Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Wingsley, Feb 25, 2013.
Yes, so then the Slaver gravity built had to have been found by then.
Assuming it's actually that Slaver-era technology on the Botany Bay, then, yeah, it would have to be found by then. Good catch, blssdwlf!
But then, why wouldn't it be the Slaver-era technology? It's just so magical to begin with that, in many ways, it strains imagination more, if it's not the technology from the stasis box.
It's kinda obvious at this point but still worth stating, Niven's premise there in TAS could begin to explain how Star Trek's future history has humanity being so much more advanced in terms of spaceflight than we are, just across the board. Once studied and replicated, one piece of magical technology is going to have ramifications on all sorts of fields, that I'd expect to be compounded to cause great leaps in development.
TAS added additional confusion to the timeline. According to that series, 250 years before the year that the crew of the Enterprise met a clone of Dr. Stavros Keniclius, this geneticist, later known for his work in the Eugenics War, was born. Accepting the year as 2269, this places his birth about 2019, and the Eugenics War as having taken place in the mid-21st century.
It's interesting to note that Dr. Keniclius was on Earth when the first Human-Kzinti war occurred. (This war was said to have begun over two hundred years prior.)
So, approximately two hundred years or so before the Enterprise's five year mission, there were these events:
* the Eugenics War on Earth
* the first Human-Kzinti war
* the Valiant is sent on a deep space mission
The 200 year reference has to be fudged. Folks can say "200 years" or "two centuries" and still not mean exactly that amount of time. In WNMHGB Kirk first says in his log the Valiant went missing over two centuries ago and then later in another log entry he says nearly two centuries ago. So which is it or did he get more updated information later? My conjecture is the Valiant was one of those fast STL ships that had an early space warp drive fitted to it then went missing not long thereafter.
Also in the early years of warp flight it might not have worked the way it does in the Pike, Kirk and Picard eras. Being able to go FTL even if not much above light (say maybe 10-20%) would be revolutionary and a helluva advancement, but it's still pretty slow going even to the nearest stars. And maybe warp flight in the early days is more of a point-to-point affair and navigating while at warp is real tricky. Also sustaining warp flight might also be tricky, sustaining a stable warp field particularly while in something like a magnetic storm might have been considered hazardous. In that context then Kirk's assumption that "the old impulse engines weren't strong enough" might have more meaning.
Of course it's all conjecture, but it's a way to stitch things together piece by piece.
I'll add one more thing, and yes it contradicts ENT. In "The Cage" Jose Tyler comments on how much faster the then newer ships are and thereby implying ships of the Columbia's era were much slower. In "Balance Of Terror" Spock mentions the ships of a century earlier were "primitive." And later in "The Ultimate Computer" we learn Daystrom's duotronic computer systems revolutionized starship design and capabilities some twenty-five years earlier. Hmm, what exactly happened 25-30 some years before the Kirk era? Maybe what happened was that Daystrom's duotronic computer systems were so much faster than what came before that it lead to a technological leap, particularly in terms of warp flight, that made everything before seem comparatively primitive. It would be akin to what computer technology has done for us over the past 25-30 years. Daystrom's systems possibly now have made navigating while at warp a lot easier and safer. Daystrom's systems might have solved sustainability problems for stable warp speeds. Now instead of maximum Warp 2 and 3 with occasional risky bursts of 4 you can easily reach Warp 5-8 and hold it and also not worry about piling into a planet or something because you can clearly see where you're going and easily steer at that speed as well because your fancy new duotronic systems can make the necessary calcutions and changes so much faster than before. It would be similar to what computer management systems have done for automobile engine performance as well as jet plane performance.
Part of why I have issue with ENT is because they chose to make everything look so neat-and-tidy and really not much different all from what we had already seen taking place centuries later.
Something to think about.
True enough. This also goes for other round figures such as 250, two and a half, etc.
On this point, I think your information might be in error. Unless there is another reference that I've missed, the two references you must be referring were ones I gave upthread:
If it was the magnetic space storm whisking her away that caused the Valiant to go missing, which I assume, then there was a period of time during which she rode the storm out of the galaxy, then encountered the barrier, limped back, had her on board crisis, and then was destroyed. That explains the time differential between when the Valiant went missing and when the disaster recorder was ejected that Kirk is evidently talking about. I assume that the Enterprise science section was able to date something on the recorder's exterior, such as the charring.
That would all work well enough, I think. It's a nice reconciliation actually, and it's infinitely better than supposing that there are FTL impulse engines. Additionally, it's consistent with the assumption that the magnetic space storm in question itself whisked the Valiant away superluminally. That assumption seems pretty necessary, frankly, since even if the Valiant is FTL, she's still going to be too slow to get out of the galaxy under her own power, given her age. That effect might have rendered her Cochrane drive completely inoperative. Maybe shielding of the era was inadequate, or something.
I do have some question about the magnetic storm. The galaxy edge is 20,000 light years away (the rim) or about 3000 l.y. (the upper or lower surface) and that's an awful long way to be tossed.
I haven't read many TREK novels. If I'm remembering correctly, one novel explained warp drive as hyperspatial jumps. A ship would jump, take location readings, then jump again. One risked getting lost by jumping too far, so long voyages could be tedious. Along came Daystrom's new computers, which could take readings and plot a new course in the blink of an eye. Thus, the jump-jump-jump discontinuity of a starship seems fluid. The pseudo-movement bothers some people new to starflight the way the flicker of fluorescent lighting annoys some people today. At least, that's the way one novel explained it.
Maybe the Valiant jumped too far and ended up near the Barrier—maybe even bouncing off of it. Or perhaps the Valiant used a pre-warp FTL engine and traveled backward in time. To the people back home, the Valiant "disappeared" and covered an impossible distance in "no time," pseudo-instantaneously. Maybe the Valiant achieved the first engine "implosion," a la "The Naked Time." (Scotty's line in that episode about "regenerating the engines" suggests that they are not physical, but a projected field of some sort.)
"The impossible has happened."
I think the one thing that is bit stale with the standardization of technology in Trek is that warp drive is the de facto FTL drive post-TOS.
If they didn't have FTL impulse engines, how would the Enterprise successfully evade the Doomsday Machine in "The Doomsday Machine" or only be years away from Earth bases (but not decades) in "WNMHGB" with her impulse engines? Or how about the impulse powered Romulan ship from "Balance of Terror"?
Do FTL drives from alien races like the "Total Conversion Drive" and "Ion Drive" now be classified as slower-than-light only because they don't have warp in the name?
I think you're thinking of Diane Carey's Final Frontier which featured Captain Robert April. I can't reconcile the events in it with what we got onscreen, but it was a fun read.
Agreed. Once again it's too cute, neat and tidy.
BTW in WNMHGB Kirk says the bases were "days away but now years in the distance" because the warp drive is inoperative and they were now crawling at impulse.
The Wikipedia article for the Milky Way galaxy is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way, but I'll directly cite its sources which appear authoritative.
The thickness of the galaxy's disk is only 1000 light years [NASA source at http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/980317b.html].
The wiki claims that the Sun is between 16 and 98 light years from the central plane of the Galactic disk [academic article whose abstract, which contains the relevant information, is at http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009MNRAS.398..263M]. I referred to that upthread, but I didn't dig deeper like I should have. Looking at that abstract, I see a much narrower range of values of less than 20 light years, from 23-29 parsecs, or about 75 to 94.5 light years.
It's possible that whomever wrote the wiki article made a mistake there.
In any case, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-did-scientists-determ points out that:
So, the sun might be a little off-center out of the plane of the disk, but it can't be much, relatively speaking. Therefore, from this information, it's only 400-500 light years to the galaxy's edge.
So, my question back to you is, where is your 3000 light year figure coming from?
^^ I'll have to look it up. I recall reading it in one of my astronomy books. And Wikipedia isn't a source I consider ironclad. That's why I look in other places.
Well, that's why I drilled through to the authoritative sources, such as the NASA source.
Currently the accepted thought is about 1000 ly., but new findings are challenging that figure on two fronts. The measuring of pulsars located above and below the galaxy indicate a thickness at least twice than what was previously believed, something on the order of 6000 ly or more.
Here is one source, but there are others: http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/milky-way-much-bigger-we-thought/
Also, it's being discussed that the Milky Way might not be the thin disk with a bulge in the middle as previously thought, but more uniform in thickness throughout (in light of that my 3000 ly. approximation might not be off much).
Our understanding of the Milky Way is constantly evolving. Indeed what we know of the Milky Way is barely a hundred years old. Over the years ever new information has changed our ideas of its shape and size and composition. We once thought the galaxy was pinwheel spiral, but now it appears it might be more of a barred spiral. It was once believed to be only about 10,000 ly. across, but that estimate has long since been revised to about 100,000 ly. It was earlier believed we were a bit closer to the edge but now we're thought to be a bit more centred between the rim and the centre.
Also it would be interesting to know what Sam Peeples (who wrote WNMHGB) and the TOS writers thought in terms of the galaxy's shape and size. Certainly at best they only had a 1960's understanding of the Milky Way and not our current understanding from more than forty years of research since.
...Perhaps meaning "on the subject of the Canopus planet"? While sitting on the lawn of a suburb abode in Las Vegas?
Then again, even more rapid progress could be expected if mankind's early discovery of antigravity were because antigravity is easy to discover in the Trek universe. Applications, variations and improvements would flow more steadily than from reverse-engineering something humans just plain can't understand.
Gravity control seems to be dirt cheap and incredibly reliable and durable throughout the Trek universe. Many a species has failed to discover teleportation, and some struggle with warp drive, but spaceflight in general would become much simpler and its ubiquitous nature perhaps more understandable if "gravity drives" were as simple as lightbulbs, once one discovers the underlying principle.
...But adding the "Khan factor" that somehow makes almost 300 years be "two centuries" in both "Space Seed" and ST2 brings the wars back to the 1990s. Or one of those wars, at any rate - the plural there is intriguing enough.
On the other hand, evidently the first Doctor left Earth around the same time as Khan, since both were quoted as having been out of the loop for 200 years.
We're clearly talking about a leeway of a couple of decades either way whenever we talk "200 years ago", and a leeway of at least one decade with "250 years", or "150 years" as with Cochrane. What we want to do with that slack is up to us...
The second entry actually states that the recorder marker was ejected 200 centuries ago, thus not contradicting the date when the ship disappeared from Earth's radar screens or whatnot. We might choose to think that the ship was launched and immediately lost 202 years prior to the episode - Kirk would add the "over" to make the "impossible" thing sound even more impressive. In comparison, the recorder marker might have been deployed just 171 years prior, as "200" is even less specific than "over 200".
That way, the propulsion technology of the Valiant would not be all that radical, as it would have three decades to compensate for the vast distance in addition to the help from the magnetic storm. Instead, the communications technology would be primitive, resulting in "disappearance" at an early stage, perhaps long before anything actually went wrong with the ship.
This isn't due to the hero ship being fast, but to the monster being slow. Major emphasis is placed on Kirk's current vessel being reduced to limping at a fraction of the normal speed of a starship, but this is sort of irrelevant because we can't make actual speed comparisons anyway. The monster has supposedly destroyed several star systems in a row within less than a year, making it FTL in roughly the same category as starships - but there is no actual sign of the monster going FTL during its fight with the starships, e.g. when it supposedly heads for the next system.
Nothing wrong with being slow at sublight even though fast at warp. This was explicitly true of Picard's starship in "Relics": the old Jenolan had better impulse, but clearly not better warp.
Is that stardate time, or shipboard time? Maybe the impulse engines can work up to relativistic sub-light speeds, but that is obviously the penalty. The Enterprise might make it to somewhere suitable for repair, but at the cost of decades in the universe outside the ship.
Also, it does take "days" to go from star to nearby star at warp elsewhere in Trek. Go from FTL to STL, and this distance in lightyears will translate to a trip duration in years - and the distance from a star to its not-quite-closest-neighbor does tend to be less than ten lightyears.
Also, "years" is a valid expression for "decades"... Although there would be some poetic harmony in the "days"/"decades" pairing, too.
Basically, the only reason to consider this phrase "proof" for FTL impulse is if one wants to believe in FTL impulse for other reasons in any case. But there just aren't all that many good reasons to do that.
In Trek the phrase "full impulse" might really mean no more than about twenty percent of light because with warp drive you don't need to deal with relativistic complications. It doesn't mean the ship can't get to ninety percent of light, but that there's no point to it. And at twenty percent light the time dilation effect is minimal.
So the Enterprise probably could use her impulse engines to get up to ninety or ninety-five percent light to get to a near base, but the penalty in time dilation makes it costly. Now if the ship hadn't been able to re-energize the warp engines then they might have gone for it, but until they knew for sure the engines couldn't be repaired then they wouldn't bother trying.
They still might have experienced some measure of relativistic effect if they'd pushed the impulse engines to get to Delta Vega. I don't have the hard math with me, but at ninety percent light Delta Vega may indeed be only a few days away for them while still distinctly longer in the objective sense.
There could have been a wormhole, which was not avoided due to primitive sensors. They ended up near the barrier and the same sensors(damaged) did not have them avoid the magnetic storm?
See I've long thought something similar. A magnetic storm didn't throw the Valiant to the galaxy's edge, something else did (like maybe a wormhole). But perhaps to their less advanced instruments they thought the energy barrier was a magnetic storm.
Like I said: Wormhole. The storm probably was a wormhole of some kind.
Or perhaps it was the same effect that would later sweep Voyager all the way into the Delta Quadrant. The space service of Kirk's era might not have understood exactly what that was, so they just called it a "magnetic space storm" because that's the best phrase they could come up with.
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