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General Discussion => General Discussion => Topic started by: BTE-Dan on 05/08/2012 01:33 AM

Title: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: BTE-Dan on 05/08/2012 01:33 AM
And now for some fun thinking outside the box about what we could do in space when ignoring the issues of politics and funding ...

The BuildTheEnterprise (BTE) website describes how to build the first USS Enterprise spaceship, based on technologies within our reach, over the next twenty years.

It has 1g gravity, shielding for missions away from earth, can hold a 1000 people, and can enable the building of large underground bases on Mars and the moon also with 1g gravity. So what are we waiting for?

www.buildtheenterprise.org

Cheers,
BTE-Dan
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Downix on 05/08/2012 02:48 AM
I don't know if to laugh or cry....
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: TrueBlueWitt on 05/08/2012 03:27 AM
How many years of NASA's budget does it take to get to $1,000,000,000,000?
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Nascent Ascent on 05/08/2012 03:54 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2129022/Star-Trek-designers-reveal-plans-scale-Starship-Enterprise-scrapped-moment-downtown-Las-Vegas-towered-Eiffel-Tower.html

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/04/12/article-2129022-12926CA0000005DC-570_634x286.jpg)

I just wish they would have built the one in Las Vegas!

NA
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: scienceguy on 05/08/2012 03:59 AM
How were they planning on getting that into orbit? If not, how were they planning to construct that in orbit?
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: BTE-Dan on 05/08/2012 05:21 AM
A trillion dollars is $50 billion per year over 20 years. From the site:

“It is proposed that the US dedicate .27% of its GDP each year to the NASA Enterprise program.  …To get some sense of what spending .27% of the GDP each year will mean, consider that between 1963 and 1972, during the Apollo era, the US spent on average .50% of GDP per year as shown in the center column in the table to the right. This is about double the level of spending proposed for funding the Enterprise program.

.27% of GDP will be about $40 billion for the year 2012. $40 billion is certainly a lot of money to spend – but it’s not that much when you consider that the federal budget in 2012 is $3700 billion ($3.7 Trillion). $40 billion seems like pocket change from the perspective of federal spending. $40 billion is 1.1% of the 2012 federal budget. This compares to an average of 2.8% of the federal budget which was spent each year on NASA between 1963 and 1972 as shown in the rightmost column in the table above.”
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: woods170 on 05/08/2012 06:17 AM
I don't know if to laugh or cry....
I laughed mostly.
Don't get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with dreaming. But reality is a stinker and always slapping people in the face.
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Atlan on 05/08/2012 09:32 AM
Building a ship from a Sci-Fi franchise is not really thinking outside the box. In fact i really cant imagine more inside-the-box-thinking :D There are, even in Sci Fi much more feasible and realistic and efficient designs then this ship.
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Nathan on 05/08/2012 10:15 AM
I'd rather build Serenity
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: MATTBLAK on 05/08/2012 10:42 AM
Being a Star Trek fan for more than 40 years, on one hand I admire their passion. On the other, I can't believe their naivete - if that's what it actually is. They would be far, far better off forming a movement to push proper funding for both taxpayer/NASA space and better incentives, prizes and tax benefits for private space: so as to accelerate new technologies including Propellant Depots, zero-boiloff cryogenic propulsion, nuclear-thermal, nuclear-electric and nuclear-plasma drives, total life support recycling, radiation shielding, efficient Heavy Lift and re-usable launchers and spacecraft, efficient artificial gravity solutions, advanced space medicine.....

I could go on! In short, all the 'Holy Grails' of exploration technology that will open up the Solar System - all the technologies and procedures that we know are wanted and needed, but in recent years have been deferred by endless budget cuts, lack of leadership and courage, 'Not Invented Here' etc etc.

With stable funding and leadership, and some risk-taking courage, we just might then attain a Space Exploration destiny that points the way toward the kind of wondrous 'Star Trek' like future that these folk are fantasizing about.

I would say to them: Do not pursue a sci-fi fantasy - pursue the glorious reality that is, as of today, just a few years and dollars beyond our reach. Build some real spaceships. Later on, call them whatever you like, Enterprise included. But don't shape it like the fantasy Starship - doing so would be a fetish at best.
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Nomadd on 05/08/2012 11:20 AM

I just wish they would have built the one in Las Vegas!

NA
At least we have the memory of Quark's bar in the Hilton.
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Nathan on 05/08/2012 12:02 PM
I love the "raise taxes slightly" funding method.

Seriously the folks behind this should just be embarrassed At themselves
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/08/2012 12:27 PM
Well if we are going to go down this “what if mind game” I guess they should build this first... ;D

http://www.shipschematics.net/startrek/chronology.php

http://www.thespacegeneration.com/tag/mark-millis


Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: BTE-Dan on 05/08/2012 12:44 PM
Many commenters seem to think because the funding and politics seem impossible that this makes thinking about building the Enterprise not worthwhile. Well, you are entitled to that opinion.

However, the question for those who might find this interesting is: Why is it technically not possible. A magnetically suspended gravity wheel is possible to create 1g gravity. Very scaled up ion propulsion engines are possible. Very scaled up nuclear reactors are possible. If $50 billion per year was sent on a NASA Enterprise program, amazing things could be done.

We can think solely within the pitifully small budget constraints that NASA is handed. But then it is hard to think very big. What - in 20 years or so we take a one-shot mission to Mars? Then we are done with it, just like after we went to the moon. This is why, at least to me, it is fun and worthwhile to think about what could be done if NASA was still funded like it was during the Apollo era. If that is a dream gone too far, well shoot me.

But also, I challenge anyone to show that what I proposed on the BuildTheEnterprise site can't be done from a technical point of view.
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Jim on 05/08/2012 01:41 PM

But also, I challenge anyone to show that what I proposed on the BuildTheEnterprise site can't be done from a technical point of view.

It can't, period. It can't meet the requirements you impose on it.

The structure and design is totally wrong for the task.
it is unbalanced
it has no room for propellant.
it has no radiators
The propulsion system can not meeting the 90 day to Mars requirementl
The "magnetically suspended gravity wheel" which I take to mean a centrifuge, is in the wrong plane for control of the vehicle.
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Jim on 05/08/2012 01:41 PM
Many commenters seem to think because the funding and politics seem impossible that this makes thinking about building the Enterprise not worthwhile. Well, you are entitled to that opinion.

It is not an opinion, it is reality.  And a really stoopid idea.  There are better ways to spend the money on spaceflight that would advance the craft and exploration.
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Lampyridae on 05/08/2012 01:54 PM
This is kind of like putting funds together to buy Columbus (or worse, Leif Eriksson) a passenger jet aircraft.

Even in the movie Avatar, the first ships were kilometres long and traveled at a low fraction of c.

Anyway, what's wrong with the solar system anyway? There are fantastic worlds to explore right here. I for one would rather have an affordable ticket to space than an astronomically expensive starship in a couple of centuries. And getting cheap tickets to space will make that starship come a lot cheaper and a lot quicker than before (sort of how you need the Industrial Revolution before you can get aircraft).
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Lurker Steve on 05/08/2012 02:02 PM
If we were going to start building anything from the Star Trek universe, I would like to start with something basic, like the shuttle craft, first.

Really, if we can't build a mini-bus sized vehicle that can transport crew and equipment back and forth between the Earth's surface and the Earth orbit, then it will never be possible to get to the next steps.

All of the Sci-Fi shows have this type of vehicle. A SSTO vehicle that can basically take off and land on pretty much any flat piece surface. Some unknown propulsion system, but definately not our current chemical rockets.

The Star Trek Enterprise series was supposed to be 100 years before the Captain Kirk series. Probably in the year 2300 or so, right ? Maybe by the year 2200, we will get the SSTO technology figured out. By then NASA budgets won't be an issue.
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Atlan on 05/08/2012 04:36 PM
The design of this ship is really bad.....i don't see any structural stability....its like a fragile swan....if u want to stick with Sci Fi, try Perry Rhodan: Simple geometric forms....
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: chrisking0997 on 05/08/2012 04:46 PM
It has 1g gravity

you got me excited with this, until I looked at your site and realized you were basically cramming a ring station into the saucer.

yeah, you lost me there.  sorry, but this is a pointless exercise in fanboy dreams
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: rklaehn on 05/08/2012 04:54 PM
If we are building stuff from SciFi, let's build Babylon 5 instead. At least it is roughly the right shape for a space station that uses artificial gravity. The other human ships in the Babylon 5 universe are much more realistic as well.

(http://www.chip.de/ii/171004013_10229c5865.jpg)
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/08/2012 06:29 PM
Oh, I thought you ment the construction of the real enterprise,

(http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/020533.jpg)

About 78 years to late by my reckoning...
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: BTE-Dan on 05/08/2012 06:34 PM
"The structure and design is totally wrong for the task."

I don't think so. You have three engines in the three rear engine hulls. You have a  large saucer-shaped hull to contain a flat gravity wheel, hangers, warehouses for cargo, and to hold the large propellant tanks. The engines and nuclear reactors are also nicely separated from the crew and visitors. They can be jettisoned away in an emergency.

"it is unbalanced"

The three engines handle part of this by throttling each as needed. The gravity wheel can have a counterbalancing wheel as needed.

'it has no room for propellant."

A diagram is included showing that all the propellant volume needed can fit inside the saucer hull. And it also serves as a 1000gr/cm2 storm shelter for radiation shielding. The net volume of propellant needed is scaled up from NASA reference design systems. See diagrams here:
http://www.buildtheenterprise.org/shielding

"it has no radiators"

Yes, it will have radiators, lots of them. I say that on the site. I also say that dealing with waste heat from the ion propulsion engines and nuclear reactors will be a key technical challenge.

"The propulsion system can not meeting the 90 day to Mars requirement"

There are ion propulsion NASA proposals today where analysis shows they can make it to Mars in 90 days. So there is no reason a scaled up spacecraft, the size of the Enterprise, could not do the same.

"The 'magnetically suspended gravity wheel' which I take to mean a centrifuge, is in the wrong plane for control of the vehicle."

I flat spinning wheel can be pushed through space provided proper balance among drive engines is maintained. Yes it might be better to push the wheel along its axis. ... But then it wouldn't be the Enterprise!
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Jim on 05/08/2012 07:04 PM

1.  I don't think so.

2.  The three engines handle part of this by throttling each as needed. The gravity wheel can have a counterbalancing wheel as needed.

3.  A diagram is included showing that all the propellant volume needed

4.  Yes, it will have radiators, lots of them.

5.  There are ion propulsion NASA proposals today where analysis shows

6. flat spinning wheel can be pushed through space provided proper balance among drive engines is maintained.

1.  what are your qualifications to make such a statement?

2.  Throttling is not a method to be used "balance" the vehicle.  It means that engines could not be used for their thrust range.  It would like having two engines on one wing running at half thrust offsetting one engine at full thrust on the other wing.
It still does not fix that the vehicle is unbalance and is a poor design.
The saucer mass would not be offset by a gravity wheel (which is not a proper term for it) counterbalance

3.  No, you have not computed the amount of propellant needed to make such a statement.  Saucer is just needed for all the personnel if you would look at the fake plans for the Enterprise.  The propellant required would be large fraction (about 1/3) of the vehicle mass. (See JIMO)

4.  The radiator required size would not be met by just placing them on the hull.  Just the reactors would require around 4 square kilometers of radiators would would look like solar arrays.  (see JIMO)

5.  Proposals, not actual hardware.

6.  The wrong way to build a spacecraft.  It means there no time that the one engine can be shut down
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: DMeader on 05/08/2012 07:09 PM
I don't know if to laugh or cry....

I know. Laugh. Uproariously.

Quote
...dedicate .27% of its GDP each year to the NASA Enterprise program.  …To get some sense of what spending .27% of the GDP each year will mean, consider that between 1963 and 1972, during the Apollo era, the US spent on average .50% of GDP per year as shown in the center column in the table to the right. This is about double the level of spending proposed for funding the Enterprise program.

Maybe the O.P. should propose that Great Britain "dedicate .27% of its GDP each year" to building that neat "Eagle Transporter" from "Space: 1999". A couple of orders of magnitude less ridiculous. Or perhaps duplicate Bowman's pod from "2001". That might actually be useful.

I suppose the O.P. is out seeding his ideas to every space-related forum he can find to drive traffic to his site, so I'll cut him a little slack. But still laugh.
Title: Re: Building The Gen1 USS Enterprise, Really
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/08/2012 07:27 PM
Sci fi fans taking on NASA engineers is too funny, but also a waste of time. We deal with real hardware here.

Locked.