SpaceDock questions

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by SicOne, May 31, 2014.

  1. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    (1) How large in diameter is SpaceDock at it's largest? How tall is that same section, where the ships are ported?

    (2) How tall is SpaceDock in its entirety?

    (3) How wide and tall are the docking bay doors?

    (4) I know they used the same studio model from ST3 for the "11001001" episode of TNG, but isn't there some in-universe explanation that two of the four doors were enlarged for the Galaxy-class?

    (5) Are there free-flow doors into SpaceDock for shuttles and construction ships? I can't imagine they leave the doors open at all times, so is there some kind of permanently-open "service entrance"?

    (6) What speculation is available for the purposes of the portions of SpaceDock below the big saucer-like Dock module itself?

    Thanks for any tips, speculation, or nudges in the right direction, folks.
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The doorways, despite any appearances, are physically wide enough to allow the passage of a Excelsior class starship.

    Similar to how modern aircraft carriers and most other types of ships are deliberately designed to be capable to traveling through the panama canal, any Starfleet vessels intended to use the spacedock took it's existing doorways into account.

    I think that station was considerable larger in size than the spacedock seen in the TOS movies.

    Unless an emergency, why would they close them at all?

    :)
     
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    According to FASA's STIII Sourcebook update, spacedock is 4700m tall and has a maximum diameter of 3800m. Jackill's SF Reference Manual gives a diameter of 4600m and a height of 6900-6950m, depending on the antennae layout.

    I don't think there are any stats out there from the producers.
    I recall that the TNG producers simply decided that Starbase 79 is much bigger than the STIII Spacedock, over Rick Sternbach's (or was it Andrew Probert's?) objections. The doors are the same relative size to the facility, since the footage was from STIII only with the E-D in place of the classic movie ship.
    It looks like there are several Death Star-style open bays along the station core.
    I've seen a couple of fan-made cutaways that the second smaller mushroom halfway down the core is a massive park, not unlike the new novelverse DS9 or Starfleet HQ from the old Star Fleet Tech Manual.

    The bottom bulge is usually a generator or part of a massive communications assembly.
    http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/lcars/starbase-79-blueprints.php

    http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/lcars/jac-ournal-class-spacedock.php
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...They could have featured some "new", "hidden" sections that slide aside to allow for wider and taller ships to enter, but unfortunately the footage selected for "11001001" and the like is too explicit: we see all stages of entry, including those where the doors slide open exactly like they did in ST3, and the E-D is show to be exactly as small in relation as the E-nil was.

    In theory, the E-D might have fit inside the ST3 station, if somebody beamed her in there! It wouldn't have been a comfortable fit, though.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    The official figure from the ILM model builders (Nilo Rodis drawing with size figures) is a diameter of 12,500 feet or 2.37 miles for the upper main section

    I prefer to believe that the other stations were twice as big but didn't have the lower parts of the "stem"

    There are numbered service entrances on areas other than the main or top section. On this PR shot of the refit Enterprise you can see one of these service entrances (# 12) on the lower right, but it's hard to tell how it's shielded.

    I recommend my treatise on this particular issue, I hope you find it useful. :)

    Bob
     
  6. Count

    Count Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    In his interview on trekplace.com, probert said the d was supposed to dock the main shuttlebay with the underside if the mushroom, but the producers were to cheap to shoot new footage for the episode. Hence the upscale excuse. He even uploaded concept art of the dock that was pretty cool
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've always assumed it's because the interior of spacedock is pressurized at a standard atmosphere and closing the doors just saves power from the atmosphere force curtains (just like the shuttlebay doors on starships).
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The shots of the E-D entering the dock had to be new, though, right? There were weird new angles, added lighting effects and so forth.

    However, docking beneath the rim of the station would have called for splicing and dicing the E-D shots so that the bow of the ship would "disappear" between the rim - a precision job they could avoid by following the movie flightpath and cutting the scenes well short of any instances where the ship would be "behind" elements of the dock. This sort of direct reuse of station footage would indeed have been cheap compared with also reshooting the station elements!

    As regards pressurizing the dock area, this would help explain why small craft that lose power come to a standstill pretty quickly; in vacuum, they'd just crash to the walls. It's just damn difficult to invent a rationale for having air inside the facility, as it would indeed hamper the movement of small craft...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes and no. They really just recycled the photographic elements from "Search for Spock" and stuck the Enterprise-D in place of the -Nil. With the photographic technique they were using at the time (for the movies as well IIRC) the film composited in layers, with different elements and different lighting conditions being filmed separately and then combined into the final shot. In this case, they took some of the existing elements from STIII and re-filmed the D's 2-foot model doing some stuff, added a few of the -D's illumination elements, and then animated part of a matte painting for the boarding scene.

    Well, they would have to show the docking interface too, which might require building a new model segment for the ship to attach to and would also require some new motion sequences of the -D that had not yet been filmed. The stock footage that would have been useful in that particular scene weren't put into the show until a later in seasons 2 and 3.

    [quyote]As regards pressurizing the dock area, this would help explain why small craft that lose power come to a standstill pretty quickly; in vacuum, they'd just crash to the walls. It's just damn difficult to invent a rationale for having air inside the facility, as it would indeed hamper the movement of small craft...[/quote]
    I think it's just the opposite, actually: it's easier to move small craft around in space dock when they can use ducted fans instead of thrusters (think of all the money you'll save on RCS fuel!). Pressurizing the bay would also add an element of safety for loading and unloading of starships: you can power down the entire vessel, including the forcefield curtain for the shuttlebay, and it also means the gangway hatches and loading ramps don't have to have a perfect airtight seal that can fail and accidentally kill everyone.

    Moreover, there's the issue of thermal radiation. A starship powering up in space dock is going to emit a lot of heat that would normally float away into space. Space dock being an enclosed environment means the heat has nowhere to go and is just going to bounce back to the ship that emits it, or be absorbed by the walls of spacedock. An atmosphere in the enclosure allows for some convection, and the heat can be dissipated more safely in a controlled manner.

    And finally, there's the matter of maintenance. Your ship is in port for repairs, that means you can get your engineering crew to go out on the hull and patch those hull breaches without having to get into space suits and perform a potentially dangerous EVA. If they loose their grip on the hull or drop a tool or something, the tools and the people can't go very far and won't create a hazard to anyone outside of the dock.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Yup, sorry, I worded that badly - I meant the elements of the E-D had to be new, even though the elements of the station were stock from the movie. So there would be no savings from that.

    ...But we know that workbees and observation pods are "beasts of vacuum", without anything resembling an intake, and indeed without any room for such. Only the supposed tugboat might be "atmospherically oriented" (and that would make the least sense, as they and they only would have to move more than their own mass, which would be a pain with something as feeble as fans). The bees and pods would be disadvantaged by the air resistance.

    I'd rather think the radiators of the starship would be choked by the change in medium, and the ships would soon blow up.

    Although the bottom grillework of the Death Star reacto... I mean, docking area might indeed be for "ventilation" of some sort!

    The issue of heat containment in an enclosed docking area in vacuum would be avoided simply by not enclosing the area. That there are walls may suggest that there's air, too, but the rationale won't be that of forcing the starships out of their natural environment for their own thermal good...

    ...After which there's gas trapped behind hull panels, and as soon as you sail through the air curtain forcefield, your ship goes BANG! at multiple locations and you need to do the repairs again, now in vacuum where they should have been conducted in the first place.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe the small craft were moved by an unseen system of tractor beams? When the "tugboats" are needed they use their own thrusters and tractor beams, but when they are just moving around they are moved by the station's tractor beams.

    I still can't make up my mind about the end of ST IV. None of our protagonists piloted that Transfer Pod. They could have been towed by the "tugboat" but this one must have released its tractor beam by the time they reached Excelsior.

    So what happened next? (Sulu rushing to the pilot's seat and mumbling "must dock with Excelsior" :lol:)

    Bob
     
  12. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I think it's clear that ships in Star Trek dispose of their heat in some magical super-science way as heretofore unimagined in the 21st Century. It's obviously not a concern in their design. At least not outwardly, as RL knowledge of thermal radiation would require large radiator surfaces. And we know incredible heat is generated, if by nothing else than the Anti-matter annihilation, which we learn from "The Naked Time" ("You canna mix matter and anti-matter cold!" --Scotty).

    All that heat gotsa go somewhere. Magical superscience.

    --Alex
     
  13. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    Here's another dimension of the grandeur of Spacedock One / Starbase 74 that nobody seems to ever talk about:

    We assume these "spacedocks" are Starfleet-run facilities, not just technically administered by Starfleet, but like actual military bases or vessels, correct? So, a space station like this is like a Navy seaport like Pearl Harbor or maybe like a stationary Naval vessel, right?

    If we assume such a "base" / "ship" has a command structure similar to what we've seen of starships and planet-based starbases in TREK, then the personnel of this base would functionally be organized as a military unit (like an assigned starship's crew). Given this, how high would the rank be for such a vast facility, which likely employs thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of personnel?

    If memory serves, we never saw anyone higher than a Commodore in charge of a Starbase in TOS. We saw commanders and captains administer Starbases in TNG and DS9. This doesn't rule out brass much higher to be in charge of facilities like the Great White Mushroom, does it?
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'd hope these pods would be like elevator cabs: totally automated, even though equipped with manual overrides. Very few users would be in the habit of fidgeting with the controls; Montgomery Scott would be an obvious exception.

    At the end of ST4, automated operation would be essential in preserving the happy (?) surprise. Kirk may well have been the only one to know, and he would have punched in the destination without showing it to the others.

    In theoretical terms, heat could be packed into a medium that is then kicked out of the ship. Perhaps the impulse exhaust is used (or indeed exists) for this purpose? We know that the "impulse light is on" even when a ship is at standstill and expects to stay so, so the red (or sometimes blue or violet or white) glow could be representative of thermal dumping in process.

    This would also be why impulse "nozzles" point aft even though impulse drive as such seems to be rather omnidirectional. Heat is being dumped away from the enemy, to minimize the signature of the ship on approach...

    We only saw Commodores and lower associated with starbases, yes, and Commodore Stocker was explicitly said to be on his way to assume command of a starbase; people like Stone or Mendez were not quite as directly associated.

    On the other hand, we never learned that Commander Quinteros would have commanded Starbase 47 in "11001001". He might have been in command of the MRO ops only, or even of the Enterprise computer overhaul exclusively. As the events unfolded, there would have been no time or reason to call anybody higher up the chain of command of the starbase.

    Whether DS9 ever was a starbase, debate rages on. Sisko himself is not to be trusted much, as he also felt his runabouts were "starships"...

    Then again, I feel that these giant facilities are cities in space, and the starbase is just an office and a pier in one corner of the facility - much like surface starbases often would be installations of relatively small size, population and importance in comparison with the colony on the planet. Even the docks at the upper levels of the mushroom stations could be civilian starports, with a few Starfleet piers or a Starfleet prerogative for use of piers when needed.

    On the... Hmm, fourth hand, I also trust that sector commanders, apparently of Vice Admiral rank or higher, tend to use specific starbases as their headquarters; Ross would be a SB 375 denizen for the duration of his command of the sector.

    That's a lot of IMHO piled up there. But the truth is that canonically our knowledge of starbases is very thin, and the personnel seen operating from those are seldom given an explicit position or a good job description.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think there is an atmosphere inside. This would require a depressurization each time a ship comes or leaves and require each worker (without EVA) to be notified.

    OTOH, assuming Earth Spacedock operates on the sunny side of Earth's orbit, it's probably better for EVA workers to be sun-ray-shielded inside while performing repair and maintenance.

    Bob
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Well, not with ST:TMP level technology...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    Well, after the E-D had warped away, everyone was scurrying around but it was Quinteros who was telling everyone that they were rushing repairs on a ship to pursue. I suppose he MIGHT have been relaying a report from higher up, but it certainly sounded like it was his call. Likewise, when all the not-Picard-or-Riker crew gathered together, it would make more sense to gather in the ACTUAL ops rather than some specialized mission office.

    O'Brien called his home port "the Federation Starbase Deep Space Nine" before he was once arrested by the Cardassians on their conspiracy of that week. I like to think that all the "Deep Space" (and perhaps "Farspace") installations are starbases that are run by the locals but administered by Starfleet. Thus DS#, Farspace Station Earhart, Farpoint Station (if that debacle had played out), and possibly even places like Lya Station Alpha (which is a mushroom facility) could be non-Starfleet property used by the fleet as a proper installation.

    Mark
     
  18. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Maybe instead of air, the Spacedock can simply be heated?
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But if Quinteros was in charge of running the repair yard, it would be his call. And the next step up in any case would be the four-pipper in charge of the ship they choose for pursuit; the station command structure would be secondary to the needs of our heroes.

    I don't see the merit or likelihood of our heroes converging in some other location. After all, that would mean leaving the one where many of them would already have been! Quinteros was their contact man, and would probably have been hovering near the ship (while the SB commander would not), so anybody rushing back to the ship to see what was going on, or anybody evacuating via the gangway, would first stumble on him.

    There isn't time for anything much when the ship is about to evacuate. Hence the appropriation of some random console for quick analysis, rather than the use of the station's no doubt extensive dedicated tracking or command facilities.

    The general problem is, there are supposed to be starships in there. Why place them in a hostile environment? Starships are supposed to be operated in vacuum, for years or decades at an end. They need neither pampering nor shock therapy. And the small craft around them shouldn't be any more or less vulnerable.

    (Anyway, if heating were needed but air weren't, the big lamps of the open-scaffolding box docks should be the answer..)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    ^^ I fail to see why a heated spacedock interior should be a "hostile environment".

    Spacecraft operate in a hostile environment (space), where they have to withstand the frying heat on the sunny side and the icy cold on the other (between stars it's mostly cold).

    If the spacedock interior were heated, at least you could switch of the internal heaters of the space vessels, but given the lack of molecules inside a vacuum I wonder how you could heat up any vacuum in general.

    Bob