Size of starfleet?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Crazyewok, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It would depend on how "much more" the Home Guard would need to do.

    If a new Member came to the Federation with a significant number of colonies (lets say thirty), then they would need a home guard capable of patroling not just the original star system, but all the star systems where there are colonies, plus the travel routes between those star systems.

    Earth apparent continue to expand it's number of colonies after becoming a Federation Member. So not only would a Member have a home fleet, there could would be a need to increase it's size steadily over time.

    There could be other factors involved, other than environmental. it's possible that psychological difference come into play as well. Some Federation species might simply not be able of serving with each other over a protracted period of time. A Human serving on a Vulcan ship for months and years could eventually experience clinic depression through being socially isolated.

    Although possible not a Federation Member, most Federation species could not serve on a Medusian ship, they couldn't directly interact with the crew.

    :)
     
  2. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Unless they had previously done a six-month tour on a Tellarite ship, in which case the inability to interact with aliens would be just what the doctor ordered.

    But don't underestimate the effect of environment. Let me muddy the waters by suggesting two other things:

    1) basic portrayals aside, it's EXTREMELY unlikely that all Federation races breathe the same atmosphere or are comfortable in the same gravitational/lighting conditions. Vulcans in particular are used to a thinner atmosphere with probably a lower oxygen partial pressure; it's evidently much easier for Vulcans to adapt to human atmospheres than the reverse. Likewise, frigid Andor probably has a much lower CO2 content in its atmosphere than Earth does; at room temperature, humans breathing Andorian gas mixtures would have a strong tendency to hyperventilate. And this assumes that all or even most Federation races breathe a similar range of oxygen/nitrogen mixtures; methane breathers would be out of luck, especially since their bodies would probably rely on ammonia instead of water. Gravity, also, can be a very important factor; a life form that evolved in less than one-sixth gee wouldn't even be able to WALK on in normal gravity and probably wouldn't survive there for any amount of time.

    2) Home port. Warp drive may be fast, but it's not that convenient; Federation citizens don't commute between planets, so almost everyone still lives on the planet they were born on, which is USUALLY their own homeworld. Even if you could be comfortable on an Andorian ship, you'd have no reason to apply to the Andorian FLEET because you don't live anywhere near Andor and don't know anyone who does. The exceptions in Starfleet -- Spock, Worf, Data, etc -- all join Starfleet mainly because they've come to make their homes on Earth or in Earth-controlled colonies. Which would nicely explain why we never see the fleets of the other Federation members: with the singular exception of Vulcan, never really get to see other Federation WORLDS.
     
  3. Captain Nebula

    Captain Nebula Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The blueprints show the same as Mr. Scott's Guide, for the docking ring. Which looks different than the production image (naturally). The doors seem to be the only other thing different.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: Every blueprint I can find shows the same scale as Mr. Scott's Guide.

    Bigger pic of the blueprint above.

    http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/lcars/blueprints/frs/frs-6-sheet-5.jpg

    I also found this:

    http://ufc465537.scificities.com/resources/TheXonWriteups/shuttle.html

    It's got a writeup about the shuttle and Andrew Probert's matte paintings showing it in the shuttlebay. They say it's smaller (speculation of the website owner?) but it looks the same to me.

    Re-looking at your production photo, I think the docking port just looks smaller because of the angle. If you saw it full side-on, it would probably be the same size.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  4. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    I think most of the environmental concerns could be ignored, thanks to the level of tech in Trek. The Benzites went from needing a breathing device to not needing one in just a few years. Surely Starfleet's gifted engineers can do even better, particularly for species that have been in the Federation for 200 + years.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The above quote is by Shane Johnson the writer of MSG, it's from the Flare Sci-fi discussion site on May 03, 2003, Mr. Johnson is using the name " thelastguardian," presumably from the title of his 1975 novel.

    http://flare.solareclipse.net/cgi2/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=print_topic;f=6;t=002166

    He refers to the design of the Vulcan shuttle being used for a smaller verison, and the smaller verison being the one included in MSG. He confirms that the smaller shuttle is never used in the 1979 movie. Originally the smaller shuttle had no side doors, he added them for the image in MSG making them the same shape as those on the TOS shuttle.

    The image you just posted from the Official Blueprints are noticibly different than the earlier image you posted from MSG (Mister Scott's Guide to the Enterprise).

    Why naturally?

    Not quite. The VS (Vulcan shuttle) has two upright window (which I now think aren't door), small shuttle has a TOS shuttle style door. Moving aft, the VS then has a rectangular protrusion, missing from the small shuttle. Above the rectangle there is a top hatch, the small shuttle positions this above the TOS door. The VS then has a oval viewport, missing entirely from the small shuttle.

    The two images below come from your own post number 58, and your post number 63. They have been scaled to have the same diameter docking tubes. The Vulcan shuttle is (again) significantly larger. they certainly are not the same.

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
  6. Captain Nebula

    Captain Nebula Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Very nice! It makes more sense when you can see the difference. Thanks!
     
  7. Kolinahr

    Kolinahr Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    This sums my opinion up quite nicely. Besides, temperature differences can be ignored as long as they're not too severe. So species with similar environmental requirements could serve together. Trek tech is very powerful :)
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ There also might be the consideration of physical stature. In Journey to Babel we saw two shorter gentlemen at a reception, a number of starships scaled to their species physical requirements (consoles, chairs, doorways, corridors, rooms) would make a difficult assignment for a Human of typical adult size.

    A species somewhat larger than Mister Homn would find duty aboard the TOS Enteprise unpleasent.

    Kirk: "Immense beings with a hundred tentacles would have difficulty with the turbolift."


    :)
     
  9. jmampilly

    jmampilly Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't understand why the UFP would allow individual member worlds to maintain separate fleets. That would discourage members from contributing technological advancements and personnel to the central defense for the Federation. I don't recall any indication that any member had its own independent fleet. Also, in the DS9 episode "Rapture" a Starfleet Admiral states "The Bajoran militia must be integrated into starfleet," which would indicate that Federation member worlds integrate their forces into Starfleet.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It may be the prerogative of individual Members to maintain Home Fleets as they see fit, and the Federation Council would have no say in the matter.

    There's a line of dialog in the episode Unification which arguably says that Vulcan has it's own fleet.

    But integrated isn't the same as absorbed. The Admiral could be speak of the militia being able to coordinationed with Starfleet.

    It's always seemed to me that one of the prime reasons the Members formed (or joined) the Federation in the first place was mutual defense. It would make sense for the Member's separate fleets to be able to come together in a coordinated way during times of trouble. I personally think this is where all those vast fleets suddenly came from during the Dominion War.

    Prior to the Dominion War, Starfleet was usually depicted as being not particularly large, and often short handed.

    Integration.

    :)
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    According to The Making of Star Trek the creators / producers envisioned - possibly as an analogy to the US Navy's aircraft carriers, then - 12 top-of-the-line starships like the Enterprise.

    If we take a closer look at the NCC registries of the Excalibur (1664), the Defiant (1764) and the Reliant (1864) it could seem it is essentially just a contact code where - in the aforementioned example and according to Matt Jefferies' design series nomenclature (Enterprise is 17th design) - the last two digits of the Excalibur were "inherited" by the Defiant which again were inherited by the Reliant.

    Thus it would be impossible to determine Starfleet's actual strength at TOS, add to this we had ships of the "Destroyer Class" (Kirk's first command according to TMoST) etc.

    There's one example in TOS where the Enterprise revisits a region "where they charted several systems last year". Looks like the ships had assigned patrol sectors and it looks the Enterprise's was close to Klingon and Romulan territory.

    Of course, as the United Federation of Planets expanded the patrol sectors became more or bigger and unless sensor and scanning equipment became equally better the Federation was probably in need for more ships to cover vaster regions of space and - at some point in time - the availability of just 99 contact codes for top of the line starships (and others?) would not have been sufficient, hence the new five digit codes.

    Just my 0.02 $ for what it's worth.

    Bob
     
  12. jmampilly

    jmampilly Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    "It's always seemed to me that one of the prime reasons the Members formed (or joined) the Federation in the first place was mutual defense. It would make sense for the Member's separate fleets to be able to come together in a coordinated way during times of trouble. I personally think this is where all those vast fleets suddenly came from during the Dominion War."

    If the members maintained individual fleets, why is it that all of starfleet's vessels were standardized and looked similar during the Dominion war?
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's like in the world today, only a few nations have the faciities to construct ships above a certain size. If a Federation Member wants a brand new destroyer or larger they have to contract through Earth or one of the few other major shipyards.

    Also, when older starships are sold off (instead of being scrapped), the Membership without their own shipyards might have priority in bidding on these to add to their home fleets.

    :)
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It bears noting that there doesn't appear to be such a thing as a defense fleet. In the Dominion War, certain individual fleets are said to be tasked with defending specific planets at certain times - but only at certain times. In peacetime, planets in turn appear almost constantly vulnerable. Earth seldom has any starships nearby; none of the UFP planets visited by Kirk or Picard in the respective TV shows had any native defenses in evidence.

    Vulcan in the otherwise rather militant STXI displayed no wreckage of indigenous ship designs after Nero's attack (but may have had one or two generic Starfleet vessels in residence, because there is that piece of ship named Mayflower there while no ship by that name could have been included in the fleet that was launched from Earth). The same thing may well be true of "Unification pt II" where the "Vulcan defense vessels" (never identified as being part of a "fleet") would refer to a number of Starfleet ships defending Vulcan.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Wouldn't they then be referred to as "Starfleet vessels responding?"

    Nothing in the dialog suggests where they're responding from, just that they are "Vulcan" and they are "vessels." Oh and they have something to do with defense.

    :)
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Or that they are "vessels" performing "Vulcan defense". The ambiguity is quite significant. ;)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    How so? They have every incentive to share technologies among themselves, not least of which because they can expect to get something in return. More importantly, it would be a lot harder to distribute their shipbuilding techniques -- the results of decades or even centuries of trial and error and passed-down knowhow -- to an alien species they have little in common with.

    I seem to recall that KIRA said that, and in that case it was more of a guess.

    Because we only saw ships from the Sol branch of the fleet. We didn't see a single Andorian or Tellarite anywhere in the entire war; I suspect those forces probably had their hands busy coordinating with the Romulans on the other side of the quadrant.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But we were explicitly told that the fleets were hopping from one side of the UFP to the other during the war; this would not be consistent with ships of a certain design being stuck at a particular theater of war.

    As for the "militia must be assimilated, resistance is futile" bit, the actual dialogue goes like this:

    The absorption appears to be inevitable, non-negotiable and total (as per the definite article), so what's actually left to debate is just the exact meaning of absorbing. Does it mean Bajorans will have to learn to say "Sir!" in English but can retain their uniforms, ranks and sidearms and do pretty much whatever they please outside UFP-wide crises? This is somewhat unlikely in face of the total lack of evidence for UFP "national" forces behaving like that. No matter what the color of your face or the number of your limbs, you wear Starfleet fashion and fly generic Starfleet ships. And unless you are human, you'll have to be very lucky to find even one compatriot to share the ship.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. jmampilly

    jmampilly Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree with you

    It is possible that Starfleet Command posts members of species that get along well on similar ships. Andorians and Vulcans may prefer operating on ships with crews that are predominantly of their own race, and as a result, we get more segregated postings for these species. However, this doesn't stop Starfleet command from posting these segregated ships anywhere in Federation territory. Just because there's a starfleet ship full of Vulcans doesn't mean it needs to be stationed near Vulcan.
     
  20. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I feel like there are several general observations to bear in mind.

    1) The nature of registries. Be they contact codes or construction contracts, one must rationalize that they are at least somewhat unique to the vessel to which they are assigned. The general pattern we've observed has been numeric and incremental over the years. To my mind, this does not necessitate that registries have always followed the same pattern. For example, a 23rd century Starfleet assigning registries based on tonnage/class (compare the somewhat small Antares with an NCC-501 registry to the NCC-1701 Enterprise, for example) but the 24th century Starfleet assigning them soley based on production order, seems possible. I also think it's likely the 22nd century Starfleet had a different paradigm, given the prefix (NX, etc) seems to have been unique to each class. Consider also that Starfleet may want to obfuscate exactly how many starships she does have in service at a given time. Using blocks of registries and then skipping ahead might actually prove beneficial.

    2) Sequential registries vs. continuous registries. It appears to me that the general intent has been that lower numbers predate higher numbers, with a few exceptions. Meaning, NCC-1700 came before NCC-2000. However, I see nothing to prove that every number between NCC-1701 through NCC-1999 actually exists, nor anything to prove that ships higher than the NCC-2000 range might've been commissioned before the Excelsior. On the other hand, we see nothing to disprove it either. This point becomes particularly contentious in the 24th century when registry numbers become so high. To me, this indicates that registry numbers are (at least by this time) single use and retired when a ship is lost. Furthermore, Starfleet may reserve certain registry blocks for specific purposes that may never come to fruition. It seems rather convenient that the fancy Great Experiment was NX/NCC-2000.

    2) Attrition/retirement. I see nothing to indicate that large numbers of ships stay in service for a long time. Clearly there are certain older vessels that have remained in some form of service into the 24th century, or at the very least were put into mothballs and later reactivated. I would compare the number of B-52s that the U.S. built during the Cold War. So, just because you have NCC-75000 in service in 2375 (I pulled that out of the air) doesn't mean there are a total of 75,000 starships in service.

    Filmed evidence would seem to corroborate the notion that there is maybe one starship per sector of the Federation (given how often our heroes find themselves "the only ship in the quadrant"), and the gathering of these in one place is very rare. Given that the 24th century Federation is 8000ish light years across, and sectors are a few light years across, 2,500 commissioned starships seems very plausible to me, with perhaps a few hundred in reserves and/or in inactive 'home guard' duty. The registry of those 2,500 ships might range from NCC-10000 to NCC-77000, but not include 67,000 vessels.

    As much as I'd like to allow for the idea that registries somehow correspond to identification beacons, I don't see anything that actually supports this, nor is there really a real-life equivalent. I think simple serial numbers, be they based on class and model or simply incremental and somewhat arbitrary, is most likely.
     

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