Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Brannigan, Jan 22, 2014.
^That works too
Even with retrofits and upgrades, 40 years seems to be a long time for a deep-space ship to function. I would imagine there were many (undetected?) weaknesses and damaged material, with the ship's having been through so many adventures.
The design could continue for 40 or more years, but I think individual ships should be retired--or moved to planetary defense forces--long before they had reached that milestone.
Known only by James T. Kirk's frenemy, G. Mitchell
I know the feeling.
There are plenty of examples of ship or even aircraft that have served for 40 years. Nearly all the American supercarriers served around for 40 years. The nuclear carriers look like they will all serve about 50 years each, with there only real non-service years being major refueling and refits.
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) was supposedly in active service from around 2245 to 2270 before a major reconstruction. Most of her structure was rebuilt and replaced judging by the massive changes the ship has before the V'Ger Incident (2273?) It is speculated that the ship went on an active carrer for another ten or so years. We think Kirk retired for a short period around 2282, so it is likely the Enterprise was removed from active duty and made into the training cruiser we saw under Captain Spock in 2285.
So this makes the ship active for about 35 years and a training ship for about 5 years.
The Enterprise-A, assuming it was an older ship fitted out for Kirk, could have been any age. But by Star Trek VI the crew seems to be teaching again like they were in Star Trek II. We have no evidence that the Enterprise-A was also a training cruiser, but it would fit how the crew was split into other assignments on Earth. Though it does not explain why Enterprise is carrying around gaseous anomoly detection equipment similar to the task being preformed by USS Excelsior for the last year or two.
USS Enterprise-B and -C are the mystery ships. Would one assume that the -B was retired so the -C was built, or was the -B lost or destroyed prior to the completion of a new Ambassador-class hull? If the -B still exists, would it have been possible to bring it out of mothballs to replace the -C in the fleet until the Galaxy-class -D was completed (since it was about 20 years from the the time the -C went down to when the Galaxy-class Project completed a new Enterprise).
The Enterprise-D is likely the ship we know the most about since we saw about all its activities for its 8 years of existance.
Unlike most people around, I like the Enterprise-E design. Mostly because I like longer warp nacelles and always disliked that part of the Enterprise-D as they seemed too small compared to the likes of the Excelsior-class. But that is an asthetic thing. It is suspected that Picard was in command of the Enterprise-E longer than the Enterprise-D simply because it lived longer. Mind you that Picard's ship (if one were to look at it based on time served) would be USS Stargazer, as he was captain of that ship for about 22 years while, as of the last Star Trek film, he's been captain of the two Enterprises for about 16 years.
It's highly unlikely that the Enterprise-B was retired, as many other Excelsior-class ships were still in service by the time of TNG. So there would have been no reason to retire it if other ships of its class were doing just fine. It's more likely that it was destroyed some time between 2296 and 2344 (which then would invalidate your theory that the B returned to service after the C was destroyed, which doesn't make much sense to me anyway).
I agree, it stands to reason that no new Enterprise gets the same registry and alphabetic appendix, until the previous ship has been destroyed or considered lost.
NCC-1701-A came into existence because NCC-1701 had been destroyed, NCC-1701-D came into existence because NCC-1701-C had been destroyed at the Battle of Narendra III in 2344.
Nevertheless, I think it's worth a footnote that for 20 years (2344-2364) there had been no Federation starship with the name and registry of the Enterprise.
And to this day that drives me crazy. In retrospect, I wish that "Yesterday's Enterprise" would have featured the Enterprise-B instead (a reuse of the Excelsior model in its original configuration), and placed the events of the attack not in 2344, but in 2311 to coincide with the Tomed Incident which up to that point had been the last time the Federation and the Romulans had direct contact. That way, not only would it have been more consistent, not only would they have saved money by not having to build a new model, but then it would have been more believable that the Ent-C would have been constructed after 2311 and remained in service until the 2360's to be retired once the Ent-D was christened.
Given the nature of the E-C's demise, it seems that having a "lucky little Enterprise" in the fleet went out of fashion for a while.
If we look at all the successes the original NCC-1701 had defeating and humiliating the Romulans, I believe that keeping the name and registry number was a deliberate and psychological choice of Starfleet to have the Romulans think twice before doing anything stupid.
Of course, the Enterprise-C was defeated by the Romulans and I think Starfleet might have considered not naming and numbering another starship "Enterprise NCC-1701". Any intended pyschological effect had become pointless.
For all we know, given the lack of any communication between the UFP and the Romulan Star Empire for several decades, the choice to commission USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D may have been an attempt to provoke the Romulans into some kind of interaction and by the end of Season One ("The Neutral Zone") the Romulans did interact for the first time in decades with a Federation starship: NCC-1701-D
Maybe some kind of bait, but I'm certain that henceforth every Romulan Commander was looking for a perfect opportunity to take NCC-1701-D as a prize and back to Romulus for fame and glory.
After Picard's humiliation by Sub-Commander Selok and Admiral Mendak in "Data's Day" I'm confident the citizens of the Romulan capitol enjoyed Bread and Circuses for a couple of weeks or months. Finally, some Romulans had managed to humiliate an Enterprise NCC-1701 and its captain in return.
Nah, individual ships of a class can be retired and yet the class itself can continue.
It's totally plausible that the Enterprise-B was retired prior to 2344 and may even have been the longest-serving Enterprise to date if she went 50 years before decommissioning. Starfleet wouldn't have retired the entire Excelsior-class because of that.
Why are people disturbed by the gap between the C and D when Starfleet(Federation) had no ship named Enterprise from the decommissioning of the NX-01 to the launch of the NCC-1701?
While that may be true, there's no evidence that there was anything wrong with the Ent-B for it to be decommissioned between 2296 and 2344 (and that's being conservative, since all we know is that the Ent-C was destroyed in 2344).
That's the problem: We simply don't know any of the particulars between 2296 and 2344. Was the Ent-B scrapped right after the Nexus incident? Did it continue operating for five years? Ten years? Twenty? What happened to it? When was the Ent-C constructed? Was it only active for a few years before it was destroyed in 2344? Had it been serving for five years prior? Ten years? Twenty?
Perhaps the reason was the same as why there was no Enterprise between the C's destruction in 2344 and the D's commissioning in 2363? A reason, of course, that none of us actually know?
Or perhaps early in the Federation's history, the name "Enterprise" simply wasn't synonymous with anything uniquely important to warrant another ship with that name until after TOS.
Fifty years of wear tear will definitely age a starship, especially one named Enterprise. And for all we know, fifty years may have been the life expectancy of that vessel.
The only thing we can say with any certainty is that the Enterprise-B was replaced by the Enterprise-C at some point prior to the Narendra III incident. But the idea that the Enterprise-B was around long enough to be retired is as plausible and valid an idea as any other that doesn't contradict the Enterprise-C being at Narendra III in 2344.
I suppose I'm just curious as to why other Excelsiors like the Hood and the Repulse (which presumably had the same amount of wear and tear as the Ent-B) are still around and operating even after the launch of the Ent-E, while their sister ship the Ent-B had been replaced three times over.
But if the Enterprise-C was commissioned, say, in 2325 (which is the date one of the Star Trek calendars conjectures), then the Ent-B would only have been around for less than 30 years. Other Excelsiors which seem to have been commissioned at the end of the 23rd century and into the start of the 24th, are still operational 50 to 75 years later. That date unfortunately gives the Ent-C only a 19 year lifespan (granted the ship would have served longer had it not been destroyed), but again I'm being conservative here. We still don't even know how long the span of time was between the end of the B and the commissioning of the C. It could have been one year; it could have been ten. And for all we know, the Ent-C was built even sooner than 2325.
Personally, I'd be fine with the "Babylon 4" approach: That the Ent-C was brand-new as of 2344 and that it mysteriously vanished in the same year. That way the Ent-B could have had almost 50 years of life. But unfortunately it doesn't solve the inherent problem of no new Enterprise for 20 years between the C and the D, unless everyone was so paranoid that ships named Enterprise were disappearing or getting destroyed that they decided to take a hiatus with that name.
Really, the existence of the Enterprise-B kinda served little purpose. This is one of the reasons why, in retrospect, I wish TNG hadn't taken place as far into the future as it did.
Not all Excelsior-class ships were built at the same time. Also not all Excelsior-class ships are subject to the same wear and tear.
Actually, aside from the Excelsior and the Enterprise-B, we don't know how many Excelsior-class ships were in service at the end of the 23rd-Century as hull registries tended to be all over the place in TNG. Most Excelsior-class ships could have been built in the 24th-Century. Older Excelsior-class ships could have been in their final years of operation before retirement at the time TNG started, while other Excelsior-class ships were middle-aged, having been built maybe only 20 or so years earlier. The first batch of Excelsior-class ships like the Excelsior and the Enterprise-B were long since gone by the time of "Encounter At Farpoint," replaced by newer batches of Excelsiors, IMO.
We could even go with an idea that the Enterprise-C was in service even earlier than that if we wanted to.
My point is, though, in the lack of anything canonical about the fate of the Enterprise-B and origin of the Enterprise-C, is that there are several plausible ideas, each one just as likely as the other as long as it doesn't contradict what we saw in Generations and "Yesterday's Enterprise."
The way I've viewed it as that the Enterprise-C was the first Starship Enterprise to be lost with all hands on board, but the loss of that ship meant something--not only of the heroic sacrifice of her crew but also how it impressed the Klingons and improved relations with them. I think after a short period of mourning, Starfleet announced that one of the (then) proposed Galaxy-class ships would be the Enterprise-D. At the time, though, the Galaxy-class was just a series of ideas, not even a finalized design, and it would be a while before even the prototype would be completed.
Well, TNG was meant to be very different than TOS in almost every aspect and so placing it roughly a century later was a sure-fire way to do that as well as maintain a good distance between the two shows. Both the Enterprise-B and Enterprise-C were really just meant to establish that there was history after Kirk and before Picard.
One of my questions concerning time in TNG is what was Captain Picard doing between the loss of USS Stargazer and his taking command of USS Enterprise? That was basically 8 years.
As for the number of ships named "Enterprise", if Temporal Investigations can get the number wrong, who can tell just how many ships have that name in the Federation?
Speculation based on real world events:
Between 2161 and 2245 there was one or more ships with the name Enterprise in the service of the Federation. However, they may not have been frontline cruisers. Reason for this is that the US Navy had an Enterprise motor patrol boat in the First World War. Before that there was a sail/steam sloop USS Enterprise in the 1870s to 1909. She was not anywhere near top of the line as that was the age of the ironclads into the age of steel ships. She seems to mostly have been used for exploration of the seas, some show the flag work in Africa and Asia, and a training ship in the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
Other times it is a matter of waiting until the next thing comes along.
From 1947 to 1961 there was no active USS Enterprise in the US Navy. Until 1958 the aircraft carrier CV-6 USS Enterprise sat in mothballs waiting her fate (scrapped), and after that the CVN-65 USS Enterprise was named and finished in 1961. Today the CVN-65 is out of service and being rendered safe (for scrap most likely). It will be replaced...probably...by the new CVN-80 USS Enterprise in 2025.
So it is possible there was another ship named Enterprise in service between 2161 and 2245. It just would not have been a "starship", or it was assigned to a different department within the Federation.
So for the NCC-1701-C, we don't know much about the Ambassador-class verses the Excelsior-class or the Galaxy-class. We rarely see Ambassador-class ships, but there are craploads of Excelsiors. Most materal suggests that the Ambassador-class was designed somewhere in the 2310s or 2320s. This would fit with them replacing the Excelsior-class as the front line exploration vessel as the Excelsior-class was launched in the 2280s with them becoming a full service class in the 2290s. If one assumes something between a 30 and 40 year gap for design cycles in Starfleet for major heavy cruiser types, that would put the Galaxy-class as suppose to have been finished in the early 2350s, if not late 2340s. (The 2340s would fit with the Soverign-class coming out in the 2370s) But seeing what kinds of problems Picard had with the Enterprise, it seems likely that the Galaxy-class project was delayed a lot. This might have to do with new technology, or politics, or even production of other ships in the 2250s to fight the Cardassians (seeing that that conflict was going on, it seems weirder and weirder to have Picard and crew so high minded in the first season of TNG).
So, if the Ambassador-class was a 20 or 30 year old design by 2344, would it be reasonable to think of the Enterprise-C as a new ship? Or was it a "replacement", like the Enterprise-A, for the loss of Enterprise-B? Or was it a natural progression after retirment of the Enterprise-B in the 2230s (after 40 years of service)? The Ambassador-class being older by that point would give a reason for the Galaxy-class to begin costruction. But the 15 years or so between the start of the project and the launch of USS Galaxy means that the loss of USS Enterprise-C was just at the wrong time. She was lost too late to get a simple replacement of another Ambassador-class ship (like Kirk got another Constitution) but too soon to get a new class of ship that Starfleet found worthy of the name. Though that doesn't work very well either unless the Enterprise-A was a matter of luck on Kirk's part. There just happened to be either one more Constitution being built, one that happened to be in mothballs but servicable, or one that happened to come back in that could be renamed. Though there would be no crew to get a new Enterprise after the -C was lost.
Though it makes the existance of the Sovereign-class all the more of a puzzle as they come out in 2370, less than 15 years after the launch of USS Galaxy, though more than 25 years after the start of the Galaxy-class Project. Could the anomaly be the Galaxy-class taking too long to build? Mixed with a warfooting like rush on the Sovereign-class due to a mix of the Borg, the Romulans returning, and other issues during the 2360s? If the pattern from the Constitution to Excelsior to Ambassador was maintianed, what would it look like?
2165 - ??? (Daedalus-class?)
2205 - ??? (Kelvin-type?)
2245 - Constitution-class
2285 - Excelsior-class
Projected: 2325 - Ambassador-class
Projected: 2365 - Galaxy-class
Projected: 2405 - Sovereign-class
That's a really good question. The CVN-65 was decomissioned, what, two years ago now? The CVN-80 won't be operational until at least 2025. That means 13 years with no USS Enterprise in the Navy.
Similarly, the Navy's CV-6 was decommissioned in 1947. Her replacement, the CVN-65 was commissioned in 1961. That's 14 years or so.
Typically, once a ship has been honored as being of a specific type, you don't give the name to an inferior ship. Star Trek's Enterprise has always been a front line exploratory and multi-mission starship. It is not a backwoods cruiser, a picket ship, a scout, etc. If you aren't building such ships, you don't give them such names.
Thus, when the Enterprise C is lost, it makes sense that Starfleet declares that one of the new Galaxy class starships under development will be named in honor of the Enterprise, to carry on the line.
Now, back to the original Enterprise and the 40 year comment.
The original Enterprise actually had a minimum of four iterations.
Mk 1 - As seen in The Cage
Mk 2 - As seen in Where No Man Has Gone Before
Mk 3 - As seen in TOS Production
Mk 4 - TMP Era
I would argue that the Constitution spaceframe had at least seven iterations, to account for the differences in TVH, TFF, and TUC.
Enterprise launched in 2245 in Mk 1 configuration. Serves various missions, has minor upgrade and refueling periods, but nothing significant until some time after the events of "The Cage" Then, she goes through a SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) upgrade to Mk 2 configuration. Given the damage sustained in the encounter with the Barrier, Enterprise docks for another SLEP and is upgraded to Mk 3 before the beginning of the production of TOS. Then we get the major upgrade before TMP that represents Mk 4.
The Mk 2 upgrade consisted mainly of engineering upgrades and some systems changes. Given the admittedly non-canon narrative from the original cut of the pilot about the Enterprise mission, I would say the internal volume between a Mk 2 and 1 ship saw minimal differences. Clearly, the first production episode establishes a slightly different mission, look, feel, and at that point, the 430 number needs to be in place.
So, that's my logic... and I'm stickin' to it!
He might have had a desk job during that time. Captains can hold staff positions too.
That was a case of one non-Starfleet agent not knowing that NCC-1701-E was in service already (another agent knew).
It's generally taken that NCC-1701 was the first Federation-era starship to bear the name. It may have been a case that in honor of NX-01 and her role in the formation of the Federation (and possibly the Romulan Wars), that the Enterprise name was retired for nearly a century. The decision may have been a symbolic and/or political one that might have run its course by the time the Constitution-class came along perhaps.
The TNG Tech Manual and Starship Spotter books both suggested that the Galaxy-class took quite a long time in development. The former had 2343 as when the project was first approved by Starfleet and 2357 as when the prototype USS Galaxy was finally commissioned (with the Enterprise-D's keel first laid down in 2350). There were several delays during the construction of Galaxy, Yamato, and Enterprise-D, which may have been the result of brand-new technologies (including new warp engine and computer systems) being incorporated for the first time. The Enterprise-D was ultimately commissioned in October 2363, several months prior to "Encounter At Farpoint."
As said before, we don't know when the Ambassador-class was first introduced, but the TNG Tech Manual suggested that the design was "aging" by the 2340s. That doesn't necessarily mean the Ambassador-class was a really old design, but it may have become obsolete early due to new technologies being introduced at the time that it might not have been able to incorporate. Other designs, even a couple of older ones like the Excelsior- and Miranda-classes, may not have had that problem (not all designs are the same or compatible with everything, IMO).
Starship Spotter proposed that work on the U.S.S. Sovereign began in 2365 with the vessel being commissioned in 2369 (presumably, the Sovereign-class Development Project wasn't plagued with delays like the Galaxy-class and was able to incorporate existing technologies). The Enterprise-E was commissioned in 2372 (although she might have carried another name during construction).
Sure, all of this is non-canon stuff, but in the lack of actual canon, it's not bad conjecture. Your mileage may vary.
A thousand times, THIS.
They put a gap of almost a hundred years between TOS and "the Next Generation" and then forgot to FILL that gap with any significant history. The kinds of changes that happened between the two series could have literally spanned a single generation, and in my mind it actually makes more sense to imagine that Jean Luc Picard could have easily been one of Admiral Kirk's students at the academy.
Separate names with a comma.