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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old October 11 2013, 02:35 PM   #1
Lt.Juliet
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How long is a ship used?

Hi there,

i was always wondering how long the Star Fleet would use its vessels?
How long would a ship like the Enterprise-D been used if not destroyed?

Is there a list with all ships and there "lifespan"?

Last edited by Lt.Juliet; October 11 2013 at 02:37 PM. Reason: typo
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Old October 11 2013, 03:50 PM   #2
bigboojeg
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Re: How long is a ship used?

It varies. Some ships like the Miranda class are upgradable (used indefinitely) while others last for only 5 or so years.
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Old October 11 2013, 04:01 PM   #3
Lt.Juliet
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Re: How long is a ship used?

Thanks for your answer

On what would this depend (In-Universe)? Why would I even think of building a ship for only 5 years?
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Old October 11 2013, 04:23 PM   #4
Saturn0660
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Re: How long is a ship used?

Well the TNG tech manual talks about the Galaxy Class being built to last 100 years.
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Old October 11 2013, 05:51 PM   #5
Nob Akimoto
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Re: How long is a ship used?

The plan was for the Galaxy class to have a projected lifespan of 100 years, with major swap outs to core systems (computer cores, power systems, warp nacelles) every 20 years, while internal modules were upgraded/replaced as needed and available.

We know during the TNG run the Enterprise received everything from shield, phaser array and warp core replacement.
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Old October 11 2013, 06:54 PM   #6
F. King Daniel
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Re: How long is a ship used?

It's very, VERY inconsistent. The TOS/classic movie Enterprise was due to be retired after 20 years (STIII). Enterprise NX-01 after a mere ten (ENT: TATV).

Then we get ships like the Hathaway, which is still spaceworthy and being used for training exercises after 80 years. We saw a heavily damaged NX-01 last 100+ years in an alternate timeline in "E2"

The Klingon D7/K'tinga design has been used for at least 225 years (first appearance: ENT: "Unexpected" in 2151, seen throughout TOS, TNG and DS9) and the Bird of Prey for almost as long. Although I don't know how long each individual ship is supposed to last. Their rusty, worn out appearance suggests they're very old.
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Old October 11 2013, 06:55 PM   #7
galad2003
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Re: How long is a ship used?

The USS Enterprise (The aircraft) was in service for 50 years if that gives you a real life reference point.
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Old October 11 2013, 07:06 PM   #8
Nob Akimoto
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Re: How long is a ship used?

I'd imagine space faring species that have been out there a long time tend to use ship designs for a long, long time, especially if the level of technology had been somewhat stagnant. Vulcans, Andorians, Klingons, were all very long interstellar species before humanity, so their designs probably have a lot more longevity. (You wouldn't be surprised to see a D'kyr wandering around in the 24th century, for example)
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Old October 11 2013, 07:36 PM   #9
MacLeod
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Re: How long is a ship used?

Hard to say from onscreen evidence.

For example some background Material says the 1701 was launched in 2245 with planed reteriment circa 2285 (TSFS).

I guess it might depend on the class of ship, for example the Miranda might have had a 40 year planned lifespan, whilst the Excelsior might have had an 80 year planned lifespance because of the additional resources needed for it's construction.
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Old October 11 2013, 11:04 PM   #10
bigboojeg
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Re: How long is a ship used?

Shuttles change about every two years right?
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Old October 11 2013, 11:10 PM   #11
F. King Daniel
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Re: How long is a ship used?

Try weeks, on the USS Voyager at least
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Old October 12 2013, 12:30 AM   #12
Egger
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Re: How long is a ship used?

One thing I often read to determine how long a ship is used in Star Trek seems to be hull life, but I think from somewhere in the TNG-era on that's not a problem anymore.
Consider how often Voyager was heavily damaged and in the next episode (maybe a few weeks later?) she was like new. I tend to think they just can repair almost everything with replicators and similar tech, and with that I mean the possibility to manipulate matter on the atomic level. Imagine bending a metal rod so long until it breaks. As I understand it, that's because of the structure of the metal changing. If Starfleet can manipulate the structure of the materials they use, they could repair anything indefinately.

Although I know that in Voyager it probably was just lazy storywriting. ^^
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Old October 12 2013, 02:39 PM   #13
Forbin
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Re: How long is a ship used?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
It's very, VERY inconsistent. The TOS/classic movie Enterprise was due to be retired after 20 years (STIII).
And yet when that ill-nformed and badly written admiral said that, the E was already actually 40 years old.
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Old October 12 2013, 02:55 PM   #14
Saturn0660
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Re: How long is a ship used?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post

The Klingon D7/K'tinga design has been used for at least 225 years (first appearance: ENT: "Unexpected" in 2151, seen throughout TOS, TNG and DS9) and the Bird of Prey for almost as long. Although I don't know how long each individual ship is supposed to last. Their rusty, worn out appearance suggests they're very old.
Indeed, however "design" doesn't mean "ship".


On other notes. As was said before the USS Enterprise(CVN65) was in service for 50 years. Had there been more Enterprise-class ships I don't think she would have been retired.

Also, the USAF B-52 Stratofortress line is STILL in service after more then 60 years. The plan is to keep them going to at least 2045. Thats 90+ years of active service.
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Old October 12 2013, 04:58 PM   #15
blssdwlf
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Re: How long is a ship used?

Aren't DC-3's also still in service after 70+ years?
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