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Old March 13 2013, 04:34 PM   #114
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Earth ship Valiant

Errata:

" on the Canopius planet"
...Perhaps meaning "on the subject of the Canopus planet"? While sitting on the lawn of a suburb abode in Las Vegas?

It's kinda obvious at this point but still worth stating, Niven's premise there in TAS could begin to explain how Star Trek's future history has humanity being so much more advanced in terms of spaceflight than we are, just across the board. Once studied and replicated, one piece of magical technology is going to have ramifications on all sorts of fields, that I'd expect to be compounded to cause great leaps in development.
Then again, even more rapid progress could be expected if mankind's early discovery of antigravity were because antigravity is easy to discover in the Trek universe. Applications, variations and improvements would flow more steadily than from reverse-engineering something humans just plain can't understand.

Gravity control seems to be dirt cheap and incredibly reliable and durable throughout the Trek universe. Many a species has failed to discover teleportation, and some struggle with warp drive, but spaceflight in general would become much simpler and its ubiquitous nature perhaps more understandable if "gravity drives" were as simple as lightbulbs, once one discovers the underlying principle.

Accepting the year as 2269, this places his birth about 2019, and the Eugenics War as having taken place in the mid-21st century.
...But adding the "Khan factor" that somehow makes almost 300 years be "two centuries" in both "Space Seed" and ST2 brings the wars back to the 1990s. Or one of those wars, at any rate - the plural there is intriguing enough.

It's interesting to note that Dr. Keniclius was on Earth when the first Human-Kzinti war occurred.
On the other hand, evidently the first Doctor left Earth around the same time as Khan, since both were quoted as having been out of the loop for 200 years.

We're clearly talking about a leeway of a couple of decades either way whenever we talk "200 years ago", and a leeway of at least one decade with "250 years", or "150 years" as with Cochrane. What we want to do with that slack is up to us...

For example,

In WNMHGB Kirk first says in his log the Valiant went missing over two centuries ago and then later in another log entry he says nearly two centuries ago.
The second entry actually states that the recorder marker was ejected 200 centuries ago, thus not contradicting the date when the ship disappeared from Earth's radar screens or whatnot. We might choose to think that the ship was launched and immediately lost 202 years prior to the episode - Kirk would add the "over" to make the "impossible" thing sound even more impressive. In comparison, the recorder marker might have been deployed just 171 years prior, as "200" is even less specific than "over 200".

That way, the propulsion technology of the Valiant would not be all that radical, as it would have three decades to compensate for the vast distance in addition to the help from the magnetic storm. Instead, the communications technology would be primitive, resulting in "disappearance" at an early stage, perhaps long before anything actually went wrong with the ship.

If they didn't have FTL impulse engines, how would the Enterprise successfully evade the Doomsday Machine in "The Doomsday Machine"
This isn't due to the hero ship being fast, but to the monster being slow. Major emphasis is placed on Kirk's current vessel being reduced to limping at a fraction of the normal speed of a starship, but this is sort of irrelevant because we can't make actual speed comparisons anyway. The monster has supposedly destroyed several star systems in a row within less than a year, making it FTL in roughly the same category as starships - but there is no actual sign of the monster going FTL during its fight with the starships, e.g. when it supposedly heads for the next system.

Nothing wrong with being slow at sublight even though fast at warp. This was explicitly true of Picard's starship in "Relics": the old Jenolan had better impulse, but clearly not better warp.

Timo Saloniemi
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