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Join Date: Jun 2012
01-08-2013, 06:43 AM
Well, as the petition for building a Death Star demonstrates, it's nice to wish for things. Wishing is easy and cheap. To actually make it happen....that requires realistic concerns be met.
As said in a certain well-known sci-fi novel (paraphrased): "When they voted for the impossible, the disasterously possible happened."
Even the more realistic designs in such series as Babylon 5 and Space:1999 are beyond our level of ability or will at the moment (we are going back to capsule spacecraft, for crying out loud!). The technical and engineering challenges inherent in a ship like a Constitution class ship are just too great for the current time.
We can't even operate a Shuttle program, or appropriate the kind of resources this would need without people in Congress chomping at the bit to grab to cancel it in favor of things to boost their own nest. And the Shuttle program is/was the first step required for this kind of in-orbit building, and a small fraction of what it would take to build something like this. Just look at the ISS, how long it took just to build, how many resources it took from multiple nations, and that it's a fraction of the size of what is proposed here. And that is just for a Station that doesn't have to go anywhere.
Even if you manage to build it, that's only the first step. You have to -maintain- it. That means fuel, atmosphere, food, water, spare parts, ect. on a continual basis. Just look at the operational requirements for something like an aircraft carrier, and you might get an idea the kind of logistics we're talking about here, multiplied by a thousand for the need to get it all up into orbit instead of just running a truck out to it.
And that assumes the people building it do so to the highest standards. Space is an unforgiving environment, where mistakes don't result in the need to replace parts, but the loss of the entire ship and everything on her (and possibly more if it happens to involve other spacial objects or come down on Earth somewhere). Do you really think the people involved in building a ship like this with such huge costs wouldn't cut corners somewhere? That the technologies involved would not fail or have unforseen faults? All of which would result in at least ship-threatening conditions? Just look at the various space programs and the numbers and types of accidents to get a pretty good idea how much Murphy loves spaceflight done on a budget or with technology not fully done.
I'm all for building a ship like this, but not before we are ready to do so. And right now, this petition isn't being done on the basis of readiness, but on the desire to see a favorite fictional ship made real. We aren't ready, and may never be, and using the petition system for something like this smacks of simple personal gratification and a desire to have fun with the system of Government. This isn't a game....you are exersizing sovereign franchise when you invoke this mechanism, and people's lives will be on the line because of it.
And if any of you are thinking I am anti-Trek for saying all this, I will simply repeat what a certain Starfleet captain stated: "The first duty of a Starfleet officer is to the truth!". If you want to be worthy of what Star Trek was truely about, then follow that quote.
Last edited by danqueller; 01-08-2013 at