TOS Enterprise - function of warp nacelles' caps?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Robert Comsol, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh the irony because this not well researched at all. LOL And it's only a retcon if you read in more there than what is there
    WNMHGB:
    TCM:
    Last I checked, parents are ancestors. Where did distant come from?
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    From the failure to use a more proper expression; it's clear the writer was not thinking in terms of this guy being, or having been, Spock's father.

    Of course, it can be interpreted that way. It just takes effort and motivation. And motivation is offered by later Trek ideas superseding/complementing earlier Trek ideas, as usual. Just like we get nameless domes in TOS and then learn in TNG that they are called Bussard ramscoops.

    Not reading that the writer of the first episode disagreed with the writer of the second one would be reading too little, turning a blind eye, whistling and pretending. Making the two pieces fit together calls for filing away some of what is being said, and filling in some. Of course it's a retcon, and a far more blatant one than belatedly assigning an identity to some unnamed feature of Kirk's ship.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Requires no effort or filing/filling at all because the ancestor went from being unspecified to specified. That's additional information, not a change of information.

    It is this:
    Not this:
    Only the latter is a retcon.
    In my opinion.

    (Of course that was a deflection anyway; "distant human ancestor was long dead" was your interpretation of that line which is what I was referring to by "reading into it.")

    ------
    As for the endcaps, no other nacelles on any other ship class have that whirly, blinky light-look so that would suggest that something unique was going on here. what is anyone's guess and i actually like that ambiguity; let's my imagination have a freer range.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  4. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    BK613 beat me to it, but none of the dialogue supports a change where we would think of Spock's mom being dead.

    It does require more interpretation and effort to think that she was dead though.


    I'd argue that TOS was more internally consistent than later series - but out of practical reasons that there were fewer episodes to mess it up.

    Even the example of "James R Kirk" can be attributed to a fallible and human god Gary Mitchell vs a retcon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am not totally convinced that the endcaps are Bussard collectors. If they are I do not expect them to be used under warp drive without undermining the shape and stability of the warp field.
     
  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I read somewhere the "R" stood for "Rice" and was a nickname for Kirk at the Academy.

    Considering the tombstone dates might just be the stardates to indicate Kirk's short career as captain, it would just be another evil farewell joke at the expense of Kirk.

    Bob
     
  7. Unwrapped

    Unwrapped Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    One of the sketches does seem to show what might be movie Trek-era ground vehicles, but it's impossible to see whether they would roll by wheels or hover (and if there aren't wheels, one might also argue it could be a spacedock shuttle concept instead). There are two copies of the four-nacelled Excelsior concept sketch, a BOP concept that looks pretty close to the final version, and it's hard to judge about the one that resembles the Lambda class Star Wars shuttle. I'm tempted to wonder if perhaps it's intended as a sketch for a Starfleet facility, with the white parts being sails or arches, and one of the wide shuttles flying nearby. I could entirely be wrong on that of course.

    It's also possible that the "vehicle" sketch is actually a bridge or room with control panels, since there's a large rectangular object that's bright yellow (viewscreen? Could be a 23rd century advertisement/billboard if these were ground vehicles). The vehicles would then be control panels. Perhaps a concept for Excelsior's bridge?

    I rather like the Khan picture in any case. :D
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Retconning TOS is easier than retconning other shows, yes, thanks to there being less of the (always inherently faulty) material to mend. And also because generations of fanboys have spent time and effort doing so already, and have sometimes worked their favorite solutions back into the Trek universe, by directly contributing to the shows and movies, or by influencing people working on those.

    OTOH, TOS is more inconsistent inherently than the others, because of not being conceived as serialized. OTTH, it's more static than the others, as there was less impetus to introduce changes than in a show expected to stay on air for the better part of a decade come hell or high water. OTFH, it still lived long enough to go through a number of people in charge of pseudotechnology and aesthetics, while several of the seven-year spinoffs enjoyed stability in this respect.

    In the end, though, a count of hands isn't all that relevant. It's just Star Trek, part of a larger whole that exhibits insanely good continuity for an entity that wouldn't really need to. Indeed, the continuity is a prime attraction, no doubt contributing to its considerable recognizability over perhaps equally long-lived but more anthology-type fictional universes.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Since the Enterprise appears to travel in normal space at FTL speeds (rather than ducking into hyperspace), I've seen multiple suggestions that the ship uses an Alcubierre drive.

    Note that the glittering domes on the front of the warp engines are offset by domes at the rear (later in the series). North pole/south pole of the warp field?

    The artificial black hole and "white hole" of the drive would dovetail with the engine effectiveness against fluctuating gravity fields ("Naked Time").
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A favored interpretation in many early fan works, the most prominently in Franz Joseph's Technical Manual.

    ...So, was there ever any intent or effort to light up the rear domes/spheres, too? Was that dropped before the concept of lighting up the inner lengthwise slits?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hmmm, there's no mention of the Alcubierre drive. The forward dome is labeled "space energy / matter sink (acquisition)" and the rear dome is "space energy / matter source (field restoration)".

    Neither is very specific, and the latter makes no sense at all. ("Source"?)
     
  12. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    The idea was that basically the universe's matter would be collapsed into the front ends of the nacelles (matter sink) and be restored out the aft end (matter source). I don't really figure this is the way it works, but that was how FJ imagined it.

    --Alex
     
  13. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Into other words, a "jet engine" for the fabric of space/time.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  14. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's what the Franz Joseph nomenclature suggests, but that is not what an Alcubierre drive is. The concept behind the AD is that a black hole is generated in front of the ship and a white hole behind. This is not really "bootstrapping" the ship through space, where the ship "falls" toward the black hole. The idea is that a "bubble" of twisted space-time surrounds the ship. Thus, the ship is isolated in its own region of normal space, while the "bubble" acts as a kind of "lubricant," allowing the ship to do all kinds of FTL stunts without the time dilation penalty.

    The whole notion of "space-time," twisted or not, sounds ludicrous to me. But if one grants that much, I don't see why this escape clause shouldn't work.
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I've now seen the Alcubierre drive repeatedly mentioned and fail to see what's so peculiar new or innovative about it. Back in 1979, when they were trying to put the motion picture on science factual footing, I remember NASA's Jesco von Puttkamer (RIP) joined as a scientific consultant and the warp drive ("space bubble") was considered to be working basically the same as this Alcubierre drive (so maybe Puttkamer drive would be more accurate? Or A & P drive? ;)).

    Here is one of my favorite TOS tech quotes from Spock (in "By Any Other Name"):

    The Enterprise is propelled by matter-antimatter reactors.

    (a very concise statement that the ship is driven by energy and not particle thrust).

    Please bear in mind, that according to "The Doomsday Machine" and the USS Constellation the caps don't seem to have any function that's essential to achieve warp drive.

    As for the spheres at the aft of the nacelles I guess it's not too farfetched to assume that those are the nacelles' antimatter "pods" that had been repeatedly mentioned / suggested in the series.

    Bob
     
  16. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I meant the terms Franz Joseph used.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  17. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Hmm. If the front is a matter/energy sink and the aft is a matter/energy restoration then would it be more like a "tunneling engine"?
     
  18. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Are you thinking of the caterpillar drive Jane's Fighting Ships speculated in the mid 1980's the USSR's Typhoon-Class submarines might have (visualized in "The Hunt for Red October")?

    Bob
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, "sink" and "source" are generic expressions for describing a vector field. "Acquisition" and "restoration" would be treknobabble to specify the nature of the vector field in question, and the operations performed on it. Sucking and blowing need not be part of the workings...

    Actually, that would probably be as far from concise as can be, as Spock is selectively describing the one aspect of the propulsion system that would be of importance to his plan of blowing up the ship. It's no different from him saying that a car is propelled by gasoline if he intends to make a big fire and has no interest of propelling anything anywhere.

    Possibly. But other explanations would more satisfactorily explain the absence of these spheres in certain situations: either just from the early versions of the ship, or then (if one goes the TOS rather than the TOS-R route) from certain stages of the ship's mission. Antimatter pods would always need to be there. Fancy exhaust filters would not...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Hmm...you are right but for a different reason. Since Spock doesn't make a distinction between warp and (normal) impulse drive, the logical conclusion would therefore be that the energy the m-am reactors provide equally powers the warp drive and the (nomal) impulse drive (ahead of the TMP impulse drive concept where m-am energy is directly fed to the impulse drive!).

    Looks like TNG now has a problem explaining the impulse drive of the Enterprise-D ?

    Bob