Over at gCaptain, we get a glimpse at the construction process for this gorgeous aircraft carrier, called the Gerald R. Ford. As you can see in the video below, it's assembled from large pieces. This is how we will probably build spaceships in a century — except they'll be in orbit.
Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industry
The upper bow completes the ship’s flight deck and extends the overall length of the carrier to its full size, which measures 1,106 feet.
“Placement of the upper bow gives our entire shipbuilding team a great sense of accomplishment,” said Rolf Bartschi, NNS’ vice president, CVN 78 carrier construction. “We have now structurally erected the flight deck to its full length.”
The 787 metric ton upper bow, which is made up of 19 steel sections, was lifted into place on April 9th using NNS’s 1,050-metric ton gantry crane, one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
In this incredible video, you can see the bow being fitted onto the ship. This is engineering at its finest.
Now imagine the shipbuilders of tomorrow, assembling vast parts of starcraft in orbit, and slowly locking them into place. We've already seen such maneuvers when the Space Shuttles delivered new sections on the International Space Station. This would just be much bigger. And the parts would probably be built in space, so as to save money on the rocket fuel required to send them out of our gravity well.