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Old August 16 2012, 06:46 PM   #45
Trekker4747's Avatar
Location: Kansas City
Re: Cause and Effect

Photoman15 wrote: View Post
Any depressurization could move the Enterprise. It weighs NOTHING in space.
It still has mass, mass that must be moved. In order to move a greater amount of mass is needed, or something that expel a greater amount of mass or force. And a room full of air just isn't, I believe, going to have enough mass or force to move the ship. The Enterprise is still a 5 million ton hunk of mass and it's going to take that much mass (or a small amount of mass with a large amount of acceleration) to move it.

It might "weigh nothing" in space but that doesn't mean that Data could have gotten out of the ship and simply pushed it out of the way, he'd still need to push it with enough force to overcome the Enterprise's mass.

So I pulled out the blueprints and took measurements of the Enterprise main shuttle bay.

I ignored the elliptical shape of the room and well as the approach area made by the door vestibule. So I simply measured the widest points of the length and width of the room. Again ignoring that the inside of the room has outcroppings and structural obstructions.

At the wides point the shuttlebay on it's lowest deck (where the door is, not counting the "hangar" below the shuttlebay) is 17cm by 11cm which in the scale of the blueprints is 425 feet by 275 feet. The shuttlebay is two decks high, while the upper area is likely slightly smaller we'll ignore that.

I'm going to assume a standard "deck height" of 10 feet (the ship's height by it's number of decks mostly supports this) so that'd given everything I've fudged each level of the shuttlebay is 425ft x 275ft x 10ft. Or 1.17 million cubic feet. Times two for 2.34 million cubic feet of space inside the main shuttlebay. And, again, that's likely on the high-end given the number fudging I've done.

So 2.34 million cubic feet of space times 75 pounds of air per cubic foot gets us to 175 million pounds of air, or 87,750 tons of air. So we would need about 57 shuttlebays worth of air in that space to have enough force to just to overcome the mass of the ship and maybe nudge it out of the way.

(Incidentally, the episode suggests the air in the shuttlebay was enough to move the bulk of the ship out of the way but not enough to toss some shuttlecraft out the door. But we can probably assume the shuttlecraft had magnetic or tractor "tiedowns" in place to prevent this.)
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