Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by LutherSloan, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Not necessarily. It's become a convention to use the word "probe" for unmanned craft, but any craft that explores could be called a probe. I get 1650 Google hits for "manned probe" and 14,000 for "unmanned probe," which indicates that the unmanned kind is more common, but the very commonality of the phrase "unmanned probe" proves that there has to be a manned kind as well.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    ...Indeed, the use of "probe" for crewed missions would probably be preferable in TOS "Tomorrow is Yesterday", where Captain Christopher's descendant is credited with leading the first "probe" to Saturn. It's much more glorious if he commands a crewed mission there than if he coordinates an unmanned flight (which by all rights should have taken place much, much earlier in the Trek timeline, and indeed would already have been in planning when the episode was filmed).

    Of course, "probe" may also mean an investigation of non-exploration sort. The young Christopher might have been leading a legal inquiry into a badly botched first flight to Saturn, but again it would be less glorious than him commanding a crewed rocket flight there.

    It's not impossible, though, that UESPA would have begun as an organization for managing uncrewed probe missions for the early United Earth in the 2060s or so, and would have retained the inaccurate historical name through the years.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Oh, sorry, there seems to be a misunderstanding. I'm not questioning your patriotism - "this round" was not about it at all.

    What I originally claimed was that patriotism is generally (can only be?) expressed through militant phrases. You disagreed. I asked you to offer an alternate means of expressing patriotism, as I myself could not conceive of a credible one. You said you aren't interested in expressing it at all, which is fine with me. But with the militants now being the only party that chooses to express patriotism, "the round" goes to them and my original claim is supported. Alas.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    The only reason "the round" goes to them is that you concede it.

    You say you disagree with patriotism = militarism, and yet you're the one who first objected to UESPA's "sissy, non-patriotic" name, and now you're the one insisting that because I refuse to dignify the argument (in no small part because I don't want to turn this into a TNZ thread), that your claim is supported. Why you have so much invested in supporting a claim you say you don't agree with is beyond me.
     
  5. TheAlmanac

    TheAlmanac Writer Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    On the other, other hand, the fact that Kirk & Company can have a "Vulcan exile" in the first place, that they have to volunteer to return to Earth rather than simply being arrested and/or extradited, and that Sarek is Ambassador to the Federation (rather than, say, a member of the Galactic Senate ;)) implies that Vulcan is a sovereign state in this situation, which can harbour fugitives if it so chooses.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    That has more to do with shifting creative intent than anything else. It's fair to say that, originally, the Federation was meant by the TOS writers to be more of a "UN in space" kind of deal -- hence Sarek being "the Vulcan Ambassador" (his full title is never given, though -- we don't know if he's Vulcan Ambassador to the Federation or Vulcan Ambassador-at-Large, or even if "the Vulcan Ambassador" is his actual title rather than a nickname) and Ambassadors of Federation Member States getting the say over whether Coridan joins the UFP in "Journey to Babel."

    But over time, the creative intent has rather obviously shifted to the idea of the Federation as a state in its own right. Ergo, when treating the Federation within the context of the fictional universe it inhabits, we have to treat it as a state.

    Personally, I interpret the situation in "Journey to Babel" as having been an extraordinary situation (what with the Federation being on the brink of civil war and all) that thus does not tell us much about its standard nature, and interpret Sarek's actual title as being Federation Ambassador-at-Large, with "the Vulcan Ambassador" being his nickname ("He's more Vulcan than anyone else in the Diplomatic Corps!").

    As for "Vulcan exhile" -- what makes you think that the Vulcan government even knew that Kirk and Co. were at Mount Seleya? It's entirely possible that the Vulcan government no more knew they were hiding out there than the State of Montana knew that the Unabomber was hiding out in their state.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    But if enough contradictions to that exist, then it shouldn't be too difficult to accept that the UFP could be something other than a state, and something other than a federally or confederally tight or loose cooperative of states. A descriptive approach to analyzing this futuristic construct might be better than one that tries to fit it in assorted historical molds.

    To operate a starship from a starport, no matter how much a "dirt strip", would seem to be an operation any government would like to be aware of if it happens on their dirt... And one would assume Vulcan keeps at least some sort of public eye on its celebrities such as high priestesses. But it could always be argued that this eye was deliberately turned away, and that Vulcans simply kept saying "No, absolutely no Earth fugitives here - would we lie to you?"...


    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. TheAlmanac

    TheAlmanac Writer Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    I don't think that Spock would've referred to performing actions "at the behest of the Vulcan Ambassador" in a formal briefing to Starfleet Command if all that was meant by the term was "the ambassador who's Vulcan." If nothing else, the term would've been too vague in that context.

    I would agree with Timo that various pieces of evidence point to a structure for the Federation which doesn't fit neatly into a present-day analogy as the most likely explanation, and that you're deliberately ignoring such evidence or glossing it over with your thoughts on "creative intent" and interpretation of "Journey to Babel."

    The various parties speaking before the Federation Council seemed to have a pretty good idea of what happened in Star Trek III (complete with footage of the Enterprise's destruction :)), even if the Klingon Ambassador had the wrong impression of who detonated the Genesis Device, and it would seem strange to me for him to ask for the extradition of someone whose location was still unknown.

    I'd be very surprised if they knew that the Klingons destroyed the Grissom and killed David Marcus; and that Kirk blew up the Enterprise, killed (most of) that Klingon crew, and stole the Bird-of-Prey; but somehow didn't know what happened afterwards, when he's talking to Sarek, one of the people (a "celebrity," to use Timo's term, and a representative of that government) who met up with them then.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    I believe it might have been in Sarek's and Vulcan's interests to obfuscate somewhat, though. Perhaps it was never quite officially admitted that the fugitives were on Vulcan soil - so the issue was not an internal one of denied or disputed extradition from Vulcan to Earth or Vulcan to Federation, with the implications of disunity, but a purely external one of extradition from Federation to Klingon Empire, with some dishonesty involved as to where in the Federation the fugitives were hiding.

    As for the title of "Vulcan Ambassador", we might choose anything between clinging on to the exact meaning of "Ambassador" today and deriving the structure of the UFP from there (by using "Journey to Babel" and ST4 evidence), and clinging on to the exact meaning of a "Federation" and deriving the UFP structure and the possible role of Ambassadors from there. In the latter case, we'd then probably have to accept that "Ambassador" in the 23rd century means something like "Senator" or "Secretary/Minister" in the 20th...

    ...Which wouldn't be that much of a leap, considering that "Minister" in the 18th-19th centuries used to mean more or less exactly the thing we now call Ambassador, right? That is, we'd have had a Minister of Vulcan in the putative 18th century Earth government, him being the human from Earth responsible for doing diplomacy with Vulcan.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Lately I have assumed that Colonel Shaun Christopher led an unmanned probe to Saturn. Mostly because in his lifetime, we should not have been making manned flights that far out.

    We don't know how old he was when this mission took place, but we *do* know - now - that the first flights to Mars were in the 2030's ("One Small Step"). The Colonel was obviously not yet born when "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" took place, in the 1960's. So assuming Shaun was born in, say, 1970, that would put him at 60 when the first Mars flights occurred. A manned flight all the way to *Saturn* would of course have to come after that. And wouldn't 60-70 years of age be a bit old for someone who's a Colonel?

    Then again, a flight to Saturn would not have to be manned in order to be significant. If it was, say, an automated probe controlled by telepresence from the ground (possibly by the Colonel himself), then that would surely be just as important, wouldn't it?
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    A common misinterpretation. "One Small Step" never claims that Ares IV would have been the first flight to Mars. For all we know, it was the nineteenth.

    After all, it was stated in "Space Seed" that interplanetary travel was routine by 2018 already, and that the first designs capable of such journeys dated back to the 1990s if not earlier and were already retired decades before "One Small Step". It doesn't make sense that these journeys would all have been to Venus and none to Mars - or to Saturn.

    Also, "The Changeling" establishes an interstellar unmanned probe for 2002, making it fairly incredible that an unmanned probe to Saturn would have to wait until 2009.

    And it would be completely inconsistent with other Trek predictions (including the one in that very same episode, namely of a Moon landing in 1968 or 69 or so) if uncrewed missions to Saturn would be delayed to the 21st century. Back in those days, everybody who believed in the Moon program probably also believed we'd be hopping around the surface of Mars by 1984 at the very least.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Given that it was called Ares IV, I think it was pretty clearly implied that it was the fourth manned Mars mission at least. Okay, the first manned vessel to orbit the Moon was Apollo 8 and the first to land was Apollo 11, granted, but I doubt the same model would apply to something like a Mars mission.

    There's also the little fact that the first unmanned probe to Saturn was Pioneer 11, which did a flyby in September 1979. Followed by the two Voyager probes in 1980-81 and the Cassini probe from 2004-present. So the idea that Col. Christopher led the first successful unmanned probe in 2009 is a nonstarter, since we've had several very successful unmanned probes to Saturn, with Cassini in particular being amazingly successful.

    There's also Spock's specific line from "Tomorrow is Yesterday": "Unless we return Captain Christopher to Earth, There will be no Colonel Shaun Geoffrey Christopher to go to Saturn." That settles it -- it wasn't an unmanned mission, he actually went. (Note, though, that the 2009 date is an Okuda conjecture; the actual date of the mission was never canonically established.)
     
  13. Dayton Ward

    Dayton Ward Word Pusher Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 22, 2000
    ^ We also have no real idea when Shaun Christopher was born (wasn't it also an Okuda conjecture?). For all we know, it was ten years after the events of the episode.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    The only reasoning that Okuda gives is that some 40 years would have to pass for the guy to be born and "be raised", that is, to reach the rank.

    The bar set in ENT "First Flight" apparently features a flight patch giving the names of three people, supposedly all the participants of the mission, but no date. Browsing through Memory Alpha, I was delighted to see the old Spaceflight Chronology referenced; the 2020 mission described there would fit the bill just as well. Hell, if pre-2020s interplanetary flight utilized cryosleep as said in "Space Seed", we could argue that Christopher launched in 2009 and arrived (either at Saturn, or back at Earth) in 2020!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Dayton Ward

    Dayton Ward Word Pusher Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 22, 2000
    ^ Yeah, I've wondered about the cryo-sleep option, myself. After all, it worked well enough for the crew of the Discovery (well, right up until the end, there :D).
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    We could basically use the Spaceflight Chronology mission as is for a Clarke/Kubrick lookalike story, with 2008 construction, 2009 launch, 2014 first stop at Jupiter, and 2020 stop at Saturn. As the book lists 3 officers and 12 crew, but the flight patch only gives three names, we could say the three were the (mostly) awake guys and the 12 were the sleeping payload...

    Moreover, as the book story speaks of Christopher finding signs of alien mining on Saturn's moons, but "One Small Step" claims there was no evidence of extraterrestrials before the 2030s, we could claim that the news were kept secret until the ship had physically returned to Earth - another decade by that timetable.

    The hop from that sort of propulsive performance to the "One Small Step" rescue mission of Earth-to-Mars-in-a-week would indeed make cryogenics outdated and fully support the "Space Seed" claims!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Indeed. In the modern-day European Union, all of the member-states have Permanent Representations which are all headed up by ambassadors.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
  18. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    If you want it
    I hope that wasn't a mission he was on. ;)
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Well, we have no evidence that Col. Christopher would have returned from his Saturn mission (in corporeal form anyway)... Or that the mission would have been considered a success. All Spock tells us is that the mission originally took place, although it is implied that it would be a good thing if the mission again took place in the amended timeline.

    Really, we have to account for one additional oddity here: how come neither Kirk nor Spock originally remembers Col. Christopher's contribution to the history of Earth spaceflight? Granted that they never discuss the first man, woman or dog to have flown to space, to the Moon, or to Mars, either. But both do know an awful lot about the early DY vessels, enough to engage in one-upping banter about the finer points of that technology in the "Space Seed" teaser.

    Is it just that space exploration became ho-hum after the Moon shot, and the people involved ceased to be deserving of historical immortality, until Cochrane discovered warp? Or was Christopher's contribution somehow lesser than the contributions of Gagarin, Armstrong, Carter, Hawke, Gordon, Dare, or whoever spearheaded mankind's conquest of the Sol system?

    Perhaps Christopher would have been less noticeable if his mission turned out to be a failure. Then again, he could at least gain notoriety that way.

    Or perhaps Christopher launched on the first Saturn probe, but more advanced ships flew past him to Saturn and back four and a half times before he actually arrived?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    If you want it
    I sometimes get the impression that History (Especially recent history) is optional at Starfleet Academy.;)