have are often a lot more sensical and useful. See? Not to mention that we’re, like, two hundred years ahead of schedule on this stuff. Bam! Take that, ultra-skeptical 1960′s television writers. We win.
In the FAQ on his website, BTE-Dan, had this to say about it:
“If we want to define the greatness of our civilization mostly based on how we make transfer payments to each other through social programs, well, that sure doesn’t seem too inspiring. We need some other things to get jazzed up by as a civilization – something with a much bigger sweep – something to fire our imaginations. And we need something to inspire more young people to want to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the STEM subjects. We need a worthy successor to the Apollo space program – and the Enterprise program can be just that.”
The proposed budget for building this #ActualStarship is $1 trillion, but BTE-Dan figures we can stretch that out at some $50 billion per year. If we can spend $50 billion on wacky stuff like Homeland Security why not just throw in another 50 on building an amazingly radical spaceship? I’m down if you’re down. If we all lived like Luniz and just throw five bucks each on it, that’s already $1.5 billion. If we agree to five a week we’re already in (what I think smart money people mean when they say:) a windfall!
What’s up? Do you think we could build it? Is the idea just a huge crazy waste of brain time? Wouldn’t it be super awesome to have a U.S.S. Enterprise flying around out there? Either way. Check out the site. Obviously my thoughts are, in the words of BTE Dan: “This is super cool.”
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[Article written for and published by NYPress.com]