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Old February 27 2013, 09:40 PM   #16
Ronald Held
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

There may be something to T'girl's comment about the mission being a lifetime pursue. Without a boost or extreme upgrade, how could they get so far out so fast with a warp 1+ engine?
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Old February 27 2013, 10:07 PM   #17
Timo
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

Warp 1+ might be anything up to warp 5-, really.

The freighters of ENT are limited to warp two, but Starfleet vessels might do much better. We never hear it explicitly said that warp 2 would be a limit. It's just a milestone in the development of Henry Archer's warp five engine - but it may have previously been a milestone in the development of Bobby McDillan's warp four engine, and before that a milestone in the development of Lucienne Ferrero's warp three engine, each of these programs involving a testbed that had to reach warp two before it reached the higher speeds.

Whether warp 5- would be enough for meaningful interstellar exploration, well, probably not - Archer's engine is said to represent a breakthrough in exploration, after all. But warp 5- would get the Valiant out far enough to encounter those exotic phenomena that whisk ships to the other end of the galaxy, without Earth immediately learning the full truth of this incredible journey.

In any case, Earth apparently had warp 9+ engines in the 2060s already. Perhaps they just didn't work well with live crew - but they were good enough to propel an unmanned probe across the galaxy in mere decades, as per VOY "Friendship One".

How far the Valiant actually got probably had absolutely nothing to do with her intended mission or her built-in performance. Kirk was adamant that the Valiant being where she was should have been "impossible".

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Old February 27 2013, 10:09 PM   #18
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

Timo wrote: View Post
But note that the ship "disappeared" almost immediately after launch. This would seem to suggest that Earth had a way to keep in contact with the ship until the disappearance.
Most likely explanation for that: Wormhole.

Meaning: The Valiant, soon after launch, was caught in one, and found itself at the galactic edge.

I mean, obviously it couldn't have gotten that far under its own power, at a maximum speed of Warp 1 or 2. So therefore some extra intervention would be necessary.
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Old February 27 2013, 10:29 PM   #19
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
But note that the ship "disappeared" almost immediately after launch. This would seem to suggest that Earth had a way to keep in contact with the ship until the disappearance.
Most likely explanation for that: Wormhole.
Another explaination could be leaving messages (sometimes for years) at various planets. When other Earth ships arrived, the message was pasted on, a lawyer or some such.

Or using interconnecting ships (like transports) to simply sending mail home.

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Old February 28 2013, 03:15 AM   #20
C.E. Evans
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
But note that the ship "disappeared" almost immediately after launch. This would seem to suggest that Earth had a way to keep in contact with the ship until the disappearance.
Most likely explanation for that: Wormhole.

Meaning: The Valiant, soon after launch, was caught in one, and found itself at the galactic edge.

I mean, obviously it couldn't have gotten that far under its own power, at a maximum speed of Warp 1 or 2. So therefore some extra intervention would be necessary.
Yeah, I do think it was implied that the Valiant shouldn't have been out that far, that something swept it there.
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Old February 28 2013, 03:43 AM   #21
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

If the Earth ship Valiant's impulse engines were anything as fast as the Romulan impulse engines in "Balance of Terror" scaled against that map with a 1 LY wide Neutral Zone, it's very possible for the Valiant make it most of the way to the edge of the galaxy in a fairly short amount of time. Although based on the recorder buoy, it didn't sound like they intended to go out of the galaxy.

Without knowing what Kirk felt was "impossible" it is open to interpretation as to the Valiant's capabilities.
Captain's log, Star date 1312.4. The impossible has happened. From directly ahead, we're picking up a recorded distress signal, the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries. Did another Earth ship once probe out of the galaxy as we intend to do? What happened to it out there? Is this some warning they've left behind?
Was it "impossible" because the ship had been missing for over two centuries?

Or was it "impossible" to think that another Earth ship already probed out of the galaxy before the Enterprise did?
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Old February 28 2013, 06:12 AM   #22
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

First, back to one of my original questions: I just wanted to insert into this thread that Warped9 did a remarkable job with a thread he started in May, 2011.

Second, I would say "the impossible has happened" was Kirk's way of saying that Earth / the Federation assumed the Valiant had been destroyed and that the odds of finding any remains in the vastness of the intergalactic void were virtually nill.

Third, I do not have a problem with a Warp 1-capable vessel making to the galaxy's edge in a relatively short period of time (months or years instead of decades). It all depends on how you formulate warp velocity relative to the speed of light. If you use Cochrane's Formula from "Star Trek Maps", which assumes environmental factors affect that velocity, just as trade winds and ocean currents can affect modern aircraft and ships, then it is entirely possible even a low-warp starship, given the right course, could make it there much more quickly than if a faster starship took a different route. ("Maps" also suggested "slingshot effect" dangers from doing this as well.)

Where I break with "Maps" is the cause of this particular interstellar trade wind. "Maps" ties "Cochrane's Variable" to mass and gravity. I would tie it to subspace's relationship to dark matter and dark energy (TNG's "In Theory"). I assumed that the Valiant followed a dangerous trail of dark matter and/or dark energy to beyond Delta Vega, enjoying the remarkable velocity. But then the dark energy manifest itself as a magnetic storm they were unprepared to deal with, and the wild ride became too much for them to handle.
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Old February 28 2013, 06:14 AM   #23
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

I'm loving this thread.
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Old February 28 2013, 08:08 PM   #24
Ronald Held
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

I find it difficult to believe the ship could travel at low warp speeds for centuries without refueling and heavy maintenance much less going that far out with some assistance.
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Old February 28 2013, 09:11 PM   #25
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries ... another Earth ship
From that we don't get how long it was between the time the Valiant left Earth, until the time it "disappeared." Couldn't have been too many years, but still maybe not immediately after departure.

Nor do we get any sense of how long it was between the time of the Valiant's disappearence, and when the Valiant arrived at the energy barrier.

Could have been decades.

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Old February 28 2013, 09:25 PM   #26
Timo
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

From that we don't get how long it was between the time the Valiant left Earth, until the time it "disappeared." Couldn't have been too many years, but still maybe not immediately after departure.
...It's only later, when we learn that the episode must have been taking place in the 2260s, that it becomes necessary to assume that the Earth-> disappearance must indeed have been very short, at most two years by modern reckoning.

At the time the pilot was being written, the writers probably were thinking the action was taking place at least three centuries after mankind reached the stars. (Okay, possibly. Or possibly even probably.)

Nor do we get any sense of how long it was between the time of the Valiant's disappearence, and when the Valiant arrived at the energy barrier.
I wouldn't word it quite that strongly. Spock does say the recorder marker was launched "200 years ago", to complement Kirk's "missing for over two centuries". So "decades" is possible, but "less than 50 years" would really be an upper end here.

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Old February 28 2013, 10:06 PM   #27
Wingsley
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

I'd like to propose a possible Valiant design concept, loosely based on Warped9's Valiant artwork from May, 2011 which I linked to upthread. My concept is similar in shape, but significantly different in execution.

My basis for a Valiant ring-ship is that the rings are not part of the propulsion system. Faster-than-light propulsion is accomplished by nacelles, similar in design to those of Cochrane's Phoenix, but larger. These nacelles are mounted outboard on the rings. These are not the only pods mounted on the rings. There are other, removable, interchangeable "mission pods" that can also be mounted on these rings. Think of this pod-mounting system as being vaguely similar to Franz Joseph Schnaubelt's container-pods being mounted under a Ptolemy-class warptug. (Only these mission pods are much smaller.) It is possible that some specially-designed mission pods serve as detachable short-range spacecraft that can make planetfall if necessary, like a big, early shuttlepod.)

Much of the design philosophy of later-generation Earth and Federation starships is based on starship classes, with different classes presumably designed or sized for different tasks. The Valiant, being a first-generation FTL starship, reflects a more generic, utilitarian design ethos. It is a "star ship class" vessel. That is to say, there are no cruisers or tugs or science vessels or hospital ships. This is all Earth of the late 21st century could muster; a general-purpose modular FTL spacecraft that could swap out ring pods for mission-specific applications. (Not unlike the Eagles of SPACE: 1999)

The ring design facilitated this pod-swapping feature, making these early starships easier to adapt to mission-specific applications and also to swap out components for maintenance and repairs. (If a mission pod is worn out, it can be removed and recycled; if a pod is jettisoned or otherwise destroyed, is can be replaced, etc.) Even the central "nose cone" structure would be modular, with a forward "command module" and also a mid-section "service module" and an aft "engineering module"; all of which can be removed, serviced and replaced.
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Old March 1 2013, 01:06 AM   #28
Wingsley
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

Here is another link to Warped9's wonderful Valiant and Bonaventure artwork.

I have to add that I forgot how far back he had been working on this; the thread linked above is from July 2009.
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Old March 2 2013, 04:24 AM   #29
blssdwlf
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

Timo wrote: View Post
From that we don't get how long it was between the time the Valiant left Earth, until the time it "disappeared." Couldn't have been too many years, but still maybe not immediately after departure.
...It's only later, when we learn that the episode must have been taking place in the 2260s, that it becomes necessary to assume that the Earth-> disappearance must indeed have been very short, at most two years by modern reckoning.
If Valiant left after 2018 (according to "Space Seed" space travel stopped requiring sleeper ships after 2018) then that would be a 242 year span till 2260. Valiant could've been flying around for a few decades before being lost 200 years...

And since TOS' suggests impulse can reach FTL speeds so Valiant could've been FTL-capable without warp drive and it wouldn't contradict TNG's Cochrane's warp flight in "First Contact" in 2065. But other timeline events are different between series/continuities which could suggest WNMHGB might have happened differently (or not at all) in TNG-verse, IMHO.
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Old March 2 2013, 06:25 AM   #30
C.E. Evans
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Re: Earth ship Valiant

I always just took the middle-of-the-road approach--that the Valiant was launched sometime during or a little while after the 2060s, vanished a bit later, and her fate remained a mystery until the Enterprise discovered her log buoy in "Where No Man..."
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