How long does it take to traverse the UFP?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by cgervasi, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, the aborted Romulan war movie Star Trek: The Beginning simply ran with ENT's retcons - the lack of face-to-face contact was because the Romulans attacked Earth with drone ships, which were equippes with warp drive and cloaking devices. The "atomic weapon" was a WWIII relic stolen by the hero who also steals the warp seven prototype USS Spartan and sets off to Romulus to win the war himself.

    Script review and details here: www​.aintitcool.com/node/34635 and here: http://filmjournal.net/oldboy/2009/05/12/star-trek-the-beginning/
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    :o

    I guess we can safely dismiss the idea that Vulcans or Klingons got warp centuries after 1947. We know for a (pre-"Little Green Men") fact that humans did not, after all.

    Either Quark is just plain ignorant - or then he is seeing the immense marketing potential of the time machine, and thinking that Rom's clever technology can take him to a timepoint centuries before the date when the three mentioned cultures did first get their respective FTL drives.

    Doesn't mean he said it when Romulans got warp drive...

    ...But it would make great sense for somebody to say such a thing in the 2270s or so, at the time the Romulans finally began openly interacting with the Federation. Indeed, in ST6, we see Starfleet treat the Romulans as trustworthy allies in the fight against the Klingons.

    Yes, this, plus the fact that it happened "a century" prior to the TOS episode, whatever that means exactly. Not much to go by there.

    ..the one created by the novelists after the show went off the air. :klingon:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    What no one knows before now is that Rom took the "Little Green Men" ship for an unauthorized jaunt, accidentally got too close to the Sun, slingshotted and ended up in the middle of a generational ship convoy outbound from Vulcan. He traded them the secrets of warp technology in return for some tube grubs. They were so grateful to him that they named their planet and their new civilization after him. Hence...Romulans.

    You're welcome.
     
  4. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    That's an interesting line. Some further dialogue for context:

    NOG: No. They don't have universal translators. I recognize those uniforms from my guidebook. They're from the twentieth century.
    ROM: The twentieth century? You mean we traveled back through time?
    NOG: More than four hundred years. Those are military uniforms from one of the old nation states. Australia or something.

    Quark's general statement is pretty close to the dates from "First Contact". If he believes they are more than 400 years in the past in the 20th century then 1900 + 200 is pretty close (within 40 years) to 2063's first warp flight.

    Based on that dialogue and "First Contact" not directly attributing the Vulcans with already having Warp drive, maybe the Vulcans at this time were using another kind of FTL drive?
     
  5. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Or perhaps Quark just isn't that knowledgeable about history. I've never subscribed to the idea that every word from a character says must be spot-on accurate and infallible. For Quark, how much profit is there in being generally familiar with the state of galactic society several centuries in the past?
     
  6. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I don't think this question can be answered. In one season alone, say season 6, we have seen the Enterprise-D operating at both ends of the Federation. (According to a map from Insurrection, the territory of the Federation is bordered on the 'west' by the Cardassian Union and on the 'east' by the Klingons/Romulans.)

    However, I have issues with the maps seen in Star Trek, for they either underestimate the size of the galaxy or overestimate the amount of territory explored.

    * "The Explored Galaxy": This map shows the locations of Alpha Centauri and Sol. Knowing the distance between the two, approximately 4 light years, I learned from this map that the galactic barrier is approximately 20 light years from Earth. :wtf:

    * Starting in "The Emissary", we see a map of the galaxy showing territory explored. (The map is seen to the right of Worf in this image - http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/s2/2x20/theemissary098.jpg) The area covered seems more than the 19,000 light years (19% of the MWG) that Wesley said that the Federation had explored by then.

    I know from the movie First Contact that the Federation is
    One of the senses for the word spread is,
    (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/spread)

    I found this website, http://www.anycalculator.com/warpcalculator.htm, which lists travel times. I took this measurement above, and use it as one of the variables.

    * TOS Warp Scale
    ** Warp 1 8,000 years to travel from one end to the other
    ** Warp 2 1,000 ""
    ** Warp 3 296 ""
    ** Warp 4 125 ""
    ** Warp 5 64 ""
    ** Warp 6 37 "" (the cruising warp speed of the Enterprise)
    ** Warp 7 23 ""
    ** Warp 8 16 "" (the emergency warp speed of the Enterprise)

    * TNG Warp Scale
    ** Warp 1 8,000 years to travel from one end to the other
    ** Warp 2 794 ""
    ** Warp 3 205 ""
    ** Warp 4 79 ""
    ** Warp 5 37 ""
    ** Warp 6 20 ""
    ** Warp 7 12 ""
    ** Warp 8 8 ""
    ** Warp 9 5 ""
    ** Warp 9.9 1 "" (the maximum speed available to starships in the 2370s)

    Like I said above, I feel it is impossible to gauge travel times for the writers ignored those constraints and had the Enterprise-D operating at both ends of the Federation in one season.

    For fun, if the galactic barrier is 20 light years from Earth, the Enterprise operating at warp factor 6 could have reached the barrier in about 34 days.
     
  7. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    This particular image does't bother me... After all, 19% is nearly 1/5, and that image looks to be about that to my eye. (I'm not saying I measured it or anything, but it looks close enough to one fifth for my taste.)

    --Alex
     
  8. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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  9. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    All I get when I click on this link is "Access Denied".

    However, just because Wesley said 19% of the galaxy had been explored doesn't necessarily mean (1) it was all by the Federation's assets, i.e they could have acquired information about space "southeast" and "east" of Federation space by the Klingons, and (2) it IS Federation space. There was a line from the DS9 pilot "Emissary" in which Sisko and Dax knew where they had emerged from the Bajoran Wormhole in the Gamma Quadrant because an earlier Federation probe had mapped that area and transmitted its findings back to the Federation.

    A few hundred years of warp probes in all directions of the compass and in three dimensions will cover quite a bit of area. In fact, with the current crop of Trek literature incorporating slipstream drive, it's not too farfetched to envision probes studying the entirety of the Milky Way over the next few years, lit-time.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    To nitpick, we didn't learn that it would have been a Federation probe, and we didn't learn that it would have actually visited that location. We could be speaking of an ancient mission whose findings were available to the Feds, or of long-base interferometry studies made possible by the use of probing spacecraft sent just a few thousand lightyears away from each other - or of a mission involving no spacecraft as such, and referred to as a "probe" simply because it probed into the Gamma Quadrant with good-quality telescopes.

    We get more definite information from VOY "Friendship One", where a warp spacecraft from Earth is very explicitly quoted with the ability to cross a quarter of the galaxy within no more than 300 years, and possibly within 170 years already. This would support the view that the Federation (especially thanks to its more advanced early members) had plenty of capability for charting spots everywhere in the galaxy and beyond.

    Whether those spots put together would add up to 19% of the galaxy is a wholly different matter. A mission covering 70,000 ly will only create a thin thread of explored space between the endpoints; spacecraft sensors only reach across a dozen lightyears even in the most extreme cases. We can't assume that every galactic probe would have been carrying a device on par with the Argus Array, when even the big manned starships have nothing comparable aboard.

    Then there's this map from "The Chase":

    http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/s6/6x20/thechase068.jpg

    Doesn't necessarily tell us much about the Federation, though: Professor Galen would probably have been showing Picard a map of ancient civilizations, considering his profession. Heck, he's the sort who'd use a map of ancient civilizations to find his way to a conference on Bolarus, or a vacation on Risa! But knowledge of these civilizations would be plausible if the UFP had knowledge of the grids shown in "The Emissary", as the grids would at least overlap if not quite cover these mysterious amber outlines.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    It's the same map seen in "The Emissary"; however, the map has been modified with those amber lined geometric shapes.
     
  12. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the same way we hear of hyperspace lanes, it may be that traffic lanes have a means of helping warp ships in them achieve a higher speed than in free flight away from lanes.
     
  13. Karnbeln

    Karnbeln Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It is worth noting that the map is showing a two dimensional space, whereas (despite Star Trek's insistance that space is an ocean) the galaxy is three dimensional, and many star systems thick. So just because some area of space on that map was explored doesn't mean all of the represented volume was. There would be space above or below the explored portion that was unexplored, making explored space less than it appears on that map.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It is also somewhat unlikely that exploration would be conducted so that each new survey project would add a beautifully symmetric "curved cube" to the volume known. Those cubes probably represent volumes where some exploration has been conducted, while space outside the cubes represents volume where no exploration has ever been conducted.

    When we see a cube on the edge of the explored space, that particular cube may be only 0.00002% explored, while a cube close to the center may be 57% explored already. It's unlikely that any of the cubes would be 100% explored: see e.g. "Who Mourns for Adonais" where Pollux, a system quite proximal to Earth, harbors secrets so big that it cannot be considered explored in any practical sense. Not by the UFP, that is.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    This is substantiated by what is revealed in "The Measure of a Man". In that episode, the Federation starships Saratoga and Apollo are on deep space exploration missions in Sector 002.
     
  16. Jose Tyler

    Jose Tyler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Logically, it would have to take less than a year or so. In the DS9 episode Valiant, the ship of the same name was on this mission before the war broke out:


    The Valiant's a state of the art
    warship. Our mission was to
    circumnavigate the entire
    Federation before returning home.


    So it couldn't take much longer than that if Alpha Squad cadets were expected to graduate on time and take required classes in four years (or five if the comment about Merik being dropped in his fifth year from "Bread and Circuses" can be take seriously...
     
  17. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    For that trip, did the Valiant travel north to south, and back, or did the ship travel west to east, or east to west, and back?
     
  18. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    It is possible explored also means areas visited by probes only, rather than manned exploration.
     
  19. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    What do cardinal directions mean in space? And what difference would it make if the Valiant were traveling in any of those particular directions?
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Well, "circumnavigating Italy" in three dimensions would be a much shorter endeavor if conducted "around the waist" along the east-up-west-down route rather than along the north-up-south-down route or the north-east-south-west one... (Assuming you had a ship that could navigate through solid rock, that is.)

    If the UFP is an amoeba shape with tentacles thousands of lightyears long but a nucleus only about 300 ly across, then "circumnavigating the entire Federation" might only involve going around that nucleus.

    However, I rather suspect that "circumnavigating" in this case has little to do with "going around"; it's just a fancy and inaccurate expression for "visiting all the traditional ports of importance" - a voyage that may be significantly shorter or perhaps significantly longer than simply hugging the border and never visiting any important sights.

    Timo Saloniemi