Earth ship Valiant

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Wingsley, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    In "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the Starship Enterprise encounters a battered recorder-marker from the Valiant.

    The Valiant was obviously a manned starship, presumably with a crew of some size. We know that seven crew members were killed by the Valiant's encounter with the negative-energy barrier at the Galaxy's edge. Then one crewmember somehow was revived, pulling a Gary Mitchell. We know the captain was worried, and eventually either ordered or contemplated ordering the ship to self-destruct.

    We can assume, therefore, that the Valiant was large enough to house at least a crew of eight, and possibly significantly more. If ENT is any guide, the upper end of the Valiant's crew size was less than that of the NX-01 Enterprise. Archer's ship was supposedly state-of-the-art of its time and no ship design had been so ambitious up to that point. (a century later after Valiant) So I'm assuming Valiant could not have a crew the size of Archer's Enterprise (83).

    I seem to remember some images from the Star Trek Encyclopedia in the 1990s.

    Does anyone have access to that Encyclopedia? I'd like to see images of what the Valiant might have looked like.

    Has anyone else imagined the Valiant?
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    There's actually a lot of info on the Valiant at http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/SS_Valiant. According to it:

     
  3. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Historically, the crew size of ships and combat vehicles or aircraft has gone down with advances in technology...

    No such trend in spacecraft yet, but then again, starships have precious little to do with today's spacecraft.

    Courtesy of Drex Files:

    http://drexfiles.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/valiant-pictorial/

    That's before the warp nacelles were added - but one might well speculate that this is what happened in the real world as well, and the surprisingly early launch date of the Valiant is the result of the makers taking an already existing sublight spacecraft and just bolting on the newly invented FTL drive.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I kinda like that model. I don't necessarily agree with the implied size (it looks kinda small) and the rocket engines on the back don't exactly speak "impulse".
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Then again, perhaps the ship had rockets, warp and impulse?

    The nature of impulse engines supposedly did not change between Scotty's "Relics" crash and his recovery from it, but there might have been some change involved before that. These round things look quite a bit like the "star destroyer" engines of that ship in the ENT opening credits...

    Warp would make small ships practical: endurance requirements would go way down when your interstellar journey only takes a few years rather than centuries, or a few days rather than years, whatever your application.

    I wonder if this design didn't become something of a "Skylab" when converted from sublight to warp. That is, the apparent huge fuel or propellant tanks might have been left rather empty when a warp reactor of some sort became the primary consumer of said, and the ship virtually stopped using her sublight engines. Perhaps the tank interiors were converted into payload space?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Converting into payload space seems very likely. It would echo the TOS Enterprise to TMP Enterprise upgrade and the large cargo area of the new ship. :)
     
  8. bryce

    bryce Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They do look similar to these though. So..could this be an early impulse design...?


    [​IMG]
     
  9. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    It could be. I guess I'm use to seeing the old impulse in TOS where both the Enterprise and the Romulan BOP lacked any glowy bits to show thrust.
     
  10. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    The way I look at it, Earth started with crude multi-stage rockets like launch vehicles used in the 1960's. (The Saturn V as an example; observe the small command module and LEM) Then that flagship was replaced with the Space Shuttle.

    "Space Seed" suggested an evolution: the larger (but still tiny next to Kirk's Enterprise) DY-100.

    Whatever the Valiant was could be a missing link between the advanced DY's and later ships like the Ringship and the NX, both of which are smaller than the Connie.

    I'm assuming that the hull designs gradually grew in size as each succeeding generation developed superior abilities for life support, artificial gravity, reliability, etc., to support larger crews. This would also be assumed retroactively from Spock's comments on "crude" space vessels in "Balance of Terror", suggesting that historically older ships have lesser abilities and lesser crews.


    This design reminds me of the San Francisco from the Starfleet Museum. Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...With a crew (passenger) complement of 84 already.

    Whether cryosleep would increase or decrease packing density is arguable. Shorter hops inside Sol system might still be long enough to require massive onboard supplies that would eat into the passenger spaces (until the passengers ate into them) - but OTOH going without cryochambers might mean going without lots of bulky equipment.

    And whether the Valiant had cryosleep or not, we just don't know. It went out of fashion in insystem travel in 2018, but there are plenty of references to this or like procedures in interstellar warp travel at least until the 2210s ("11:59" IIRC), with occasional use by our 24th century heroes as well.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I did this, which Tallguy graciously modeled some years ago:

    http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=63543

    It was meant to reflect the 1970-80s era that I originally worked in, where the only points of reference for the early days of Trek space travel were the DY-100, Nomad, and the Jefferies ringship.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And then the Space Shuttle was superseded by a Russian multi-stage rocket, originally designed in the 1960's.

    The Valiant would appear to have left Earth fairly soon after Cochrane's first flight. I imagine it voyaging outward on a lifelong science and discovery mission. Occasionally trading for more advanced engines and other systems.

    By the time it reached the energy barrier decades after it left Earth, it was an eclectic collection of lumpy hull designs and oddly placed engine configurations.

    :)
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Not in Star Trek, apparently. Or at least we see a structure much like the original Freedom concept being serviced by a reusable, lifting body spacecraft in the ENT opening credits.

    Perhaps multistage rockets and ballistic capsules made a comeback in the Trek universe as well. Perhaps not. Zephram Cochrane was able to gain access to a single-stage-to-high-orbit (or even Earth escape velocity, by the looks of it) rocket for his warp experiment, which might suggest that such technologies were quite obsolete already. Or then this might suggest that rather than obsolete, they were merely commonplace.

    Kirk calls it out in the episode: the ship has been missing for "over two centuries". Clearly, he knows exactly what he's talking about, or he'd not feel entitled to say anything like this on the subject. So if "Where No Man" takes place in 2266 (the very earliest to match the speculative idea that this was the start of the five-year mission with the hard fact that said mission ended in 2270), the ship must indeed have been launched almost immediately after Cochrane proved his warp invention.

    ...But note that the ship "disappeared" almost immediately after launch. This would seem to suggest that Earth had a way to keep in contact with the ship until the disappearance. And later Spock says the recorder marker was "apparently" launched "200 years ago", so the mission must also have ended up at the edge of the galaxy almost immediately - either right after the "disappearance", or then at least within a few decades of it, or else we'd have to assume Spock speculated incorrectly.

    These set some limits on what happened, and perhaps on the nature of the Valiant as well. Spock must have based his speculation on the marker ejection date on something he found plausible. Either there was directly physical evidence there that the launch had indeed happened at the specified date, or then Spock (unlike Kirk) found nothing wrong with the idea that the ship would have reached this spot in just a few years and based his speculation on that. IMHO, the former is the likelier approach.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

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    I have to admit, it's a bit hard to reconcile the Valiant with the NX-01, which in "Broken Bow", was strongly indicated to be Earth's first deep space exploration vessel.

    Then again, it's also hard to reconcile how this ship, which was almost certainly cruising along at something less than warp 2 could've reached the galaxy's edge.

    Come to think of it, it's been a while since I saw "Where No Man...": Did they explicitly say the Valiant was an Earth ship? I'm sure they probably did, but it would at least give some leeway if they hadn't.
     
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There may be something to T'girl's comment about the mission being a lifetime pursue. Without a boost or extreme upgrade, how could they get so far out so fast with a warp 1+ engine?
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Warp 1+ might be anything up to warp 5-, really.

    The freighters of ENT are limited to warp two, but Starfleet vessels might do much better. We never hear it explicitly said that warp 2 would be a limit. It's just a milestone in the development of Henry Archer's warp five engine - but it may have previously been a milestone in the development of Bobby McDillan's warp four engine, and before that a milestone in the development of Lucienne Ferrero's warp three engine, each of these programs involving a testbed that had to reach warp two before it reached the higher speeds.

    Whether warp 5- would be enough for meaningful interstellar exploration, well, probably not - Archer's engine is said to represent a breakthrough in exploration, after all. But warp 5- would get the Valiant out far enough to encounter those exotic phenomena that whisk ships to the other end of the galaxy, without Earth immediately learning the full truth of this incredible journey.

    In any case, Earth apparently had warp 9+ engines in the 2060s already. Perhaps they just didn't work well with live crew - but they were good enough to propel an unmanned probe across the galaxy in mere decades, as per VOY "Friendship One".

    How far the Valiant actually got probably had absolutely nothing to do with her intended mission or her built-in performance. Kirk was adamant that the Valiant being where she was should have been "impossible".

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Most likely explanation for that: Wormhole.

    Meaning: The Valiant, soon after launch, was caught in one, and found itself at the galactic edge.

    I mean, obviously it couldn't have gotten that far under its own power, at a maximum speed of Warp 1 or 2. So therefore some extra intervention would be necessary.
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Another explaination could be leaving messages (sometimes for years) at various planets. When other Earth ships arrived, the message was pasted on, a lawyer or some such.

    Or using interconnecting ships (like transports) to simply sending mail home.

    :)
     
  20. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I do think it was implied that the Valiant shouldn't have been out that far, that something swept it there.
     

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