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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,906
# 26
12-24-2012, 02:01 PM
But isn't NASA already doing that? Clearly we're going to need a better means of propulsion than current combustion engines and I thought that nuclear or ion engines were already high on the list of things that NASA was already looking at. I've seen designs for ships with inflatable sections for habitation areas with nuclear pulse and or ion engines for propulsion. It is not much to look at but it would get the job done.
The problem with any design isn't what a ship would be like in it's final configuration, it's getting the pieces up there and putting it together, to build a ship like the Enterprise would literally require a ship yard in space, building that alone would be no small endeavor.
The thing really missing in the petition isn't the idea, it's the need, why would we build it, why do we need it?
With the Cold War it wasn't about being first to the moon, the message was "If we can put a man on the moon, we can certainly put a big honking bomb on you". Had the Cold War continued we would probably have a colony on the Moon by now and be sending manned expeditions to Mars. But that's not how things turned out, the Cold War ended and there is nothing out there in space that we desperately need. To justify creating a sustainable permanent presence in space we need a reason for being there, money rules all, any investment needs a return and being there to inspire humans or some obscure scientific study just doesn't cut the mustard.