Nebula vs. Galaxy

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Tribble puncher, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Tribble puncher

    Tribble puncher Captain Captain

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    Started thinking after starting the Akira Thread, What advantages does the galaxy class have over the nebula class? From what I can tell, the nebula has the same saucer, nacelles, and engineering hull as the Galaxy, it may have slightly less volume due to the missing "neck" section. but there is no reason to believe it isn't as scientifically, diplomatically, or whateverly capable as the Galaxy Class, The Nebula may even be a better Ship then the Galaxy due to the changeable "Pod" on the back, (if it is indeed changeable, I've found nothing to indicate that isn't fan speculation as well.) I guess my question is, why the Galaxy Class? It's a Stately looking ship to be sure but it seems like a pretty unnecessary class to be sure.
     
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just for starters, I assume the Nebula has no saucer separation ability...
     
  3. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    The Galaxy actually has about 30% more internal volume than the Nebula. The saucer and engineering hulls on the ships are not actually the same. The engineering hull in particular is a fair bit smaller, while the saucer lacks the large impulse engines. (In fact the Nebula seems to have extremely small impulse engines in general.)

    Further, in terms of little details the Nebula is clearly a more "economy" version. The lack of the "neck" precludes the large, advanced 10-torpedoes at a time torpedo tube in the Galaxy, it has a smaller main deflector, and at least the original studio model lacked windows and the main shuttlebay on the saucer. Even on the CGI model that reuses Galaxy mesh elements, it's not entirely clear if the saucer shuttlebay is still there. It's possible the whole thing has been turned into a large cargo bay.

    In which case the engineering hull is more likely to have a lot of its rear half taken up by shuttle facilities where its main shuttle bay is located. Overall the ship has less usable volume and substantially less expandability.
     
  4. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    In some of the pics it would appear that the Nebula has a smaller saucer suggesting that it is a smaller ship relative to the Galaxy.
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Akimoto covered most of it, but simply to add: I have always assumed the Nebula class was built slightly before the galaxies, and that Starfleet ultimately streamlined the modular "mission pod" design by incorporating most of that additional sensor capability into the Galaxy's external sensor bays and probe modules. That, of course, would imply that the Nebula's saucer is a substantially different design; lacks sensor bays in the rim, probably different primary sensor configuration too. Integrating that external pod into the main superstructure probably makes for a more efficient design, although the greater sophistication of the basic Galaxy class means the Nebulas would still be easier to mass produce.
     
  6. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    By the time the CGI version comes around, though, you start seeing more Galaxy class features. Since those ships also have much higher registry numbers than the initial TNG batch, it might be safe to assume that at some point the design itself got updated with Galaxy style improvements for things like sensor bays and the deflector.

    My guess is that Starfleet never expected to be able to produce enough Galaxy class ships to completely fill its needs, and faced with the complexity of its development, decided to take the initial design items and start fabricating them in advance of Galaxy production, leading to the slightly older looking Nebula class ships during TNG. By the time the CGI Bonchune model rolls around, Galaxy production has been restarted and the design is well established, so they started building ships with common components to increase interoperability.

    Also the recent novel Peaceable Kingdoms notes a Nebula-class ship is 30 years old circa 2385, implying that the class saw production almost a decade before the first production Galaxy-class ships.
     
  7. Tribble puncher

    Tribble puncher Captain Captain

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    Looking at some pics of the u.s.s. Pheonix, as I believe it was the first nebula class ship seen on screen. I can't see the rear of the saucer: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/USS_Phoenix So I'm not sure of the shuttlebay, also, I noticed that there are no impulse engines on the saucer, The farragut: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/USS_Farragut_(NCC-60597)) appears to have a galaxy style main shuttlebay. but no saucer impulse engines. this would suggest that it cannot seperate. also pics of the uss bonchune http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/USS_Bonchune has no saucer impulse engines, but has more numerous windows, similar in arrangment to a galaxy class ship. maybe the galaxy class ship was built as a "fly the flag, rally the people" type ship?
     
  8. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interesting to note that on both the Farragut and Bonchune, you can see where the impulse engines would be if they were on a Galaxy class ship. Those spots are simply filled in, but the original shape is evident in the paneling.
     
  9. RunawayStarShip

    RunawayStarShip Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not sure that's a valid design goal since appearances are in the eye of the beholder.

    Starfleet seems to like building lighter versions of their ships of the line (Galaxy and Nebula, Constitution and Miranda, Excelsior and Centaur-type), so there is some in-universe reason for the paired designs.

    In "Tin Man", the Enterprise-D (and her Galaxy-class sister ships, presumably) is referred to as the fastest ship in the fleet. The original Enterprise held numerous speed records, according to Captain Stiles in TSFS. It's possible that the geometries of Starfleet's heavy cruisers are better suited for high warp speeds. The modular pod of a Nebula might make it more suitable for urgent, extremely mission-specific roles.

    Otherwise, just about every starship built by Starfleet is multi-purpose.
     
  10. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd give you that she's the "fastest in the fleet".. Not the quickest mind you. Just the fastest. I have zero doubt that there are "quicker" ships in the fleet. (SFB: Federation Express). However, in terms of long range nothing could touch the Galaxy Class.
    I would also think that the cost of these "super starships" would have been through the roof. Much like the Supercarriers of today.
    Theres a reason we only have 10 active right now. :techman:
     
  11. Lord Garth FOI

    Lord Garth FOI Commander Red Shirt

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    Galaxy has a bigger kindergarten and the interiors are a better match for a Hampton suites
     
  12. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think its better to compare them to the Russian Kirov and Slava class cruisers of the Sovjet Union, the first one put the latest tech inside the largest and most expensive nuclear powered hull, the other one put well known tech into a a smaller conventional hull to have a backup if Kirov would fail.

    So the Galaxy class puts the (b)leading edge stuff in the best possible hull and the Nebula is a really large but more conventional design.
     
  13. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    ^Maybe in the upgraded version of the Nebula. I also agree that the Nebula was made prior to the Galaxy class. Didn't O'Brien serve on one before he joined the Enterprise D crew?
     
  14. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :guffaw::guffaw: Nebula class is a better one for the W Hotel. ;)
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    The Nebula has a much crappier-looking bridge than the Galaxy-class (is "Redemption" the only time we've seen one?)
     
  16. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We saw another on the DS9 episode Sisko falls for the mental projection of an alien woman married to an old terraformer--can't remember what its called.

    The "Redemption" bridge could have been a temporary facility set up when the ship was pushed into service.

    I actually prefer the Nebula- to the Galaxy-Class. I like the more compact look of the ship, she seems to be multifunctional in my eyes anyway.
     
  17. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We see the Prometheus' bridge in DS9's "Second Sight", but it's not much better. I could've sworn we've seen one that was basically a copy of the Galaxy's, but I could be wrong. :confused:
     
  18. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's a redress of the Battle Bridge set that was earlier used to represent the bridge of the Saratoga. The same set with almost the same set dressings was later used for the bridge of the Odyssey in "The Jem'Hadar" and later still used as the bridge of the Romulan Warbird in "The Die is Cast"
     
  19. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    There was also the Freighter Norkova. Actually this DS9 "guest" ship set was a new-build and only shared certain components from the TNG Battle Bridge set seen in BOBW et al.; it actually takes a fair amount from the Excelsior bridge components built for The Undiscovered Country. The DS9 set was apparently left standing in a corner of its sound stage for the first two seasons of that show (Emissary through Jem'Hadar) and guested as most starship bridges during that time, plus the Romulan bridge. It was stricken to make room for more Defiant sets.

    Back to the Nebula, I've always seen it as a more standard starship design than the Galaxy, which was a deliberate attempt at looking and feeling big and open and hotel-ish. What corridors and bridges and sets we've seen tend to support more cramped spaces compared to a Galaxy, and utilitarian. Notably, the Prometheus' guest quarters had doors set into a portal and bunk beds (it was borrowed from the aft Runabout set built for TNG "Timescape") and the brig set seen on the Honshu was pretty cramped too (borrowing Voyager's brig and the Defiant's corridor sets).

    However, I actually think that these two examples could even be up in the mission pod, meaning that the rest of the ship could very well be spacious and grand, while areas customized for crazy terraformers or crazier war criminals could be in a pod meant specifically for that purpose. It still leaves the utilitarian bridge on the Prometheus at least, but it's still more TNG than many. Besides, all models of the Nebula share the Galaxy's bridge module exterior, which on the Enterprise corresponded closely to the actual bridge set within...

    Mark
     
  20. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Despite many similar hull components with the Galaxy, I envisioned the Nebula-class to have some substantially different interior arrangements. Whereas the Galaxy was designed with long-term space exploration of the Federation's frontiers in mind, with a duration of several years between necessary resupply, it would seem to me that the Nebula was designed to provide defensive and exploratory services largely within the boundaries of the Federation itself. Of course, it would have complete capabilities to serve in a wider galactic exploratory role as the Galaxy does, but I don't see that as the primary intended role of the Nebula.

    Unless there's other variants of the mission pod that I haven't seen, I am thinking that there are two separate versions of the Nebula...the triangular pod, denoting a dedicated combat version (henceforth, Combat-Nebula), and the oval pod, indicating a dedicated explorer and science version (Sensor-Nebula). Mission pods are interchangeable between the two variants, of course, but the internal fittings of each ship make the best match when fitted with its intended pod type. Since we've seen many more triangular pod-equipped Nebulas than oval pod ones, I tend to think there are significantly many more Combat-Nebulas in service than Sensor-Nebulas, and I don't think we've ever seen a Sensor-Nebula engaged in combat outside of TNG's "The Wounded". And since both Nebula designs have separate primary functions as I see it, it stands to reason that the interiors of the ships have been constructed to more fully support those specific missions, and of substantially shorter intended duration than the Galaxy, as opposed to the spacious quarters and family-friendly multiple amenities and catch-alls of a multi-year explorer. Out go things like the Arboretum and a mega-sized shuttle bay (at least in the earlier versions; it would appear that the Bonchune CGI has one) and multiple impulse engines for saucer separation (as well as all of the volume-consuming apparatus involved with a now-unnecessary saucer sep capability, like docking latches and overlapping structural integrity field generators); in go items like more torpedo magazines, phaser strip crystal fabrication facilities, troop quarters for a wartime footing, and more sizable cargo bays. The capacious primary hull of a Nebula of either type would have plenty of room to ferry citizens, colony settlers, and cargo across the length and breadth of the Federation with great economy as Nebulas go about their concerns, especially if the hull did not have to have multiple science labs and sensor emplacements and support of same like the Galaxy does. Additionally, a less specialized primary hull with more cargo space and less "busy" than a Galaxy's requirements would be easier, faster, and cheaper to fabricate, and might serve as an in-universe explanation for the lack of window rows and other visual differences from the Galaxy-class as seen on early Nebulas.

    If the Galaxy is a "let's see what's out there" ship, the Nebula is a "now that we know what's out there, here's the ship to deal with it most efficiently" ship.

    Combat-Nebulas, I perceive, take advantage of their less-than-Galaxy size to create a smaller, stronger shield envelope than a Galaxy would have from the same sized warp core, and hence would likely be able to stand up to stronger punishment than a Galaxy against the same foe. A dedicated mission pod with multiple torpedo launchers (and there's plenty of room in the pod for a dozen launchers and thousands of photon torpedoes) would be complemented by additional torpedo magazines and other combat-support facilities within the primary and engineering hulls, as stated above. Combat-Nebulas on patrol at key trouble spots within a few weeks or months of the nearest Starbase could, in principle, remain at the ready nearly indefinitely, being relieved by another Combat-Nebula as is needed to return to a Starbase for resupply, crew rest/replacement, and other things. Additionally, a high cargo/passenger capacity would be of great value moving things around within the Federation, along with the defensive capabilities to protect them.

    Sensor-Nebulas, though few in number, could be sent on missions of longer duration (though not as long as the intended duration of the Galaxy-class) to places of scientific interest within the Federation (and outside it, with sufficient tactical back-up...). Places like the Dyson Sphere and other anomalies that require more scrutiny that might be outside the capabilities of Oberth- and Nova-class explorer and science ships, or places that a more widely-ranging Galaxy-class might discover and then move along once a Sensor-Nebula shows up or is enroute to the new discovery. Dedicated science labs and analysis facilities would take up excess space used for other functions in the Galaxy-class, though things like the Arboretum and a large (or even expanded, into the interior of the primary hull...) shuttle bay may be retained. Sensor-Nebula also retains capable offensive systems, though not as expansive as that of a Combat-Nebula, making it a better choice than an Oberth- or Nova-class for in-depth scrutiny missions outside Federation space or close to known threats; in that vein, I can certainly see a Sensor-Nebula testing new stuff in the proximity of the Romulan Neutral Zone, for example. Likewise the Combat-Nebula, large passenger facilities and cargo bays may make the Sensor-Nebula a busy enough workhorse for the needs of the Federation when mysteries to be studied are few and far between.