Petition Asks the US Government to Build the Starship Enterprise

An engineer, representing BuildTheEnterprise.org has launched a petition on US President Ombama's We the People site asking the government to "Assign NASA to do a feasibility study and conceptual design of the Gen1 USS Enterprise interplanetary spaceship."

Specifically the petition reads:
We have within our technological reach the ability to build the 1st generation of the USS Enterprise. It ends up that this ship’s inspiring form is quite functional. This will be Earth’s first gigawatt-class interplanetary spaceship with artificial gravity. The ship can serve as a spaceship, space station, and space port all in one. In total, one thousand crew members & visitors can be on board at once. Few things could collectively inspire people on Earth more than seeing the Enterprise being built in space. And the ship could go on amazing missions, like taking the first humans to Mars while taking along a large load of base-building equipment for constructing the first permanent base there.

Obviously there are problems, some of the technologies haven't been invented yet, however, I think it's a brilliant idea. Since reaching the moon in 1969 US politics has been bogged down in the ideological and the mundane: taxes, subsidies, abortion, education, crime, civil rights, terrorism, infrastructure, health care, etc. Obviously these are important, even vital, issues but none of them are issues that unite the public and spark the imagination.  I think that it would be good for science and for the American collective psyche - even if it doesn't work.

If you're American and would like to read the petition, here's the link.

You can read some of the discussion sparked by the idea at Scientific American, Wired, Universe Today, Popular Science and, of course, BuildtheEnterprise.org.
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