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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old May 7 2013, 08:12 PM   #61
DavidGutierrez
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Re: Saucer Separation

Timo wrote: View Post
It doesn't resolve the "Brothers" situation at all, but perhaps the best compromise is that the saucer has a "warp sustainer" engine similar to how photon torpedoes work. Fire at warp and they stay at warp, but they can't get to warp by themselves.
Alas, that contradicts "Arsenal of Freedom" where the saucer was launched at impulse for an interstellar journey. LaForge had no excuse not to give an initial warp boost to the saucer if such a boost were the only way for the saucer to enjoy a "Farpoint" type spell of warp speed. If the saucer could accelerate to warp all on its own, though, the maneuver makes sense.

(FWIW, the separation in "Farpoint" also takes place with a sublight starfield in the background - perhaps suggesting that warp separation is flat out impossible and the heroes in fact achieved dead-stop-plus-separation at the end of a high warp run...)

In "Brothers", the heroes specifically struggled to force Data out of warp. Probably they could engineer a situation where this would happen to the saucer despite it having the ability to independently maintain or reach warp. Say, Data would be hard pressed to manually activate any systems (he couldn't leave the bridge, he could merely press buttons and tell the computer to do things within its powers), and the saucer warp drive might be inactive in combined flight mode and require the cooperation of dozens of pairs of hands to get online.

Timo Saloniemi

The discrepancy with "Encounter at Farpoint" has a real-world explanation: based on on-screen evidence during the first several episodes of TNG, the VFX guys and producers clearly wanted TNG's warp effect to mimic TOS's. The warp streak we all know so well wasn't introduced until a few episodes into the series. The Enterprise was clearly meant to be at warp during the separation sequence in "Encounter." Based on this, it is difficult to conclude that the Enterprise was at impulse in "The Arsenal of Freedom."

Second, and I can't remember where I've read this, but I believe the saucer was meant to have a "warp coasting" ability when the separation sequence was first conceived. This would allow the ship to stay in warp for a time before gently reverting to sublight and would reconile the conflicting information presented in "Encounter," "Arsenal," and "Brothers." Picard may have intended that the saucer fall gently out of warp after coasting for a while, not for the saucer to be instantly wrenched from warp. And, this would have allowed the saucer to reach Deneb and flee Minos in those respective episodes.
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Old May 7 2013, 08:16 PM   #62
DavidGutierrez
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Re: Saucer Separation

Tiberius wrote: View Post

which is why Data and Worf's shuttle was launched from the saucer -
Minor nitpick, but on-screen evidence seems to suggest that the shuttle was launched from the stardrive section.
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Old May 7 2013, 08:53 PM   #63
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Re: Saucer Separation

^I've thought the same thing but wasn't sure whether to bring it up.
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Old May 7 2013, 09:03 PM   #64
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Saucer Separation

DavidGutierrez wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post

which is why Data and Worf's shuttle was launched from the saucer -
Minor nitpick, but on-screen evidence seems to suggest that the shuttle was launched from the stardrive section.
It looks to me like the shuttle launches from the primary hull and flies out beside the secondary hull. Note that you can see both secondary hull engines, as opposed to just one of them.

Here's a YouTube video; the shuttle launch begins around 1:35:



Also, consider this dialog [http://www.chakoteya.net/NextGen/175.htm]:

WESLEY: The Borg tractor beam has moved toward the antimatter spread.
GLEASON: They might be picking up engine ionisation from the shuttle
RIKER: Data, cut your engines. Take her in unpowered.
It suggests to me that the shuttle is launched close to the antimatter spread, and ergo from the primary hull.
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Old May 7 2013, 09:08 PM   #65
MacLeod
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Re: Saucer Separation

DeepSpaceWine wrote: View Post
I often wondered why Riker didn't separate the ship in "Final Mission". He acted as if the ship couldn't be in two places at once.

Let's see: Picard's shuttle is missing and there's a highly radioactive barge threatening a world. What does Riker do? Split the ship? No, unthinkable. He proceeds to focus on the barge, towing it through a solar system and asteroid belt, coming within mere seconds of exposing over 1000 people to lethal levels of radiation instead of separating, sending all non-essential personnel and civilians into the saucer to scan for Picard while the stardrive tows the barge (as it had everything they needed for that mission).

That kind of boneheaded stupidity seems like court-martial material. If his timing was off by a few seconds, the entire ship would've been dead or dying from radiation exposure with Data as the lone survivor to testify to Riker's epic moment of stupidity.

The real problem with "Final Mission" is that they totally ignored Newtonian Physics.

If there is no net force on an object, then its velocity is constant. The object is either at rest (if its velocity is equal to zero), or it moves with constant speed in a single direction.

So as soon as the Enterprise had managed to get the barge out of the gravitational pull of the planet, they could have left it to coast to the Sun as for the asteriod field if it crashed into an asteriod so what the danger to the planet was none. They didn't have to tow it through the asteriod field.
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Old May 7 2013, 10:17 PM   #66
C.E. Evans
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Re: Saucer Separation

MacLeod wrote: View Post
DeepSpaceWine wrote: View Post
I often wondered why Riker didn't separate the ship in "Final Mission". He acted as if the ship couldn't be in two places at once.

Let's see: Picard's shuttle is missing and there's a highly radioactive barge threatening a world. What does Riker do? Split the ship? No, unthinkable. He proceeds to focus on the barge, towing it through a solar system and asteroid belt, coming within mere seconds of exposing over 1000 people to lethal levels of radiation instead of separating, sending all non-essential personnel and civilians into the saucer to scan for Picard while the stardrive tows the barge (as it had everything they needed for that mission).

That kind of boneheaded stupidity seems like court-martial material. If his timing was off by a few seconds, the entire ship would've been dead or dying from radiation exposure with Data as the lone survivor to testify to Riker's epic moment of stupidity.

The real problem with "Final Mission" is that they totally ignored Newtonian Physics.

If there is no net force on an object, then its velocity is constant. The object is either at rest (if its velocity is equal to zero), or it moves with constant speed in a single direction.

So as soon as the Enterprise had managed to get the barge out of the gravitational pull of the planet, they could have left it to coast to the Sun as for the asteriod field if it crashed into an asteriod so what the danger to the planet was none. They didn't have to tow it through the asteriod field.
Wasn't it a case that they needed to tow it through the asteroid field because the barge's hull integrity had been earlier compromised and it would otherwise have fallen apart?
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Old May 7 2013, 10:24 PM   #67
Tiberius
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Re: Saucer Separation

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
DeepSpaceWine wrote: View Post
I often wondered why Riker didn't separate the ship in "Final Mission". He acted as if the ship couldn't be in two places at once.

Let's see: Picard's shuttle is missing and there's a highly radioactive barge threatening a world. What does Riker do? Split the ship? No, unthinkable. He proceeds to focus on the barge, towing it through a solar system and asteroid belt, coming within mere seconds of exposing over 1000 people to lethal levels of radiation instead of separating, sending all non-essential personnel and civilians into the saucer to scan for Picard while the stardrive tows the barge (as it had everything they needed for that mission).

That kind of boneheaded stupidity seems like court-martial material. If his timing was off by a few seconds, the entire ship would've been dead or dying from radiation exposure with Data as the lone survivor to testify to Riker's epic moment of stupidity.

The real problem with "Final Mission" is that they totally ignored Newtonian Physics.

If there is no net force on an object, then its velocity is constant. The object is either at rest (if its velocity is equal to zero), or it moves with constant speed in a single direction.

So as soon as the Enterprise had managed to get the barge out of the gravitational pull of the planet, they could have left it to coast to the Sun as for the asteriod field if it crashed into an asteriod so what the danger to the planet was none. They didn't have to tow it through the asteriod field.
Wasn't it a case that they needed to tow it through the asteroid field because the barge's hull integrity had been earlier compromised and it would otherwise have fallen apart?
Or perhaps they needed to make course corrections so the barge wouldn't hit any asteroids.
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Old May 7 2013, 10:27 PM   #68
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Re: Saucer Separation

They still could've moved to a safe distance while the thing coasted to the asteroid field, then jumped back in with the tractor beam limiting their exposure.
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Old May 7 2013, 10:30 PM   #69
MacLeod
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Re: Saucer Separation

What difference would it make if the barge hit an asteriod, it appeared as if the asteriod field was far enough away from the planet that any raditaion resulting from the impact would have any no impact on the planet.
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Old May 7 2013, 11:22 PM   #70
C.E. Evans
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Re: Saucer Separation

R. Star wrote: View Post
They still could've moved to a safe distance while the thing coasted to the asteroid field, then jumped back in with the tractor beam limiting their exposure.
But it would have fallen apart before it reached the asteroid field. The Enterprise's shields were the only thing keeping it together long enough for it to coast on its own into the sun.
MacLeod wrote:
What difference would it make if the barge hit an asteriod, it appeared as if the asteriod field was far enough away from the planet that any raditaion resulting from the impact would have any impact on the planet.
This was really an environmental allegory about the safe disposal of dangerous chemicals. Sending the ship into the nearby sun was the best way to permanently get rid of the barge full of deadly waste without having it blown up and leave an irradiated zone in an inhabited system.
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Old May 8 2013, 03:05 AM   #71
Tiberius
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Re: Saucer Separation

R. Star wrote: View Post
They still could've moved to a safe distance while the thing coasted to the asteroid field, then jumped back in with the tractor beam limiting their exposure.
But that WASN'T IN THE SCRIPT!
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Old May 8 2013, 04:10 AM   #72
FKnight
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Re: Saucer Separation

DavidGutierrez wrote: View Post
The discrepancy with "Encounter at Farpoint" has a real-world explanation: based on on-screen evidence during the first several episodes of TNG, the VFX guys and producers clearly wanted TNG's warp effect to mimic TOS's. The warp streak we all know so well wasn't introduced until a few episodes into the series. The Enterprise was clearly meant to be at warp during the separation sequence in "Encounter." Based on this, it is difficult to conclude that the Enterprise was at impulse in "The Arsenal of Freedom."

Second, and I can't remember where I've read this, but I believe the saucer was meant to have a "warp coasting" ability when the separation sequence was first conceived. This would allow the ship to stay in warp for a time before gently reverting to sublight and would reconile the conflicting information presented in "Encounter," "Arsenal," and "Brothers." Picard may have intended that the saucer fall gently out of warp after coasting for a while, not for the saucer to be instantly wrenched from warp. And, this would have allowed the saucer to reach Deneb and flee Minos in those respective episodes.
LaForge ordered full stop prior to separation, 28 seconds out of Minos and ordered Warp 5 on the stardrive after separation. By all accounts, the ship was not at warp during separation in Arsenal.

Additionally, there's no reason to assume that Starbase 103 was outside of sublight range for the saucer. LaForge was pretty specific as to where and when he wanted the ship stopped during separation prior to ordering Logan to take the saucer there.
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Old May 8 2013, 12:57 PM   #73
Timo
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Re: Saucer Separation

So as soon as the Enterprise had managed to get the barge out of the gravitational pull of the planet, they could have left it to coast to the Sun
But the barge was very heavy, and difficult to tow - and it takes a massive amount of delta-vee to get objects that orbit a sun to fall into said sun.

A little nudge would have sent the barge coasting out of orbit and out of the star system all right. But to guide it to the sun, the Enterprise would have needed to impart a lot of speed change / acceleration on it, and clearly this was not an easy or quickly achievable task.

The big question (after we choose to ignore the question of why go for the sun in the first place) is why they headed for the asteroid belt first. They could have spent the acceleration time struggling to force the barge out of the plane of the ecliptic, which is quite a bit easier than forcing objects into suns; the barge could then have been towed above or below the belt. But this assumes the belt lies nicely on the plane of the ecliptic; perhaps it's spherical, despite looks?

Wasn't it a case that they needed to tow it through the asteroid field because the barge's hull integrity had been earlier compromised and it would otherwise have fallen apart?
Pulling was the thing tearing the barge apart; not pulling would have been better. But the shields of the starship were needed to prevent further damage from asteroid impacts. No technique was mentioned that would have provided additional structural integrity to the barge, and indeed Star Trek in general lacks such a technique AFAIK.

Additionally, there's no reason to assume that Starbase 103 was outside of sublight range for the saucer.
Starbase 103 being within sublight range of Minos is utterly implausible. Minos was an enigmatic unknown, studied by probes only, and it took some time for Starfleet to send a second starship there to see what had happened to the first. Plus, if the starbase were anywhere near, LaForge should have summoned help from there - any runabout would have done in boosting the ability to locate Picard and Crusher and to outwit the killer probes.

SB 103 was very probably the nearest one, but not so close that sublight commuting would have been an option.

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Old May 8 2013, 02:18 PM   #74
MacLeod
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Re: Saucer Separation

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
They still could've moved to a safe distance while the thing coasted to the asteroid field, then jumped back in with the tractor beam limiting their exposure.
But it would have fallen apart before it reached the asteroid field. The Enterprise's shields were the only thing keeping it together long enough for it to coast on its own into the sun.
MacLeod wrote:
What difference would it make if the barge hit an asteriod, it appeared as if the asteriod field was far enough away from the planet that any raditaion resulting from the impact would have any impact on the planet.
This was really an environmental allegory about the safe disposal of dangerous chemicals. Sending the ship into the nearby sun was the best way to permanently get rid of the barge full of deadly waste without having it blown up and leave an irradiated zone in an inhabited system.
Yes but the radiation would have dissapted somewhat, besides as they got closer to the sun background radiation levels would have been rising. Besides all they needed to do was remove the immedite threat, tow the barge out of the gravitatonal pull of the planet. Leave it go on the search and resuce mission, and return later to dispose of the barge.

Besides they didn't need to tow it all the way to the field. Once they got it going, they could have disengaged the tractor beam and reinitialised it closer to the asteriod field.
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Old May 8 2013, 03:27 PM   #75
Timo
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Re: Saucer Separation

That's a lot of besides, and illustrates that Riker's "dilemma" in barge towing was not sufficiently well presented to the audience. It might make sense in certain circumstances, but the circumstances weren't explicated to us - or justified even if explicated.

However, if the speed at which the mission was to be completed was essential, Riker could not disengage the tractor beam at any point. Doing so would mean he wouldn't be able to accelerate the barge until he again engaged, which would mean wasted minutes or hours. In the convoluted setup of the episode, the only way to minimize mission time would be to keep on accelerating until the barge was clear of the asteroids.

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