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January 31 2013, 06:50 AM   #26
throwback
Captain

Re: How long does it take to traverse the UFP?

I don't think this question can be answered. In one season alone, say season 6, we have seen the Enterprise-D operating at both ends of the Federation. (According to a map from Insurrection, the territory of the Federation is bordered on the 'west' by the Cardassian Union and on the 'east' by the Klingons/Romulans.)

However, I have issues with the maps seen in Star Trek, for they either underestimate the size of the galaxy or overestimate the amount of territory explored.

* "The Explored Galaxy": This map shows the locations of Alpha Centauri and Sol. Knowing the distance between the two, approximately 4 light years, I learned from this map that the galactic barrier is approximately 20 light years from Earth.

* Starting in "The Emissary", we see a map of the galaxy showing territory explored. (The map is seen to the right of Worf in this image - http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albu...missary098.jpg) The area covered seems more than the 19,000 light years (19% of the MWG) that Wesley said that the Federation had explored by then.

I know from the movie First Contact that the Federation is
 spread out over 8,000 light years.
One of the senses for the word spread is,
 The extent or limit to which something is or can be spread; range.

I found this website, http://www.anycalculator.com/warpcalculator.htm, which lists travel times. I took this measurement above, and use it as one of the variables.

* TOS Warp Scale
** Warp 1 8,000 years to travel from one end to the other
** Warp 2 1,000 ""
** Warp 3 296 ""
** Warp 4 125 ""
** Warp 5 64 ""
** Warp 6 37 "" (the cruising warp speed of the Enterprise)
** Warp 7 23 ""
** Warp 8 16 "" (the emergency warp speed of the Enterprise)

* TNG Warp Scale
** Warp 1 8,000 years to travel from one end to the other
** Warp 2 794 ""
** Warp 3 205 ""
** Warp 4 79 ""
** Warp 5 37 ""
** Warp 6 20 ""
** Warp 7 12 ""
** Warp 8 8 ""
** Warp 9 5 ""
** Warp 9.9 1 "" (the maximum speed available to starships in the 2370s)

Like I said above, I feel it is impossible to gauge travel times for the writers ignored those constraints and had the Enterprise-D operating at both ends of the Federation in one season.

For fun, if the galactic barrier is 20 light years from Earth, the Enterprise operating at warp factor 6 could have reached the barrier in about 34 days.