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Old July 8 2013, 07:09 PM   #31
Timo
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

If the "X" does indeed NOT stand for "eXperimental" but for something the two of you suggest, then how do you explain the NX-Alpha and NX-Beta from First Flight?
Why should those need explaining? They are not registries - they are frivolous callsigns for test rigs, and more specifically for test rigs involved in the project aiming at creating Earth's first eXplorer vessel. They are rather analogous to the AS missions 201 through 278 performed or planned for testing the Apollo Saturn moon shot spacecraft, even though none of those involved the actual final Apollo and Saturn V stack. Or to the various subscale spacecraft flown today in preparation for hoped-for full-scale versions, and often named after the intended end product of the process.

That the NX-Alpha and NX-Beta exist is actually good indication that NX is not a generic registry prefix slapped on every experimental vessel out there, but a unique project that will culminate in the first-ever NX class of starships, namely the Enterprise class. Otherwise, a name like "NX-Alpha" would already have been "used up" in the dozens of starship projects that apparently preceded the Enterprise.

As for redesignating NX class ships as NCC class ships in the novels, this makes good sense, because the vessels cease to be eXploration vessels in the novelverse. Instead, they become Combat Cruisers.

It is apparently only some time after this point in history that NCC ceases to be a classic naval pennant code and becomes an aeronautics-style national identifier applying to all starships regardless of type... But at that point, NX in turn indeed becomes an indicator of experimental status, deriving from a different branch of aeronautics. That is, NCC seems to be akin to the N prefix of the registry of civilian aircraft in the United States (or G in Great Britain, or OH in Finland, just to name a few and to emphasize that the letter need not obviously derive from the actual name of the operator). NX in turn seems to derive from the X prefix-extension of the type identifier number of military aircraft (although USAF actually uses Y for prototypes nowadays, and X is reserved for the sort of planes that will never see any production). It's very confusing - but it's healthy to realize that these prefix letters cannot be plausibly be argued to be exactly analogous to any single registration or identification system in use on Earth today or in the recent past. The usage is a funny mixture no matter what.

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Old July 9 2013, 09:35 AM   #32
Mario de Monti
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

Timo wrote: View Post
If the "X" does indeed NOT stand for "eXperimental" but for something the two of you suggest, then how do you explain the NX-Alpha and NX-Beta from First Flight?
Why should those need explaining? They are not registries - they are frivolous callsigns for test rigs, and more specifically for test rigs involved in the project aiming at creating Earth's first eXplorer vessel.
That is just your opinion. It does not prove in any way, that the "X" stands for eXploration rather than eXperiment.

Timo wrote: View Post
That the NX-Alpha and NX-Beta exist is actually good indication that NX is not a generic registry prefix slapped on every experimental vessel out there, but a unique project that will culminate in the first-ever NX class of starships
Which is what I already said in my post #18 of this thread
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Old July 9 2013, 08:19 PM   #33
Timo
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

That is just your opinion.
There's nothing in the episode or the context to liken the apparent callsigns to any registry scheme we have ever heard of. If they do represent some completely novel scheme, then we can ignore them all the more confidently, as this scheme doesn't overlap with the ones on screen.

It does not prove in any way, that the "X" stands for eXploration rather than eXperiment.
Exploration is specific, experimentation is generic. There is only one exploration project in Starfleet, but all its projects supposedly start out experimental. The existence of an "NeXperimental Alpha" so late in the game thus doesn't make sense, but the existence of "NeXploration Alpha" does.

Or, more generally, NX cannot be something that would have been applied on any Starfleet vessel or project before Henry Archer's supership, otherwise NX-Alpha would have been "used up" already.

So there's nothing to prove that X is for eXploration, but plenty to prove it doesn't stand for eXperimentation - and out of the options remaining, eXploration makes immense sense.

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Old July 9 2013, 08:59 PM   #34
Sci
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
ST precedent was with the Excelsior as NX-2000, experimental vessel. When Excelsior later went into service, we see NCC-2000. Makes sense.

Then we see Enterprise as NX-01, using the NX again to denote experimental vessel. Fair enough, new warp five engine and all that.

But then the Enterprise goes into service for Star Fleet, it should have been become NCC-01. It was no longer serving as an experimental vessel, it was being put into service on missions.

Yes? No?
This was the United Earth Starfleet, not the Federation Starfleet -- it should no more be expected to use the same nomenclature than one should expect the Massachusetts State Navy to use that of the United States Navy, or than one would expect the Royal Scots Navy to use that of the U.K. Royal Navy.

I would have liked an entirely different registry setup. Maybe "SWF" for "Space Warp Five," to designate that she has an entirely different engine than earlier Earth ships, the same way the Navy uses "CVN" to denote nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

I also would have preferred a different prefix rather than no prefix: "UES" for "United Earth Starship." So in the world according to Sci, maybe it would have been the UES Enterprise SWF-01.
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Old July 9 2013, 09:21 PM   #35
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

I'm happy to think in my own perverseverse that the N there stands for the Novel drive system, much like it in USN pennant code stands for a modern propulsion system...

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Old July 9 2013, 10:07 PM   #36
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

Timo wrote: View Post
There's nothing in the episode or the context to liken the apparent callsigns to any registry scheme we have ever heard of.
Quite. I'm guessing that Starfleet knew all along it was eventually going to have this brand new NX class. That was what they were building up to, so to speak. So the test vehicles intended to prove that its engines could work, were called NX-Alpha and NX-Beta, because they were always intended to "lead" to the NX class.

It'd be like (a few decades down the line) the UFP Starfleet deciding to produce prototypes called "Constitution-Alpha" and "Constitution-Beta" to test the engines that would one day be used on the class which they were already planning. That is literally the only meaning the 'alpha' and 'beta' designations have here. And there is zero proof to the contrary.

And I do like the 'U.E.S.' designation for Earth Starfleet ships (though I think NCC sounds better as a registry prefix). I always wondered why Earth Starfleet vessels had no prefix - just the name.
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Old July 9 2013, 10:25 PM   #37
Timo
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

I actually think the first U there does stand for "United Earth" in Archer's time, whereas in Kirk's ship it stands for "United Federation of Planets". It's just that both the S'es also have a raison d'etre: the first is "Star Fleet" and the second is "Star Ship". UESFSS would be a mouthful, let alone UFPSFSS, so the shorter forms get used.

(In Season Four, didn't we get some display graphics showing "USS Enterprise" despite there never being extra letters in the actual pennants?)

As for the "NX-Alpha"/"Constitution-Alpha" thing, it's a bit unsatisfactory in this respect that the great project actually usually gets called the Warp Five Engine Project rather than the NX Project. I mean, it makes excellent sense that the test rigs would exist solely to test the engine, while the greater project would involve lots of other testing and the warp rigs we see would actually just produce the generic engine that could then be applied on just about any ship class. But for some reason, the test rig still gets called NX-Alpha, rather than something more logical like Archer-Alpha or WF-Alpha...

Since the very concept of an exploration starship was so unique at the time, though, I'm willing to believe the engineers would see even the components of the project in terms of the end product starship. It might be too much to start believing in a general revolution of starflight; the Warp Five Engine might live or die with the exploration starship project, regardless of whether the engine was a success or not. Rather than jinx the general revolution, the propeller-heads thus only speak of the NX project specifically.

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Old July 10 2013, 01:38 AM   #38
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
And I do like the 'U.E.S.' designation for Earth Starfleet ships (though I think NCC sounds better as a registry prefix). I always wondered why Earth Starfleet vessels had no prefix - just the name.
Out-universe, I assume it was Braga and Berman wanting to find a way to set the NX-01 apart from the Federation Enterprises.

In-universe, I suppose it's akin to the fact that, for instance, the U.S. space shuttle orbiters never had any sort of prefixes. It was just the Space Shuttle Atlantis, not the USSS Atlantis.

Timo wrote: View Post
I actually think the first U there does stand for "United Earth" in Archer's time, whereas in Kirk's ship it stands for "United Federation of Planets". It's just that both the S'es also have a raison d'etre: the first is "Star Fleet" and the second is "Star Ship". UESFSS would be a mouthful, let alone UFPSFSS, so the shorter forms get used.
For my money, Federation starships ought to have either the prefix "UFS" for "United Federation Starship," or "FS," for "Federation Starship." (Or maybe "FSS," for "Federation Star-Ship," if we decide we like three letters over two but don't want to use the phrase "United Federation.")

(In Season Four, didn't we get some display graphics showing "USS Enterprise" despite there never being extra letters in the actual pennants?)
A graphic in "Affliction" showing Columbia's matching Enterprise's runaway warp run called them "USS Enterprise" and "USS Columbia." IIRC, someone from the ENT Art Department said this was a mistake made in the rush of production.
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Old July 10 2013, 03:04 AM   #39
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

I also like the prefix UFS for Federation military vessels. I'm just guessing that the reason they use USS is because the show started so long ago, and viewers at that time would be confused if a ship had anything other than a USS prefix - which is what they expected to see.

If Abrams Trek was the only Trek that ever existed, and it really was starting from scratch right now, they probably would use UFS.
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Old July 10 2013, 01:20 PM   #40
Mario de Monti
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

Timo wrote: View Post
Exploration is specific, experimentation is generic. There is only one exploration project in Starfleet, but all its projects supposedly start out experimental. The existence of an "NeXperimental Alpha" so late in the game thus doesn't make sense, but the existence of "NeXploration Alpha" does.

Or, more generally, NX cannot be something that would have been applied on any Starfleet vessel or project before Henry Archer's supership, otherwise NX-Alpha would have been "used up" already.

So there's nothing to prove that X is for eXploration, but plenty to prove it doesn't stand for eXperimentation - and out of the options remaining, eXploration makes immense sense.
So basically what youīre saying is, that it canīt be eXperiment because there have been numerous other experimental designs before but has to be eXploration because ... Starfleet hasnīt done any exploring before??

Space exploration has been going on since the 1960s and Iīm sure, that the first "true" spaceships as well es the first warp capable ships have also been used mainly for exploration. So the NX would also have been "used up" already if it stood for eXploration!
To call the NX project the first and only exploration project is purely conjectural, we donīt know if thatīs true. What we do know however is, that it was about creating the first Warp 5 engine. That was the one and most important goal - not to create the first exploration vessel. There have been plenty of those before.

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Old July 10 2013, 03:41 PM   #41
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

so what happend to all the Vulcan, Andorian and Telelrite ships? were they all NCC'ed until a standard design was made ?
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Old July 10 2013, 04:02 PM   #42
Timo
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

Federation starships [..] the prefix UFS for Federation military vessels
But there are Federation starships, and then there are Federation Starfleet starships. A prefix with a double S for the latter defends its place here...

So basically what youīre saying is, that it canīt be eXperiment because there have been numerous other experimental designs before but has to be eXploration because ... Starfleet hasnīt done any exploring before??
Exactly, because this is what the show tells us.

Space exploration has been going on since the 1960s and Iīm sure, that the first "true" spaceships as well es the first warp capable ships have also been used mainly for exploration. So the NX would also have been "used up" already if it stood for eXploration!
How so? We're only talking about Starfleet and its registry schemes here - and we can tell Starfleet hasn't done any exploring. Why this would be, we can speculate on. There isn't anything to explore until one invents a ship capable of reaching outside the Vulcan sphere of influence, apparently. But Archer is the first to study strange new worlds, and it shows in his lack of experience and skill, as well as in the nature of the "firsts" he scores.

That was the one and most important goal - not to create the first exploration vessel. There have been plenty of those before.
We have evidence of none - even the Valiant, a mission failure, precedes Starfleet, which wasn't created until some time after Archer's youth.

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Old July 10 2013, 08:54 PM   #43
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

About "U.S.S." - although TOS establishes that it stands for "United Space Ship", I kinda like what the old Heavy Cruiser Evolution Blueprints did, saying it stood for United Federation of Planets - Starfleet Division - Starship.
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Old July 10 2013, 09:06 PM   #44
Timo
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Re: Enterprise NCC-01

Which is probably the same thing, because the latter is a mouthful and would inevitably get shortened in everyday use. "United Star Ship" is simply akin to saying "the States" or "America" when meaning "The United States of America"...

...Whereas "United Space Ship" is an easy mistake to make.

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