The "Star Trek Capital of Canada" is a town of fewer than 2,000 residents located in the Badlands in Alberta. Vulcan has embraced its name by hosting an annual celebration called Spock Days, which has attracted "Star Trek" actors ranging from Leonard Nimoy himself to Walter Koenig and Robert Picardo. Just hosting a big "Trek" party isn't enough. Now Vulcan wants to build a working version of the USS Enterprise.
Vulcan launched its effort on Indiegogo with a modest goal of just $2 billion. The pledge levels escalate rapidly from $10 to have your name included on a monument, to $10,000 for an invitation to the debut of warp drive, to $500 million to have the Vulcan Super-Luminal Research Centre named in your honor. Chip in $1 billion and you'll get your name on the Vulcan Spaceport.
The project's first-stage goal is to develop warp-drive technology. The campaign estimates the total cost of building a fully functional USS Enterprise to be $1.132 trillion and that it will take 40 years to get it done.
With 39 days left to go, the Enterprise project has attracted 48 funders with just over $2,000 in pledges. It's a fixed-funding project, so, barring a miracle such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates jumping in to pledge, those backers will never pay out a penny to the campaign. Nonetheless, it's a noble effort that should remind sci-fi fans of previous attempts to crowdfund famous spacecraft like the Death Star and an X-wing.
If you would like to believe the town of Vulcan is sincerely trying to build a working starship, then stop reading right now. A message posted on the town's tourism website reads "The Indiegogo campaign currently running to help Vulcan build the U.S.S Enterprise is a marketing campaign to advertise the Canadian Badlands region of Alberta and feature Vulcan." It asks people to not send money, and it notes that all Indiegogo donations will be returned to the funders. Oh well. We can all still dream, right?