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Old May 11 2013, 12:40 AM   #18
SchwEnt
Fleet Captain
 
Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

WillsBabe wrote: View Post
I was watching TNG the other day for the first time in years and I had to ask myself if there is any need to helm or navigation. Surely the captain/first officer could just tell the computer where they want to go and when they want to arrive by, and the ship can steer itself.
I was just gonna post this same comment. TNG LCARS era has quite a bit of verbal ordering of the computer. I can easily see the captain's usual order "set course 213 mark 15, speed warp six" being given to the ship's computer for execution. LCARS systems seem advanced enough to handle such an order, although we've never really seen it replace the helmsman.

Plus, there was early TNG Tech Manual info about the ship being advanced enough that one could pilot it with a PADD from any location. If it was that easy/advanced, it would again seem to diminish the role of helmsman--at least in TNG era.
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