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Old March 9 2010, 01:43 AM   #31
sojourner
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

French pilots surrender the airfield.
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Old March 9 2010, 01:50 AM   #32
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

T'Girl wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
An aircraft flying in a big circle while waiting to land isn't orbiting anything. It's just flying in a big circle.
American pilots circle the airport. British pilots orbit the airport.
Well, what can you expect from people who call an elevator a "lift," an apartment a "flat," a baby carriage a "pram," and women's panties "knickers." And drive on the wrong side of the road.

sojourner wrote: View Post
French pilots surrender the airfield.
Again with the French surrender jokes!
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Old March 9 2010, 03:17 AM   #33
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

It gets even more complicated when we hear about starships orbiting space stations like DS9 and K7. I had thought for a while that these stations might have their own artificial gravity generators specifically designed to allow ships to orbit them the way they would a planet, but if you take "orbit" to be a more generic term it could refer to anything from stationkeeping patterns to a complicated arrangement involving tractor beams and impulse engine counterthrust.

scotpens wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
French pilots surrender the airfield.
Again with the French surrender jokes!
Makes me think of a certain frenchman whose first combat action as Captain of the Enterprise ended with the line: "Commander send the following on all frequencies and language forms: 'We surrender.'"
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Old March 9 2010, 03:51 PM   #34
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

sojourner wrote: View Post
French pilots surrender the airfield.
So wrong. Hilarious, but wrong.
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Old March 9 2010, 03:53 PM   #35
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

T'Girl wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
An aircraft flying in a big circle while waiting to land isn't orbiting anything. It's just flying in a big circle.
American pilots circle the airport. British pilots orbit the airport.
I didn't know that. I figured with all the international rules in place there was a standard "language" for air terminology.
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Old March 9 2010, 11:14 PM   #36
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

T'Girl wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
An aircraft flying in a big circle while waiting to land isn't orbiting anything. It's just flying in a big circle.
American pilots circle the airport. British pilots orbit the airport.
Well, what can you expect from people who call a lift an "elevator," a flat an "apartment", a pram a "carriage" (or even a "buggy!") and trousers "pants". And drive on the wrong side of the road.

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Old March 9 2010, 11:38 PM   #37
scotpens
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

USS Jack Riley wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
An aircraft flying in a big circle while waiting to land isn't orbiting anything. It's just flying in a big circle.
American pilots circle the airport. British pilots orbit the airport.
I didn't know that. I figured with all the international rules in place there was a standard "language" for air terminology.
There is. It's called English.

Reminds me of the old joke about the radio exchange between a Lufthansa pilot and the control tower at Munich airport:

Lufthansa (In German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"

Ground (In English): "If you want an answer you must speak English."

Lufthansa (In English): "I am a German pilot, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"

At that moment, before the controller could answer, the voice of a British Airways pilot said, "Because you lost the bloody war!"
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Old March 10 2010, 06:09 AM   #38
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
It gets even more complicated when we hear about starships orbiting space stations like DS9 and K7.
Depending on the mass of K7/DS9 the Enterprise would slowly, naturlally orbit the station.
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Old March 10 2010, 04:30 PM   #39
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

scotpens wrote: View Post
USS Jack Riley wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
American pilots circle the airport. British pilots orbit the airport.
I didn't know that. I figured with all the international rules in place there was a standard "language" for air terminology.
There is. It's called English.

Reminds me of the old joke about the radio exchange between a Lufthansa pilot and the control tower at Munich airport:

Lufthansa (In German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"

Ground (In English): "If you want an answer you must speak English."

Lufthansa (In English): "I am a German pilot, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"

At that moment, before the controller could answer, the voice of a British Airways pilot said, "Because you lost the bloody war!"
I knew about English being the language, I was more referring to the terminology used. Not trying to be snarky, just short on time.

Had heard that joke before. Classic.
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Old March 10 2010, 06:39 PM   #40
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

T'Girl wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
It gets even more complicated when we hear about starships orbiting space stations like DS9 and K7.
Depending on the mass of K7/DS9 the Enterprise would slowly, naturlally orbit the station.

that would be difficult to set up. Even thruster fire from Enterprise would be sufficient to break orbit.
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Old March 10 2010, 07:46 PM   #41
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

Not easily via normal gravitational forces. Neither item masses much on the planetary scale.
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Old March 10 2010, 09:49 PM   #42
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

...And while they'd pull on each other, I'd think the interaction wouldn't much resemble the Earth-Moon kind of mutual orbiting. Both the ship and the station would be more affected by the distant planetary or stellar body that they were co-orbiting, and would weave their individual orbits around that body in an interesting braid that wouldn't look like a neat and tidy ship-ellipse-around-fixed-station setup even from a close-up, moving reference frame.

However, artificial gravity could certainly be created for this purpose of securing a ship to the vicinity of the station. Doesn't sound like a worthwhile endeavor, though. If one wanted to stabilize a ship via tractor beams or directional gravity, wouldn't one prefer to secure her in place, rather than in an orbit-like track?

I guess the two ships orbit K-7 in "Trials and Tribble-ations" not because they have to, or even because they can - but solely because they don't want to appear too passive to the opposing ship. They don't want to power down or settle in place; they want to remain ready to pounce. Doing that little dance helps them the same way it helps a boxer...

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Old March 10 2010, 10:54 PM   #43
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

Timo wrote: View Post
...And while they'd pull on each other, I'd think the interaction wouldn't much resemble the Earth-Moon kind of mutual orbiting. Both the ship and the station would be more affected by the distant planetary or stellar body that they were co-orbiting, and would weave their individual orbits around that body in an interesting braid that wouldn't look like a neat and tidy ship-ellipse-around-fixed-station setup even from a close-up, moving reference frame.
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Hmmm
A weavy-braidy thing IS what the Earth_Moon system does. Well actually, it's more of a helical, weavy-braidy thing, since the Sun is moving as well...
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Old March 10 2010, 11:43 PM   #44
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

For anyone that wants a better understanding of orbits and orbiting, I suggest this simulator: http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/. You'll find that orbits aren't intutive.

Like I said before, only if you are have the power to decouple from gravity, gravity is going to control every aspect of orbiting. Each orbit--an altitude above the surface where a trajectory encircles the globe--has its own period and thus its own speed by which a spacecraft must travel at to retain that specific orbit. For example, in the ISS's orbit, that speed is around 17,500 mph, no matter what size the spacecraft is, or how much it masses. The Sputnik, the Soyuz, the Space Shuttle, the ISS, and even the fictional USS Enterprise will all travel at this speed in that orbit.

Increasing thrust changes the shape of the orbit. If you are in a circular orbit and fire the engines, you will put the ship into a elliptical orbit. This is usually done at pericenter (periapsis, perigee, ect.) because you get an gravitational boost "falling" from apocenter (apoapsis, apogee, ect.) thus saving fuel. To make an elliptical orbit round, you spin the ship around to face backward and burn the engines at apocenter. The ship is now at a higher orbit, which has a longer period and a slower speed. To get into a lower orbit, the opposite manuevers are performed. Orbital inclination can be changed by reorienting the ship (usually 90 degrees from its flight path (in pitch I believe)) and firing the engines. This does not result in changing the size of the orbit or increasing the speed to any noticable effect.

Science Fiction has mostly ignored orbital mechanics for the sake of the story, and had thus done a great disservice to the Sceince side of the fandom. I'm not going to speculate how Star Trek gets around this issue. I just simply suspend disbelief.

One of the few movies that shows an approach to a planet in a believable manner is Alien.
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Old March 11 2010, 04:24 AM   #45
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

Of course maybe the Enterprise deploys a "standard" series of mini-satellites around the planet as it approaches. These could relay comm and even transporter signals while the big E enters a boring Newtonian orbit
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