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Old January 28 2013, 10:53 PM   #45
Robert Comsol
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Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

Regarding the star map from "Balance of Terror" I have to concur with Timo. While it probably shows original TOS quadrants (then, a quadrant was part of a sector) those are inadequately displayed as squares on a two-dimensional map. For all we know the dot representing the Enterprise might be "diving" at warp speed "down" onto the map...(!)

I agree with throwback that there are (too) many references in TOS suggesting the use of nuclear fission (e.g. "Devil in the Dark"). But once you have mastered nuclear fusion power, the (ab)use of nuclear fission will quickly become a thing of the past as nuclear fusion provides several times bigger bangs for the same buck.

There are undoubtedly some, several or many inconsistencies in the tech of early Trek, but one thing was certain from the start, so I have to quote from The Making of Star Trek again:

"The engines are each 504 feet long, 60 feet in diameter, operate via controlled fusion of matter and antimatter, creating the fantastic power required to run the Enterprise and drive it at faster-than-light speeds. ... By way of contrast, the impulse engines can drive the ship only at sub-lightspeeds, and can be continuously operated for about a month before exhausting impulse power fuel. The entire vessel can operate on battery power alone at sub-light speed for about a week, depending on velocity required." (Here is the corresponding Writers Guide)

I'm not sure I'm understanding this correctly, sounds like TMP to me: If I feed the energy from the matter-antimatter "fusion" (there's your "integrator" from "That Which Survives" again) into the impulse engines, that fuel will last me 4 weeks. If I don't it'll last me only one week (and if I pursue a planet killer I'm done in 7 hours?).

Bob
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