Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,875
# 51
12-27-2012, 04:26 PM
The Prometheus and Millennium Falcon are both designs that are far closer to reality than the Enterprise will ever be, there is very little need for streamlining in space and both designs are both more compact and have a more realistic distribution of mass.
The Prometheus has space for cargo arranged in line with it's center of mass, cargo capacity is something the Enterprise design is very much lacking in.
The Millennium Falcon is essentially a big engine with a small enclosed cargo space and living environment but the ability clamp on to a larger cargo platform that could be of any configuration, scalable modular adaptability that would make it far more useful than a design like the Enterprise.

A space race would not be a bad thing, competition is always beneficial, there are economic windfalls for participants whose manufacturing and technology are considered to be of a higher quality, but I will agree if the goal is simply to get there first, plant the flag and pick up a few rocks, it would be ultimately pointless. But if the goal of this race is to investigate the exploitability of space to look for useable resources and garner interest in corporate development then it's not a wasted effort. Space needs to be made profitable, it needs to made attractive to private investment which means it needs to moved out of the hands of short sighted politicians whose only interest in the future is their next election and into the control of those who will seek to make money off of it on a long term basis, private enterprise will drive space exploration as it drives most other exploration in the post colonial world.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,194
# 52
12-27-2012, 09:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by hevach View Post
It'll take more than that, though. His own cost & mass eats up that proposed budget just in materials, and expects NASA to just kick in their own trillion (708b and 140b for separate parts of the project) separate from that government trillion... And doesn't account for the $277b it'll take to launch it all into space. Already well over twice that funding plan and I haven't even questioned the claim yet.
The $277 billion is part of the $1 trillion budget. That's specifically stated in the second paragraph (and the chart at the bottom) of the page you linked.

Where are these $708b and $140b figures coming from? I don't see them anywhere on that page.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevach View Post
And their launch costs? 277 billion assumes that it'll be possible to launch it to space station orbit at $1,000 per pound. It currently costs $10,000 per pound to do so. It costs $2-3,000 per pound to reach minimal orbit, and something this large will not stay in orbit long at this altitude due to atmospheric drag (it is still a serious issue for the much smaller ISS at its higher altitude, and will be for the Enterprise).
Better and cheaper heavy lifters are already being investigated. And presumably that's something R&D would investigate as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevach View Post
the only explanations for that discrepancy is intentional deception or just plain incompetence.
I don't think he's incompetent, and he has nothing to gain from intentional deception.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevach View Post
Oh, and by the way, that just gives us a lot of parts in orbit, not a ship. We've budgeted all the lumber and bricks but not hired a construction crew, and now we're standing here wondering why our empty lot is such a mess.
You're right, labor funding isn't mentioned on the site. I'll bring that up on the BTE forums and get back to you.

Perhaps that's something we can outsource to private agencies like SpaceX and other such groups. And I imagine a lot of the actual construction can be done through robotic arms operated from the ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevach View Post
And the politics page is comparing different numbers to make it look different. NASA has at no time eaten 2.8% of the US GDP. Its peak was in 1966 at 0.75%, nearly half of which went to military and aviation programs unrelated to the Apollo and Gemini programs and which are no longer under NASA's jurisdiction.
I'll look into that. Even if you're right, it means NASA received at least 0.37% of the funding. That's 0.10 more than what is proposed at BTE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevach View Post
There's a reason this person has concealed his real identity and credentials, registered his domain anonymously, and made his only attempt at contacting the government through a nonbinding anonymous petition service that's primary use is state secession and "PLZ OBAMA CANSEL MY SKOOL 2DAY," rather than any official channels.
He likely wanted to avoid the hostility and controversy that surrounds any ambitious project. That's hardly sinister. In fact, it demonstrates that he's not one of those people looking for fifteen minutes of fame.

And the petition merits an official government response if it gets 25,000 signatures within one month. I think that's more than fair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
The Prometheus and Millennium Falcon are both designs that are far closer to reality than the Enterprise will ever be, there is very little need for streamlining in space and both designs are both more compact and have a more realistic distribution of mass.
The Prometheus has space for cargo arranged in line with it's center of mass, cargo capacity is something the Enterprise design is very much lacking in.
The Millennium Falcon is essentially a big engine with a small enclosed cargo space and living environment but the ability clamp on to a larger cargo platform that could be of any configuration, scalable modular adaptability that would make it far more useful than a design like the Enterprise.
I think you're kinda missing the point.

The reason for the Enterprise configuration is that it represents a bold, optimistic future for humans in space. The other designs you mention, while somewhat recognizable, look more like bulk freighters. Not exactly inspiring.

Would they work better than the Enterprise in terms of functionality? Maybe a little. But hey, the point is for it to be challenging. We want to see what we can do with an ambitious project with a budget and a time limit. And I believe we can make the Enterprise work with some clever planning.

What do we as a people have to get excited about in the world these days, a world where everything has been explored and there's little new to discover? What could be more exciting than building the first USS Enterprise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
A space race would not be a bad thing, competition is always beneficial, there are economic windfalls for participants whose manufacturing and technology are considered to be of a higher quality, but I will agree if the goal is simply to get there first, plant the flag and pick up a few rocks, it would be ultimately pointless. But if the goal of this race is to investigate the exploitability of space to look for useable resources and garner interest in corporate development then it's not a wasted effort. Space needs to be made profitable, it needs to made attractive to private investment which means it needs to moved out of the hands of short sighted politicians whose only interest in the future is their next election and into the control of those who will seek to make money off of it on a long term basis, private enterprise will drive space exploration as it drives most other exploration in the post colonial world.
I agree, it would be a good motivator. Though I hope a space race would not be necessary for it to happen, it might well be. And I guess it's not the end of the world if it does.
Please fix the Foundry lag!
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,875
# 53
12-28-2012, 09:06 AM
Oh I'm hardly missing the point, the Enterprise may represent a bold new future as a symbol, but that's all it would be, a symbol.
The ship as proposed by the author is over 3000 feet long, 3 times the length of the fictional Enterprise. As a space station that might be considered practical, but as an actual ship it's overkill of galactic proportions.
It's an impractical design, it's simply too big for anything we would ever need it for for centuries, while consuming the resources that could build a dozen aircraft carriers and a thousand aircraft.
The ship won't build itself, we would have to establish a permanent manned assembly area in space to house the construction crew, it would take hundreds of people living full time in space to assemble this thing if we wanted it done in decades rather than centuries, that would require the construction of an enormous habitat and shipyard that would also need to be supplied and maintained, think how much that would cost.
There are other considerations, you're involving humans, accidents will happen, the amount of space junk from lost tools and misplaced materials that would present a hazard to satellites and future launches would be considerable, insurance costs for people working in a hazardous environment would be astronomical and certainly not least, the ramifications of the environmental damage caused by multiple thousands of rocket launches just to get materials in orbit alone would be enough to forbid such a project.
As I said before it's putting the cart well ahead of the horse, we would have to already have mining and manufacturing operations in space for such an endeavor to be realistic, building it from the Earth would be implausible.

Examples of practical ship designs can be seen in the movies 2001, 2010, Mission to Mars, Red Planet, the television Series Escaping Gravity, the Earth Alliance ships in Babylon 5, and most recently the Interstellar Transport shown in the movie Avatar. If I had to pick an iconic ship from that lot it would be the Discovery from 2001

Last edited by maxvitor; 12-28-2012 at 09:56 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,938
# 54
12-28-2012, 10:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by hevach View Post
A new space race would be bad. Why haven't we been back to the moon in a generation?

*snip, snip*
all valid points, but in the meantime, things get actually done/build, and not collect dust in a desk drawer in some nasa office

competition is the key to many great achievements, there is really no denying that.


what i wanted to say is, that i'm not against igniting the fascination of people for space exploration...i just think the design of the enterprise is an idiotic startingpoint to do that.
It is completely unpractical. design something genuine that fits the purpose perfectly and i'm all aboard...but this idea is just disneyland in space!
Go pro or go home
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,194
# 55
12-28-2012, 09:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
The ship as proposed by the author is over 3000 feet long, 3 times the length of the fictional Enterprise. As a space station that might be considered practical, but as an actual ship it's overkill of galactic proportions.
It's an impractical design, it's simply too big for anything we would ever need it for for centuries, while consuming the resources that could build a dozen aircraft carriers and a thousand aircraft.
The ship is scaled the way it is because it needs room for a large enough gravity wheel that can generate 1g gravity without spinning fast enough to cause motion sickness. And it would have room for cargo including probes, satellites, mining equipment, and everything necessary to study the solar system.

The Department of Defense got around $552 billion this year. I think they'll be okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
The ship won't build itself, we would have to establish a permanent manned assembly area in space to house the construction crew, it would take hundreds of people living full time in space to assemble this thing if we wanted it done in decades rather than centuries, that would require the construction of an enormous habitat and shipyard that would also need to be supplied and maintained, think how much that would cost.
Again, a lot of the work could be done via robots operated from Earth. While some people would still have to work in space, funding for that could come from private agencies or maybe even other governments who want to join the project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
There are other considerations, you're involving humans, accidents will happen, the amount of space junk from lost tools and misplaced materials that would present a hazard to satellites and future launches would be considerable, insurance costs for people working in a hazardous environment would be astronomical and certainly not least, the ramifications of the environmental damage caused by multiple thousands of rocket launches just to get materials in orbit alone would be enough to forbid such a project.
Accidents happen all the time, on the ground as well as in space. If we avoid progress just because we're afraid something could go wrong, we'll never get anything accomplished.

The ship should be able to help clear out space debris, using its laser and other technology aboard. If said technology works, I imagine smaller vessels and even Earth-based stations should be able to do the same.

Environmental damage is worth considering. However, keep in mind that technology is advancing exponentially, and new stuff is popping up all the time. The rockets may become less damaging thanks to more efficient fuel and better design, and SSTO craft like the Skylon (only larger) may end up replacing a number of those rockets by the time construction begins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
As I said before it's putting the cart well ahead of the horse, we would have to already have mining and manufacturing operations in space for such an endeavor to be realistic, building it from the Earth would be implausible.
Guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that.
Please fix the Foundry lag!
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,875
# 56
12-29-2012, 12:29 AM
You're just not getting it, this isn't Star Trek where ships have an infinite power supply and resources can be obtained out of thin air, this thing is huge, more than a half a mile long, it will take a hell of a lot of reaction mass just to move the thing in the length of a football field let alone interplanetary distances, that's a lot of hydrogen or argon or nitrogen or whatever the ion engine will use as reaction mass, those gasses don't come for free, and we're going have this thing doing small payload operations like delivering 4 men and a lander to Mars or replacing a satellite? That's like leasing an ocean liner to deliver a pizza.
It will just not be cost effective, ever, no one will ever want to make use of it because it will simply be too insanely expensive to use.
Oh ya we really need that. There waits the Enterprise, pride of humanity, stuck in the parking lot because nobody can afford the gas.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,194
# 57
12-29-2012, 02:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
You're just not getting it, this isn't Star Trek where ships have an infinite power supply and resources can be obtained out of thin air, this thing is huge, more than a half a mile long, it will take a hell of a lot of reaction mass just to move the thing in the length of a football field let alone interplanetary distances, that's a lot of hydrogen or argon or nitrogen or whatever the ion engine will use as reaction mass, those gasses don't come for free

It will just not be cost effective, ever, no one will ever want to make use of it because it will simply be too insanely expensive to use.
Oh ya we really need that. There waits the Enterprise, pride of humanity, stuck in the parking lot because nobody can afford the gas.
Fuel is discussed on the Propellant page.

The ship requires around 55 million pounds of propellant to fill its fuel tanks, plus an additional 55 million for each of the three fuel depots that will be deployed in stategic locations throughout the solar system. That's 220 million pounds overall; about the same as the fuel consumed by forty Saturn V rockets. Some potential propellants include Xenon, Argon, and Hydrogen. Let's examine each in turn.

Xenon is used by most ion engines today, and works very effectively. However, it costs $2,273 per pound. Multiply that by 220 million, and you get a final cost of $500.06 billion. As effective as the gas might be, half a trillion dollars for fuel is a bit too much.

Argon only costs $18 per pound. That's $3.96 billion - much more manageable. And it works almost as well as xenon.

Hydrogen is the cheapest of the three, and can even be obtained from mining Mars or the moon. The big downside is that hydrogen is very combustible, and the last thing we need is a Hindenburg disaster in space.

I think Argon is the best choice here. It's relatively cheap, and it would do its job well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
and we're going have this thing doing small payload operations like delivering 4 men and a lander to Mars or replacing a satellite? That's like leasing an ocean liner to deliver a pizza.
It would be doing a lot more than that. The ship would accomplish tons of feats including (but not limited to):
  • Bringing people to Mars, Venus, asteroids, and the Jovian system (Jupiter and moons) for the first time
  • Building long-term scientific bases on Mars and the moon
  • Launching hundreds of probes to explore each world, including hydrobots to explore the oceans of Europa
  • Possibly jump-starting mining industry on the moon, Mars, and asteroids
  • Reigniting the space program
  • Possibly diverting asteroids that threaten Earth
  • Provide boost to tourism industry whenever the ship is in Earth orbit
  • Has all the capabilities of a space station
  • Construction and operation would provide new jobs and work
Please fix the Foundry lag!
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,875
# 58
12-29-2012, 08:57 PM
Ok, I'm sorry but I just have to laugh at this now. Tell me how these millions of pounds of fuel are going to get to these depots, where are these depots going to come from and how are they going to get there?
Even if we could build the thing, even if it wouldn't tear itself apart under it's own power, we're going to put all of our eggs in one basket for all these programs and hope that everything goes ok, praying that there are no accidents, no breakdowns that will ruin multimillion dollar experiments and leave colonists and miners and tourists marooned to die a lingering death because instead of building a fleet of smaller capable ships, we built this great lumbering Juggernaut that will take decades to replace.
Talking about depots placed around leads to the obvious conclusion that we will need a fleet of ships to support this thing, if we are going to have to build a fleet of ships anyway, then we really don't need this one.
As much as I am a science fiction fan, I'm too rooted in reality, what you are so fervently supporting is pure fantasy.
Thankfully I can at least rest assured that our leaders, for all their flaws are not complete lunatics, this idea will never leave the drawing board, or if it does, it will be drastically scaled down to something that isn't completely insane.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,194
# 59
12-30-2012, 09:29 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
Ok, I'm sorry but I just have to laugh at this now. Tell me how these millions of pounds of fuel are going to get to these depots, where are these depots going to come from and how are they going to get there?
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
Talking about depots placed around leads to the obvious conclusion that we will need a fleet of ships to support this thing, if we are going to have to build a fleet of ships anyway, then we really don't need this one.
The ship will drop them off as it travels. It's got more than enough cargo space.

We might need some SSTOs to help build and maintain the ship when it's in Earth orbit, but nothing interplanetary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
Even if we could build the thing, even if it wouldn't tear itself apart under it's own power, we're going to put all of our eggs in one basket for all these programs and hope that everything goes ok, praying that there are no accidents, no breakdowns that will ruin multimillion dollar experiments and leave colonists and miners and tourists marooned to die a lingering death because instead of building a fleet of smaller capable ships, we built this great lumbering Juggernaut that will take decades to replace.
Triple redundancy is a main theme in the proposed design. So even if something does go wrong, there are at least two backup plans in place. That's why we have a triple-layered hull, three nuclear reactors, three ion engines, and so on.

In the unlikely event of an emergency where the ship loses all three ion engines, it can use its rockets and thrusters to return to Earth. This may take some time, depending on how far the ship is from Earth at the time, but the ship is built for self-sufficiency. There should be more than enough supplies on board to sustain the crew.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxvitor View Post
As much as I am a science fiction fan, I'm too rooted in reality, what you are so fervently supporting is pure fantasy.
Thankfully I can at least rest assured that our leaders, for all their flaws are not complete lunatics, this idea will never leave the drawing board, or if it does, it will be drastically scaled down to something that isn't completely insane.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."


-- Arthur C. Clarke

The ship proposed on BTE is a concept. It has some ideas for how such an interplanetary vessel might be built, and encourages an inspirational design. The real ship, if it ever gets built, will inevitably be much different than the one proposed. And that's not a bad thing.
Please fix the Foundry lag!

Last edited by psycoticvulcan; 12-30-2012 at 05:34 PM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,657
# 60
12-30-2012, 09:41 AM
I give you luck,you need 22000 more signitures, onr of the 2000 is mine!


Proof that we ALL being MINDCONTROLLED!!! (Possibly 1984 style) Click here to find out more!
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:07 AM.