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

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Old January 5 2014, 12:36 AM   #1
Tribble puncher
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Nebula vs. Galaxy

Started thinking after starting the Akira Thread, What advantages does the galaxy class have over the nebula class? From what I can tell, the nebula has the same saucer, nacelles, and engineering hull as the Galaxy, it may have slightly less volume due to the missing "neck" section. but there is no reason to believe it isn't as scientifically, diplomatically, or whateverly capable as the Galaxy Class, The Nebula may even be a better Ship then the Galaxy due to the changeable "Pod" on the back, (if it is indeed changeable, I've found nothing to indicate that isn't fan speculation as well.) I guess my question is, why the Galaxy Class? It's a Stately looking ship to be sure but it seems like a pretty unnecessary class to be sure.
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Old January 5 2014, 01:12 AM   #2
Tosk
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

Just for starters, I assume the Nebula has no saucer separation ability...
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Old January 5 2014, 02:19 AM   #3
Nob Akimoto
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

The Galaxy actually has about 30% more internal volume than the Nebula. The saucer and engineering hulls on the ships are not actually the same. The engineering hull in particular is a fair bit smaller, while the saucer lacks the large impulse engines. (In fact the Nebula seems to have extremely small impulse engines in general.)

Further, in terms of little details the Nebula is clearly a more "economy" version. The lack of the "neck" precludes the large, advanced 10-torpedoes at a time torpedo tube in the Galaxy, it has a smaller main deflector, and at least the original studio model lacked windows and the main shuttlebay on the saucer. Even on the CGI model that reuses Galaxy mesh elements, it's not entirely clear if the saucer shuttlebay is still there. It's possible the whole thing has been turned into a large cargo bay.

In which case the engineering hull is more likely to have a lot of its rear half taken up by shuttle facilities where its main shuttle bay is located. Overall the ship has less usable volume and substantially less expandability.
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Old January 5 2014, 03:08 AM   #4
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

In some of the pics it would appear that the Nebula has a smaller saucer suggesting that it is a smaller ship relative to the Galaxy.
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Old January 5 2014, 03:26 AM   #5
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

Akimoto covered most of it, but simply to add: I have always assumed the Nebula class was built slightly before the galaxies, and that Starfleet ultimately streamlined the modular "mission pod" design by incorporating most of that additional sensor capability into the Galaxy's external sensor bays and probe modules. That, of course, would imply that the Nebula's saucer is a substantially different design; lacks sensor bays in the rim, probably different primary sensor configuration too. Integrating that external pod into the main superstructure probably makes for a more efficient design, although the greater sophistication of the basic Galaxy class means the Nebulas would still be easier to mass produce.
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Old January 5 2014, 04:00 AM   #6
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

By the time the CGI version comes around, though, you start seeing more Galaxy class features. Since those ships also have much higher registry numbers than the initial TNG batch, it might be safe to assume that at some point the design itself got updated with Galaxy style improvements for things like sensor bays and the deflector.

My guess is that Starfleet never expected to be able to produce enough Galaxy class ships to completely fill its needs, and faced with the complexity of its development, decided to take the initial design items and start fabricating them in advance of Galaxy production, leading to the slightly older looking Nebula class ships during TNG. By the time the CGI Bonchune model rolls around, Galaxy production has been restarted and the design is well established, so they started building ships with common components to increase interoperability.

Also the recent novel Peaceable Kingdoms notes a Nebula-class ship is 30 years old circa 2385, implying that the class saw production almost a decade before the first production Galaxy-class ships.
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Old January 5 2014, 05:22 AM   #7
Tribble puncher
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

Looking at some pics of the u.s.s. Pheonix, as I believe it was the first nebula class ship seen on screen. I can't see the rear of the saucer: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/USS_Phoenix So I'm not sure of the shuttlebay, also, I noticed that there are no impulse engines on the saucer, The farragut: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/USS_...ut_(NCC-60597)) appears to have a galaxy style main shuttlebay. but no saucer impulse engines. this would suggest that it cannot seperate. also pics of the uss bonchune http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/USS_Bonchune has no saucer impulse engines, but has more numerous windows, similar in arrangment to a galaxy class ship. maybe the galaxy class ship was built as a "fly the flag, rally the people" type ship?
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Old January 5 2014, 08:02 AM   #8
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

Interesting to note that on both the Farragut and Bonchune, you can see where the impulse engines would be if they were on a Galaxy class ship. Those spots are simply filled in, but the original shape is evident in the paneling.
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Old January 5 2014, 04:12 PM   #9
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

Tribble puncher wrote: View Post
maybe the galaxy class ship was built as a "fly the flag, rally the people" type ship?
I'm not sure that's a valid design goal since appearances are in the eye of the beholder.

Starfleet seems to like building lighter versions of their ships of the line (Galaxy and Nebula, Constitution and Miranda, Excelsior and Centaur-type), so there is some in-universe reason for the paired designs.

In "Tin Man", the Enterprise-D (and her Galaxy-class sister ships, presumably) is referred to as the fastest ship in the fleet. The original Enterprise held numerous speed records, according to Captain Stiles in TSFS. It's possible that the geometries of Starfleet's heavy cruisers are better suited for high warp speeds. The modular pod of a Nebula might make it more suitable for urgent, extremely mission-specific roles.

Otherwise, just about every starship built by Starfleet is multi-purpose.
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Old January 5 2014, 05:32 PM   #10
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

RunawayStarShip wrote: View Post

In "Tin Man", the Enterprise-D (and her Galaxy-class sister ships, presumably) is referred to as the fastest ship in the fleet. The original Enterprise held numerous speed records, according to Captain Stiles in TSFS. It's possible that the geometries of Starfleet's heavy cruisers are better suited for high warp speeds. The modular pod of a Nebula might make it more suitable for urgent, extremely mission-specific roles.
I'd give you that she's the "fastest in the fleet".. Not the quickest mind you. Just the fastest. I have zero doubt that there are "quicker" ships in the fleet. (SFB: Federation Express). However, in terms of long range nothing could touch the Galaxy Class.
I would also think that the cost of these "super starships" would have been through the roof. Much like the Supercarriers of today.
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Old January 5 2014, 08:02 PM   #11
Lord Garth, FOI
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

Galaxy has a bigger kindergarten and the interiors are a better match for a Hampton suites
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Old January 5 2014, 09:13 PM   #12
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

I think its better to compare them to the Russian Kirov and Slava class cruisers of the Sovjet Union, the first one put the latest tech inside the largest and most expensive nuclear powered hull, the other one put well known tech into a a smaller conventional hull to have a backup if Kirov would fail.

So the Galaxy class puts the (b)leading edge stuff in the best possible hull and the Nebula is a really large but more conventional design.
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Old January 6 2014, 12:04 AM   #13
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

^Maybe in the upgraded version of the Nebula. I also agree that the Nebula was made prior to the Galaxy class. Didn't O'Brien serve on one before he joined the Enterprise D crew?
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Old January 8 2014, 08:52 PM   #14
DarthTom
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

Lord Garth, FOI wrote: View Post
Galaxy has a bigger kindergarten and the interiors are a better match for a Hampton suites
Nebula class is a better one for the W Hotel.
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Old January 9 2014, 08:43 AM   #15
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Re: Nebula vs. Galaxy

The Nebula has a much crappier-looking bridge than the Galaxy-class (is "Redemption" the only time we've seen one?)
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