Shuttlecraft

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by James Wright, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    As far as TOS goes, I don't recall an instance where Kirk orders the ship to slow to impulse while in any storm. Even in an Ion Storm, he calls for Warp. But going back to the dialogue, Kirk doesn't say "If only they could use their warp drive in that storm" or something like that.

    That is only if you base your belief that impulse engines are sublight only. Perhaps in TNG and onwards it is, but that's another series and another production staff ;)

    (Although IIRC, TNG goofed in Best of Both Worlds pt2 and had the E-D at impulse cross a distance in a timeframe too short to be sublight...)

    I'm afraid the dialogue supports 200 (or more years) not 170.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    If they traveled at high sublight, Einstein would come aboard and do his usual party tricks; a trip of, say, three lighthours would probably take 45 minutes or so.

    The exact dialogue in the episode says that the Borg have passed Mars and the E-D slows to sublight with "33 minutes, 14 seconds to intercept". We don't know where the E-D slows to sublight, though, so we don't even have to call in Einstein to "un-goof" that reference. (Mars is somewhere between 0.4 and 2.6 AU from Earth, depending on the orbital positions, thus less than 33 lightminutes away in any case.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Gagarin

    Gagarin Commander Red Shirt

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    It would take some imagination, but it's whithin Trek's logic that warp engines would be unsafe in some circumstances. Warp drive whithin the 23rd century's Sol system was a 'risk'.

    Even in early TOS TPTB understood the impusle engines were not able to get the ship to these fantastic places, that was why they invented the space-warp 'fantastic power' engines.

    Impulse engines were also used as safe backup, when the fancy warp drive wasn't working. Spock orders hyperdrive (warp drive) trying to leave Talos IV, it doesn't respond, he says switch to rockets, we're blasting out of here (impulse), also to no effect. Kirk orders 'impulse power, too' when trying to shake Balok's pilot vessel.

    Basically, it's not that hard using Trek logic to think that if the main engines aren't working for whatever reason, that you could usually count on the good ol' impulse engines. A magnetic storm may have taken the old style warp engines off line, Kirk would know that, and he'd know that the impusle engines were the Valient's only hope.


    Okay, well to keep in Where No Man Has Gone Before, if it would take Enterprise to reach "Earth bases" (presumably the closest ones, their last stops) YEARS under impulse power, which were only DAYS away using warp drive, then how long would it take the Valiant to get from where THEY started (Earth? Alpha Centari?) to the galactic edge? Decades? 100 years? 1,000 years?

    Impusle power is slow. Lightspeed is slow. A lightspeed+plus capable impusle power still isn't good enough for where they are. Even if impulse engines can do 1.5 times the speed of light, that's not very fast given the distance.

    SS Valiant needs warp drive.
    I'll concede that, if that's what the dialogue says.
     
  4. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    IIRC, E-D was next to Jupiter (or was it Saturn?) when the Borg were just arriving at Earth. I remember when I ran the numbers a long time ago even with the planets closest to each other it would've been FTL...
     
  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I think if we went by TNG standards, yes. But, TOS it could be argued that they operated by a different set of rules ;)

    However, it's more like SS Valiant needs a FTL drive, IMHO. It need not be warp as we know it and there is evidence in TOS to point to Impulse able to do just that. Even at a mighty slow 8c, the SS Valiant could've made the trip from Earth to the edge (going "up" on the galactic plane*) in a leisurely 32 years. There is probably a good reason that there were automated stations provisioned ahead of their trip :)

    *Back then, the thickness of the galaxy was 1/2 of what I believe that has been revised today...
     
  6. Gagarin

    Gagarin Commander Red Shirt

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    Actually, that was in The Cage.
     
  7. James Wright

    James Wright Commodore Commodore

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    In TNG episode "The Battle" how long did Picard say he and the remaining crew of the Stargazer were adrift after abandoning the ship?
    Does anybody remember his exact words?

    James
     
  8. Gagarin

    Gagarin Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, we know they still hadn't gotten anywhere close to knowing when their show was happening. But...

    'Over two centuries' ...
    Century means 100 years, but also epochs of time.

    If it went missing in 2065, stayed missing through 2100's, and then appeared again in 2260, that's a mystery "spanning 3 centurys" of 'history', but less than 200 years, or 2 centuries, of calendar time. So I think colloqueally he'd say over 2 centuries since he knew it was lost in the 21st and now it's the 23rd. And if it went missing 170-199 years ago, I'd still say 200 years ago, and I may have said 'for over 2 centuries' because of the funnyness of how we like to group centuries not just as units of measure, but more like check-marks of history. The SS Valient's mystery spanned over 2 centuries.

    And blah.
    We can re-master it again and just find Kirk saying 'almost' somewhere, and re-dub it.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Only in a single case (ST:TMP), with untested engines. Kirk had absolutely no qualms about using extreme warp at the very heart of the Sol system in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" or ST:TVH.

    www.chakoteya.net does... Picard said they "limped" for "weeks", which may mean traveling at warp speed or at impulse speed, possibly on malfunctioning engines, but probably does not equate "drifting" without any propulsion whatsoever. And after those weeks of limping, they were "picked up" instead of reaching some safe haven by themselves.

    True enough. Unfortunately, Kirk had this pointy-eared imp hovering over his shoulder throughout the episode, with an annoying habit of correcting inaccuracies in the use of language, especially when it came to numbers...

    I'd rather accept 200+ than attempt to redate the Valiant. We already have a movie showing that Earth got warp in 2063, and other evidence to show that "Where No Man" might have taken place as late as 2266. It doesn't sound unreasonable that Earth would have launched missions to the ends of the universe right after obtaining this warp drive thing - why hesitate, when it's obvious that warp works, that everybody else has warp, and that any pretense of an organized "space program" would only slow down Earth's necessary expansion into what little space was left?

    The interesting thing here is that not only did the Valiant launch more than 200 years before the episode, she also disappeared 200 years before the episode. Kirk doesn't think the ship went quite that far before disappearing, because he considers it "Impossible!" that any Earth ship would be that far. Nor do records apparently show that the ship would have gone missing anywhere near where she was eventually found.

    The episode basically implies, then, that the magnetic storm that took the Valiant off course took her really far off course, perhaps propelling her across hundreds of lightyears at high speeds. So, warp propulsion is not dictated by the episode but is a reasonable assumption considering other, later evidence; and warp performance need not match the ship's eventual journey considering evidence of external propulsive influences.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    That... was my point.
     
  11. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    All it takes to settle this in one's mind is to throw some values into a spreadsheet and look at the travel times to various real places. You soon realize that non-FTL impulse (.25c) isn't useful for much outside the solar system if you are stuck in a 24-ft shuttlecraft with next-to-nonexistent amenities.

    here are some values to use:
    1. 499 seconds for light to travel from the sun to the earth (one AU)
    2. sun to Neptune's orbit = 40 AU
    3. Voyager 1 and 2 = (a little less than) 100 AU
    4. one light year = 63241 AU
    5. distance to Proxima Centauri = approx 268000 AU

    non-relativistic travel times ( 0.25c, constant speed, no acceleration times included)
    1. 33.27 minutes
    2. 1330.7 minutes (22.18 hours)
    3. 3326.67 minutes (55.45 hours)
    4. 1460.98 days (4 years)
    5. 6191.296 days (16.96 years)

    Now, granted, from our perspective here in the 21st century, 17 years to the next star would be tremendous but only if you are in a craft equipped and provisioned for such a journey.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...I wonder whether the shuttle in "Let That Be" would be sufficiently provisioned.

    I mean, the Cheronians apparently aren't humans, but "the most incredible physical specimen of all time" as McCoy puts it. And they live for tens of thousands of years each. Perhaps they don't need to eat quite as much per day as humans? And perhaps shuttlecraft are surprisingly capable of recycling breathing air and water, and possibly also solid wastes. A trip of a few decades might have been but a minor inconvenience for Lokai, if not for the unfortunate damage his stolen shuttle had suffered...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Never thought of that quite like that; good insight!
    Also wonder how many of those thousands of years could be attributed to time dilation. Maybe Lokai and Beal weren't always lucky enough to commandeer FTL vessels in their endless craziness .
     
  14. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Time dilation would certainly explain their unusual long lived-ness. Fuel consumption, on the other hand...
     
  15. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    The shuttle was stolen for two weeks according to the episode and he was on or near a "commercial space lane" so it is possible he was re-fueling/re-supplying at different star systems he was hopping until he ran into trouble. But there is also the "will" factor that the Cheron folks have where they can apparently drive a ship where ever they want it go and possibly over the limits (like Bele forcing the Enterprise to move along at Warp 10.) Lokai might have pushed the shuttle too hard leaving his last stop going to Ariannas.
     
  16. Anticitizen

    Anticitizen Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Remember, also, that the time in which Star Trek takes place in wasn't established until rather late in the series, what with use of 'stardates' and all. I think the earliest reference, if I'm not mistaken, was regarding Trelane's time-delayed observation of Earth via telescope. Therefore, at the time 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' was filmed and aired, having the ship being lost for over two centuries isn't any sort of big deal on its own. It's only in light of later stuff that it becomes any sort of issue. By my rules, what came first is canon, and later stuff must be reconciled to fit it, not prior. So.. people in later episodes clearly misspoke :)
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    True - if you define "rather late" as the second episode after Trelane's telescope incident in airing order, or third in production order. :) From that episode on, they kept to the "we're 200 years in the future, give or take" version for whatever reason.

    One actually wonders if the intent in "Squire of Gothos" ever was to have our heroes 400-500 years in advance of us. A writer or a proofreader could easily think "they are 900 lightyears away, which sounds distant enough; light travels that distance in 900 years; a clever way to show Trelane is out of date, and the audience will get it after a brief explanation - I mean, I did, too!" without ever stopping to think what this meant in terms of fixing the "onscreen now". Or a proofreader could think "500 lightyears doesn't sound like much - let's increase it to 900. Oh, and there's another 500, let's fix that one, too".

    Of course, in retrospect, this is the easiest TOS inconsistency of them all to explain away. After all, Trelane had a mobile planet...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    He did, plus a less than perfect knowledge of grasp of the power and tech at his disposal. And he seems to have observed a fair range of time periods on Earth.

    But the crew specifically said it was 900 years, didn't they? Well not quite. The person (Jaeger) who identified the 900 year thing was a Geophysicist, not a Historian. Kirk simply agreed with him (and he's not a historian either)

    Given the numerous references in other episodes to anything from the 20th Century as "ancient", it's not that far fetched to suppose that a non-historian would lump all "ancient" things together. It's not that different to today really, when many people treat the Middle Ages as a time of "knights and castles" - in fact it was a period of tremendous cultural and technological change.

    So, if Jaeger also considered the trappings around him to be Medieval, a rough figure of 900 years is not that far off. If the far more precise Mr Spock had identified the period, then we'd be in trouble! ;)
     

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