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Old September 29 2010, 10:04 PM   #1
BolianAuthor
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Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

I was just wondering what the general fan base think about this...

We first see the massive mushroomian Spacedock in TSFS. We can assume it was around in TWOK. So... I'd like to hear theories on just when it was activated, and how long it took to build, or rather, when it began construction... the TOS era, or sometime around TMP?

Even with the use of large-scale industrial replicators and such... I'd still imagine it took a long time from drawing board to the first ship docking inside it. So, what say you all?
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Old September 29 2010, 10:19 PM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

It was completely, insanely, oversized. They could have had them start building it in an episode of Enterprise and I could imagine them finishing around the time of TOS.
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Old September 29 2010, 10:25 PM   #3
Wingsley
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

Keep in mind that this is just my opinion...

The Mushroomian Spacedock never made sense to me in TMP3. If it was the "hub" of spacecraft construction and traffic activity in Earth orbit, why didn't we see it before that? The thing is huge. It would loom like a second moon in Earth's sky, and be plainly visible for many thousands of miles, everywhere in Earth orbit except for the far side of the planet. In fact, it looks so huge that I wouldn't be surprised if you could see it from the Moon.

This is in sharp contrast to the orbital office complex where Kirk first meets Scott before traveling to see the refit Enterprise for the first time in TMP1. The scale of the orbital office complex is much more in line with what we've come to expect of space vehicles and stations in the TOS Universe. When did Fesarius-sized vessels become part of the Earth/Federation repertoire?

It seemed to me to be one of those examples of Star Destroyer / Death Star envy that crept into TREK during those days. It was more concept erosion.

Having said all that, even though the Mushroom sticks out like a sore thumb, I suppose the Federation would have the technology to build one if they really really wanted to. The practicality of maintaining and securing a vessel of that size would seem to be a headache, though.

It would seem to me that if it takes Earth and/or the Federation years to design and build a new class of starship-of-the-line, then a station the size of the Mushroom would take years or even decades. Maybe the station evolved gradually over time, starting as a small office complex during the early days of the UFP, then growing over generations. That's the only way it would make sense to me.
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Old September 30 2010, 02:45 AM   #4
SchwEnt
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

Yeah, I agree. All the stuff mentioned above.

The Fesarius-size scale doesn't seem in keeping with Federation technology as we've seen it. Yes, too much SW Star Destroyer influence. And this kinda ruined a lot of credibility in my mind. ST always seemed possible, if not probable, technology. 1000 foot starships--sizewise--aren't too different from carriers of today.
Spacedock blew all reality away for me.

And yeah, when did they build that thing? To see it like that in TSFS, construction would have to be started in 1974.

And yeah, what's the deal with it anyway? Why so big???
It's so much more than a humungous dock to hold ships. It's got facilities and quarters and whatever for TENS of THOUSANDS, maybe HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS.
Why??? When you need ONE massive central facility for that many people, and you're RIGHT THERE at Earth... why not just set up shop planetside??
If you're already based at Earth, main headquarters, you really need to keep THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of people in orbit? Isn't planetside good enough? They're already AT Earth.

And then why one massive central facility anyway?
Would a dozen also-very-large spacedocks spread around make a difference? Would it be better and easier?

I don't know... ever since I saw it 20+ years ago, it's always raised more doubts and questions than praise.
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Old September 30 2010, 02:47 AM   #5
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

There is an even bigger one in TNG, it's absolutely huge.
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Old September 30 2010, 03:31 AM   #6
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

Obviously there are some scale problems with the miniature, as there are with starships. Perhaps part of the problem is that the spacedock isn't intended to look as huge as it does, and it has a limited capacity in terms of ships and such. Given the technological advances we've come to expect with regards to construction, perhaps it takes no more time to build something that large than it does to churn out, say, fifty or a hundred destroyers or cruisers of a given class.
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Old September 30 2010, 03:39 AM   #7
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

Allow me to argue in favor of the space dock as a devil's advocate. May be it will provoke better discussion and generate new ideas.

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
Yeah, I agree. All the stuff mentioned above.

The Fesarius-size scale doesn't seem in keeping with Federation technology as we've seen it. Yes, too much SW Star Destroyer influence. And this kinda ruined a lot of credibility in my mind. ST always seemed possible, if not probable, technology. 1000 foot starships--sizewise--aren't too different from carriers of today.
Spacedock blew all reality away for me.

And yeah, when did they build that thing? To see it like that in TSFS, construction would have to be started in 1974.
It sort of keeps in line with TNG. Galaxy class is huge, they built fleets 1000s of ships strong, they build the Argus Array, why not? There is no special technology involved, just tons of material. It must have been right after TOS that there was some change in industrial process that allowed the Federation to expand so much by the time of TNG. The same process that allowed for relatively short construction time of that Starbase.


And yeah, what's the deal with it anyway? Why so big???
It's so much more than a humungous dock to hold ships. It's got facilities and quarters and whatever for TENS of THOUSANDS, maybe HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS.
Why??? When you need ONE massive central facility for that many people, and you're RIGHT THERE at Earth... why not just set up shop planetside??
If you're already based at Earth, main headquarters, you really need to keep THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of people in orbit? Isn't planetside good enough? They're already AT Earth.
It could simply be a prototype. It makes sense to build it at Earth first, and if it works, built it in key sections of Federation space as a hub of sorts. It makes sense that it needs to be huge because the nearest major base is 100's of light-years away. Think British Empire in the Carribean. Port Royal better be well stocked, equipped and somewhat safe.

And then why one massive central facility anyway?
Would a dozen also-very-large spacedocks spread around make a difference? Would it be better and easier?

I don't know... ever since I saw it 20+ years ago, it's always raised more doubts and questions than praise.
Having dozens smaller ones would probably be a waste of resources and the effectiveness would be reduced. Would you rather have 10 Nova class ships or one Galaxy? For 10 Novas, you are going to need 100 officers, 10 warp cores, 10 impulse engines, and they can still only go at warp 8.

While the SF does have smaller Stabases ( planetside ones, as well as 375 and DS9), there seems to be a need for bigger ones, just like you need bigger starships.
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Old September 30 2010, 03:55 AM   #8
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

Wingsley wrote: View Post
....
This is in sharp contrast to the orbital office complex where Kirk first meets Scott before traveling to see the refit Enterprise for the first time in TMP1. The scale of the orbital office complex is much more in line with what we've come to expect of space vehicles and stations in the TOS Universe. When did Fesarius-sized vessels become part of the Earth/Federation repertoire?
.....
If Star Trek:TMP is set in the year 2271 or 2273, without seeing any 'Mighty Mushroom' Spacedock, in the 23rd century space construction, is twelve to fourteen years long enough to build it for it's debut in 2285 in ST 3:SFS ?
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Old September 30 2010, 04:19 AM   #9
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

Well, the point of this thread is not if we LIKE Spacedock as a concept or construct... I am trying to ascertain how long it would theoretically take to build it, to establish a rough timeline of when Starfleet might have begun work on it.
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Old September 30 2010, 04:44 AM   #10
Wingsley
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

Galileo7 wrote: View Post
Wingsley wrote: View Post
....
This is in sharp contrast to the orbital office complex where Kirk first meets Scott before traveling to see the refit Enterprise for the first time in TMP1. The scale of the orbital office complex is much more in line with what we've come to expect of space vehicles and stations in the TOS Universe. When did Fesarius-sized vessels become part of the Earth/Federation repertoire?
.....
If Star Trek:TMP is set in the year 2271 or 2273, without seeing any 'Mighty Mushroom' Spacedock, in the 23rd century space construction, is twelve to fourteen years long enough to build it for it's debut in 2285 in ST 3:SFS ?
Well, I suppose that it depends on whether one accepts that TMP takes place only about three years after TOS. I never understood the logic behind that, and it seemed to have pitfalls from what I could see.

TOS ended production in the Spring of 1969 and TMP hit the theaters on 7 Dec. 1979. So that's ten-and-a-half years between the two, and the actors certainly looked ten years older. Ergo, I had no problem with TMP1 being set in 2279 or thereabouts. It is less clear when TMP2-to-TMP4 were set; presumably sometime around 2285-2286. (Gotta dig Saavik #2's "80's hair")




BolianAuthor wrote: View Post
Well, the point of this thread is not if we LIKE Spacedock as a concept or construct... I am trying to ascertain how long it would theoretically take to build it, to establish a rough timeline of when Starfleet might have begun work on it.
Point well taken. The specifics of this thread's subjective matter do tend to result in responses that are, well, subjective.

Having said all that, I would say that given the fact that starships and space stations seen prior to the Mush were all scaled much smaller, I would expect that something that huge would take years, if not decades, and would probably be an evolutionary process. Think of it like building a modern city from scratch. Would it happen quickly? Doubtful.

So I'm going to say the Mush probably sprouted and grew gradually throughout the 23rd century, although I suppose it is at least remotely possible that recent technological advances could have resulted in a much faster construction timeframe. It all depends on how motivated Earth and/or the UFP was to get it done. If they expected a big return on investment and they really needed a new "Starbase One" built fast, then maybe the orbiting office complex seen in TMP1 was the seed that grew into something really, really big and awesome.
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Old September 30 2010, 05:02 AM   #11
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

Perhaps we never saw the massive station, at least while it was under construction, because it was built in various locations in the system. This may not have been only an earth based SF task, but a task of the entire Federation. Member worlds may have contributed to building sections, components, supplying raw materials, etc. With there level of technology, it is not unreasonable to believe that the Federation could achieve this sort of feat in a decade, perhaps.
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Old September 30 2010, 05:08 AM   #12
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

^

That's a good idea... it would make sense to construct it in modules anyway, albeit huge modules.
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Old September 30 2010, 08:45 AM   #13
Timo
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

I never had a problem with Spacedock as such. Why would it be any more unrealistic and unlikely than, say, skyscrapers here on Earth? Skyscrapers don't make an ounce of engineering sense - they are merely an artifact of the perverse economy we run, out of habit. Plus they are pretty damn impressive. Both reasons might be equally valid for constructing giant space cities right next to Earth.

I don't really see why Spacedock couldn't be built overnight, either. It's no bigger than a moderately sized city; it just happens to be founded on a particularly difficult type of soil, namely orbital vacuum. The substance making up its "foundation" or outer shell might be in situ preparable, like concrete. Once that was done, construction of the innards could proceed relatively "wildly" in terms of schedule and structure.

Moving the materials to the Spacedock construction site might in fact be easier than moving comparable materials to any terrestrial construction site. Transporters would take care of direct delivery of that concrete analogy, eliminating the need for "cement trucks" in between; the performance of the teleportation technology might be significantly boosted when one can afford an error rate of 20%, and not insist on 0.000000000000000012%.

As for not seeing the station before, well, we never saw Earth before. Not until ST:TMP at least. And in that movie (and in ST2) we only visited a single specific location, a military dockyard at relatively low orbit; there's no particular reason we should have noticed a star that was slightly brighter than others and close to the horizon of Earth.

Really, I'd expect Earth's vicinity to be littered with industrial installations far, far larger than Spacedock or the Utopia Planitia docks of "Relativity". Humans like to think big, and even if they still build midget starships in the 24th century, why, all the more reason for them to vent their megalomania in some other direction...

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Old September 30 2010, 01:48 PM   #14
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

Since I liked that pic in the last calendar, I'd say the starbase was built somewhere around TMP. It was still pretty empty in TSFS (and far more busy in TVH), so it was finished just before the Enterprise returned home in TSFS.
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Old September 30 2010, 03:07 PM   #15
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Re: Building the Mighty Mushroom - Spacedock

I never had a problem with it. It's large, but so is the Star Trek universe, so why not? Time space warping, molecular de/reconstruction, anit/artificial gravity... These are no less futuristic the a large space station.

As for it's time schedule. I'd speculate the planning would be easily at least 10 to 20 years prior to the actual construction, but taking into account the advanced computers, I'd then divide that in half. So the planning would be 5-10 years. Construction would probably be around the same. And that's simply because of the amount of material involved.

However based on it's looks (compared to TOS's space station that is obviously older then the late 2260's), I'd say construction started in the late 2260's.

So there's my take. Planning started around 2260-2263. Contruction started around 2265-68.
Complete construction ended around 2270/73 (at 5 years to constuct)-2275/78 (at 10 years to contruct).
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