His name is BTE-DAN, or at least this is the moniker behind one of the craziest, yet the best documented, idea that has emerged from the web lately.
The idea is simple: build a starship, not just for low-orbit tourism… a full-featured (almost) USS Enterprise! (yes, the one with Captain Kirk, Scotty, Bones but, actually not Mr. Spock).
Forget the Space Shuttle, dump all those toys: this is for real!
Bte-Dan, for sure a die-hard Star Trekker, has built a website filled with technical data, drawings, animations and did even the math that may concern every government or agency (barely) taking into account his idea.
Building a 1st-generation Enterprise will take no less than 20 years a should cost no less than $1 trillion (read it again, that’s right).
Sporting not one, but three nuclear reactors, the real Enterprise should be long as much as 950 meters (about 3,150 feet): undoubtely the largest moving human manufacture ever in history, and should be able to reach Mars in 90 days (not months).
He even solved some minor problems like keeping gravity acceptable to human beings, check the video below…
Ok, now let’s see the part of his thought that very few may disagree with: the Space-Race that took place in the 60s, USA vs. former USSR, sparkled thousands of new technologies and ideas (we’re still relying on that legacy of technology, right now).
I can recommend this book, The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation, about 1960s tecnology and how much computers have gone far these days.
As far as I can recall, some half a million people worked at Nasa for the Apollo missions, building everything, sometimes from scratch, from the tiniest part to the massive Saturn V.
Later, in the 70s, political issues, oil crisis and (more recent) economic downturns have nearly killed human-based space exploration and we’re (just) sending automatic probes in the nearby planets to collect data.
I don’t know if this engineer (should he be) is right or not, but he asserts strongly that such a project may re-start USA (and worldwide) economy, build workplaces and give a boost to every aspect of human knowledge.
Low-budgeters and price conscious-trekker can have their own Enterprise too, anyway: check this Enterprise Coffee Table, for a mere $ 2,400…
[Update: right now, the website is not available or offline]