What's the Latest Development?

The technical specifications for a real Star Ship Enterprise, the space ship known from the TV show Star Trek, have been released by an engineer whose Web moniker is BTE Dan. While the show predicted the first Enterprise would be built by 2245, Dan believes it can be done within the next two decades. "This Enterprise would be built entirely in space, have a rotating gravity section inside of the saucer, and be similar in size with the same look as the USS Enterprise that we know from Star Trek." Rather than move at warp speed, the ship would be powered by a 1.5GW nuclear reactor. 

What's the Big Idea?

With such an acceleration system, the ship could reach Mars in 90 days and the Moon in just three, dropping robotic probes all across the solar system. To simulate Earth's gravity, the saucer portion of the ship would be a .3 mile (536 meter) diameter rotating, magnetically-suspended gravity wheel. Dan has even spread proposed budget cuts over different government branches to fund what would be a significant 20-year project. Proposing that one new Enterprise-class ship be built every generation, Dan adds, "the only obstacles to us doing it are the limitations we place on our collective imagination."

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons