Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by MarsWeeps, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    When the Defiant docks at DS9, where is the airlock located on the ship? In all the shots I've seen, the front section appears to be a deflector of some type but I don't see any airlock where people can enter/leave when the ship is docked.
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    It's directly above the navigational deflector on the upper half of the forward notch (the deflector dish itself is slanted at an angle on the bottom half).
     
  3. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The airlock at the front is... uh... in subspace. Yeah, that's it!
     
  4. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's not really a good spot on the nose where you can say, "There's the docking port!" Add it to all the other things that weren't really defined (or changed later) on the Defiant. Size, tractor emitters, the shuttle bay, armament, docking ports...they were all seemingly kind of made up as they went along. :)
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Indeed, it's very difficult to tell why that oddly shaped bow exists in the first place!

    Backstage books say something about it being a detachable warhead, something you can ram into the bowels of a Borg Cube the way primitive submarines rammed "torpedoes" (simple immobile explosive charges) into enemy warships, and then detonate. And indeed the big bow lump looks capable of separating from the rest of the ship somehow. *

    What if the purpose isn't to penetrate and explode, but to penetrate and disgorge boarding parties? Those have proven to be Starfleet's deadliest weapon against Borg Cubes in various TNG and VOY episodes, after all. The bow section then might feature prominent boarding tubes, cleverly hidden behind armored panels just like everything else on that ship.

    See the two beige'ish oblong features side by side on the top surface? Now imagine those being the covers for the boarding tubes, hinged either from the forward or the aft end and thus swinging either up or down to become perfectly horizontal and to allow the tubes to telescope out and contact the enemy hull. In regular dockings with DS9, only one of the tubes would extend, and of course would not activate its phaser cutters and cast rhodinium ripping claws...

    That would match what we see in the (lamentably in many ways faulty) cutaway drawing or Master Systems Display on the bridge. Namely, this one:

    http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/articles/defiant/defiant-msd-starshipdown.jpg

    The ribbed area at the very front of the middle deck is indeed labeled "FWD DOCKING AIRLOCK", even though the lettering is illegible on screen and almost illegible in the DS9 Tech Manual. The idea that there would be two of those side by side is dictated by there being two of those cover plates, plus an obstructing centerline feature.

    Timo Saloniemi

    * Which is because when this ship was first designed, she was supposed to be much smaller, and the bow was a separable bridge while the two cheek things that currently launch q-torps were lifeboats. But crew evacuation has ceased to be a plausible explanation for these features, and we have seen actual lifeboats and onboard shuttles used instead.
     
  6. Jimi_James

    Jimi_James Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Now just ramp that up to show a six-deck, 170 m ship and you have solved most of the mystery.

    The other issue is how the DS9 end of things is supposed to work. There are those fancy clamps on both sides of the circular door, precluding rather than facilitating docking. It seems there has to be some telescoping action involved on the part of the space station, too. If the telescoping system is flexible enough, the question of starship docking system configurations becomes rather academic.

    Indeed, we have seen a Miranda dock bow first, even though this shape of bow cannot penetrate into the docking port "bay" at all and there is no hull opening anywhere near the bow anyway. Somehow, the station docking system is doing pretty interesting and involved grappling, even if we assume there is no personnel tube being connected and the Miranda docks merely for stability (?), the people moving exclusively by transporter.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'll admit...I'm still confused about what or where the port is supposed to be on the exterior hull. Is it that long thin strip running along the nose? Would that raise up at the front end and extrude towards the station? I could kind of see that working.

    Or is it the whole front end of the nose that opens? Scale is difficult to judge with the Defiant, especially as the show itself is never consistent.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    My bet is for those beige things on both sides of the centerline. These would be hatches covering the two telescoping tubes.

    The scale of the ship is quite arbitrary, yes. But those small round portholes in the above image would be in line with the overall idea of this ship being about 150 meters long, give or take twenty - and of those beige things hiding docking tunnels a man could comfortably walk through.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Really? What episode? Have you got a screencap?
     
  11. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Way of the Warrior.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...The fun thing is, this is not a standard Miranda at all, but a kitbash. From the above image, all we can see is that the torpedo "roll bar" is turned around, but the kitbash also differs in having a saucer rim decorated in vague TNG style rather than finished with the standard kit pieces. In theory, then, this "USS Trial" could have a dedicated bow docking port and everything.

    This is what the model looks like in practice:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22597000@N07/3530829368/lightbox/

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I'd say at the very least they probably have some sort of extendable tube that can come out of the saucer.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Or perhaps the battle nudged DS9 a bit out of place, and USS Trial is just pushing her back to position? ;)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. G2309

    G2309 Captain Captain

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    Who knows for sure. Why do the ds9 pylons curve inwards? Even for multiple small ship docking the manouvering woiuld be more hazardous than if they curved outwards. It's just aesthetics.
     
  16. toughlittleship

    toughlittleship Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Apologies to anyone who has mentioned this. There are two "prongs" that jut out horizontally from DS9's docking bay; presumably the Defiant has airlocks on either side as its nose fits in between the two "prongs".
     
  17. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    lol, I'm beginning to think that you really are incapable of ever agreeing with me, Timo! :rofl:
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I always felt two takes on the Star Trek universe is better than one..

    Or then it's the same thing as with harbors today. It's easier for ships to moor on the "outsides" of piers and jetties, from the maneuvering an congestion points of view, but it's safer and more practical for them to moor on the insides, away from the waves and winds and perhaps even separated from the tides by a series of locks and gates.

    DS9 supposedly does feature a spherical forcefield protecting it from outside attacks. Ships docking at the tips of inward-turned pylons would enjoy the protection of that field, while ships docking on the outside would not.

    Which reminds me of another aspect of the Defiant docking issue. In "Way of the Warrior", the damaged and useless ship docked at her regular outer ring port at the end of a chase. The Klingon fleet then attacked. From that point on, the Defiant was nowhere to be seen.

    Did the ship remain at that outer port (which was admittedly initially facing away from the Klingon fleet), or did it get moved to somewhere supposedly safer? During the battle, we saw dorsal shots of the station, revealing many of the docking pylon tips, but IIRC none revealing all of them; we also never got a view that would have revealed all the docking pylon / outer ring junctions and established that the ship had been moved. But would an outer ring position be secure during the battle?

    In "A Call to Arms", some of the smaller Dominion vessels actually flew between the pylons and crashed to the inner structures. Enemy fire also penetrated that far. But in "Way of the Warrior", no ships intruded into the area supposedly protected by the spherical forcefield, and only the heaviest enemy fire from Gowron's flagship hit the inner structures (an action associated with the collapsing of the shields). In contrast, the red beams from the waves of old battle cruiser prompted fireball explosions at the outer rim. Would not the poor Defiant have been toast pretty quickly?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    Shield envilope can be extended around the docked ships I'm sure. It's probably not practical but we've seen it done.
     
  20. { Emilia }

    { Emilia } alta moda Moderator

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    Does it really matter, though? I can't really blame them for not putting a lot of thought into something that's so irrelevant to the plot.

    But then again I never cared for Trek ship blueprints much either. Voodoo science doesn't really appeal to me. :p