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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

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

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Old March 30 2010, 08:03 PM   #1
USS Excelsior
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The Mission Length

Was there any indication of how long the Enterprise-D mission was supposed to last for? Or was it just open ended until the ship got destroyed or decommissioned or something.
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Old March 30 2010, 08:08 PM   #2
nick1983
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Re: The Mission Length

I think it was indefinite, as you say perhaps until the ship needed refitting a la TOS Enterprise or was actually decomissioned. I don't think its unreasonable to say that had the Enterprise - D not met with an unfortunate end in Generations, then Starfleet could have expected to get another 5 years out of her before any serious refitting was required.
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Old March 30 2010, 08:18 PM   #3
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Re: The Mission Length

I think the original concept called for the E-D to be on a ten-year mission. Such a long-term mission justified the inclusion of the crew's family, supposedly. Why they didn't want to send singles, I don't know.

After the Bandi failed to actually provide a Farpoint base to support the long-range exploration of the E-D, though, the mission seems to have been canceled. Instead, the E-D was obviously roaming around Federation space, with some forays to the borders and beyond occasionally. They made it back to Earth often enough to make me wonder why the crew bothered to keep their kids and family on board.
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Old March 30 2010, 08:21 PM   #4
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Re: The Mission Length

Agreed Pavonis, I know its a long time to be in space, but Starships should not carry families, the danger is too great.
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Old March 30 2010, 08:52 PM   #5
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Re: The Mission Length

I always thought the Enterprise should have been more of a deep space exploratory vessel. You know, the type that goes off by itself for long stretches of time in unexplored territories.

But we've seen the ship being used to ferry diplomats and other silly missons. With all the ships in starfleet, you'd think they wouldn't have to keep giving the Enterprise these milk runs.

Sean
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Old March 30 2010, 08:59 PM   #6
nick1983
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Re: The Mission Length

Agreed, Ent - D should have been much more deep space, perhaps operating outside of Federation space for two to three years at a time with its size and capacity. It should not have been ferrying ambassadors on diplomatic missions.
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Old March 30 2010, 10:53 PM   #7
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Re: The Mission Length

I think TNG TM mentions something about Galaxy class being fit for long duration exploration missions, extended voyages out there exploring away.
That accounts for families coming along, the vast size, and the hotel-like qualities.
The ship may be all you have for quite some time, better make it quite livable.

Anyway, what exactly would determine a "mission length"?
A specific assignment or general orders?
Tour of duty under one captain?

It seems USN captains serve only about a year or two at most before someone else takes command.

Why couldn't the Enterprise be given a twenty year mission of exploration, with captains and crews and personnel rotating out as needed (assuming they are within range of a base somewhere)?
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Old March 31 2010, 03:25 AM   #8
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Re: The Mission Length

I recall reading in the BTS information that the E-D was intended to be a generational ship.
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Old March 31 2010, 04:12 AM   #9
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Re: The Mission Length

The Tech Manual says the galaxy-class was intedned for 20-year mission spans.
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Old March 31 2010, 09:45 PM   #10
C.E. Evans
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Re: The Mission Length

USS Kongo wrote: View Post
I always thought the Enterprise should have been more of a deep space exploratory vessel. You know, the type that goes off by itself for long stretches of time in unexplored territories.

But we've seen the ship being used to ferry diplomats and other silly missons. With all the ships in starfleet, you'd think they wouldn't have to keep giving the Enterprise these milk runs.
Sort of like how they did the original Enterprise during Kirk's 5-year mission?

A multiyear exploration mission may incorporate hundreds of individual "probes" into unexplored space, but also include other kinds of deep-space missions for the Federation as well--including some that may not be considered exactly glamorous, but are vital nonetheless, IMO.
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Old March 31 2010, 10:10 PM   #11
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Re: The Mission Length

But the Enterprise-D had families on board, Kirk's ship didn't. That alone told me that the E-D was set up to be a deep space exploratory vessel that could be sent out on its own for extended periods of time. But that's obviously not what happened. What's the point of having a deep space vessel with an experienced captain in command if they were continuously micro-managed from back home?

Sean
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Old April 1 2010, 05:56 PM   #12
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Re: The Mission Length

I don't think it's a case of micromanagement at all but more to do with a ship's operational limits. A Galaxy-class ship can probably go on a general deployment (or general mission) lasting 10-15 years at a time, but I very much doubt it can actually go for more than a few years without having to return to a starbase for supplies, repairs, crew rotation, etc. That was definitely the case for both the original Enterprise and the Enterprise-D. As far as the whole family issue on the Enterprise-D is concerned, I think that's only for those personnel who are going to be aboard the vessel for its entire tour of duty, even if the ship itself stays relatively close to Federation space the whole time.
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Old April 1 2010, 08:13 PM   #13
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Re: The Mission Length

We agree to disagree.

Sean
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Old April 1 2010, 10:28 PM   #14
C.E. Evans
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Re: The Mission Length

Speak fer yerself.


Truthfully, there's nothing to agree or disagree on. We're both just expressing our opinions on something that is--at best--non-canon, because the mission length of a Galaxy-class ship has never been announced onscreen.

We're all just basically guessing here...
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Old April 1 2010, 10:32 PM   #15
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Re: The Mission Length

Which goes right back to what I just said: we agree to disagree.

Sean
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