There are those who look up at the stars and decide to become astronomers, while others want to be astronauts. Then there are those who want to build the Starship Enterprise.
[More from Mashable: Startup Life: Risking It All to Change Direction [VIDEO]]
That's right, a guy known only as BTE Dan (stands for Build the Enterprise) believes a replica of the iconic Star Trek spacecraft can be built to scale within the next 20 years. He's even started a website -- BuildTheEnterprise.org -- to rally support for the cause.
"This Gen1 Enterprise can go on missions to key points of interest in our solar system, like Mars and Venus," Dan writes. "It will be the biggest ship of any kind ever built by humans, and it will be larger than the tallest building in the world.
[More from Mashable: Behind the Launch: A Promising, Yet Controversial Job Candidate]
"It’s possible to build the Enterprise, and it would be a monumental achievement for us humans who inhabit the planet earth."
TBE Dan's site covers pretty much all the bases, with detailed specs including size (3,150 feet), maximum capacity (1,000 people) and hull design (triple walls at all points). The site also presents a white paper on how the Enterprise could be used to help build bases on Mars and the moon, a process that would involve "laser diggers," a modified gravity wheel and a nuclear reactor.
The Enterprise would be built entirely in space, Dan says, and "will cost no more than $1 trillion spent over twenty years." A lengthy chart shows where that trillion bucks would go. He argues the United States should set aside 0.27% of its GDP each year to fund the project.
It would be easy to dismiss Dan as some Trekkie living in his mother's basement. But you shouldn't. According to his site bio, the man has spent the past 30 years working as a systems engineer and electrical engineer for a Fortune 500 tech company.
So how can you help in his quest to build a real Starship Enterprise?
"It’s by simply doing this," Dan writes. "Tell someone about the ideas on this website. This matters because the only hope for building the 1st generation USS Enterprise will ultimately depend on an enthusiastic core of people who are encouraging the undertaking.
"Enthusiasm for an idea can become contagious."
Do you think it's possible to build an actual Starship Enterprise within 20 years? Let us know in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.