Warp drive whithin the 23rd century's Sol system was a 'risk'.
Only in a single case (ST:TMP), with untested engines. Kirk had absolutely no qualms about using extreme warp at the very heart of the Sol system in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" or ST:TVH.
In TNG episode "The Battle" how long did Picard say he and the remaining crew of the Stargazer were adrift after abandoning the ship?
Does anybody remember his exact words?
does... Picard said they "limped" for "weeks", which may mean traveling at warp speed or at impulse speed, possibly on malfunctioning engines, but probably does not equate "drifting" without any propulsion whatsoever. And after those weeks of limping, they were "picked up" instead of reaching some safe haven by themselves.
Century means 100 years, but also epochs of time.
True enough. Unfortunately, Kirk had this pointy-eared imp hovering over his shoulder throughout the episode, with an annoying habit of correcting inaccuracies in the use of language, especially when it came to numbers...
I'd rather accept 200+ than attempt to redate the Valiant
. We already have a movie showing that Earth got warp in 2063, and other evidence to show that "Where No Man" might have taken place as late as 2266. It doesn't sound unreasonable that Earth would have launched missions to the ends of the universe right after obtaining this warp drive thing - why hesitate, when it's obvious that warp works, that everybody else has warp, and that any pretense of an organized "space program" would only slow down Earth's necessary expansion into what little space was left?
The interesting thing here is that not only did the Valiant
launch more than 200 years before the episode, she also disappeared
200 years before the episode. Kirk doesn't think the ship went quite that far before disappearing, because he considers it "Impossible!" that any Earth ship would be that far. Nor do records apparently show that the ship would have gone missing anywhere near where she was eventually found.
The episode basically implies, then, that the magnetic storm that took the Valiant
off course took her really far
off course, perhaps propelling her across hundreds of lightyears at high speeds. So, warp propulsion is not dictated by the episode but is a reasonable assumption considering other, later evidence; and warp performance need not match the ship's eventual journey considering evidence of external propulsive influences.