Space, the Final Frontier: Building the USS Enterprise

Saturday, June 2, 2012

It’s been 43-years since NASA landed men on the moon in 1969. While the moon landing was one of the greatest achievements in human history, since then we’ve lost our way when it comes to big projects for putting humans into deep space.

One man, a systems and electrical engineer who goes by the name BTE-Dan, has a vision for space exploration in the 21st century that NASA sorely lacks. BTE-Dan has launched a website called BuildtheEnterprise which lays out a logical argument for building the first generation USS Enterprise based on the science fiction version of the same name.

BTE-Dan writes:

We have the technological reach to build the first generation of the spaceship known as the USS Enterprise. The ship can be similar in size and will have the same look as the USS Enterprise that we know from Star Trek. The ship configuration is quite functional. This first generation Enterprise can have 1g artificial gravity and ample living space. It can be as comfortable to live in as being on earth. A thousand people can be on board at once – either as crew members or as adventurous visitors. While the ship will not travel at warp speed, it can travel at a constant acceleration such that the ship can easily get to key points of interest in our solar system. The Gen1 USS Enterprise would be three things in one: a spaceship, a space station, and a spaceport.

The Gen1 USS Enterprise would be big — really big:

The Gen1 USS Enterprise could get to the moon in three days; Mars in ninety days. It could hop from planet to planet dropping off robotic probes, rovers, special-built planes, and satellites. It could use its extensive on-board sensors to map and explore planet surfaces and examine whatever it encounters in space. It could deliver a hydrobot on Jupiter’s moon Europa after using its laser to bore a hole through the thick surface ice. The hydrobot will then drop through the hole in the ice and descend until it reaches the water below, beaming video images back to earth so that we can watch as the hydrobot explores Europa’s vast, hidden ocean. It could hunt down asteroids that may threaten earth and divert them long before earth is in danger.

And with all things related to space, the price tag doesn’t come cheap. BTE-Dan argues America is an affluent nation with 27% of the world’s GDP. The $50 billion per year to fund the Enterprise program – out of a $3.6 trillion federal budget – is well within reason that such a program could be funded given enough enthusiasm from a public who cares about space exploration.

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15 Responses to Space, the Final Frontier: Building the USS Enterprise

  1. feminazi says:

    Humans are natural explorers. Thousands of years ago, humans walked across the ice bridge that connected Asia to North America, 500 years ago, humans sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America without satellite technology. I believe the destiny of humanity is in space. If not now, then when?

  2. Brigadoon says:

    It’s true what the author says. After we landed on the moon, space exploration all but died. The ISS is just an orbiting piece of junk that has outlived its purpose. Of course, to build the USS Enterprise, it would mean giving up our addiction to war. That’s the biggest challenge.

  3. TOM339 says:

    I love the idea of building the Generation 1 USS Enterprise.

    We need to embrace the 21st century and begin the arduous and challenging process of deep space exploration and colonization. Who knows? Maybe in a century, we will have 50 million people living on the moon and on Mars?

    As to Brigadoon’s post, maybe building the USS Enterprise will force us to reign in spending on the military and war? Our focus (and checkbook) will be elsewhere.

  4. hipolito says:

    What an exciting idea! Sign me up! I would work for free on this project.

  5. ChiTOM says:

    What an interesting thread. Truly inspiring.

  6. VicoDANIEL says:

    There was a time, not long ago, when thinking boldly and embracing innovation, defined who we are as Americans.

    President Kennedy said at the beginning of the 1960s, we would put a man on the moon in a decade and you know what? We accomplished it earlier.

    We’ve lost our way when it comes to space. It isn’t seen as worthwhile; it’s too expensive and so on, and so forth. But mark my words. If don’t do this — build the USS Enterprise, China will. They have announced they plan to land men on Mars by 2020.

  7. Rachel says:

    If we build the Enterprise, is it possible to relocate all the Republicans in the US Congress, along with the all the Evangelicals and the Pope, to Europa? Earth would be so much better with them gone!

  8. Harry says:

    Rachel – I like the way you think! 🙂

  9. The Real Adam says:

    Getting the congress to appropriate funding might be a challenge.

    So you need to be creative. Tell Boehner and McConnell the first USS Enterprise journey to Mars will carry the first group of LGBT passengers. These homophobes will cut funding for the Pentagon to rid the nation of “teh gays.”

  10. SpikeToronto says:

    Took you long enough Christopher! 😉 I was wondering when you might publish on it. 😛

  11. Fran says:

    I’m holding out for the transporter technology, my work commute is a bitch.

  12. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    If we’re serious about establishing settlements on the moon and Mars, it is going to take a project of this size and scope. Out little moon orbiters from the 1960’s won’t cut it.

    However, as Brig said, we will need a paradigm shift in the way we appropriate money. We can’t be a warrior nation with the military sucking 50% out of GDP and also fund a massive project like a USS Enterprise. There’s not sufficient money to do both.

  13. retahyajyajav says:

    This is the visionary thing we’ve been missing. Imagine how many young, American students would be drawn to science and engineering?

  14. Joe in Colorado says:

    Space in the 21st century is now firmly in the hands of private industry. President Obama saw to this when he killed the Space Shuttle program last summer. If a USS Enterprise is built, it will be done by a company like Space X in Los Angeles or one of their competitors.

  15. Jim says:

    Build it! This would be fantastic!

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