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Old March 12 2013, 07:58 AM   #13
Re: TOS Alphabetical Starship Classifications

Spock usually doesn't provide redundant information
Unless he's working his way through gradually emerging sensor data in real time: "It's small... It's a class Z pleasure vessel... It's the SS Shenanigan, one Foil O'Week commanding... It's got a fuel leak problem." The scene in "Mudd's Women" might well be one of those.

And how can you determine the stardrive / warp capability of any vessel with your scanners if said ship, for example, was running on impulse?
Warp engines seem to have more modes than "running" and "off" in TNG. There's also the "not running but still glowing blue" mode, which might be detectable in most cases. A misunderstanding of how this applies to alien tech would explain Scotty's analysis of the Romulan FTL combatant in "Balance of Terror"...

OTOH, as regards e.g. SS Beagle, her exact identity was known before her stardrive was discussed.

Maybe the alphabetical classification refers to the energy output a certain vessel is capable of. Wouldn't that be the first thing to register on your scanners?
Good idea - but Spock had time to observe the maneuvering of Mudd's ship before obtaining what he called "sensor data" and nailing down the classification. Engine specs would probably be evident from the early observations already, especially since the heroes can determine the engine overload timetable before getting the sensor data.

Timo Saloniemi
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