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View Poll Results: Which option of building a starship is best:
Construct a starship entirely on a planetary surface. 1 4.17%
Construct sections of it on a planetary surface the assemble it in space or, 7 29.17%
Construct it entirely in space 16 66.67%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 15 2012, 04:27 AM   #1
Vanyel
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Is it better to...

Maybe an old question but....
  1. Construct a starship entirely on a planetary surface.
  2. Construct sections of it on a planetary surface the assemble it in space or,
  3. Construct it entirely in space.
I think option 2 is the best. The ship's sections are subject to a gravity field forcing the engineers to build it stronger than they would in space. And with that extra strength the ship can do atmospheric flights. Most importantly, no bulky space suits hampering construction.

Option 1 does have the same has the advantages as option 1, but it requires additional material to support an object that may never need that support in the weightlessness of space. Supports to hold up the bulky and heavy nacelles would be bulky and heavy too, and a ship like the Enterprises its warp nacelles may collapse once away from the supports.

Option 3 would require the use of the bulky space suits to construct the ship and the ship construction would need to be calibrated nearly perfectly to allow the ship to enter a planetary atmosphere. If it's to week the ship could break apart when it's too close to a large gravity well.

So what do you think.

And if this question has been asked before, please don't belittle me by linking to it. Just play along.
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Old July 15 2012, 04:50 AM   #2
MacLeod
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Re: Is it better to...

It all depends on the ship.

A shuttle would best be constructed on a planet.

Whislt a large starship is best constructed in space. Given devices like the Transporter and small shuttlcraft your main vessel would never need to enter the atmosphere of a planet.

Also the spacesuits used by the Starfleet are a lot less bulcky than our current spacesuits. If you are constructing it in a facility like spacedock, you could in theory pressurise the interior to have an atmosphere. So you would gain the advantages of zero-g as well as getting rid of the spacesuit.

Zero-g also has the advantage that things are easier to manipulate as they become weightless due to the lack of a large gravitational field.

You've also got shields and the SIF to assit if atmospheric flight becomes necessary. We know ships like the Intrepid Class appear to be constructed in space yet are fully capabale of atmospheric flight.
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Old July 15 2012, 05:04 AM   #3
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Is it better to...

By 'ship' I'm assuming starship, so I would say entirely in space. Seeing as that is where it is intended to operate, it makes more sense to build it there. It could then be built in several sections and easily manoeuvred together to be assembled without worrying about gravity and unnecessary logistics.
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Old July 15 2012, 05:05 AM   #4
Nerys Myk
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Re: Is it better to...

Star Trek science has mastered gravity/anti-gravity. So gravity isn't really a factor. Built it on the ground with crews free from spacesuits and environmental restrictions and then send it into orbit using anti-gravity.
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Old July 15 2012, 05:26 AM   #5
USS Triumphant
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Re: Is it better to...

The best option in my opinion is missing - build inside a (near) zero-g facility or inside the low-g environment of a hollowed out area of lunar soil. Either way, you get the ability to pressurize for atmosphere while keeping your launch energy costs lower than they would be to launch from inside a planetary gravity well.

I guess if we're talking 23rd/24th century Starfleet, then that would be inside Spacedock. But as others have mentioned, the anti-grav element might change that equation - we would need to know more about how that works.
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Old July 15 2012, 09:04 AM   #6
Captain Rob
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Re: Is it better to...

I've always figured that the Spacedock seen in ST3 and TNG had construction drydocks around the interior perimeter of various sizes. That big door we see that opens to the outside could also have a forcefield to retain the atmosphere. That way you could control all of the environmental variables. You could construct shuttles and smaller ships in a 1 G dock. And build larger ships in a zero G dock. That way your construction projects are completely protected from the outside.
That was the one thing that bothered me about the departure sequence from TMP and TWoK. That drydock should have had huge hangar doors and been within a large structure like a monstrous space station. Come on; it's Earth. It should have a huge space station almost like a small deathstar where there's factories, shipyards and facilities for all of the people going to and from the Federation capital world. That way you keep Earth nice and clean and green.
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Old July 16 2012, 10:07 PM   #7
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Is it better to...

On the ground of course - because it looks freaking awesome.
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Old July 17 2012, 06:48 PM   #8
C.E. Evans
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Re: Is it better to...

I think it depends on where its built and the availability of resources. If an orbital shipyard has most (if not all) of everything it needs to build a starship on site, then the vessel will be built there. The same would be true for a ground-based shipyard.
Captain Rob wrote:
That was the one thing that bothered me about the departure sequence from TMP and TWoK. That drydock should have had huge hangar doors and been within a large structure like a monstrous space station. Come on; it's Earth. It should have a huge space station almost like a small deathstar where there's factories, shipyards and facilities for all of the people going to and from the Federation capital world.
That's what Spacedock One is, IMO. The oribital drydock in Star Treks I and II is just a smaller facility for single vessels (the roof of the drydock could contain everything it needs for onsite work with anything it might lack easily sent up from Earth or another orbital facility via cargo shuttle).
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Old July 17 2012, 09:53 PM   #9
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Re: Is it better to...

Plus I think it would matter where your mining/producing the materials?
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Old July 18 2012, 04:12 AM   #10
Sumghai
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Re: Is it better to...

I concur that shuttlecraft should be built entirely from the ground. Definitely not for starships, though, as a valid point has been made about supporting structures.

Starships could have their major components fabricated on planetary surfaces before being assembled in orbit.
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Old July 18 2012, 04:58 PM   #11
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Re: Is it better to...

Who knows, perhaps at some point in the future, the Federation will be able to just press a button and replicate a starship.
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Old July 19 2012, 04:43 AM   #12
Sumghai
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Re: Is it better to...

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Who knows, perhaps at some point in the future, the Federation will be able to just press a button and replicate a starship.
Wasn't there something on Wikipedia about production staff concerned that this would "severely impact dramatic potential"?

(If only the original source was cited...)
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Old July 19 2012, 05:18 AM   #13
Vanyel
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Re: Is it better to...

Sumghai wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Who knows, perhaps at some point in the future, the Federation will be able to just press a button and replicate a starship.
Wasn't there something on Wikipedia about production staff concerned that this would "severely impact dramatic potential"?

(If only the original source was cited...)
I think it was in one of the Tech manuals, saying something like if they can replicate entire starships then they really don't need to, they are - at that point - to powerful to need starships.
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Old July 20 2012, 12:24 AM   #14
Sumghai
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Re: Is it better to...

Vanyel wrote: View Post
Sumghai wrote: View Post
Wasn't there something on Wikipedia about production staff concerned that this would "severely impact dramatic potential"?

(If only the original source was cited...)
I think it was in one of the Tech manuals, saying something like if they can replicate entire starships then they really don't need to, they are - at that point - to powerful to need starships.
Kirk: What does God need with a starship?

(gets hit with eye beams)
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Old July 20 2012, 10:09 AM   #15
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Re: Is it better to...

Space. This IS the future.
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