Earth ship Valiant

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

  1. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    If the Earth ship Valiant's impulse engines were anything as fast as the Romulan impulse engines in "Balance of Terror" scaled against that map with a 1 LY wide Neutral Zone, it's very possible for the Valiant make it most of the way to the edge of the galaxy in a fairly short amount of time. Although based on the recorder buoy, it didn't sound like they intended to go out of the galaxy.

    Without knowing what Kirk felt was "impossible" it is open to interpretation as to the Valiant's capabilities.
    Captain's log, Star date 1312.4. The impossible has happened. From directly ahead, we're picking up a recorded distress signal, the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries. Did another Earth ship once probe out of the galaxy as we intend to do? What happened to it out there? Is this some warning they've left behind?
    Was it "impossible" because the ship had been missing for over two centuries?

    Or was it "impossible" to think that another Earth ship already probed out of the galaxy before the Enterprise did?
     
  2. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    First, back to one of my original questions: I just wanted to insert into this thread that Warped9 did a remarkable job with a thread he started in May, 2011.

    Second, I would say "the impossible has happened" was Kirk's way of saying that Earth / the Federation assumed the Valiant had been destroyed and that the odds of finding any remains in the vastness of the intergalactic void were virtually nill.

    Third, I do not have a problem with a Warp 1-capable vessel making to the galaxy's edge in a relatively short period of time (months or years instead of decades). It all depends on how you formulate warp velocity relative to the speed of light. If you use Cochrane's Formula from "Star Trek Maps", which assumes environmental factors affect that velocity, just as trade winds and ocean currents can affect modern aircraft and ships, then it is entirely possible even a low-warp starship, given the right course, could make it there much more quickly than if a faster starship took a different route. ("Maps" also suggested "slingshot effect" dangers from doing this as well.)

    Where I break with "Maps" is the cause of this particular interstellar trade wind. "Maps" ties "Cochrane's Variable" to mass and gravity. I would tie it to subspace's relationship to dark matter and dark energy (TNG's "In Theory"). I assumed that the Valiant followed a dangerous trail of dark matter and/or dark energy to beyond Delta Vega, enjoying the remarkable velocity. But then the dark energy manifest itself as a magnetic storm they were unprepared to deal with, and the wild ride became too much for them to handle.
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I'm loving this thread.
     
  4. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I find it difficult to believe the ship could travel at low warp speeds for centuries without refueling and heavy maintenance much less going that far out with some assistance.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From that we don't get how long it was between the time the Valiant left Earth, until the time it "disappeared." Couldn't have been too many years, but still maybe not immediately after departure.

    Nor do we get any sense of how long it was between the time of the Valiant's disappearence, and when the Valiant arrived at the energy barrier.

    Could have been decades.

    :)
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...It's only later, when we learn that the episode must have been taking place in the 2260s, that it becomes necessary to assume that the Earth-> disappearance must indeed have been very short, at most two years by modern reckoning.

    At the time the pilot was being written, the writers probably were thinking the action was taking place at least three centuries after mankind reached the stars. (Okay, possibly. Or possibly even probably.)

    I wouldn't word it quite that strongly. Spock does say the recorder marker was launched "200 years ago", to complement Kirk's "missing for over two centuries". So "decades" is possible, but "less than 50 years" would really be an upper end here.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    I'd like to propose a possible Valiant design concept, loosely based on Warped9's Valiant artwork from May, 2011 which I linked to upthread. My concept is similar in shape, but significantly different in execution.

    My basis for a Valiant ring-ship is that the rings are not part of the propulsion system. Faster-than-light propulsion is accomplished by nacelles, similar in design to those of Cochrane's Phoenix, but larger. These nacelles are mounted outboard on the rings. These are not the only pods mounted on the rings. There are other, removable, interchangeable "mission pods" that can also be mounted on these rings. Think of this pod-mounting system as being vaguely similar to Franz Joseph Schnaubelt's container-pods being mounted under a Ptolemy-class warptug. (Only these mission pods are much smaller.) It is possible that some specially-designed mission pods serve as detachable short-range spacecraft that can make planetfall if necessary, like a big, early shuttlepod.)

    Much of the design philosophy of later-generation Earth and Federation starships is based on starship classes, with different classes presumably designed or sized for different tasks. The Valiant, being a first-generation FTL starship, reflects a more generic, utilitarian design ethos. It is a "star ship class" vessel. ;) That is to say, there are no cruisers or tugs or science vessels or hospital ships. This is all Earth of the late 21st century could muster; a general-purpose modular FTL spacecraft that could swap out ring pods for mission-specific applications. (Not unlike the Eagles of SPACE: 1999)

    The ring design facilitated this pod-swapping feature, making these early starships easier to adapt to mission-specific applications and also to swap out components for maintenance and repairs. (If a mission pod is worn out, it can be removed and recycled; if a pod is jettisoned or otherwise destroyed, is can be replaced, etc.) Even the central "nose cone" structure would be modular, with a forward "command module" and also a mid-section "service module" and an aft "engineering module"; all of which can be removed, serviced and replaced.
     
  8. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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  9. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    If Valiant left after 2018 (according to "Space Seed" space travel stopped requiring sleeper ships after 2018) then that would be a 242 year span till 2260. Valiant could've been flying around for a few decades before being lost 200 years...

    And since TOS' suggests impulse can reach FTL speeds so Valiant could've been FTL-capable without warp drive and it wouldn't contradict TNG's Cochrane's warp flight in "First Contact" in 2065. But other timeline events are different between series/continuities which could suggest WNMHGB might have happened differently (or not at all) in TNG-verse, IMHO.
     
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I always just took the middle-of-the-road approach--that the Valiant was launched sometime during or a little while after the 2060s, vanished a bit later, and her fate remained a mystery until the Enterprise discovered her log buoy in "Where No Man..."
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Occam's Razor.

    *************

    Another possibility. Zephram Cochrane's flight was the first known successful warp flight, but there had been previous attempts. Either nothing happen, the ship was destroyed, or (in the case of the Valiant) the ship simply disappeared and not was heard of again.

    Picard certainly regarded Cochrane as the first Human warp traveler, but the 24th century as full of important missing snippets of information from history. When Kirk met Cochrane, he refer to him as the discoverer of the space warp, not as the first man to travel faster than light.

    Perhaps Kirk knew something Picard didn't.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  12. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    While it's true that STAR TREK is full of contradictions and discontinuity (and specific history about the Valiant does seem vague), we can establish that nobody (from Earth) ever launched or travelled in an FTL vehicle prior to Zephrem Cochrane in April of 2063. While "Metamorphosis" and STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT don't match up very well, they are close enough to make it clear that Cochrane did what nobody from Earth had ever done before: he discovered the space-warp and built and piloted the first warp-propelled Earth spacecraft.

    The 2018 reference in "Space Seed" does dangle there, since it seems obvious that any early-21st century Earth vessel predating Cochrane's Phoenix flight would have to be sublight in nature. Of course, FIRST CONTACT seems to have "moved the goalposts" by shifting the third world war from the 1990s to the 2050s, so it seems logical that Bermanian revisionism/retconning in FIRST CONTACT re-establishes Lt. MacGyvers' "2018" sleeper ship reference down the road 55 years to 2063.

    Since the S.S. Valiant was obviously one of the first Earth warp-propelled spacecraft to be launched into deep space, and since it should be obvious that Earth did not have FTL capability until Cochrane's Phoenix flew in April of 2063, it should be pretty safe to say that the Valiant was built and launched some time in the 2063-2065 time range, definitely after the Phoenix. We could give ourselves a little wiggle room since mentions of the Valiant in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" seem to be wishy-washy on the exact number of years; Kirk's log entry seems to place the Valiant as being from "over two centuries" but subsequent mentions in the story aren't quite as clear. Didn't Kirk say subsequently that the recorder-marker had been ejected "almost two hundred years ago"? That would leave a little bit of wiggle room there. Not much, but a little. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  13. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The whole story of Cochrane from Metamorphosis was confused. "Discoverer of the space warp" sounds more like Ernst Mach than Chuck Yeager. And yet Cochrane comes bounding over the landscape in what appears to be a flight suit. He was a competent enough space pilot to be out on his own in interstellar space at the age of 87. He could canibalize a spacecraft to build a shelter. And he didn't appear -in 150 years- to get very far figuring out the nature of the energy based life form with whom he was stuck. In other words, he didn't come off as much the man of supernatural scientific curiosity as the man that liked to tinker. Just as he was portrayed in First Contact. And yet, the notion of somebody building the first warpship in what amounted to his garage is so romantic and 1903 that it goes down hard. I guess we have to accept the governments of the world had collapsed and some powerful AI and robotic help were being employed up in the Montana woods.

    And yet, a few years later, everything is so together as to enable the rejuvenated human race post-first contact to carry off the Valiant mission.

    You really have to wonder if it wouldn't fit all the pieces better to have Valiant be a Vulcan ship, given to Earth and renamed. And that its loss might have been the source of some of the friction that was shown to prevail later.
     
  14. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Cochrane himself (in ST:FC) admitted he did it for the money. The USA still existed, and was able to pay him for it, and so...profit can be a powerful motivator.

    As for the SS Valiant: I accept the explanation that the only way it got to the edge of the galaxy was via an unstable wormhole. At sublight speeds, there's really no other way it could have done so. And I totally love the image of that ship as posted in the Drexler files. :techman:
     
  15. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    This is just me, but I have no problem with Cochrane being Earth's first warpship pioneer, both as a "tinkerer" who somehow cobbled together a crude warpship for testing purposes (the Phoenix's first warp-flight) and as starting a whole new career as a result of all of the fallout from FIRST CONTACT. Cochrane founded the Warp Five Complex which apparently spearheaded Earth's technical strides in designing and developing new warp engines and starships. Perhaps the Valiant was one of those early international efforts to revive Earth's space program which eventually led to the Warp Five Complex being established. I prefer to assume that Earth built more than one of these early starships; perhaps in the 2060s-2070s, Earth began to experiment in building warp-propelled deep space vessels, probes (Friendship One) and test vehicles. No doubt some succeeded, some failed, and some "blew up on the launch pad". You can just hear either James Cromwell or Glenn Corbett's version of the character saying "Well, back to the drawing board we go, folks!" Either one works for me.

    The whole theme of FIRST CONTACT (and of "Metamorphosis", for that matter) was that Earth (and Cochrane in particular) were repeatedly rejuvenated by embarking on endeavors in space travel and technological "tinkering". The TOS/Corbett take on Cochrane left me with the impression that when he discovered "the space warp", it was like a “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” moment. Maybe statues and schools being erected in Cochrane's name and likeness were indicative of how a battered post-war Earth unified around his efforts, and how, like the Apollo moon missions and other great strides, this "valiant" effort helped to "show the way" for the human race to restore and rebuild itself. Riker, Troi, LaForge and their landing party did seem to tell Cochrane that the arrival of the Vulcans resulted in a kind of 50-year planetwide revolution of sorts, becoming a permanent Renaissance for the human race.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  16. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    If you're willing to accept moving goal posts, why not also move the goal post for Kirk's remarks in "WNMHGB" and in the Berman version he'll say "lost more than a century ago" since the timeline is different... :)
     
  17. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually TNG got there first - its pilot was the first mentioning (that I'm aware of) in which the Eugenics Wars were separated from WW III.
     
  18. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    It would definitely make more sense for the Valiant to have launched later, say, 2073-2113. Ir depends on how much you want to stick to the notion of "over two centuries" relating on the one hand to the notion of the assumed date of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (2265 -> 2065) and the assumed date of World War III (1993 or 2053) as it related to what Marla McGyver was saying about sleeper-ships being abolished (2018 or 2063) upon encountering the Botany Bay.

    Bermanian TREK definitely shifted things quite a bit in the 21st century.
     
  19. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    When was this mentioned?
     
  20. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Q's line about "This is a court of the year 2079...by which time more 'rapid progress' had caused all United Earth nonsense to be abolished."