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Old March 28 2010, 12:04 AM   #76
Ronald Held
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

I am impressed that this thread is still going.
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Old March 28 2010, 03:53 AM   #77
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
No, I'm saying orbital mechanics--well, strictly speaking, the known laws of physics--still apply in ANY century whether your technology can defy them or not.
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Just because an airplane manages to overcome the Law of Gravity does NOT mean the plane will remain airborne if you keep the nose pointed straight at the sky until your engine stalls.
Well there are certain military planes that can do that until they run out of fuel Ahhhh technology

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Even a satellite equipped with thrusters and antigravs is still governed by the laws of physics; they won't simply stop in place once Enterprise drops them UNLESS there is something in space to stop them from moving. If you're going to use their thrusters for that, then there's no particular advantage over deploying them from a polar orbit on a path to orbital resonance.
I won't debate you on the real world physics, but I will disagree with you on the adherence to it once you get anything fictional tech involved that looks like it can circumvent the problem (like antigrav). And I just used that as an example since I went back and looked at the episode in question. Since no specifics were mentioned about the satellites technology I'll admit it can go either way

Here is an interesting quote from the episode (note, I only am referring to the TOS version that I have, not the TOS-R so I don't know what was done differently between the two.)

SULU: Completing the seeding orbit, Captain. Two hundred and ten ultraviolet satellites now in position. Seventy two miles altitude, permanent orbit about the planet.
You could work out the details of the seeding orbit as I'm not very good in orbital mechanics and go - yeah, they did it your way - and that's fine as nothing is mentioned in the episode on how they seeded the satellites. The interesting part is that the sats are all in a permanent orbit at an altitude of 72 miles. Isn't that kinda low to be "permanent" when you factor in atmospheric drag? Maybe in the end there is some extra tech that allows them to stay so low without falling from the sky?
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Old March 29 2010, 06:14 AM   #78
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Well there are certain military planes that can do that until they run out of fuel
No there are not. Engines and wings--both devices used by aircraft to provide lift--require both an atmosphere and the motion thereof to function. If you simply climb straight up, you either run out of air (the engines dies) or you run out of airflow (the wings no longer provide lift). The result of this is a stall.

Stalling is a limitation of aviation technology that pilots are very familiar with. Space craft have other limitations--Delta-V budget, to name the most obvious--that astronauts are familiar with. The point here being that all technology works within certain limitations, and those limitations only go away when technology finds a method to overcome them. Simply ignoring those limitations and assuming technology is too great to care about them doesn't cut it.

I won't debate you on the real world physics, but I will disagree with you on the adherence to it once you get anything fictional tech involved that looks like it can circumvent the problem (like antigrav).
Antigrav doesn't look like it can circumvent that problem, since conservation of momentum doesn't have anything to do with gravity.

Besides, simply throwing out the laws of physics saying "advanced technology is advanced" doesn't make for very compelling science fiction, in fact it typically degenerates into made-up physics and increasingly absurd pseudoscientific gibberish in order to justify whatever random problem/solution the writers pulled out of their asses this week. This, unfortunately, IS a problem Star Trek has sometimes had: when you concoct a device so advanced that it can do anything, you're suddenly forced to come up with all kinds of absurd reasons why it can't do the one thing our heroes need it to do when the episode begins.

You could work out the details of the seeding orbit as I'm not very good in orbital mechanics and go - yeah, they did it your way - and that's fine as nothing is mentioned in the episode on how they seeded the satellites.
IIRC, "seeding orbit" is an older term for an equatorial orbit from one craft that then expels several other craft at highly inclined orbits. With 210 satellites launched this way, you'd wind up with a ground track that looks like a diagonal line that oscillates like a snake crawling in a zig-zag line. They'd be able to cover the entire planet, but not all at the same time.

That's one of the reasons I figured they probably used an orbital resonance pattern, but I haven't seen that episode in years so I didn't remember Sulu's line.

The interesting part is that the sats are all in a permanent orbit at an altitude of 72 miles. Isn't that kinda low to be "permanent" when you factor in atmospheric drag?
Depends on the atmosphere. It's pretty low for EARTH, but we have no idea what Deneva's atmosphere is like or what its surface gravity is. If Deneva is a small dense planet--say, 1000km in diameter--it might be able to get away with having a thinner atmosphere overall even though its surface pressure is comparable to Earth's.
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Old March 29 2010, 03:40 PM   #79
blssdwlf
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Well there are certain military planes that can do that until they run out of fuel
No there are not. Engines and wings--both devices used by aircraft to provide lift--require both an atmosphere and the motion thereof to function. If you simply climb straight up, you either run out of air (the engines dies) or you run out of airflow (the wings no longer provide lift). The result of this is a stall.
You did not say "climb straight up" but just "pointed straight at the sky". A combat aircraft with thrust greater than it's weight would be able to hold a nose up attitude and not climb much and not fall back down to the earth unless it ran out of fuel or it hit a limit in the engine design. Obviously, if the aircraft chose to climb straight up it would eventually run out of atmosphere and with a higher thrust to weight is no longer relying on lift from its wings.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Stalling is a limitation of aviation technology that pilots are very familiar with. Space craft have other limitations--Delta-V budget, to name the most obvious--that astronauts are familiar with. The point here being that all technology works within certain limitations, and those limitations only go away when technology finds a method to overcome them. Simply ignoring those limitations and assuming technology is too great to care about them doesn't cut it.
But also simply forcing real-world limits on future fictional technology makes about as much sense when there is evidence that they've overcome it (for that particular purpose or instance.)

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I won't debate you on the real world physics, but I will disagree with you on the adherence to it once you get anything fictional tech involved that looks like it can circumvent the problem (like antigrav).
Antigrav doesn't look like it can circumvent that problem, since conservation of momentum doesn't have anything to do with gravity.

Besides, simply throwing out the laws of physics saying "advanced technology is advanced" doesn't make for very compelling science fiction, in fact it typically degenerates into made-up physics and increasingly absurd pseudoscientific gibberish in order to justify whatever random problem/solution the writers pulled out of their asses this week. This, unfortunately, IS a problem Star Trek has sometimes had: when you concoct a device so advanced that it can do anything, you're suddenly forced to come up with all kinds of absurd reasons why it can't do the one thing our heroes need it to do when the episode begins.
Quite true. But since this isn't a future episode that might be corrected by scientific consultants in script rewrites or post before airing, this is a past episode that we're looking at trying to explain it. This is the reverse, the device has already been concocted and used. We're just approaching it from different directions where one side wants it to fit within real-world limits and the other thinks that is how it works in TOS

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
IIRC, "seeding orbit" is an older term for an equatorial orbit from one craft that then expels several other craft at highly inclined orbits. With 210 satellites launched this way, you'd wind up with a ground track that looks like a diagonal line that oscillates like a snake crawling in a zig-zag line. They'd be able to cover the entire planet, but not all at the same time.

That's one of the reasons I figured they probably used an orbital resonance pattern, but I haven't seen that episode in years so I didn't remember Sulu's line.
Since they never showed the seeding orbit then it is very possible that is what happened.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
The interesting part is that the sats are all in a permanent orbit at an altitude of 72 miles. Isn't that kinda low to be "permanent" when you factor in atmospheric drag?
Depends on the atmosphere. It's pretty low for EARTH, but we have no idea what Deneva's atmosphere is like or what its surface gravity is. If Deneva is a small dense planet--say, 1000km in diameter--it might be able to get away with having a thinner atmosphere overall even though its surface pressure is comparable to Earth's.
Possible again, although with the FX back then it could be anywhere from 1000km to slightly larger than earth diameter.
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Old March 30 2010, 03:23 AM   #80
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Well there are certain military planes that can do that until they run out of fuel
Back in the 1980's Russian MiG's would do just this. Russian MiG's use to fly straight towards the West German boarder at high mach speed turning aside at the last minute just to jangle the nerves of NATO radar operators, everytime western forces would have to go on alert. Then the Russian tried a new tactic, they again would fly at the boarder, but instead of turning away, they would flare in mid air, go nose up and "hover" balancing their aircraft on it's main engine, after a few minute they would nose over and return to base. From the perspective of a NATO radar screen the plane simply stopped, until the west figured it out they were baffled.
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Old March 31 2010, 01:47 AM   #81
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

Let's consider this from a different direction.
First, consider the antimatter bomb from Obsession shown here (Trekcore).
It appears stationary but, unless that thing is sitting above one of the rotational poles, that baby is slowly "orbiting" the rotational axis of the planet at an altitude of 1/3 meter. Now, if the antigrav which is negating gravity were to lose power, the thing would probably fall to the ground.
Second, consider Stratos, an entire city held aloft by antigravity and also relatively stationary in regards to the ground. And also slowly "orbiting" the planets axis.
Third, it's not too much of a stretch for the satellites in Operation A towork the same way. ( BTW, whose says they physically deployed them: couldn't they have used the transporter?)
Finally, we see antigravity deployed easily on both the small and large scale; why would starships NOT have a similar capability? (note: I would expect that the technologies for inertial dampeners and antigrav to be related since they both deal with negating accelerations.)
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Old April 1 2010, 02:44 AM   #82
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Well there are certain military planes that can do that until they run out of fuel
No there are not. Engines and wings--both devices used by aircraft to provide lift--require both an atmosphere and the motion thereof to function. If you simply climb straight up, you either run out of air (the engines dies) or you run out of airflow (the wings no longer provide lift). The result of this is a stall.
You did not say "climb straight up" but just "pointed straight at the sky". A combat aircraft with thrust greater than it's weight would be able to hold a nose up attitude and not climb much and not fall back down to the earth unless it ran out of fuel or it hit a limit in the engine design.
Which doesn't change the fact that the aircraft has almost no way to control itself without airflow over the wings, and therefore goes into a stall. Certain aicraft with thrust vectoring and/or maneuvering jets--the Harrier series and the Su-37, for example--can perform what is essentially a controlled stall, in much the same way a starship may execute a powered orbit. These still remain technical obstacles that represent the exception, rather than the rule, for how these aircraft are designed to be used.

But also simply forcing real-world limits on future fictional technology makes about as much sense when there is evidence that they've overcome it
I've already explained to you all the reasons why the presence of "antigravs" has nothing to do with newton's third law. If there is a technology that has overcome conservation of momentum, you have yet to mention it (unless you think this is what inertial dampeners are for, but I doubt it).


BK613 wrote: View Post
Let's consider this from a different direction.
First, consider the antimatter bomb from Obsession shown here (Trekcore).
It appears stationary but, unless that thing is sitting above one of the rotational poles, that baby is slowly "orbiting" the rotational axis of the planet at an altitude of 1/3 meter.
You're trying a little too hard. Strictly speaking, I'm orbiting the Earth right now, sitting in this chair. I am in a powered orbit, circularized by the constant thrust of my ass being pushed skyward by the seat at 9.8m/s^2. If I were to jump off the Sears Tower right now, I would still be in orbit, albeit a highly elliptical orbit whose perigee is somewhere close to the Earth's core.

These conditions are not understood to be "orbits," however, because expanding the use of the term to those situations renders the term utterly meaningless. When that happens, anything can be called an orbit, and you end up having to add qualifiers to differentiate real meaningful circular orbits from the pedantic overuse of your now meaningless word.

Fortunately, the term "powered orbit" doesn't appear anywhere in Trek dialog. When ships are hovering over a particular spot using antigravs, it appears they are not actually considered to be "orbiting" anything. Barring these few situations that are explicitly NOT normal orbits, it makes more sense to simply refer to them as what they are, as "hovering" positions or "stationkeeping" or something of that nature.
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Old April 1 2010, 04:48 AM   #83
blssdwlf
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Which doesn't change the fact that the aircraft has almost no way to control itself without airflow over the wings, and therefore goes into a stall. Certain aicraft with thrust vectoring and/or maneuvering jets--the Harrier series and the Su-37, for example--can perform what is essentially a controlled stall,
I like how you move the target just a little each time Since you never mentioned needing to control itself As long as we have a military aircraft that has thrust vectoring and better than 1:1 thrust to weight we have a winner. Sure it is stalling, but it will be able to control itself out of the stall and back into "regular" flight. The Harrier doesn't really have enough thrust to go nose up for an extended period of time though, but it can sure hover until runs out of gas (or the engine overheats) while nose forward above the ground...

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
in much the same way a starship may execute a powered orbit. These still remain technical obstacles that represent the exception, rather than the rule, for how these aircraft are designed to be used.
Then with all those F-22s and Sukhois out there then that would be alotta exceptions

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
But also simply forcing real-world limits on future fictional technology makes about as much sense when there is evidence that they've overcome it
I've already explained to you all the reasons why the presence of "antigravs" has nothing to do with newton's third law. If there is a technology that has overcome conservation of momentum, you have yet to mention it (unless you think this is what inertial dampeners are for, but I doubt it).
What specific technology that would be called in TOS? I have no idea. It could be just the Momentum Compensators for all we know. But we have we seen demonstrations of it in action. We've seen it when shuttles and ships stop moving when power is disabled in The Voyage Home. To a lesser extent that is what is implied whenever a ship loses power and drifts to a stop (or gets dropped from orbit.) To a certain extent, the transporters are constantly overcoming (or more specifically, compensating) for it since the ship's orbital velocity can be quite different than the ground velocity at the beam down point. And interestingly, it is only mentioned whenever something seriously goes wrong, so it might be so common that it isn't specifically referenced in daily use.

From The Enemy Within regarding transporter repair:
SPOCK: We've attached some bypass and leader circuits to compensate for the difference. Tied directly into the impulse engines, there shouldn't be more than a five point variation in the velocity balance. I suggest we send the animal through. Captain.
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
BK613 wrote: View Post
Let's consider this from a different direction.
First, consider the antimatter bomb from Obsession shown here (Trekcore).
It appears stationary but, unless that thing is sitting above one of the rotational poles, that baby is slowly "orbiting" the rotational axis of the planet at an altitude of 1/3 meter.
You're trying a little too hard. Strictly speaking, I'm orbiting the Earth right now, sitting in this chair. I am in a powered orbit, circularized by the constant thrust of my ass being pushed skyward by the seat at 9.8m/s^2. If I were to jump off the Sears Tower right now, I would still be in orbit, albeit a highly elliptical orbit whose perigee is somewhere close to the Earth's core.
Or perhaps you're ignoring too much? You've got your rear interacting directly with the good hard earth. However, that antigrav antimatter bomb was beamed over onto that small planetoid. The transporters had to compensate for the movement of the beam down site for both the people and the bomb. It wouldn't be too hard to see that if they can do that with a common tech like the transporter (which they use all the time) then placing 210 satellites in a 72 mile altitude permanent orbit could also have a little real-world defying help But again, as mentioned before, it could go either way as there wasn't any specific information on the satellites.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
These conditions are not understood to be "orbits," however, because expanding the use of the term to those situations renders the term utterly meaningless. When that happens, anything can be called an orbit, and you end up having to add qualifiers to differentiate real meaningful circular orbits from the pedantic overuse of your now meaningless word.

Fortunately, the term "powered orbit" doesn't appear anywhere in Trek dialog. When ships are hovering over a particular spot using antigravs, it appears they are not actually considered to be "orbiting" anything. Barring these few situations that are explicitly NOT normal orbits, it makes more sense to simply refer to them as what they are, as "hovering" positions or "stationkeeping" or something of that nature.
The term that is used in TOS is "synchronous orbit" which in the four cases it has been specifically spoken all refer to staying over a specific point above a planet.
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Old April 1 2010, 05:31 AM   #84
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Which doesn't change the fact that the aircraft has almost no way to control itself without airflow over the wings, and therefore goes into a stall. Certain aicraft with thrust vectoring and/or maneuvering jets--the Harrier series and the Su-37, for example--can perform what is essentially a controlled stall,
I like how you move the target just a little each time Since you never mentioned needing to control itself
That's what a stall is, dear.

As long as we have a military aircraft that has thrust vectoring and better than 1:1 thrust to weight we have a winner. Sure it is stalling, but it will be able to control itself out of the stall and back into "regular" flight.
No, a stall by definition is a lack of control of the aircraft. The trick in the cobra maneuver is accomplished by prolonging the stall as much as possible to bleed off airspeed and then returning to controlled flight later on. Harriers, for their part, aren't designed to use their maneuvering thrusters while in the vertical, so they would have to be modified to do so.

Regardless, the point here is that modern aircraft have this technical limitation of needing to maintain both airspeed and engine power in order to retain lift. That some radically modified aircraft (and some incredibly crafty pilots) use these technical features in maneuvers only reinforces the rule; likewise, I'm sure that starships may sometimes use antigravs and impulse engines to hover over a particular spot on a planet (as Riker apparently did once) a tactic that would be highly effective only because an opposing starship would be in an inertial orbit and unable to match the maneuver.

Then with all those F-22s and Sukhois out there then that would be alotta exceptions
The F-22 cannot. And neither can the Su-37 unless it has a VERY skilled pilot.

What specific technology that would be called in TOS? I have no idea. It could be just the Momentum Compensators for all we know. But we have we seen demonstrations of it in action. We've seen it when shuttles and ships stop moving when power is disabled in The Voyage Home. To a lesser extent that is what is implied whenever a ship loses power and drifts to a stop (or gets dropped from orbit.) To a certain extent, the transporters are constantly overcoming (or more specifically, compensating) for it since the ship's orbital velocity can be quite different than the ground velocity at the beam down point. And interestingly, it is only mentioned whenever something seriously goes wrong, so it might be so common that it isn't specifically referenced in daily use.
Or it might just be artistic license by the FX team. None of the examples include explicit mention of any technology at work in any of these cases, so short of completely tossing out the laws of physics it makes far more sense to chalk these up to normal drag/compensation factors, especially in spacedock which may or may not be a pressurized environment.

You've got your rear interacting directly with the good hard earth. However, that antigrav antimatter bomb was beamed over onto that small planetoid. The transporters had to compensate for the movement of the beam down site for both the people and the bomb. It wouldn't be too hard to see that if they can do that with a common tech like the transporter (which they use all the time) then placing 210 satellites in a 72 mile altitude permanent orbit could also have a little real-world defying help
Which changes what about the scenario in question? Enterprise is in a "Seed orbit," and the satellites are in "permanent orbit." The only thing that changes is the transporters intentionally impart the proper momentum on the satellites to put them in their proper orbit regardless of what orbit Enterprise is in.

But that's all just speculation, and contradicted by TOS-R where we explicitly see those satellites being dropped from Enterprise' cargo bay.

The term that is used in TOS is "synchronous orbit" which in the four cases it has been specifically spoken all refer to staying over a specific point above a planet.
But "synchronous orbit" doesn't actually mean "staying over a specific point" this is a reaching implication. Synchronous orbit only PASSES the same point at regular intervals, while STATIONARY orbit remains over the same point at all times.
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Old April 1 2010, 06:28 AM   #85
blssdwlf
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Which doesn't change the fact that the aircraft has almost no way to control itself without airflow over the wings, and therefore goes into a stall. Certain aicraft with thrust vectoring and/or maneuvering jets--the Harrier series and the Su-37, for example--can perform what is essentially a controlled stall,
I like how you move the target just a little each time Since you never mentioned needing to control itself
That's what a stall is, dear.
Which I've provided an example of a combat aircraft holding a nose up attitude and staying aloft regardless of stall conditions Let's not forget why we got on this tangent.

newtype_alpha wrote:
Just because an airplane manages to overcome the Law of Gravity does NOT mean the plane will remain airborne if you keep the nose pointed straight at the sky until your engine stalls.
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Regardless, the point here is that modern aircraft have this technical limitation of needing to maintain both airspeed and engine power in order to retain lift. That some radically modified aircraft (and some incredibly crafty pilots) use these technical features in maneuvers only reinforces the rule;
I'm going to point out the obvious here. If you have an exception to the rule that in your mind reinforces a rule, then there really isn't a hard rule...

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
likewise, I'm sure that starships may sometimes use antigravs and impulse engines to hover over a particular spot on a planet (as Riker apparently did once) a tactic that would be highly effective only because an opposing starship would be in an inertial orbit and unable to match the maneuver.
If the opposing starship is in an inertial orbit and unable to match the maneuver then it already is at a disadvantage. Riker wouldn't need to hide at all

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
The F-22 cannot. And neither can the Su-37 unless it has a VERY skilled pilot.
Really? Raptor hover? What's that?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW2Hvu_mUdU

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Or it might just be artistic license by the FX team. None of the examples include explicit mention of any technology at work in any of these cases, so short of completely tossing out the laws of physics it makes far more sense to chalk these up to normal drag/compensation factors, especially in spacedock which may or may not be a pressurized environment.
Yes, the same artistic license must have happened with poor Excelsior when she lost power and drifted to a stop when attempting to pursue the Enterprise in The Search for Spock.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
You've got your rear interacting directly with the good hard earth. However, that antigrav antimatter bomb was beamed over onto that small planetoid. The transporters had to compensate for the movement of the beam down site for both the people and the bomb. It wouldn't be too hard to see that if they can do that with a common tech like the transporter (which they use all the time) then placing 210 satellites in a 72 mile altitude permanent orbit could also have a little real-world defying help
Which changes what about the scenario in question? Enterprise is in a "Seed orbit," and the satellites are in "permanent orbit." The only thing that changes is the transporters intentionally impart the proper momentum on the satellites to put them in their proper orbit regardless of what orbit Enterprise is in.

But that's all just speculation, and contradicted by TOS-R where we explicitly see those satellites being dropped from Enterprise' cargo bay.
Well then the TOS-R version is obviously employing The Voyage Home effect then, since they can drop it and it stays in place. We could say that antigrav keeps it afloat, and momentum compensators (or thrusters, or whatever) worked. Mission accomplished

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
The term that is used in TOS is "synchronous orbit" which in the four cases it has been specifically spoken all refer to staying over a specific point above a planet.
But "synchronous orbit" doesn't actually mean "staying over a specific point" this is a reaching implication. Synchronous orbit only PASSES the same point at regular intervals, while STATIONARY orbit remains over the same point at all times.
Why not - it wouldn't be the first time the writers played with words - consider it artistic license ? A Geosynchronous orbit happens to be over the equator of the earth. A Synchronous orbit could easily mean stationary above a designated point where a starship would be handy to monitor a landing party.

Whom Gods Destroy
SCOTT: Well, there's one last thing we might try. Perhaps the ship's phasers can cut through a section of the force field at its weakest point. Where did you say that was located, Mister Sulu?
SULU: On the far side of the planet, Mister Scott.
MCCOY: Will it leave a margin of safety for the people below?
SULU: Yes, sir.
SCOTT: Prepare to change orbital path, Mister Sulu.
SULU: Orbital co-ordinates released, sir.
SCOTT: Break synchronous orbit. Come to course one four mark six eight.
...
SULU: Course one four mark six eight. Synchronous orbit re-established, sir.
SCOTT: Ship's phasers to narrow beam.
The Mark of Gideon
KIRK: That's impossible. We were in synchronous orbit over the capital city of Gideon. I tried to beam down, something happened...
The Savage Curtain, above the beam down point
CHEKOV [OC]: We are now locked in synchronous orbit, Mister Scott. Sensors continue to show the area as completely Earth-like in all respects.
I think the bigger question is whether Star Trek as seen can be shoe-horned into real world physics. I don't think so since the series already allows artificial gravity, anti-gravity, transporters, warp drives, impulse engines, phasers, and a whole bunch of other technologies a free pass as they just work in Star Trek. So if you're really on about technically correct, real world orbits that the Enterprise should be doing - then I'm sure that in some episode somewhere it has done so. And in some other episode the Enterprise just throws that out the window and just hovers
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Old April 1 2010, 04:33 PM   #86
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
What specific technology that would be called in TOS? I have no idea. It could be just the Momentum Compensators for all we know. But we have we seen demonstrations of it in action. We've seen it when shuttles and ships stop moving when power is disabled in The Voyage Home. To a lesser extent that is what is implied whenever a ship loses power and drifts to a stop (or gets dropped from orbit.) To a certain extent, the transporters are constantly overcoming (or more specifically, compensating) for it since the ship's orbital velocity can be quite different than the ground velocity at the beam down point. And interestingly, it is only mentioned whenever something seriously goes wrong, so it might be so common that it isn't specifically referenced in daily use.
Or it might just be artistic license by the FX team. None of the examples include explicit mention of any technology at work in any of these cases, so short of completely tossing out the laws of physics it makes far more sense to chalk these up to normal drag/compensation factors, especially in spacedock which may or may not be a pressurized environment.
Yes, the same artistic license must have happened with poor Excelsior when she lost power and drifted to a stop when attempting to pursue the Enterprise in The Search for Spock.
I think that's an excellent piece of evidence for the use of mass-reducing sub space driver coils in impulse engines (you know, those ones that reduce that mass of the vessel, thus allowing small amounts of thrust to push the craft at high speed?). Once power goes down, mass goes up and the ships slow to an (almost) stop.
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Old April 2 2010, 06:32 PM   #87
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
I'm going to point out the obvious here. If you have an exception to the rule that in your mind reinforces a rule, then there really isn't a hard rule...
Obvious enough to know the exception demonstrates why the rule IS a rule and not just a "tendency." Thermodynamics, for example, works the way it does because energy tends to move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. There are all kinds of interactions that can locally break these rules, but OVERALL, the rule still holds.

If the opposing starship is in an inertial orbit and unable to match the maneuver then it already is at a disadvantage. Riker wouldn't need to hide at all
That all depends on why he was hiding in the first place. To go back to our airplane example, Su-37s only perform a cobra maneuver in a close turning fight to try and throw off their opponents. The same maneuver from a distance of 25 miles results in you having a missile shoved up your ass, UNLESS you perform the maneuver close to a mountain or something where your sudden lack of movement causes you to blend in with the terrain around you and the other pilot looses his radar lock.

Really? Raptor hover? What's that?
A bad imitation of a Cobra maneuver performed with the intention of preventing Robert Gates from pulling the funding.

Yes, the same artistic license must have happened with poor Excelsior when she lost power and drifted to a stop when attempting to pursue the Enterprise in The Search for Spock.
"Drifted to a stop" relative to what? If "relative to Earth" then Spacedock would have raced over the horizon at orbital velocities while Excelsior settled on a final position over a point on Earth's surface. If "relative to spacedock" then you have to come up with another as-yet unexplained mechanism for how the ship managed to instantly return to Space Dock's orbital velocity irrespective of conservation of momentum.

In point of fact, the only thing you can say is "relative to the camera," which is indeed a matter of artistic license.

Well then the TOS-R version is obviously employing The Voyage Home effect then, since they can drop it and it stays in place.
Otherwise known as "bad science."

We could say that antigrav keeps it afloat, and momentum compensators (or thrusters, or whatever) worked.
Or we could say that Q farted on the satellites and changed the local laws of physics so they behaved the way they did. Anything is plausible if you're willing to pull solutions completely out of your ass.

A Geosynchronous orbit happens to be over the equator of the earth.
No, a geoSTATIONARY orbit is over the equator. A geosynchronous orbit only CROSSES the equator at a particular point every 24 hours.

A Synchronous orbit could easily mean stationary above a designated point
Yes, just as "starship" could easily mean "banana" but, we have no reason to pretend it does.

I think the bigger question is whether Star Trek as seen can be shoe-horned into real world physics.
Absolutely it can. "Synchronous orbit over [x] city" literally means the Enterprise repeatedly passes over that city at a regular predictable interval. Since stationary orbits ARE NOT POSSIBLE for targets that are not on the equator, we simply assume that a synchronous orbit is sufficient for most landing party operations and even (in the case of "Mirror Mirror") most planetary bombardment scenarios.

I don't think so since the series already allows artificial gravity, anti-gravity, transporters, warp drives, impulse engines, phasers, and a whole bunch of other technologies a free pass as they just work in Star Trek.
None of which are inconsistent with real-world physics. Real world TECHNOLOGY, yes, but nobody's suggesting the Enterprise is powered by hydrazine and and a panel.

Now, if you want to suggest that the existence of that technology renders Star Trek incompatible with the real-world laws of physics, that's fine too. I'd be more comfortable if you would just SAY that so I can know where you're coming from, because in my opinion every Trek device probably operates on real-world principles and inconsistencies are the result of their not-being adequately depicted (heavy use of stock footage, etc) or not adequately described (even real astronauts frequently confuse "fuel" and "propellant" in casual conversation).
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Old April 2 2010, 06:37 PM   #88
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

Mytran wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Or it might just be artistic license by the FX team. None of the examples include explicit mention of any technology at work in any of these cases, so short of completely tossing out the laws of physics it makes far more sense to chalk these up to normal drag/compensation factors, especially in spacedock which may or may not be a pressurized environment.
Yes, the same artistic license must have happened with poor Excelsior when she lost power and drifted to a stop when attempting to pursue the Enterprise in The Search for Spock.
I think that's an excellent piece of evidence for the use of mass-reducing sub space driver coils in impulse engines (you know, those ones that reduce that mass of the vessel, thus allowing small amounts of thrust to push the craft at high speed?). Once power goes down, mass goes up and the ships slow to an (almost) stop.
True, but it would only apply to any momentum Excelsior acquired while the field was active. She was already at orbital velocity when she departed space dock, and would have RETURNED to orbital velocity if the loss of the mass-reducing field also resulted in a loss of Delta-V.

I've thought for a while now that might explain how it's possible for starships to drop out of warp in orbit of a planet and already be in orbit. Perhaps all starships have a certain amount of "basic" momentum they acquire from whatever planet they were orbiting when they were activated; when you drop out of warp near another planet, you still have that same momentum, and are therefore still in orbit.
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Old April 2 2010, 07:34 PM   #89
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

I'm moving your last paragraph to the beginning since I think this is definitely why you're on about this thread:

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Now, if you want to suggest that the existence of that technology renders Star Trek incompatible with the real-world laws of physics, that's fine too. I'd be more comfortable if you would just SAY that so I can know where you're coming from, because in my opinion every Trek device probably operates on real-world principles and inconsistencies are the result of their not-being adequately depicted (heavy use of stock footage, etc) or not adequately described (even real astronauts frequently confuse "fuel" and "propellant" in casual conversation).
And that was addressed in my prior post.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
I think the bigger question is whether Star Trek as seen can be shoe-horned into real world physics. I don't think so since the series already allows artificial gravity, anti-gravity, transporters, warp drives, impulse engines, phasers, and a whole bunch of other technologies a free pass as they just work in Star Trek. So if you're really on about technically correct, real world orbits that the Enterprise should be doing - then I'm sure that in some episode somewhere it has done so. And in some other episode the Enterprise just throws that out the window and just hovers

It would seem that you are trying to rationalize a real-world explanation for the real-world physics that are in your opinion inadequately depicted in Star Trek. I'm approaching it as if Star Trek depicted a certain technology working in a certain way, despite what real-world physics tells us, I'm okay with that because it's a fictional world.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
I'm going to point out the obvious here. If you have an exception to the rule that in your mind reinforces a rule, then there really isn't a hard rule...
Obvious enough to know the exception demonstrates why the rule IS a rule and not just a "tendency." Thermodynamics, for example, works the way it does because energy tends to move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. There are all kinds of interactions that can locally break these rules, but OVERALL, the rule still holds.
Your switching over to phyics - I was replying to your assertion that a plane can't stay up by just pointing up into the sky when there are planes that can do so.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
If the opposing starship is in an inertial orbit and unable to match the maneuver then it already is at a disadvantage. Riker wouldn't need to hide at all
That all depends on why he was hiding in the first place. To go back to our airplane example, Su-37s only perform a cobra maneuver in a close turning fight to try and throw off their opponents. The same maneuver from a distance of 25 miles results in you having a missile shoved up your ass, UNLESS you perform the maneuver close to a mountain or something where your sudden lack of movement causes you to blend in with the terrain around you and the other pilot looses his radar lock.
That isn't even a close comparison. We're talking about two space ships in orbit and one that can't match an orbital maneuver with its own engines. That says lower powered ship and Riker shouldn't bother to try and hide from it.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
A bad imitation of a Cobra maneuver performed with the intention of preventing Robert Gates from pulling the funding.
It's a HOA demonstration "raptor hover" where the Raptor sits for 8-12 seconds before deciding to pitch forward and slowly fly away. The Cobra is usually a faster maneuver. But again, it is pointing straight up into the sky and not falling back down to earth out of control.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
"Drifted to a stop" relative to what? If "relative to Earth" then Spacedock would have raced over the horizon at orbital velocities while Excelsior settled on a final position over a point on Earth's surface. If "relative to spacedock" then you have to come up with another as-yet unexplained mechanism for how the ship managed to instantly return to Space Dock's orbital velocity irrespective of conservation of momentum.

In point of fact, the only thing you can say is "relative to the camera," which is indeed a matter of artistic license.
In a prior post, you tried to rationalize atmospheric drag in the space dock. Now, you're trying to put the hook on Earth's orbit. Which is it? Or neither one?

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Otherwise known as "bad science."
Or perhaps it just isn't "Hard Scifi"? Vaporizing phasers, warp drive, impulse engines. You're gonna say they obey real-world physics?

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Or we could say that Q farted on the satellites and changed the local laws of physics so they behaved the way they did. Anything is plausible if you're willing to pull solutions completely out of your ass.
Don't taunt those Happy Fun Star Trek writers. They did it once with a moon in TNG, so it is possible. It just doesn't really apply to Operation Annihilate... or does it?

Heehee this is fun thread where by no consensus we learn so much more about Trek Tech (or at least how it doesn't conform to real world physics.)
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Old April 3 2010, 03:57 AM   #90
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Re: Does The Enterprise Orbit

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
It would seem that you are trying to rationalize a real-world explanation for the real-world physics that are in your opinion inadequately depicted in Star Trek. I'm approaching it as if Star Trek depicted a certain technology working in a certain way, despite what real-world physics tells us, I'm okay with that because it's a fictional world.
Which is fine, but from that perspective you're looking at a universe where the laws of physics as we understand them either don't apply or apply only in special circumstances. I am not overly interested in discussing that interpretation of the Star Trek universe.

That isn't even a close comparison. We're talking about two space ships in orbit and one that can't match an orbital maneuver with its own engines.
But Riker didn't outmaneuver the other ship. He avoided its SENSORS using the planet's magnetic pole, which makes bringing it up inapplicable to the example I was using, to illustrate that the fact that powered orbits are possible does not make them preferable or even typical. A more fitting scenario would be, say, two starships at close range and in relatively low orbit trading phaser fire, one suddenly drops into a powered orbit hovering over a particular spot in order to open the range and get into position to fire photon torpedoes.

In a prior post, you tried to rationalize atmospheric drag in the space dock. Now, you're trying to put the hook on Earth's orbit.
I'm trying to clarify what it is you're asking. You said Excelsior came "to a stop" and did not clarify whether it stopped relative to space dock, to Earth, or to the camera, all of which are co-moving objects in this scene. It appears to me it came to a stop relative to the camera, which makes the example somewhat irrelevant. If you're claiming it came to a stop relative to space dock, then you need to explain why your mystery device is slaved to space dock's orbital velocity (as Mytran did in the post below yours). If you're claiming it came to a stop relative to Earth, then you need to explain why Space dock ALSO came to a stop relative to earth.

Or perhaps it just isn't "Hard Scifi"?
Not when the rest of the series consistently strives for a minimum hardness, or at the very least a degree of squishiness that it won't collapse under its own eight. The handful of extremely soft spots found in Trek canon have long been recognized as "scientific errors" and treated as such.

Don't taunt those Happy Fun Star Trek writers. They did it once with a moon in TNG, so it is possible.
Yes, bad writing is possible, even writers admit that. It's just not always a good idea.
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