RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 147,567
Posts: 5,834,163
Members: 26,149
Currently online: 456
Newest member: robert0808

TrekToday headlines

Meaney In Talks For McGuinness Role
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Stewart And Son To Act Together
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Quinto: If I Wasn’t An Actor…
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Star Trek Beyond Update
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Red Shirt Diaries Returns Next Month
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26

ISS Astronaut May Join Trek Fan Film
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26

Quinto Sports New Trek Uniform
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26

Star Trek: Renegades Released Early
By: T'Bonz on Aug 25

Final Trek To Boldly Go Video Honors Nimoy
By: T'Bonz on Aug 25

Star Trek Timelines Game
By: T'Bonz on Aug 24

Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.

Go Back   The Trek BBS > Welcome to the Trek BBS! > General Trek Discussion

General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

Thread Tools
Old February 27 2012, 11:00 PM   #1
360x360 degrees flight

I have searched the web about this subject (on and off) for some time now and I am aware that this is scifi but... why is it that every time a starship encounters a wavefront or something similar rushing towards them they have to go through it? Why not go over or under it? I can understand that maybe the earlier starships weren't able to respond in time but what about the Enterprise (TNG) or Voyager?
fastjackk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28 2012, 12:15 AM   #2
sojourner's Avatar
Location: I'm at WKRP
Re: 360x360 degrees flight

The plot requires it.
Baby, you and me were never meant to be, just maybe think of me once in a while...
sojourner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28 2012, 03:54 AM   #3
Fleet Captain
TiberiusMaximus's Avatar
Location: A ship, a living ship, full of strange alien lifeforms.
Re: 360x360 degrees flight

In Star Trek, space is two-dimensional.
"Quite possibly, the five Jem'Hadar could turn Data into a collection of four spasming limbs, one helpless torso, and one head that shouts insults at them like the Black Knight from the Monty Python sketch." -Timo Saloniemi
TiberiusMaximus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28 2012, 08:24 AM   #4
Captain Rob
Captain Rob's Avatar
Re: 360x360 degrees flight

The best example is the infamous Galactic Barrier. From the very first time I saw it until the last time I saw it (Remastered); I'd always say: "Fly over the damned thing!"
Regal Entertainment Group murdered United Artists
Captain Rob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28 2012, 08:31 AM   #5
Re: 360x360 degrees flight

In Star Trek, space is two-dimensional.
...Or perhaps subspace is?

That is, there are a total of three cases where the ship is in danger of being "hit by a 2D wavefront" in Star Trek. The first is in the second pilot episode, "Where No Man" (and its repeats in "Is There In Truth" and "By Any Other Name"); the second is in TNG "New Ground"; and the third is in the movie ST6: The Undiscovered Country. In the latter two cases, the flat wavefront is supposedly moving at warp speed - in "New Ground", explicitly so although in ST6, only implicitly reaching out to a Federation starship from deep within Klingon space. The weird properties of subspace might well dictate the "channel" within which the wave propagates, leaking back into the geometry of real space in the form of a flat ring. Similar things might hold together the Galactic Barrier of TOS in a flat if seemingly static shape.

Now, if a natural phenomenon finds it advantageous to move in a specific part of subspace (and its realspace counterpart), one might assume a starship does, too. Which means Sulu's ship in ST6 would justly be caught in the "sweet zone" while preparing to get underway for the long warp home, and would have no time to go up or down. OTOH, Picard's ship in "New Ground" needs to hang around the wavefront for mission-specific reasons, which don't really need explaining.

Which basically only leaves the TOS barrier. Why not go under or over? Well, Kirk says his mission is to ensure that future missions in this direction will be safe - so he deliberately sails into danger, to check it out. The Barrier doesn't appear to come as a surprise to him or his crew, only its properties do. Quite possibly, Kirk was given the specific orders to go and muck around inside the Barrier to see if it's safe - and not the orders to go past it and find wonderful things beyond, as nowhere in the episode is there mention of a desire to do the latter. That's for other starships.

Really, the 2D vs 3D problem doesn't appear particularly severe in Star Trek. Most of its "space waves", "ion storms" and whatnot are delightfully 3D anyway. And as for more physical phenomena... Well, in TNG "Final Mission", there's a realistically 2D if unrealistically dense asteroid belt between the ship's starting point and her destination, and Riker opts to fly through rather than above or below. In terms of today's celestial mechanics, that makes sense: trying to change the plane of one's orbit would be hard work. Sure, Trek engines are better, but the episode does establish that the Enterprise is straining with her towing task already, and is in a great hurry. So going through the asteroids is probably a good idea after all, even if the superdense belt poses a collision risk.

What else? Ah, the minefields in DS9 "Sons of Mogh". Supposedly, they are in the same plane as the Bajoran system's planets, rather than in a 3D surround pattern. Of course, the purpose of a minefield never is to surround: it is to unpredictably ambush, so that the opponent never knows where and whether the mines are. A thousand mines at the plane of the ecliptic is much better than a trillion mines evenly spread. Provided that the ecliptic is a shipping route, that is.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote


360 degrees flight, enterprise, evading storms, voyager

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:00 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.