Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Brainsucker, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    For myself, I don't understand why Captain Picard ordered his ship to be abandoned. His ship appears intact. We have seen ships in worse shape that were able to maintain sustainability for the crew. Jeez, the Voyager was ripped apart in the Year of Hell and still was able to take out another ship. It looks worse for the captain when it is revealed that a Ferengi salvage crew was able to restore the ship to functionality. Then, again, the captain is maintaining the fine Starfleet tradition of incompetence while under attack.

    One of my favorite illustrations for the 2013 Ships of the Line calendars was of the Stargazer engaging the Enterprise.
     
  2. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^ Thats called "writing" it would have been pretty much impossible to tell that story if Stargazer had been a wreck with its engines shot off and the hull turned into scrap... :p
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The Valkyrie is not a distinct model, but a relabeling of the one and only photographic piece. Supposedly, the new labels did appear in some episode or another (because somebody went to the trouble of doing the relabeling, and it was not an idle labor of love because the workmanship is pretty crappy ;) ). But neither the new labels nor the underside can be discerned in any episode or movie. And that "Peak Performance" shot, unlikely to be any sharper in the blu-ray release, is our only canonical glimpse to the bottom of the ship. Canonically, Constellation class ships don't have undersides!

    The principal problem with that is that the ship does have torpedo tubes. If we give torpedo tube identity to some other fixture that looks completely unlike a torpedo tube, then what right do we have to declare that these familiar-looking fixtures are not allowed to be torpedo tubes?

    It might be that the Battle of Maxia resulted in the Stargazer having her torpedo launchers so badly damaged that we no longer can see their muzzles, and Picard would just have blown himself up when attempting firing. :devil:

    Because there was no point in remaining aboard?

    The ship no longer moved on her own. She could not take the heroes home. Shuttles could.

    On the other hand, the ship no longer did anything else on her own, either. She could not continue her mission. Nobody could.

    Now postulate that the ship could not be repaired on the spot, not with the resources at hand.

    So, going to the shuttles and flying home would be the sensible thing to do!

    Should the ship have been recovered later?

    ...Why bother if she was outdated junk anyway? Starfleet can afford to lose old ships; it scuttled the Lantree instead of trying to decontaminate her, say.

    Should the ship have been scuttled on the spot?

    ...Why? She wasn't a traffic hazard. Her falling in enemy hands should not be a problem - if the enemy wants the piece of junk, he's quite welcome, as long as Picard has remembered to push the button that erases Starfleet secrets from the computers. And perhaps some friendly party in need will stumble onto her instead? Scuttling is not particularly logical except in certain very specific circumstances, such as those applying to naval warfare here on Earth.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Well, we do see some of the underside but from a really side angle so canonically, they do have undersides, but no close-up exists. However the Hathaway does fire her ventral rim simulated weapons from the forward rim position, matching that of the forward dorsal rim.

    Familiar-looking minus the actual familiar tube itself = not a torpedo launcher, IMO. Since we've seen in DS9 the Mirandas fire torpedoes from the bottom of the saucer ala TOS Enterprise then the Constellation-class could also have them in the same spot.

    There were some valuable items on the ship however. She still carried most of her photon torpedo load and fully armed. Wasn't there a whole DS9 episode devoted to the theft of torpedo warheads to the Maquis?

    As to the damage, interestingly, the ship was "on fire" and they put everyone in shuttles. But oddly if they could travel for weeks in shuttles why couldn't they hang around and put out the fire? All her main systems were still operational.
    PICARD: It was a save our skins maneuver. We were finished. On fire. We had to abandon ship. We limped through space in shuttlecraft for weeks before we were picked up. I haven't thought about this for years.
    ...
    RIKER: Enterprise to Stargazer, please respond. Enterprise to Captain Picard aboard Stargazer. Please answer. Mister Data, what was Stargazer's condition?
    DATA: Considerable fire damage to interior surface reported, sir. But none of her main systems were crippled.
    RIKER: Armaments, Lieutenant Yar?
    TASHA: Six photon torpedoes short, sir, probably used when the Captain destroyed his Ferengi attackers nine years ago. Otherwise fully armed.
    Another reason why you don't want to leave an intact ship around also so you don't have someone else flying around in it blowing stuff up in the the Federation's name. Imagine if a Founder got a hold of the Stargazer from the Ferengi and went and destroyed the Zenkethi base?
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    After Battle of Maxia, or after the repairs effected by Bok? We don't know.

    If an enemy really wanted to do that, he could always build a Federation starship of his own, like the Romulans did in ENT.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    There is a reference to this somewhere that when the warp drive is engaged so are all four engines, but the pairs alternate every so often taking over the majority of the propulsion, going back and forwards between them to extend engine life.
     
  7. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    One of the benefits of a starship as opposed to an ocean-going ship is that it operates in a vacuum. There are fires on your ship, get the crew into shuttles, and open the ship's interior to space. Fire is snuffed out. Return crew to ship. Repair ship. Transmit a message to Starfleet requesting aid. Starfleet sends a relief ship.

    So, we return full circle to these questions, what exactly did happen aboard the Stargazer? Why did Captain Picard abandon his ship?
     
  8. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Old military truism: Amateurs think of tactics, professionals think of logistics. :p Can't have a Federation that is "thousand planets and spreading out" if you don't have a well coordinated colonization effort following up your pathfinders.
     
  9. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    In the dialogue quoted, Riker asks of the Stargazer's former condition "What was Stargazer's condition" rather than what is it's current condition. I take Data's reply as the ship's status when it was abandoned. There were no further dialogue about the Ferengi performing any major repairs on the ship.

    Now, it is very possible that Picard's engineering crew and/or damage control crew wasn't that good and told him that the ship couldn't be saved...

    OTOH, how many shuttles could the Stargazer hold and would it be enough to carry all the crew? For example, let's say it had a crew of 500. Each shuttle could in an emergency carry 24. That's like 21 shuttles! But what if most of the crew were killed in the attack, including the engineering teams. The number of shuttles needed would be less and it could explain hypothetically why Picard didn't attempt to try to save the ship...

    IIRC, didn't the Romulans use a holographic ship to pretend to be a Federation ship? However, in TNG's time it seems pretty easy to spot a faker and it was preferable to have the authentic (stolen) ship make the attack?
     
  10. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I kinda imagine ships like the Stargazer (TOS version) were part of the huge evacuation efforts in "The Alternative Factor" :)
     
  11. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I may be forgetting something... I don't know TNG quite as well as TOS, but the only occasion this happened that I can recall was in "Future Imperfect" and that turned out not to even be Romulans...

    Maybe you're referring to an episode of Enterprise? I know that show even less...:(

    --Alex
     
  12. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Might be that they're a tad too large for that, also, running all four nacelles at low power might be better for extending service life.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    This could just as well refer to the analysis of the ship Data personally did some time ago. Indeed, that would be the logical question to ask, because Riker has no interest in the past condition of the ship at all - the only thing relevant is her current condition. Which Data established in the recent past.

    It's no different from Tasha asking "You transferred some of his belongings?" in imperfect when wanting to know about the current status of Picard's luggage.

    If the ship packed the shuttles like we saw in "Mudd's Passion", even the bays envisioned by Sternbach in the cutout drawings would hold the necessary twenty or so easily enough. But that is probably not an operational setup, but more like a temporary "Cleaning the Lower Hangars Day" reorganizing of the onboard fleet.

    Then again, Picard's "we limped through space in shuttlecraft for weeks" might refer to the shuttles towing warp-incapable survival aids, as "limping" IMHO is not something an undamaged shuttle would be doing by default. Quite possibly the ship deployed a range of "propulsively challenged" shelters that added to the total evacuation capacity.

    Regarding putting out fires by taking away the oxygen, this probably doesn't work very well on starships. We have seen flaming wrecks often enough, after all. There are probably alternate sources of oxidation aboard; perhaps standard interior materials keep on burning on their own once sufficiently heated, and Starfleet accepts this because if the interior is that hot, everything is lost anyway? (Cf. use of aluminum for ship superstructures and APC armor today.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    This never happened canonically that I know of, but the Romulans did use such a strategy to divide the Klingon-Fed alliance in Starfleet Command III. They used modified cloaks to disguise their ships as one ally and then attack the other's ships with their fleet, but the plot originated with the Tal Shiar and only achieved modest success before both governments caught on.
     
  15. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    Why would the actual colonization be Starfleet's prerogative, though? Sure, defending trade routes, and the colony itself from hostile alien nations would make sense. But it's up to the colonizers themselves to make the colony and trade actually happen. Most colonies seem to be more-or-less independent, and just use Starfleet when they need to get out of a jam :rofl:
     
  16. Brainsucker

    Brainsucker Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, there are a lot of possibility that can happened that time (although maybe it was only because of plot hole / bad writing)

    Maybe they brought dangerous alien lifeforms on board, or virus or something that released when the fire spread out, so Picard didn't has any choice beside abandoning the ship.

    One thing that I don't understand, why Picard didn't push the self destruct button when it was happened? Or maybe he did it, but the system didn't work because the ship was old. Well, I don't know, lot of old system didn't work just like it suppose to be I think.
     
  17. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    Fires spreading that fast through a ship that size means the fire must have been spreading through some of the mechanical ducts of the ship, in close proximity to the plasma lines, and threatening to reach weapons storage, engineering in short order.

    Obviously it didn't, but staying aboard would have risked the entire crew on the that gamble, they were under fire and didn't have time to get the panicking crew to fire control stations or environmental control.

    They probably assumed that either the ship had been destroyed, the fire consumed it and all but destroyed it or it had been captured, either way there was no point returning.
     
  18. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well yes I would agree and perhaps "colonization" is too narrow a term.

    Doesn't necessarily have to be Mirandas, although I prefer that as an interpretation of the Court Martial list to others that have been offered. Back in the day, my friends speculated that the sudden appearance and numbers was a response to events like Gorn attack, the doomsday machine, the space amoeba, Vejur and Nomad. Also worked as an in-universe (albeit tongue-in-cheek) explanation of why so many SF Captains were n00bs. LOL
    Sure. One, the Federation is certainly not going to open up a planet for colonization without a complete and thorough survey. Could send some science ships but a single ship that could drop a few dozen science teams, each with with a specialized shuttle could be better. Two, the resources that are needed to initially set up a colony are going to be a tempting target for piracy so you certainly would expect SF's involvement as escort. And if you are going to escort, you might as well assist. Third, the same ship could be used to establish the various SF outposts we have seen. And finally, the same ship that would allow you to help establish a colony would prove invaluable to evacuating civilians in a crunch.
     
  19. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    You're correct - it's an Enterprise episode. I was trying to point out to Timo that in TNG it's pretty hard to falsify a Federation attack since their CSI-foo is too good. But get a real Federation starship to do the dirty work and it's a whole lot harder to prove innocence. Just leaving the Stargazer in fairly good and fully-armed condition was rather careless (and bad writing), IMHO.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I could argue that Starfleet could simply issue a warning about this specific ship (as identified by her transponder codes) not being legit. And if the foe is capable of forging transponder codes, then the actual ship he flies is more or less a triviality.

    Then again, Starfleet isn't famous of keeping close track of its vessels. Ships with assignments into the deep unknown may be quite out of touch with home base, and Starfleet doesn't necessarily start worrying until after months or even years. It would be pretty darn difficult to issue credible warnings about illegitimate ships against that sort of background noise.

    For an "on the third hand" argument (this is, after all, both Star Trek and Halloween Hangover), it is a prominent feature in the Trek universe that certain starship designs are in common use across cultural borders. Officially, this sort of begins with "Heart of Glory" where the only way to tell a certain freighter for a Talarian vessel is to wait for her pennant paint to become visible. Anybody with a brush and some vacuum-proof paint could thus engage in "false flag" piracy - and anybody who ever navigated the spacelanes would know of the risk of such things, and be wary of approaching ships, even if these flew the Starfleet flag.

    Timo Saloniemi