Star Trek Space Travel

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by IamRyanLp, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. IamRyanLp

    IamRyanLp Ensign Newbie

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    [​IMG]

    Hey so I just finished watching The Icarus Factor - Season 2 Episode 14 for the second time, my second watch through the series and I was curious as to where Starbase Montgomery was, so I looked it up and found it was in a Federation controlled area, separate to the main body and borders both Romulan and Klingon space.

    How do Federation ships travel to this area ? Do they pass through Klingon controlled space, in which case I find this improbable as the Klingon's would hate this and possibly attack the ship.

    Anyway this is my main question, How do Federation ships travel from zone to zone ? with no actual federation controlled space connecting them - Thanks !
     
  2. Last Redshirt

    Last Redshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't even know where that blob came from. Was that someone who created the Star Charts idea of a joke or something? It's out of my worst nightmare when it comes to strategy games like Victoria II.

    Was the disconnected blob ever mentioned in the show? Or is this just non-canon conjecture?
     
  3. IamRyanLp

    IamRyanLp Ensign Newbie

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    http://www.sttff.net/images/AST030.jpg

    ^^^ It's a genuine area of the Milky way, check any "official" star trek map, It's there.

    Starbase Montgomery is there which features in the episode I mentioned ( and many more )
     
  4. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    1. The writers of the show are not beholden to any map dreamed up by fans or even in their own conjectural work.

    2. The larger map shows the area is accessible by going the "long way around" and avoiding Klingon space.

    3. The Klingons and Federation have an alliance allowing each other to cross the other's space.

    ETA 4. Looking in the Starcharts book there's more of a vague area of space around the back end where it looks like Federation space is sort of "land-locking" Romulan space (which I can't see them taking too kindly to.) So all areas of Federation space seem accessible without going through another area of controlled space.
     
  5. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Space is three dimensional. There could be a relatively easy route with few stars (and thus no claims, "above" or "below" Klingon space. Or there is a section of Federation controlled worlds "up" or "down" relative to this slice of sectors that is only something like 20 light years thick.

    Think about it. How thick is the Milky Way Galaxy in this region?


    Sisko's father even mentioned that space is vast. There should be plenty of room for all to get around.


    The trouble with space travel in Star Trek, is that outside of I think Enterprise, warp drive was never really followed in a consistent way. Warp is speed of the plot, with every star system really being several days if not a week or more away by most accounts. Yet Enterprise gets places in hours or minutes. Or they go for a distance, they say it takes hours, yet they haven't had a shift change and everyone that was on the bridge before the break is still on the bridge, even if the captain's log says it has been x hours or days since before the commercial break.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    That blob is where Canopus is located in the real universe, and Canopus is a secure area for the UFP Starfleet to hold wargames in "The Ultimate Computer", back when Klingons definitely wouldn't have allowed for any trespassing.

    The Star Charts proceed from the assumption that the various vague onscreen graphics indicating Klingons and Romulans to the lower and upper right of Earth (as viewed from galactic south, that is, from atop the galactic disk, and with the center of the galaxy towards the top of the map) are correct - and, further, from the "small sandbox" assumption that places the (near borders of) said evil empires fairly close to Earth, i.e. closer than Canopus.

    On a more fundamental level, Star Charts wants to portray the UFP as a collection of haphazard pseudopods, blobs and oddball protrusions, to emphasize its nature as a "benevolently" expanding empire, as opposed to the conquest-minded ones that would never risk acquiring a star system far away from their minimum-surface-area outer border, out of fear of rebellion or counter-conquest.

    In practice, the Star Charts map represents but a cross section of the UFP, either at the "height" of Earth, or at the "zero height" of the galactic plane (those differ from each other by just two or three sectors anyway, that is, about 50 lightyears). So Canopus is reached by steering "above" or "below" the hot spot where the two evil empires and the UFP clash . And the shape of the Romulan Star Empire reflects the idea of a very simple border shell being dictated upon the pointy-ears when they lost that old war, while the more freeform Klingon border is the result of their conquests, and even features a "splash" where they hit Romulan space and probe around it in an attempt to find a weak spot... :devil:

    As for the "speed of plot" issue, there's actually very little of that in TNG. If the ship gets to places in minutes, it's because she was already almost there to start with. TOS has some outliers in that respect, but not too many. DS9 mainly features inconsistencies in the sense that the runabouts are supposed to be slow (the early episode "Dax" indicates that warp five would be a sufficient speed for a getaway vessel that would allow enemies to escape Sisko's best pursuit), but the offenses there are minor as well.

    VOY introduces the idea that long distance travel may be slow even when short distance travel is fast. But that has been naval reality ever since the invention of steam power: you have to conserve fuel and spare your engines on long trips, and can only do sprints on short ones. Warp drive just takes that to certain extremes.

    Star Charts assumes, like VOY, that a thousand lightyears per year is good going in the wilderness, but that a thousand lightyears in a week is possible if you can count on there being a repair shop at the other end because your ship will certainly fall apart as the result of all that speeding. This allows Starfleet to hold wargames at the real Canopus (about 200 ly from Earth) while still having the evidenced problems with patrolling a "core space" perimeter that may be even closer than the distance to Canopus.

    To be sure, the above map has never been part of the canon Trek universe. Other parts of Star Charts, such as the Voyager route map, are canon; yet others are more or less 100% consistent with it. And some are grossly outdated by newer evidence from recent movies or the later seasons of ENT! But the shape of the Romulan Neutral Zone has never been established in entirety, nor its relation to Canopus. All we do know is that Gamma Hydra is on the Romulan/Federation border, and that's another real star correctly placed in the Charts, actually more "to the left" than Canopus. If Romulan space stands between Gamma Hydra and the nearest Starfleet starbase as established, then having a Federation presence at Canopus but a Romulan presence between Canopus and Earth is consistent with the onscreen material.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. AirCommodore

    AirCommodore Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I have no problem with the principle that you can maintain higher speeds with frequent maintenance and resupply. That is part of why Auxiliary ships and services are so important. It should be noted however that 1,000 light years in a week would be about 52,000 x C. That's in excess of Warp 37 on the W^3 warp scale. (The "new" and less comprehensible scale in the 24th century isn't much better.)

    That's the problem with that scale. It's far too slow for what Star Trek showrunners and writers want Star Trek to be. Too slow for the immense scale they want for the Federation and the speed of the action they want.

    In an early treatment, I believe Roddenberry mentioned 0.73 light years per hour for the "Yorktown" (later "Enterprise"). That works out to 6,394.8 x C. That is about 12x faster than Warp 8 on the W^3 scale. Indeed, it would top Warp 18.5. But if we instead use W^4 as the scale, 6394.8 times the speed of light is only about Warp 8.94. Which sounds more like the correct warp factor and gives us much greater speed.

    You still couldn't go 1000 light years in a week. More like two months. But I think the W^4 system is a good compromise as it allows significantly faster speeds, is very much closer to the original Roddenberry vision of the ship's speed, but still slow enough to keep the vast majority of the Galaxy out of effective reach. I like the vast mysterious unknown Galaxy of TOS. I don't like the hopping and popping about the Galaxy that you see in Star Wars. Leave those ginormous speeds to future centuries.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  8. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The FASA setup for TNG, before they got their license taken away, was to take the warp factor to the fifth power. Though warp 10 on that scale would allow you to cross the galaxy in one year....in a straight line.
     
  9. AirCommodore

    AirCommodore Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I do like the W^5 scale. You finally have some useful speeds for Warp 5 and below, although even with W^4 they start to become somewhat more practical for interstellar flights beyond the local group of nearby stars. I would prefer the same scale for the 22nd to 24th centuries. Just have them reach Warp 10, 12, 20, etc when you get to the end of the 2300's.
     
  10. IamRyanLp

    IamRyanLp Ensign Newbie

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    Some incredibly interesting points.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    True enough. But neither of those scales has actually been part of the onscreen Star Trek universe at any point. There is only one instance where the math of the "cubed formula" actually works out by writing staff design, in the ENT pilot "Broken Bow" for the speed of warp 4.4 - 4.5, and we can disregard that as an outlier just like we can treat any other speed reference as an outlier dictated by "local variations in subspace density" or other such doubletalk.

    If we really want to create a warp speed formula that fits the evidence, we are best off ditching the idea of it being lightspeed times warp factor to nth power, no matter what the value of n. Something much steeper would be better. And something much more complex, so that we can accept that Federation science or Starfleet engineers would need to change their views on how warp factors are labeled between TOS and TNG (and perhaps at other points of Federation history as well).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. AirCommodore

    AirCommodore Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, the ENT episode was odd. At first, it seemed like they wanted to have something along the lines of the W^3 system (Neptune in 6 minutes, I believe), but then they said they could get to the Klingon homeworld in 4 days IIRC. So much for the W^3 scale.

    I do think it does need to be a fairly steep scale. For no other reason than Warps 1-4 would otherwise be almost useless for anything beyond relatively short trips. The simple logarithmic scales have the advantage of being simple. But you can also steepen them fairly easily.

    Warp 4 in the W^3 scale is 64 x C
    Warp 4 in the W^4 scale is 256 X C
    Warp 4 in the W^5 scale is 1,024 X C

    Warp 4 is 16X faster on the W^5 scale. That's much better. It now becomes a more plausible speed for longer flights. If that isn't steep enough, you can just keep increasing it.

    Of course there never needed to be any sort of "factors" or scales of this kind in the first place. They could have just said that that the top speed is 6,000 x C and just say what you want the speed to be: "Set course for Vulcan, Speed: 5000C". They could have written the scripts that way. But the "Warp Factors" are part and parcel of Trek now, and so I think we should keep some sort of scale system that makes some kind of rational sense.

    I don't mind if it's more complex that the simple nth power logarithm, but I don't mind the simpler ones either. I don't even care to try to harmonize with the nutty TNG system. Warp 10 = infinity? I think we should just ditch that. For some unknown aesthetic reason, I think GR preferred that W/F numbers remain single digit. But we can just dump that, and increase the W/Fs for future centuries. No need for a "new scale" for the 24th Century. Just say the ships can do Warp 12 or 15. I am not sure why that's worse than saying Warp 9.975. Adding decimal places to indicate increasing speed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Odd you should say that, because it's TOS which treated the galaxy most similarly to Star Wars. It's a misconception that warp speeds were slower, based on the formula in The Making of Star Trek, which the writers never paid the slightest heed of:

    -They visited the rim of the galaxy in "Where No Man..." (not the oft-conjectured 'galactic north', as per dialogue in "By Any Other Name")

    -1,000 light-years in 11.5 hours at warp 8.4 in "That Which Survives" (that's Voyager's journey in a month!)

    -Centre of the galaxy in TAS: "Magicks of Megas Tu"

    -Centre of the galaxy in STV: TFF
     
  14. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There seems to be several instances in Enterprise were a warp factor cubed system is functional based on Archers' stated distances from Earth and the date of his log entries. They are not perfectly there, but they are relatively close in the first two seasons aside from the odd trip to the Klingon homeworld and back. After that it seems to more or less conform to warp factor cubed theory within minor alterations (your actual mileage may vary), but within a few light years over the course of a month tolerances. Warp 4.5 being about reasonable to go from one star system to the next between episodes.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But our heroes supposedly don't use warp 4.5+ all that much. Whenever speeds of that sort are mentioned in ENT dialogue, they are something our heroes accelerate to in order to cope with the challenges of the week. Supposedly, then, the ship cruises at a lower speed - and all map-based speed estimates must describe cruising speed rather than brief dashes...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well they can't have been going at warp factor 2 between episodes as that is pretty much establish as about what the freighters were doing and having babies between planets. Warp 3 being considered "fast" just ten years earlier, yet Warp 5 was the goal to making an actual vessel that could explore in a reasonable fashion from world to world. Mind you that Enterprise does not got up to Warp 5 very much. Warp 4 seems to be where they cruise at.
     
  17. alpha_leonis

    alpha_leonis Captain Captain

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    I never bought the W^3 scale as anything resembling "on-screen reality". I remember being aware of it when I started watching TOS episodes on VHS, loaned to me by a relative.

    The very first tape I received had "The Squire of Gothos" and "Arena" right next to each other. Arena establishes that the TOS Enterprise has a maximum safe cruising velocity of Warp 6 (216c if you trust the W^3 scale), but they can go as high as warp 8 in emergencies. But not for long before they start shaking apart.

    It was a plot point in "Gothos" that Trelane's planet was 900 light years away from Earth. (Never mind the anachronic references to Napoleon.) If the fastest they could travel was Warp 6, 216c, that would have been slightly more than four years' traveling time, one-way (eight years round trip), nothing left over for other missions along the way. So much for a five-year mission!
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Of course, we never learned whether the mission clock started counting at departure from Earth or arrival at operations area. :devil:

    (As a side note, Trelane's planet seemed to be capable of moving around pretty quickly. Granted, Sulu never got up to warp speed in his evasion attempts, but Trelane's rock was still running circles around the supposedly maximum-impulse starship; we might just as well credit it with warp capability, and thus the ability to peep at Napoleon.)

    I'm cool with that. And we even tended to catch the ship at visually obvious warp in the teasers, supposedly placidly cruising about - unlike in VOY where the hero ship was at obvious impulse if no exciting adventure was ongoing yet. This has some implications on how we should treat our sources for average speed of said ships.

    That is, the quoted distances and other evidence on annual average performance (e.g. VOY "Pathfinder") support warp cruising for both, at the ballpark of the unofficial cubed scale even. But the cube scale suggests warp 4-5 for Archer, but only warp sixish for Janeway. Yet if Janeway indeed spends more time at impulse, the practical warp cruise speed of her ship is correspondingly higher and thus more realistic (although nowhere near the figures quoted in "Caretaker", of course).

    It may well be that "cruising" is actually rarely done in the other shows which tend to involve "dashing" between adventures and not the sort of steady travel from A to B that would characterize Janeway's "mission" and probably Archer's mission as well. That is, Picard's, Kirk's and Sisko's ships would move much faster on the average because they move from pit stop to pit stop, while Janeway and Archer trundle along in the wilderness.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. AirCommodore

    AirCommodore Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Indeed, which is why the cubed W^3 scale was so far off. Roddenberry mentioned .73 light years per hour in the treatment, but it's clear from the show, that in practice the plot determined how fast or slow the ship traveled. That's on GR or any other show runner to impose discipline.

    Even though ST:V and a couple of TOS episodes were among the biggest outliers for high-speed, we still end up with a much better mapped Galaxy though in the TNG to VOY eras.

    Through the Bajoran wormhole and the Caretakers array, we end up with a pretty good idea of what is happening in the Gamma and Delta Quadrants. And in practice, the Ent-D gets wherever it needs to very, very quickly.

    We don't know all that much about the Galaxy in TOS. It is a vast place that is still being explored. In SW there is a Galaxy Wide civilization that appears to have existed for many millennia. The Federation is only 100 years old in Kirks time. So it's certainly understandable that there could be huge differences. It is a vastly more ancient civilization that the Federation is.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    What's to add? Perhaps that TOS contained a number of offhand references to going across the galaxy, or to other galaxies, even if the heroes themselves were not attributed with the feat.

    In "The Cage" already, Pike says he's from "the other end of this galaxy". The "this" part might be further suggesting that other galaxies are part of his patrol zone as well! Although he could just be lying to his captors, trying to throw them off the scent of the nearby Earth.

    There need not be any contradiction between the ability to go across the galaxy in a jiffy and the failure to have Pollux, right next door to Earth, properly explored before the 2260s. A single starship sortie supposedly covers very little ground even if spanning extreme distances: sensors can only see a few lightyears to the sides, so the volume explored is minimal, an insignificantly thin thread through the galaxy. Millions of such missions would be required to map the galaxy even if each involved going all the way to the rim and back.

    Timo Saloniemi