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Old August 3 2011, 05:51 AM   #1
nebula828
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Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

I just happened across this bit of information today and couldn't help but try and make a connection: In 1953, Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquel...Flying_records). Despite the lack of an 'e' at the end of her last name, the similarity of her name and flying achievement to Zefram Cochrane seemed too good to be true.

Does anyone have any solid information as to whether the original Star Trek writers used Jacqueline's last name as an inspiration while creating Zefram? A cursory Google search didn't result in a satisfactory answer, but maybe I just didn't look hard enough. It makes sense to me that her name would have been used. Not only is the sound barrier closely analogous to the warp barrier, I can see the Original Star Trek writers using the Jacqueline Cochran reference as a tip-of-the-hat to female achievement and empowerment.
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Old August 3 2011, 12:16 PM   #2
Finn
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Re: Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

Good question. I've wondered about his first name though. Not exactly futuristic, since the James Cromwell version of Cochrane would have been born around now. I know the character was invented during TOS though.
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Old August 3 2011, 01:10 PM   #3
Timo
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Re: Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

It might simply be a stereotype. He invented something? Great Scott, he must be a Scotsman!

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Old August 4 2011, 04:57 AM   #4
nebula828
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Re: Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

True, his first name is another part of the puzzle. Maybe someday I'll run across a clue as to its origin. You don't see many parents naming their kids Zefram these days. Cool sounding name, though.
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Old August 4 2011, 11:37 AM   #5
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Re: Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

Ahead of its time really. A guy with no apparent connection to a government agency experimenting with a new form of spaceflight, using on cast-off military hardware.

I mean he could've been funded I suppose, but it looks like the US had been bombed back a couple centuries in living standards. Reduced to living in small settlements like old western frontier towns... just metal shelters, instead of wood. Cochrane could be an eccentric billionare, but he'd probably be more a hated figure by the rest of the community. Simply having spare cash to further his own interests, when the rest look like they're huddled around campfires, struggling to survive and probably picking each other off, when not drinking themselves in oblivion.

Something else I have always wondered about too... How was the re-entry capsule of the Phoenix recovered? Presumably it was designed to detach and leave the main body of the vehicle in space. Splashing down off the coast of America, in the Atlantic or the Pacific and Cochrane catching the next supersonic train back to Montana!
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Old August 4 2011, 11:52 AM   #6
C.E. Evans
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Re: Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

Prior to First Contact, I always thought that Zefram Cochrane was simply a Human born on Alpha Centauri (with warp drive being just an advanced form of FTL drive).
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Old August 5 2011, 11:30 AM   #7
Timo
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Re: Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

Presumably it was designed to detach and leave the main body of the vehicle in space. Splashing down off the coast of America
Why there? Why not land on Cochrane's lawn, between the garden gnomes?

There's nothing about "space capsule" that says that it has to land on water. Americans do it that way because this saves them from the trouble of aiming. But it's hellishly expensive to recover the capsules from water, and there's always the risk of the astronauts drowning. Russians aim at open plains because they have more of those than they have safe bodies of water, and also because it's cheaper to recover a capsule from land (and safer for the occupants, usually). But both sides could just as well decide to devote a few dollars or rubles to aiming, and equip their capsules with steerable parachutes - standard fare in the civilian world, and more and more commonly used by the militaries as well. A steerable parachute could bring the capsule across an entire continent to a pinpoint landing.

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Old August 14 2011, 03:08 AM   #8
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Re: Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

Science geeks, gimmie a hand here. Wasn't there a famous physicist with the last name of Cochrane and he discovered a law relating to sound or motion???...it's been too many years since my college Physics class.
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Old August 14 2011, 03:19 AM   #9
NSTrekfan
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Re: Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

No scientists other than Zephram on the Cochrane list at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochrane_(surname)
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Old August 14 2011, 03:21 AM   #10
T'Girl
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Re: Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

ChristopherPike wrote: View Post
Something else I have always wondered about too... How was the re-entry capsule of the Phoenix recovered? Presumably it was designed to detach and leave the main body of the vehicle in space. Splashing down off the coast of America
You're forgetting something. the Vulcans knew where to land, "something" lead them to the original launch site, as I understand it, it was the energy of the warp flight that attracted their attention. So, they probably didn't see it take off. There for, they followed it back to it's landing point with their sensors, or they picked up the Phoenix on the ground after they traveled to earth, using something like a "residual warp signature," (or something else).

If the capsule of the Phoenix landed in the water, Cochrane went back to the launch site by train (he doesn't like to fly), how did the Vulcans know where to land?

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Old August 14 2011, 10:20 PM   #11
Captain Rob
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Re: Origin of Zefram Cochrane's Name?

Since the subspace field from the warp drive effectively negates gravity. Then it would be incredibly easy for the Phoenix to reenter the atmosphere and land anywhere it wanted to. Being able to control the effects of gravity would be the holy grail of space travel.
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