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Old March 23 2013, 03:49 AM   #23
Warped9
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Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
As long as you are trying to figure out something Jefferies might have bought into-- reflecting his design cues, etc -- then feel free to keep your speculations and art in this thread, Warped.
What do we know or at least what can we gather from what we've seen of his work from that time?

The DY-100 looks to be a utilitarian design and Jefferies did say (I'm sure I read it somewhere) it was meant to be some sort of freighter type craft that had been converted into a sleeper ship. From that it's possible to envision an actual sleeper ship was something more sophisticated and Khan and his followers might have simply adapted what they could get hold of for their purposes. If you really think about this it would entail a lot of effort to convert a cargo vehicle into one intended to carry about 70-80 humans in stasis on a decades and perhaps centuries long voyage. Since it was said that sleeper ships were meant solely for interplanetary voyages that would last only months then Khan and his group should have know it was a long shot for them to survive decades to centuries. Maybe it was simply easier to steal a cargo ship than an actual interplanetary transport designed for human transport. And, no, I haven't read any of the Khan novels.

From what we can see of the Botany Bay the DY-100 it looks like cargo modules are supposed to fit all around the central section and yet at least a couple are missing. Yeah, it looks cooler that way, but one could argue Khan and company perhaps had to make a hasty escape before the ship was completely fitted out. The fact that the ship looks like it has a sail or conning tower much like a submarine could well be coincidental as that part of the ship might be mostly airlocks and/or assorted radar systems or whatever.

There is one other interesting thing, too. When Kirk and his landing party board the Botany Bay they find a gravity environment in place. Yeah, sure, they couldn't afford to show a zero-g environment, but it means the Enterprise crew have either advanced magnetic boots that look just like regular service boots or there actually was at least a minimal artificial gravity environment aboard the Botany Bay that kicked in when the presence of the Enterprise was detected. And since the Enterprise crew aren't showing much care in how they move aboard I think it argues that Earth science in Trek's 1990s had somehow developed at least a minimal form of artificial gravity.

If you have artificial gravity and can refine it over the years then it could also help in terms of better acceleration for your spacecraft because you won't have to limit yourself to only one-g accelerations and decelerations (for the crew's benefit). This in tandem with early yet advancing inertial systems and you're well on your way to developing better interstellar starships.

The 1950s and '60s were indeed an optimistic time in many respects if they could speculate having a vehicle like the DY-100 within the next thirty years or so. In the real world there is certainly nothing close to that. Fortunately we're not completely limited solely to the real world in Star Trek's universe.

In 2018 we get a more advanced propulsion system that makes sleeper ships obsolete practically overnight at least for interplanetary travel. Impulse? well even a chemical rocket is actually a form of impulse engine, but obviously we're talking about something far more powerful and comparatively more compact than a chemical rocket motor. Yet a sleeper ship could still have a use if someone wants to gamble on an interstellar voyage given you still don't have a FTL drive. A fast relativistic engine system could be of value because the time dilation effect would mean established stasis systems still only have to keep the crews alive for only months rather than years. This could work to get to the nearest star systems. This is also where the question of where Zafram Cochrane really comes from kicks in.

If a ship was sent to Alpha Centauri and a colony begun there then Cochrane could be either one of the early explorer/settlers or one of the first born there. Later developing a fantastic advancement such as a superluminal drive and he could well be remembered as Zefram Cochrane of Alpha Centauri.

Also we don't really know if Cochrane simply developed the mathematics and formula for achieving a working space warp or if he built the first working prototype founded on work that came before him. The latter would seem most likely because like in the real world a lot of theoretical science goes into an idea for years or decades before someone finds a way to actually make it work when the level of science and technology makes it possible. It's just not plausible that Cochrane did it all from scratch all by himself. It makes more sense that a lot of theoretical work had been done already before Cochrane takes a shot at it. But that part of the story isn't really relevant to my goal of designing an early galactic survey cruiser. What is relevant is that Cochrane's space warp comes online sometime in the mid 21st century, sometime in the 2060s-2070s I think. So for about forty years we're getting around with ships that aren't FTL but they get us to the nearby star systems with relative ease. Exploration beyond the solar system could have gotten started.

This leads us to the Valiant. Could the Valiant have been one of those early pre FTL exploration ships that later found itself refitted into one of the first space warp ships and rather grandiosely re-classed as a "galactic survey cruiser?" Or was it designed as a space warp craft from the onset?

The earliest FTL ship in Star Trek we get a glimpse of is the ringship on the refit Enterprise's recreation room wall. Oh, look, it ain't got no familiar warp nacelles! That doesn't mean there weren't any in the ringship's era, but it evidently became a historically significant vessel and possibly representative of the best science of the its time. And while the central section is certainly more elaborate than a DY-100's it still retains that somewhat cylindrical shape overall encircled by those massive rings...or space warp coils.

A small side note here. After being seen in TMP in 1979 the ringship was believed by many to have been some form of early interstellar starliner despite the fact that Jefferies initially designed it as an early exploration type craft for a possible series idea of Roddenberry's but which never got off the ground. To my eyes unless the thing is supposed to be truly massive it doesn't look like it could be much of a passenger liner. Indeed unless you've got a well established number of developed colonies going as well as other exotic ports of call then an interstellar starliner likely isn't of much use. No it makes more sense the ringship Enterprise was more likely an early exploratory ship.

In the early days of FTL starflight a number of concepts might have been tried to find the optimal configuration. There could well have been some promising approaches that ultimately didn't pay off and/or were surpassed by better and/or more practical solutions. And who is to say those massive rings weren't eventually made ever smaller until they could fit within the confines of a familiar nacelle. Maybe that's where the TAS Bonaventure comes in. Scotty says it was the first ship with warp drive, but maybe what he really meant was it was the first ship with the now familiar configuration of warp drive seen throughout the Federation and Starfleet.

This all leads to my conception of the Valiant. Something between the DY-100 from some 70-80 years previously and the ringship that will come about 30-50 some years later. Basically a somewhat cylindrical central section (with add-ons) encircled by large rings somewhere about midship and a comparatively hefty looking impulse drive extending back.The ship would have artificial gravity simply because the DY-100 appears to have had it as well several decades earlier. I think the ship should be capable of fast relativistic travel in the event of a failure of the space warp system.

What can it look like? Well, I'll get back to sketching it out first...
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Last edited by Warped9; March 23 2013 at 06:26 AM.
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