exterior surface markings of Kirk's Enterprise

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Robert Comsol, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. SonicRanger

    SonicRanger Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Blown light bulbs should be even more archaic than rocket burns.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Besides, won't they all be called "spherical heating elements" in the future?

    And what's wrong with that? Sounds like a sensible way to arrange propulsion around a mushroom-shaped pod, with all the flames safely pointing away from the stem.

    (How does one get that NASA link to work? It's just giving me some sort of a permission denied notice no matter how I truncate it.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Because you want to have the thrusters fire into the ship so it can accelerate away from it, not try and alter the ship's attitude like a rcs.

    again, when have we ever seen rocket burn marks in tos?
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't understand. The pattern shows rocket flames similar to what a cluster of four rockets at the stem of the putative mushroom would create, if the nozzles were aimed a bit outward - so the result would definitely be one of accelerating away from the ship.

    Probably every time we saw a rocket. Which was, IIRC, never.

    It's not as if future rockets would be "mark-less", though. We just never got a look at the marks Soran's rocket or Spock's boots would have left.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. SonicRanger

    SonicRanger Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was in the episode with the bathrooms.
     
  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Not really. If they were a cluster of 4 rockets there would be some symmetry but the left-right "burns" are a little higher than the midpoint and the bottom "burn" originates off-center to the left. Come to think of it, the top one looks off-center as well.

    In anycase, if you wanted to jettison something away in a hurry, you want the thrusters aimed at the ship, not off to the sides like an RCS.

    Still looks like an exploded bulb. Or possibly an exploded RCS. Ion Pod on the Starboard side? Not without dialogue or a flashback showing the pod ejecting from that very spot :)

    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x20hd/courtmartialhd003.jpg

    Given the TOS Enterprise has flown thru some pretty crappy stuff and got close enough to the sun a couple of times to get a good burn, the hull never exhibited any scarring. Only when something crazy powerful like a Doomsday Machine was able to scar (the Constellation). An explosion could cause such scarring. A rocket burn, unlikely, IMO.
     
  7. John Mason

    John Mason Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Exemplary work Lieutenant :vulcan:
     
  8. mickemoose

    mickemoose Ensign Red Shirt

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    There have been many interpretations as to what these markings represent, and the topic has brought forth many lively discussions. Someone even suggested the color, shape and arrangement of the markings on the underside of the engineering hull could represent some kind of Starfleet code. Don't ask me to explain, it's just one of the ideas that was tossed around.

    A possible clue as to what these markings are, may be found in their location. Most of them are on the bottom of each hull.

    With this thought in mind, what is usually located at or near the bottom of passenger planes, Greyhound busses, train coaches, cruise ships and motorhomes? Cargo storage areas, of course. Now, is there any reason why the location of cargo holds would be different on a starship? Off hand, I can't think of any.

    Regardless of who's deck layout you agree with, you can't deny the fact that a starship is going to be carrying cargo, and the most likely place for that cargo to be stored would be in the lower levels of the ship or hull. That means there must be some way of getting the cargo in and out of that area.

    So, since cargo holds are at the bottom of the hull, and the markings are also at or near the bottom of the hulls, it would seem likely that one or two of them would be cargo hatches.

    That seems like a logical argument, right? Wait a minute, now! This is the 23rd century we're talking about! I'm sure those cargo holds have transporters for beaming that cargo to and from the ship. Sure would save a lot of grunt work. Just use anti-gravs to move the cargo on and off the transporter. So, why would you need cargo hatches?
     
  9. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    There may be cargo that doesn't respond kindly to transporters. I think there were one or two episodes in Star Trek where a substance played havoc with the transporter system.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, it has virtually never been difficult to transport people, but many substances or sometimes devices have been problematic.

    Having holds down below makes sense for seagoing things because of stability concerns: you can't go wrong with a low center of gravity. Well, okay, if you go too low, you might get nauseatingly fast roll, but that's not unsafe, just uncomfortable.

    Having holds down below also makes sense for things loaded on the surface of a planet, because there's no point in moving the cargo any higher from the ground than absolutely necessary.

    Neither of these would apply to starships, though. The two main concerns might well be ease of loading and (considering a starship supposedly typically doesn't haul cargo from A to B unopened) ease of access while underway. For the first concern, dorsal hatches should be as good as ventral ones. For the second, stowage at the same level with personnel ought to be preferred, chiefly because moving things horizontally is easier than moving things vertically when artificial gravity affects each deck...

    Except that's not how the thrusters of an emergency escape system are aimed in real spacecraft... It's always off to the sides, to avoid flame effects on the thing you are trying to whisk to safety.

    There's no real doubt the TOS-R artists wanted a rocket/explosive bolt scorching effect here, with four rockets/bolts indicated, rather than a random explosion of the thingamabob itself. Whether they did a good job or not can be debated, but mainly on artistic grounds.

    On the general issue of this thread, the markings on the TOS ship, one aspect we might consider is the presence of the virtually same markings on the E-A. The two ships are of a rather different design; OTOH, the refitted E-nil and the E-A are basically identical save for the markings, but the former had no discernible features in the spots where the latter had the markings.

    This might give weight to the interpretation that the various shapes and colors are abstract symbology unrelated to any hatches, seams or moving or immobile parts of the starship. Perhaps most of the painted areas are just aiming points for a Ptolemy tender for an accurate belly-to-belly docking, so that a single key hatch will be properly aligned with its tender counterpart for transfer of fuel and consumables?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    (pedantic) Rocket technology is older than light bulb technology (/pedantic)

    And how 'bout this on the subject of ion storms and blown light bulbs :lol:
     
  12. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    And then TOS-R goes and makes one of those hatches for ejecting hundreds of satellites in "Operation: Annihilate" :rolleyes:

    They're aimed off to the sides in in real craft because the rocket motors are in front of the escape capsule and they don't want to fry the capsule.

    There is no reason for this on the "ion pod/light bulb" since we see the replacement part which has no escape rocket assembly sticking out. If it was going to be rocketed out of the ship, the thrusters would've been aimed down because it would be "behind" the bulb assembly, not to the sides since they didn't have to worry about damaging light bulb.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/great-balls-of-fire-apollo-rocket-explosions-1965/


    The end product is still that it doesn't come close to being an "ion pod". It looks like random damage from the storm and if it were not outside channels telling us the fans what it was "suppose to be" we'd never know. The episode doesn't tell us and the FX isn't clear either. As an end product, it's still a light bulb that exploded.

    Did any other ships from the movie period have those markings underneath? Was the E and E-A the only ones to have those belly markings?

    Could the movie-E, have the hatches but they just were not painted? Was the airlock hull plating on the underside of the saucer marked off?
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sure there is, if the pod is of a mushroom shape: the stem would have to be protected.

    Naturally, flames aimed directly and exactly aft would also produce that pattern, while the explosion of the entire thing never would (unless it exploded in four spots near the rim and not in any other spots). But a slight vectoring out would be an obvious engineering solution that would cause a minimal reduction of net forward thrust in a one-off system that didn't need "optimal" thrust in the first place.

    Bullshit. Author intent is obvious, and contrary insistence is just some sort of a... Disturbance, I guess would be the polite word.

    There weren't many ships with an "underside" to begin with, so probably not. ;)

    Only in the sense that the TOS ship had torpedo tubes - they'd be completely invisible, seamless, holographically hidden, whatever.

    Apparently not in paint. Certainly not in the DE computer reproduction, but probably not in the original, either. At any rate, all traces of such marking were gone by the TWoK repainting. AFAIK, the only paint markings worth noting (apart from the pennants) were the greenish highlights on the sides of the connecting neck, the phaser turret and RCS attention colors, plus the flight deck patterns.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    We can see the cavity - it isn't a mushroom shape.

    "Optimal" thrust is required since the pod put the ship in danger. The thruster could have been easily centerline and at the base of this "pod". Finney would just crawl in from the sides if it were an internal configuration.

    I call bullshit on your bullshit :) Where does any dialogue point to that "damage" as anything other than "damage"? The FX at best looks like an RCS thruster pattern, at worse, just part of the "considerable damage". The rest of it you're just applying completely outside-universe knowledge that it was suppose to be the ion pod.

    So you might be on to something and those markings have no bearing on actual hatches.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We can see the cavity of indefinite depth, which perfectly allows for a mushroom shape.

    Anyway, why would there be a cavity in the first place if the dome didn't have a stem? Any hatch should be flush with the outer hull, surely, if what was ejected was just a dome terminating at said hull.

    Naah. The pod is to be ejected using a single burst of thrust. There's no reason to optimize performance, when there are more important things to consider, such as reliability and safety. Generous overkill plus angling of thrust is the way to go.

    I have some trouble figuring out how this would work. What could be internal about the pod if it doesn't have a (fairly long) stem?

    Hmm, it seems I didn't actually quote what I wanted to comment on. The visuals may be "unclear" and all, but there is no room for interpreting that the intent was to show an explosion.

    Of course, intent doesn't count for much in in-universe terms. But intent cannot have been to show an explosion as opposed to an ejection. Hell, the dialogue establishes an ejection, so any screen time sacrificed to showing things like this has pretty high odds of describing an ejection...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Back to the original topic, if nobody minds (thanks to Peter's excellent proposal I can now enjoy TOS-R "Court-Martial" and watch these guys replacing a running light. Thanx!).

    In his interview with Doug Drexler for the 70's posterbooks Matt Jefferies was very clear that in designing the ship (and the interiors) he was aiming for what he called the "Hornblower Effect" and therefore a distinctive (ancient) maritime touch.

    Indeed, in the old sailing vessels cargo was stored at the bottom of the ship and therefore it is feasible that the bottom hatches do serve such a purpose. My favorite "Hornblower Effect" is the spherical antimatter container ("Obsession") which looks like an ancient canonball which - essentially - is what a photon torpedo is used for.

    I should also add that I no longer believe the yellow circle is a cylinder with probe launching capabilities. One of my friends gave me a lecture why to have a 360° launching cylinder that launches probes but does not launch photon torpedos.
    Instead the probes should be launched from the same launcher as the photon torpedos at the underside of the saucer. At least this could explain, why the phaser control room has the same height as the engine room: Behind the separating wall there are racks with all the various and mission specific probes.

    Bob
     
  17. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I've thought this for years. It's actually taking up quite a bit of space on the saucer. It's kind of a pain in the butt, but I'm working with it for now...

    --Alex
     
  18. mickemoose

    mickemoose Ensign Red Shirt

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    It would seem there would have to be some sort of ejection hatch in the vicinity of the matter/antimatter reaction chamber.

    In "That Which Survives," after Scotty is helped into the service crawlway which leads to the matter/antimatter reaction chamber, he tells Spock over the communicator, "I've sealed off the aft end of the crawl way, and I've positioned explosive separator charges to blast me clear if I rupture the magnetic bottle."

    Scotty also explains, "If the magnetic flow jumps, you must jettison me."

    Well, if Scotty was ejected from the ship, his red-shirted, Scottish body would have to exit through some opening to the cold vacuum of outer space.

    Where would that ejection hatch be? It all depends on where you believe main engineering and the matter/antimatter reaction chamber is located. Everyone has their own opinion on this one.
     
  19. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    TOS-R has a pretty good close-up of the cavity. It's not deep at all. And it doesn't look like it is meant to hold a mushroom shape.

    [​IMG]

    Light bulbs plug into a cavity so why not? The light bulb could've exploded and left a charred cavity.

    When something is a danger to the ship, you want to optimize performance to get it away from it asap :)

    In anycase, TOS-R's own visuals show a very shallow looking replacement part. Hardly long enough to have someone get inside and take readings. That and the lack of dialogue or visual flashback to it being jettisoned makes it look like a light bulb got destroyed as part of the considerable damage, IMO.

    @Robert Comsol - good point about the 360 launcher. If it could launch probes then torpedoes would be a given.

    If those markings on the belly of the engineering hull are just for orientation then we don't have to worry about there being removable panels or hatches there. Hmmm....
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This gives rise to a rather comical vision ... Why would any of Hornblower's ships have hatches in the bottom?

    We all know what "naval" cargo holds are supposed to look like: they have hatches on top. Perhaps with some sort of cranes adjacent.

    But turning everything upside down is certainly a valid way to put a fresh sci-fi touch on familiar things.

    If we think beyond the concept of TPTB just using a randomly available set, the obvious analogy here would be the gun turrets of WWII. Quite a bit of vertical structure there, even if mainly for connecting a necessarily topside feature (the gun) with a necessarily deep down feature (the magazines). A two-store set would provide some of that feel, while use of partitions would help with the also desired crampedness.

    Could we bow to that analogy a bit deeper, perhaps? In STXI, crewmen are shown loading smallish cylinders into revolver-like magazines that are extremely unlikely to be torpedo tubes. In DS9, the phasers of the Defiant rely on consumable components of about the same shape and size. What if phasers in the TOS era also consumed a physical resource not unlike a gunshell - perhaps not with each shot, but certainly often enough that there would be a need to involve pairs of hands ready for a reload, and an officer with his hand hovering on an abort button in each firing in case there's a jam.

    We could then attribute the height of the facility to it being immediately adjacent to a phaser turret and stockpiling the necessary consumables for the weapon. Small objects, to be sure, but lots of them, and in need of being moved vertically to the weapon above or below, considering how the saucer weapons are positioned.

    The other way to use the analogy is to remember that the turret interiors in WWII were dictated by the need of the weapon to move in a specific way (that is, rotate, and have the barrel tilt). We have plenty of reason to believe in retractable phaser turrets in TOS; the vertical space could be for a part of the turret that will come swinging down at retraction, while all the "BoT" action naturally takes place when the turret is extended.

    As for the bottom markings, while it would be appealing to consider them mere decoration, they also happen to be the markings that have the best evidence for being something else.

    - They are shaped reasonably for something that might open or be jettisoned
    - They aren't similar to markings that we know are unrelated to hatches (the thin red lines of the saucer and nacelles)
    - Some of them are similar to markings very likely to be hatches (the yellow rectangles of the saucer)
    - One of them is actually seen opening in TOS-R
    - This part of the hull has known uses for hatches
    - Other Trek incarnations have starships with hatches at these very locations

    Timo Saloniemi