Had a thought the other day which I felt to be a good opportunity to revive this interesting thread.
Obviously the three extending pylons of Space Station K-7 (or the one from "The Ultimate Computer", TOS-R ignored) do not serve a useful purpose such as providing artificial gravity by rotation of the station.
Another subject I talked about a longer time ago were the rectangular bottom markings
on the Enterprise's
engineering hull many assume to be cargo hatches.
I'll now go one step further and theorize that these are actually cargo containers
. There are some episodes where the Enterprise
has a rendezvous with one of her sister ships to transfer cargo.
Trying to imagine a quick exchange I somehow think a basic swap of cargo containers between both ships would do the job.
Which, of course, brings us to the question where these containers were picked up in the first place. Considering the spherical nature of a starship's engineering hull bottom, the extending pylons of a K-7 type space station
could actually hold clusters of such containers.
I haven't checked out, yet, how this would impact the actual dimensions of the K-7 type space station but it might be a hint.
The cargo container idea would also help to rationalize the difference in color of the "cargo hatch" at the bottom of the 11-footer Enterprise
and the smaller model
- these were just differently colored cargo containers...