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Old June 1 2013, 02:32 PM   #85
Re: New Treknology Into Darkness

It's new to Kirk and NuSpock. It's Trivia Night for SpockPrime, however.
That's an interesting question, actually. Does transwarp beaming work in the era where Spock Prime spent his last moments trying to stop a supernova? Or is it merely a harebrained theory by Spock's old friend, showing promise but only in Spock's personal opinion - something to be tested in a hopeless situation because there's no point not to?

Every spaceship in history has been tiny compared to the Enterprise
...But also equipped with much feebler engines and less efficient power sources.

(Although no, not all spacecraft till now have been atmosphere-capable. Many have been designed for operation in vacuum exclusively, and cannot withstand either takeoff or landing or both. Of these, the Lunar Module of Apollo is a rare crewed example, but several large and complex cargo-hauling spacecraft also exist that can only operate in freefall and utter emptiness.)

and if you look at how much energy it takes to get them up and out of the atmosphere and scale that up to the size of the JJprise and other starships it must be obvious where I'm coming from.
Frankly, I have no idea where you are coming from. This "much energy" can be fairly easily quantified, but it barely registers on the scale of the other, well-confirmed starship achievements. We don't know how much energy warp or teleportation consumes (because obviously they consume nowhere near what today's physics would suggest, so different physics are at play), but whatever the figures, our heroes can ignore them in everyday operations as inconsequential. We do know how much energy it should take to accelerate these starships from planet to planet, or across dialogue-specified distances, and this puts mere puttering out of a Class M planet's gravity well to complete shame.

It's also a matter of thrust. A starship can demonstrably do minimum acceleration, including one gee, for days at an end. There is nothing to stop her from doing that to lift off a planet, except perhaps ground blast damage - but we never hear of any blast associated with starship acceleration, so that point is moot.

According to Star Trek’s canon, Impulse Drives operating all-out at peak efficiency ("full impulse") can achieve 25% of lightspeed, often within a few seconds.
No such thing in canon. "Full impulse" is never either quantified or even indicated to be a speed. It's just a throttle setting - but it can be maintained apparently indefinitely. (Or for a handful of hours in "The Doomsday Machine", for some reason, perhaps having to do with the weird properties of the local subspace environment in that episode.)

Reaching a known speed in seconds is extremely rare in Trek, and generally involves walking-pace movement (say, a few examples from DS9). Reaching an appreciable fraction of lightspeed at impulse is not seen in Trek, although we can derive from the lack of information some limiting conditions for what the ships can or cannot do there.

It should be noted, however, that even this ‘waste’ exhaust would still be dozens of times more powerful than any conventional rocket that exists today.
In what sense? From canon, we have no information that it would be moving in any particular direction; from backstage material, we learn that it can be vectored. So, for takeoff, why not vector it away from the ground?

If that doesn't work, simply put something in front of the exhausts. Such as warp nacelles; it works fine with designs such as the E-B or the Steamrunner.

Timo Saloniemi
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