Star Trek Space Travel

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

  1. AirCommodore

    AirCommodore Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Exactly, you would bypass millions and billions of stars as you zip along to the center of the Galaxy. Average distance between stars is 5 LYs IIRC. So it's more a matter of systematically fanning out in a series of small warp sprints along the web of star systems, probably organized by assigned Sectors, and building Starbases, supply depots, manufacturing and fabrication facilities, sub space buoys, arrays, colonies and other outposts along the way.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...And jumping ahead to secure important finds, turning back to avoid confrontations with competitors, and sometimes even just plain forgetting to reattempt a failed mission, with the end result being a Swiss-cheese star empire rather than a homogeneously explored and exploited dominion.

    Still, I think we are better off regarding overall continuity if we rationalize away the handful of references to long distance or high speed travel in early Trek.

    Neither of the visits to the center of the galaxy need actually reach the center, say. "Magicks" only mentions the intent to study the center, which can be achieved from a vantage point at a great distance but not from Earth, so possibly Sulu just steered past the nearby obstacles for a clear view. And our heroes didn't believe in trips to the center of the galaxy in STV, only the madman Sybok did - so quite possibly Sha Ka Ree was just beyond the Great Barrier, en route to the center but nowhere near the center.

    Similarly, Starfleet Command knowing that the effect of Lazarus' antics was felt all across the galaxy and beyond doesn't mean Starfleet has ships deployed outside the galaxy; other ways of knowing can be speculated on. The Federation could probably enjoy galaxy-wide knowledge through exchange of information; even bitter foes exchange information every now and then, after all. It's just that the farther the original source of the information is from actually UFP-explored space, the less reliable the information that reaches the UFP.

    Finally, TOS features few examples of our heroes actually covering massive distances on screen. Even the second pilot only begins when our heroes have already reached a distant location (and a wholly fictional one at that, since the real Milky Way doesn't have a "rim", with or without a negative-energy barrier). So our actual outliers come from extremely short sprints - the superfast hop in the teaser of "Bread and Circuses" and the merely hours-long trip in "That Which Survives". And as already argued, the shorter, the faster...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. AirCommodore

    AirCommodore Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, there would certainly individual longer range thrusts when that seemed important based on information from various sources:

    1. I assume that they are continuously scanning all sub-space "bands" for any faint or distant radio traffic. That would obviously be a prime source for finding advanced civilizations.

    2. Their telescopic and spectroscopic technology must be far more advanced, and no doubt will be used to identify planets that are potentially life-supporting even if no communications or other obvious signs of civilization are apparent.

    3. Intelligence through various means about competitors. For instance, that Klingon activity is suspected in a soon to be explored Sector.

    They may already in Kirk's time have some bits and scraps of information and intelligence about the distant cluster of civilizations that includes Bajor and Cardassia. And of course, many systems that might not appear obviously interesting might be initially reached through probes, with a decision for a Ship only if the information received indicated a need for further investigation. And no doubt information though trade networks would be useful.

    The end result of all this would probably be a prioritized list of destinations in each sector, with higher priority for the potential presence of advanced civilizations, life sustaining worlds, regions with important physical resources, strategic locations vis-à-vis other Powers, most promising sites for research, manufacturing, colonization, etc
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  4. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Still, it makes Voyager's 70 plus year trip seem unlikely if older Starships could functionally zip across the Galaxy in a few days or weeks.
     
  5. AirCommodore

    AirCommodore Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes it does. But this comes down to showrunners and continuity. They have to police things like this, and there is no doubt that on several occasions they were asleep at the switch.
     
  6. IamRyanLp

    IamRyanLp Ensign Newbie

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Which would you say is more accurate then, or is each accurate for it's own series?

    Which would you say is more accurate then, or is each accurate for it's own series?

    Which would you say is more accurate then, or is each accurate for it's own series?
     
  7. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Or we could do some basic Maths on known distances and the time given to travel to that i.e.

    In TMP we are told that it will take the Enterprise 4 Days to make the trip to Vulcan, as Vulcan is 16ly or so from Earth that gives us a speed of 4ly per day. Or around 1460 times the speed of light. Translating that to VOY that would give a journey time of around 50 or so years at TOS speeds. Bear in mind we don't know what Warp Factor it would take to complete that journey in the given time.

    But as others have said it comes down to Plot Speed
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Neither of the scales is actually supported by any of the shows. TOS contains no data whatsoever that would fit the cubed scale. TNG features just a couple of explicit references to how a specific warp factor corresponds to a specific speed (say, "Bloodlines"), and they all disagree with the supposed 24th century scale (although they are in the general ballpark, rather than being off by a factor of a thousand or a million).

    Basically, neither of the scales has any real merit. They aren't accurate for describing the shows, any shows; they aren't even necessarily conceptually compatible with the shows, as exponential increase of speed with warp factor is not an established feature of warp by any means. And they probably weren't particularly influential in making the shows.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. IamRyanLp

    IamRyanLp Ensign Newbie

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    I find this to be a real shame, if the writers had made their own warp speed table,
    or anything the fan base could relate to it would be really interesting to see Enterprise D life time map.

    Starting from Mars and ending at Veridian III

    To be able to have an interactive map, where you could see where (roughly) each episode took place,
    and to be able to click and interact with the dots, opening a window to the episode run-down etc etc.

    I almost feel the community
    ( for a science fiction star trek series )
    Hasn't done enough to bring the series into the future by making things such as this. When I look at the interactive map
    that there is I almost feel as if Im interacting with a computer
    from the series, dated and very 1 dimensional.

    http://www.startrekmap.com/ufpmain.html Being the closest to this on the internet.
     
  10. AirCommodore

    AirCommodore Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well they tried to give some sort of half hearted recognition to the W^3 system in Enterprise, but we aren't even out of the pilot episode when they decide to throw it out the window. The Klingon homeworld in 4 days at Warp 5 or less?! It actually is less, since it is only in a later episode that the ship will actually reach Warp 5.

    Even at 125x c they would only just have gotten past the Oort cloud after just 4 days. That is less than half way to Alpha Centauri! Even if we use the W^5 system, where W5 = 3,135 x c, they could only have gone a little over 34 light years in 96 hours. Does that seem like a likely location for Qo'noS?

    You can always give "correction factors" to these numbers based on varying "sub space densities". But the problem with that, or any other post-hoc contrivance is that is essentially the same as saying that there is no "system" at all. No matter what crazy outlier of superspeed that the writers come up with for a movie or episode, you can just say "Wow! Subspace densities must really be in high flux there!".

    I don't think there is any system that can explain every single speed reference stretching over all 700+ installments of Trek. There is no way I can see of making a coherent "system" that works for every case. Sooooo, I think you just have to do your best in making a system that basically works. It could get the ships to the distances they want in fairly reasonable time frames and allow for a Federation of the vast scale and extent that they want. That's my view on this. A system that works for the basic needs and purposes of Trek. Some episodes will always be outliers to this, whether faster or slower. But there is nothing you can do about that. These sorts of discontinuities result from the slackitude of showrunners and movie producers in policing these things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    With such a varied pool of examples, any new Trek can pick what they want and it's consistent with something prior. Take the new movies - some fans complain about a super fast trip to Kronos, but to me it's a good fit for "Broken Bow" (four days at something less than warp 5 vs. warp 8 or 9 in a matter of hours) or any of the TOS/TAS/movie examples I cited above.

    How's this for odd - according to the Voyager Technical Guide, season 1 edition (unpublished, but available to the writers and online somewhere), at warp 9.975 Voyager would take 33 years to get across the galaxy - yet in "Caretaker" they say it's 75 years. There is even a memo in A Vision of the Future: The Making of Star Trek Voyager where the writers are advised to change the reference to warp 9.975 in the "Caretaker" script because it's too fast. They never did. Why should fans care more than the writers and producers did?
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    You would have thought by now they realise the fans pick up on these little details. They want to change something, sure ok but at least do us the service of addressing it rather than ignoring it and hoping your audiance won't notice.
     
  13. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, though an exception might be unmanned probes. As in the episode "Tin Man," these might be dispatched to destinations that seem the most interesting to science, and end up out running manned exploration.
     
  14. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It seems to me that Voyager could've solved it's perceived time scale problems by simply making the ship only capable of, say, warp four. Even the sound of that implies that they'd be at a bit of a disadvantage. Dramatically useful, I'd say.

    I'm not a race car driver, but even I know that forty miles per hour is slower than seventy.
     
  15. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or just not claim it was the fastest ship at the time.
     
  16. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Exactly, Ithekro. Fastest computer ever, that's fine. It's been kind of a real-world standard that "new and improved" products and technologies usually come with an accompanying disadvantage. Faster, but wears out quicker. More nutritious, but expires more quickly. Gets stains out better, but is hard on colors. That sort of thing. Slower engines could have been Voyager's compromise.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Then again, it helps that the stranded ship is the fastest there is, and still has her work cut out for her coming home from Delta in anything shorter than a century. Otherwise, other ships would already have been exploring these depths, taking away from the excitement...

    Timo Saloniemi