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Old October 11 2012, 03:04 PM   #10
Re: exterior surface markings of Kirk's Enterprise

It's not an ion pod, it's a running light of the TOS Enterprise! (just another thing they screwed up because they didn't watch or really knew the old series).
If it's a running light, then the original makers of the ship didn't know shit about what they were doing.

Obviously, a white running light has to be located at an extremity of the ship, as any old seahound knows, not in an obscure corner. You don't place white lights in a location that's asymmetric and only visible to starboard, just as you don't place red lights in a location that is visible to both sides.

Since we can completely disregard the idea of this being a running light, it makes good sense that it would be either a sensor or observation dome (similar to the three other lighted domes that supposedly are sensor mounts, two on the saucer and one atop the flight deck doors) - or then an auxiliary craft of sorts, operated from the ship's auxiliary craft facility. To save on hangar pressurization expenses, this baby sails out from a chute on the side of the facility... Usually uncrewed, but sometimes a hapless crew member may be unable to depart before his jumpy CO prematurely ejects the pod to its journey through an ion storm.

not to be confused with the opening shots of the Pike Enterprise where during the fly-bys someone switches off the lights in the observation corridor above the shuttle flight deck
Or with those bow-on shots where the center circle at the extreme bow flashes like a beacon. Apparently, there are reasons to such behavior... Even if they are as prosaic as a lighting system failure.

If the square white hatch were not for unloading and lowering cargo containers to a planet's surface, we'd probably have to cram a specialized "Space Seed" cargo transporter into a section of the ship where there is already limited space because of the TOS corridors.
Or then, as suggested, all cargo traffic takes place through the shuttlebay.

Timo Saloniemi
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