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Old October 21 2009, 04:14 PM   #197
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Location: Spokane, WA, USA
Re: Star Ship Polaris

Venardhi wrote: View Post
I agree, but the interplay with the engines and the central sphere still looks unrefined next to the rest of the ship.
"Unrefined" is probably a good word. I still haven't worked out exactly how the engine housings connect to the main body but I'm confident I'll make it work.

ZStar wrote: View Post
On the aft ring, have you considered replacing the ring arcs with panels that are hinged to either the engine pods or the main disk? In that configuration they could open and close in synch with the sails and their function would be clearly related to the stardrive.
I gave some thought to something similar way back before the sails were added but I think that now it would just be overkill. The ring has a specific purpose in the current design related to inertial control and artificial gravity and is not intended to have anything to do with the stardrive.

Maybe I missed or have forgotten something in previous posts, but why do the sails need to move? On an aircraft you retract the landing gear and flaps in order to reduce aerodynamic drag. In space there is no drag. If the ship can’t engage the stardrive until the sails are open then why not just mount them in the open position and eliminate the added mass and complexity of moving parts? Now if the “physics” of the stardrive require variable position sails during different phases of transition or at different speeds that is a whole different situation.
I was wondering if someone would ask that question. Basically, the reason the sails are movable is because it will make for a cool effect on-screen. If you want an in-universe explanation, I'd either go with the stardrive physics scenario or possibly something specific to Polaris in its original role as a scientific research vessel. Maybe they could get better sensor readings with the sails folded back out of the way or something like that.

One thing we're not going to do--and I think Dennis will back me up on this one--is bog things down with a lot of tech-manual type details the way the later incarnations of Star Trek often did. It's important to have at least a general idea of what things are and how they work, but not to the point where the show needs accredited science advisors or the writer(s) need to double check that an interesting plot point they've come up with doesn't conflict with the intricate inner workings of some device or system on the ship. Starship Polaris, I expect, is going to be a mostly technobabble-free zone.
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