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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old June 4 2014, 09:54 AM   #31
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: SpaceDock questions

Rick Sternbach wrote: View Post
King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I recall that the TNG producers simply decided that Starbase 79 is much bigger than the STIII Spacedock, over Rick Sternbach's (or was it Andrew Probert's?) objections. The doors are the same relative size to the facility, since the footage was from STIII only with the E-D in place of the classic movie ship.
Might have been Andy who called out the problems; I really wasn't involved in that discussion. From an episodic TV show production reality standpoint, I can understand the footage reuse; from a fan standpoint I can also wish they had done something different. But I can always re-jigger the concept of a larger station in my head and be okay with that.

Rick
Thanks for the clarification.
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Old June 4 2014, 08:08 PM   #32
Crazy Eddie
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Re: SpaceDock questions

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
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I'll again point out the idea that most starships no longer decompress their shuttlebays when their doors are open. Forcefields, man!
Frankly, I’d like “my” Star Trek to remain un-affected by Star Wars tropes (and vice versa).
Then you probably should have stopped watching after Wrath of Khan

Besides, then what’s the point of mechanical doors in the first place
Same reason as the mechanical doors on every Enterprise after TOS: to seal off the bay so you don't have to rely on a forcefield.

to trap ships inside in case of a power less as visualized in ST IV:TVH?
I'm pretty sure those ships were trapped by virtue of their not being able to do anything (due to the lack of power), doors or no doors. That they were sealed away in spacedock probably prevented them from falling into decaying orbits and becoming large, dangerous, antimatter-fueled projectiles careening around in orbit space with no power or propulsion.

OTOH, that power loss sort of illustrates why the doors exist, eh? Since the doors were CLOSED, the loss of power means the bay doesn't suddenly decompress, and all the guys trapped on those travel pods and shutttles (with no space suits to speak of) can simply open a hatch and jump for it.
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Old June 4 2014, 08:32 PM   #33
Timo
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Re: SpaceDock questions

FWIW, the tug miniature features two people in heavy coveralls and flight helmets - an odd choice for clothing in a vehicle that actually lacks anything resembling an entry or an exit!

If the presence of air were to be for facilitating shirtsleeves work, it's remarkable that we never see anything of the sort. It sounds odd to invest so massively in something that never sees practical use, in the wide variety of situations we witness:

- Ships waiting to be deployed, perhaps being resupplied
- Ships with major battle scars, no doubt in need of exterior repairs
- Personnel being transferred to ships aboard small craft
- Personnel being transferred to ships via gangways
- Ships desperately trying to leave the facility in unusual conditions

Interesting points about the possibility of air-breathing (or at least air-heating or air-pumping) engines aboard the small craft! But investing in a dual propulsion system for such minimalist craft as the workbee or the travel pod would seem counterproductive, for very little return. If there's a secondary drive there, it's probably gravitic in nature, considering how commonplace gravity control seems to be in Trek; that sort of exhaustless drive might even be the primary one, if not for the fact that we see those clumsy and primitive RCS nozzles everywhere in the workbee...

Then again, exhaust probably isn't that big a problem when considering that starships are supposed to maneuver using thrusters inside Spacedock!

(Also, the seeming ability of a workbee cargo train to "hover" inside a starship cargo bay may simply be due to there being no gravity inside that bay. Not in midair at any rate; artificial gravity is shown to be deck-specific or even room-specific in TAS and ENT and DS9, and hinted at being that in TOS walla already.)

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Old June 5 2014, 09:51 AM   #34
Robert Comsol
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Re: SpaceDock questions

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
…to trap ships inside in case of a power less as visualized in ST IV:TVH?
I'm pretty sure those ships were trapped by virtue of their not being able to do anything (due to the lack of power), doors or no doors. That they were sealed away in spacedock probably prevented them from falling into decaying orbits and becoming large, dangerous, antimatter-fueled projectiles careening around in orbit space with no power or propulsion .
Well, in my treatise mentioned in an earlier post I suggested that the whole purpose of spacedock’s main section is to protect the inhabitants of nearby Earth from the radiation that could spring from an antimatter loading accident inside.

But since the starships inside are accelerated along with the spacedock on its orbital trajectory, they couldn’t just “fall out” of spacedock and the sky unless the actively used their thrusters to achieve that.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
OTOH, that power loss sort of illustrates why the doors exist, eh? Since the doors were CLOSED, the loss of power means the bay doesn't suddenly decompress, and all the guys trapped on those travel pods and shutttles (with no space suits to speak of) can simply open a hatch and jump for it.
As Timo correctly pointed out the tugpods’ personnel were wearing suits already inside the cockpits.



Of course we could debate whether these are EVA suits or anti-radiation suits instead.

Once they tow a starship to a position there could be plenty of radiation built-up from the tractor beam coils.
And in case of an antimatter loading accident, they'd also have protection.

Bob
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Old June 5 2014, 11:04 AM   #35
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Re: SpaceDock questions

...Funny how the tug appears the closest to Matt Jeffries' old visions about TOS utility vehicles, with their 1930s-50s pulp scifi style transparent domes and rounded bodies, and represents quite a departure from Probert's 1980s "NASA realism" style spacecraft. I could accept this as being a truly futuristic vehicle in MJ style, with the transparent dome a mere forcefield that can be dropped for quick spacewalks needed to couple or uncouple the tug, or to unclog the tractor beam coils, or whatever.

Or then this isn't a tug, but rather a waste management vehicle, purging the bilge tanks of starships via that dorsal opening; scooping up exhaust gases from inside the enclosed dock via the ventral intakes; and risking getting both the hull and the operators really dirty, as seen on the miniature!

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Old June 5 2014, 11:57 AM   #36
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Re: SpaceDock questions

Of course the details of background miniatures like the tug don't make logical sense. The things are quickie kitbashes which are on the screen for a few seconds and you never get a good look at them, so why expend time and effort to figure out how people get in or out, etc. since you'll never see that?
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Old June 5 2014, 12:40 PM   #37
Robert Comsol
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Re: SpaceDock questions

Timo wrote: View Post
Or then this isn't a tug, but rather a waste management vehicle, purging the bilge tanks of starships via that dorsal opening; scooping up exhaust gases from inside the enclosed dock via the ventral intakes; and risking getting both the hull and the operators really dirty, as seen on the miniature!
Sounds like a good rationalization and I'd finally have an idea for what that top-side intake "thingy" might be good for.
A futuristic garbage truck, I think that has previously been unheard of.

@ Maurice

Because it's a kind of post-post production fun making sense out of things for which the model builders possibly didn't have time or interest. It's definitely one of my favorite hobbies.

Bob
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Old June 5 2014, 01:11 PM   #38
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Re: SpaceDock questions

A futuristic garbage truck, I think that has previously been unheard of.
I take it you haven't seen Star Trek: Into Darkness, then. (Yes, it does have those two words included in the title, regardless of its merits.)

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Old June 5 2014, 01:57 PM   #39
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Re: SpaceDock questions

Hmm...I just realized that we had heard of a futuristic garbage truck before:

KORAX: Of course, I'd say that Captain Kirk deserves his ship. We like the Enterprise. We, we really do. That sagging old rust bucket is designed like a garbage scow. Half the quadrant knows it. That's why they're learning to speak Klingonese.
CHEKOV: Mister Scott!
SCOTT: Laddie, don't you think you should rephrase that?
KORAX: You're right, I should. I didn't mean to say that the Enterprise should be hauling garbage. I meant to say that it should be hauled away as garbage.


Yes, Timo, I did see ST:ID. In case you are suggesting that the nuTrek's Enterprise
should be hauled away as garbage, please give me a couple of days to think of good reasons how to prevent that.

Bob
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Old June 5 2014, 02:45 PM   #40
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Re: SpaceDock questions

I assume that tug is entered through the canopy. I can easily imagine it folding up like on a jet fighter and the two guys climbing in and out.

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Old June 6 2014, 12:42 AM   #41
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Re: SpaceDock questions

FWIW, Jackill's work has two small doors on each side of the cockpit, about where the 5 is on the studio model above.
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Old June 6 2014, 02:21 PM   #42
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Re: SpaceDock questions

The model would have to be further reinterpreted to allow the pilots to escape from their cockpit to the aft part of the craft first; there doesn't seem to be a door or hatch in the back wall, either.

I sort of like the idea of a "wet" craft with a windshield that is opened regularly for various tasks, much as was the idea with the workbee. Shirtsleeves ops are possible but perhaps uncommon... The two top hatches would then be for accessing the rear machinery, not for entry or exit.

Odds and ends:

- Fancy how these craft see use both within Spacedock and down at San Francisco. Why would tugs take the trip down to the planet?

- Planetside, these craft are being serviced next to what looks more like office buildings than maintenance hangars, albeit with some sort of a robotic arm attached to a wall. Is that area really a small craft maintenance center or what?

- Dignitaries supposedly walk past these dirty craft in their fancy costumes. Are they lost?

- It seems awkward to park these landing gear -less craft. Yet two sit on some sort of dedicated pedestals or antigrav caissons...

- In light of HD & pause button, should we accept that every craft of this type seen in the movies has the letter 5 painted on the side? Is that a unit or assignment number rather than craft number?

Considering the jobs we see these craft actually perform, perhaps "pilot boat" would be the better match? Such boats could escort diplomatic vessels down to San Francisco grounds in addition to serving a similar purpose in orbit; could guide our heroes' observation pod within the dock; and could also be used for SAR around both San Francisco and Spacedock. The pilots and possible rescue crew in the aft compartment would be constantly clad for action, ready to jump out or perhaps beam out, and the craft would have aerodynamic features for extensive in-atmosphere as well as transatmospheric operations.

Doesn't mean the big ribbing astern wouldn't be a humungous tractor beam emitter.

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Old June 6 2014, 08:02 PM   #43
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Re: SpaceDock questions

Timo wrote: View Post
If the presence of air were to be for facilitating shirtsleeves work, it's remarkable that we never see anything of the sort.
Welcome to Star Trek.

Interesting points about the possibility of air-breathing (or at least air-heating or air-pumping) engines aboard the small craft! But investing in a dual propulsion system for such minimalist craft as the workbee or the travel pod would seem counterproductive, for very little return.
Why? It's probably not that hard to do, considering that the basic MHD technology needed to make it work is already available in the 21st century.

Also, I'm not entirely sure that workbees were specifically designed to operate in space. They could actually be ATMOSPHERIC craft -- sort of a flying forklift, really -- that can be converted for use in space.
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Old June 6 2014, 08:11 PM   #44
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Re: SpaceDock questions

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
But since the starships inside are accelerated along with the spacedock on its orbital trajectory, they couldn’t just “fall out” of spacedock and the sky unless the actively used their thrusters to achieve that.
Not if they were IN the spacedock, no. But having left spacedock on a free-floating trajectory (possibly under impulse power, leaving at fairly high speed) they are now on separate orbits with a relative velocity of a few hundreds of meters per second. Something to consider is that if you move your ship away from the space station on an angle relative to the plane of its orbit (without changing altitude at all), both you and the station will make one complete orbit along that path before returning to each other with the exact same relative trajectories.

So if you boost out of the North Door at full impulse power and crank it to 450m/s, and then loose power, an hour or so later you come back around in your orbit, and there's the station again, right where you left it; you crash into the South Door at 450m/s, a collision which would have enough kinetic energy to destroy most of the station even if it doesn't burst your antimatter pods. It gets a tiny bit safer if you boost out of the station not directly laterally but slightly forward (a plane change plus an apogee change) but in that case, while you'll almost certainly miss the station, you'll sill come zipping past it again every time you complete an orbit, which makes you a huge hazard to any other ships that might still be in the vicinity of the dock when you come back around. And god help you if another ship boosted out of the opposite door in the opposite direction: picture a head-on collision between two starships at 900m/s, half a kilometer off of shroomdock's door.
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Old June 6 2014, 09:10 PM   #45
Timo
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Re: SpaceDock questions

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
If the presence of air were to be for facilitating shirtsleeves work, it's remarkable that we never see anything of the sort.
Welcome to Star Trek.
...You mean the show that managed to avoid introducing spacesuits for two seasons and a half by pretending that shirtsleeves is the way to go in outer space?

Why? It's probably not that hard to do, considering that the basic MHD technology needed to make it work is already available in the 21st century.
But the workbee is a 1980s craft, with clumsy steering rockets and whatnot... Arguably, treknology took a big leap backward when the ST:TMP team decided to accept input from rocket scientists.

In-universe, the workbee is an exercise in minimalism. Why introduce atmospheric propulsion when space propulsion will do just as nicely (as long as there's no gravity, and gravity in Trek is optional)?

Also, I'm not entirely sure that workbees were specifically designed to operate in space. They could actually be ATMOSPHERIC craft -- sort of a flying forklift, really -- that can be converted for use in space.
The design isn't particularly airworthy. Not that it would need to be, with treknomagic, but if flying through air is the starting point, why start out wrong?

(In zero-gee air, the vertical asymmetry would mean constant dipping of the nose, requiring thrust to be applied just to keep the craft pointing where it wants to go.)

But having left spacedock on a free-floating trajectory...
...You have also left behind its doors, and the original argument ceases to make sense.

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