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

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Old November 28 2013, 07:20 PM   #31
Mytran
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

I think that's a given - you couldn't even get out of one unless it was docked with something!

However, we saw Spock's shuttle use the same docking system. Did it also have another exit though?
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Old November 29 2013, 05:07 AM   #32
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
@ Crazy Eddie

No offense, but to me it looks like you're trying to apply 20th Century experience to arrive at 23rd Century conclusions.

For all we know these (semi-automated?) travel pods operate mostly or exclusively in secure environments where these problems you are describing will hardly ever or never occur.
Which, if those ports were designed exclusively for use by travel pods, would be one thing.

But they're not. It's implied to be a standard docking attachment used by every small craft in the fleet, so it wouldn't be limited to just travel pods. Arguably, the larger shuttles might have rear windows or cameras that would make manual docking a bit less impossible, but the other issues -- the alignment problem and the sliding doors -- remain an issue.

More to the point, this is a thread discussing the fact that the travel pod's aft hatch was removed and replaced with some kind of propulsion system, so evidently the door isn't that useful of a feature in the first place. I actually think the ship's main shuttlebay is probably a better choice for the arrival and departure of shuttlecraft, since it's much easier to control the things that can potentially go wrong in an emergency. Starfleet apparently feels the same way, since we never see anyone use a travel pod in this way after TWOK.
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Old November 29 2013, 10:44 AM   #33
Mytran
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

The docking rings were introduced (according to Mr Scott's Guide To The Enterprise) to reduce wear and tear on the pressurisation ducts and speed up deliveries.

Sadly, this concept is undermined by the use of magic forcefields seen in the very same movie, with spacecraft freely moving in and out of the open space doors of the shuttlebay.
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Old November 29 2013, 08:08 PM   #34
Robert Comsol
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

@ Crazy Eddie

I'm not sure there is a problem aligning any vehicle with a docking ring with the docking port of a ship or station. The vehicle's docking ring has a few dozen clamps that will "feel" their way into the docking port openings.

@ Mytran

The TMP shuttlecraft also had an extra door or hatch IIRC. Yes, those magic Star Wars forcefields make the concept look redundant.

Funny, I found myself thinking that the travel pod could also be very useful as a lifeboat.

Bob
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Old November 29 2013, 09:55 PM   #35
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
@ Crazy Eddie

I'm not sure there is a problem aligning any vehicle with a docking ring with the docking port of a ship or station. The vehicle's docking ring has a few dozen clamps that will "feel" their way into the docking port openings.
Which is fine once the pod's ring and the ship's port have actually interfaced and everything. But GETTING to that point is substantially harder than it looks. Again, try taping a flash drive to the end of a three foot stick and then plugging that flash drive into a USB port.

Modern docking ports have physical mechanisms that make the initial interface possible. Androgynous docking mechanisms use alignment rails to get to the interface point (and then the latches engage) while the Soyuz system uses a cone-shaped drogue to guide the docking probe into position. Even the CBM used on the space station has a smaller alignment mechanism to help work out the the last couple of inches to the actual attachment.

These mechanisms allow for a (relatively) speedy and painless docking because the alignment doesn't have to be perfect; the ship can be a couple of centimeters off-center, or angled slightly up and down with respect to the port and still make a perfect soft dock to the attachment point. The common berthing mechanism with its smaller alignment rails tollerates a lot less deviation, which is why you can only attach things with it using a manipulator arm (and then only VERY slowly). IOW, the travel pod docking system is really only feasible if the pod is guided into the docking port using a very high-precision tractor beam; otherwise, the pod has to maneuver itself to a position with an accuracy of within six centimeters and cannot be misaligned by even a degree in order to dock properly. There is no tolerance there for even slight deviation.

What the TMP docking port really needs is a set of These babies:



Of course, since the TMP docking port is an explicitly non-androgynous design, you only need it on one port and not both; you either need one on the travel pod (so the TMP port would remain mostly unchanged) or you need to add a set of outwardly-flared rails to the ship's docking port.

ETA: actually, it occurs to me that changing the shape of the pod's docking ring might accomplish this also. The current design is cylindrical; tapering it into an open cone-shape (and the starship's port in a matching concave shape) would accomplish that.
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Old November 30 2013, 11:25 AM   #36
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

It's funny that these fictional problems with the dock didn't stop it's design being used in the federation all the way to the USS Voyager... That's what, a hundred or two years of using the same design. Sounds like it was successful.
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Old November 30 2013, 11:42 AM   #37
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

Data Holmes wrote: View Post
It's funny that these fictional problems with the dock didn't stop it's design being used in the federation all the way to the USS Voyager... That's what, a hundred or two years of using the same design. Sounds like it was successful.
It's obviously not the same design, or even the same TYPE of design. Voyager and Enterprise-D use those circular ports to dock with space stations and starbases like DS9. Apart from the fact that the travel pod and the brick shuttle have apparently been discontinued, there's the fact that the rectangular gangplank on the TMP ship -- which is supposed to be the space station docking port -- has also been removed in favor of the circular hatches.

It's a completely different design with a completely different function. Really, the only thing they have in common is that they're both round.
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Old December 2 2013, 03:59 PM   #38
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

About the sliding doors, I've had this funny image in my head of one of the travel pods or the Vulcan shuttle having to land in the shuttlebay, and then the doors slide open, and each half promptly rolls off and falls to the floor of the bay!
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Old December 2 2013, 04:39 PM   #39
Robert Comsol
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

Check out this great article on the Phase II and TMP pre-production: http://beyondthemarquee.com/21244/

It's got two interesting pictures of an enlarged engineering hull section for the Jefferies Phase II Enterprise - one with an interesting docking port variation.

Bob
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Old December 3 2013, 02:12 AM   #40
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

Wow. That is quite an interesting difference.
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Old December 3 2013, 04:58 AM   #41
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

I'll say.
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Old December 3 2013, 07:04 AM   #42
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

Yeah! I always liked the pentagonal docking port.

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Old December 3 2013, 07:30 AM   #43
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

For the record, that's site's been discussed here before, notably the V'ger model and the use of what later became the Vulcan set paving stones on the ceiling of the engine room. The pentagonal docking port was designed to fit the insane idea they had to build a space office complex out of dodecahedrons. You can see a ton of them to the right and behind Jeffrey Katzenberg in this pic, and the frame for perhaps a large scale one in the center background.
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Old December 3 2013, 03:32 PM   #44
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Check out this great article on the Phase II and TMP pre-production: http://beyondthemarquee.com/21244/

It's got two interesting pictures of an enlarged engineering hull section for the Jefferies Phase II Enterprise - one with an interesting docking port variation.

Bob
Good find, Bob!

12' diameter circular doors. That's a bigger ship!
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Old December 3 2013, 04:30 PM   #45
Robert Comsol
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Re: Travel Pod - with a booster???

According to Richard Taylor's anecdote it wasn't a bigger ship but bigger doors Gene Roddenberry originally insisted upon.

Bob
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