first contact phoenix landing capability?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by tavor, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. tavor

    tavor Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    the phoenix was a converted titan v icbm rocket so i assume it was launched vertically ,now we know picard and riker was aboard ,this was not the original plan ,so cochrane launches achieves warp 1 returns to earth orbit ,problem how does he land, it aint a glider? anti grav does not exist yet?
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe there's an escape pod.
     
  3. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always thought the front, nosecone portion was a re-entry capsule.
     
  4. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Picard was never on the Phoenix.

    That's what I always asumed.
     
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  5. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unless the Enterprise beamed them off the ship, the only logical way for Cochrane et. al to return to Earth was to have the crew module separate and leave the main ship in orbit.
     
  6. Prax

    Prax Commodore Commodore

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    The Warp engine and the command module parachute down to earth, separately.
     
  7. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unless the warp engines had heat shielding (which I'm also assuming the crew module had), then they'd most likely burn up in the atmosphere.
     
  8. arch101

    arch101 Commodore Commodore

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    Perhaps the Vulcans returned the star drive section to Cochrane before it burnt up. The forward capsule is obvious in its design as a separable module.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Odds and ends:

    1) Precision parachuting should be easy for the crew pod, using today's technology; Cochrane could land between those pine trees right next to his favorite bar.

    2) OTOH, Earth already has gravity control at this point - it was old news in the 1990s, in use aboard the already old-fashioned Botany Bay and the space burial satellite (odd applications both, considering there was nobody aboard who'd have much use for gravity).

    3) Leaving the warp engine in orbit would be a great way to protect it from thieves and spies. Earth doesn't appear to have much space presence as of 2063 (even though it's quickly restored a few years later). And rigging a burglar alarm connected to a scuttling charge ought to be simple.

    4) The warp engine could also be reused more easily if one doesn't need to launch it anew every time. Certain computer displays and desktop models in Trek depict a warp rig with a different, larger crew pod - perhaps Cochrane launched that one later on, docking it to the warp engine, along with a shield of some sort, extra tanks, and stuff. After all, the bigger-podded rig is also supposed to be Cochrane's first warp ship, and it can be that if we assume multiple missions with different doodads attached.

    5) But the rocket engine aboard the warp rig is insanely powerful, from what we see of the launch. It should be a breeze to simply gently fly down to Earth tail first. (And then hover as long as it takes for the bums down at Bozeman to erect a support tower onto which the rig can lean! Although Cochrane could just ease the thing back into the silo if he wanted.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  10. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Personally I always thought the whole thing with the Pheonix harkened back to 1950s era science fiction where "mad" scientist builds spaceship in his backyard"
     
  11. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Commodore

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    Something returned to the launch site, because the Vulcan knew where to land.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just a matter of time, is all. Mad scientists in a bicycle shop once built aeroplanes. Then, mad scientists in a garage built computers. Now it's submarines and suborbital rockets; in Trek, it may well be antigravity and warp drives. Most of the stuff Cochrane used was quite possibly off the 2050s Wal-Mart shelf anyway.

    Or then they observed the launch. I mean, they were there to spy on Earth, despite their lies. Just rewind the sensor logs.

    It's just that if the US as of 2063 is "post-apocalyptic", then Cochrane would need to land close to the launch site simply so that he would make it there in time. Splashing down in the Pacific wouldn't work - might take months for him to return.

    The jury is still out on "post-apocalyptic", certainly. But if it were easy to physically reach Bozeman, Montana, then why hasn't the Air Force come there to either stop Cochrane from messing with their equipment, or to take charge of the experiment?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Wasn't there some reference in a version of the script that Cochrane had intended to sell warp drive to the Indonesian Space Agency? I seem to remember a reference to that in one of the science fiction magazines that came out about that time. Of course I could be completely mistaken.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We know the warp rig had three seats. Either Cochrane was going to let Sloan fly, or was going to fly with her (at the actual flight, the backseaters do get to operate some doodads), but we never hear of a third pilot.

    So Cochrane probably wanted a passenger aboard for the ride; quite possibly an observer for his client. Was he or she killed in the Borg raid, or did she or he cancel when seeing the light show in the horizon?

    I could well see Cochrane selling exclusive rights to a dozen customers, just in case. But he could just as well still be working for the US government. In either case, he seemed to have the flight scheduled for tomorrow when the Borg struck; the client(s) standing by to observe would appear likely, then.

    Or then the Phoenix was easily reusable, and the third seat would only see use at a still-to-be-determined date after Sloan and/or Cochrane had run a couple of test flights.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  15. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is my thought as well. Now that SpaceX has successfully done this in real life, this is the most likely scenario. Further evidence is the fact that we never see the engine bell on the Warp Ship actually fire. So it must be designed for a stage of flight we don't see in the movie, which is the landing. The Phoenix probably has deployable legs that aren't super obvious, so no tower needed.
     
  16. arch101

    arch101 Commodore Commodore

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    About post-apocalyptic: Cochrane DID say he only invented the thing in order to sell it. That means there's a buyer somewhere.Is there any pre-FC novels about Cochrane? I think there's a story there.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or the acceleration to warp. Or the return to the vicinity of Earth after the warp flight (because attempting it a second time would be courting Death so intimately that Cochrane would need a contraceptive).

    Or an antigravity hovering system he stole from his former neighbor's pickup (Tom Paris places practical hovercars "about a century" after the 1930s in "The 37s").

    With such a system, Cochrane could land the ship on its belly for ease of egress. Or ease it into the launch silo butt first. Or nose first, for that matter, as there must be onboard gravity control, too (that is, acceleration control, and Earth's pull is just another acceleration).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I imagine if Cochrane could figure out how to build an workable warp drive out of scraps of 21st century technology and power it with late 20th century technology (in the novelization it said the drive utilized the power of the nuclear warhead mounted on the missile to power it) then developing a way to land safely back on Earth was probably not a big deal.

    It's quite possible that Cochrane did much of the preliminary work on the warp drive and even some of the early hardware in a sophisticated research facility before the war broke out on Earth. This is something I had not considered until now.
     
  19. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Probably similar to this:

     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or then a thousand specialists did that, and Cochrane just jumped in at a convenient point.

    The man is credited with "discovering the space warp", and since we can now tell he didn't discover it by stumbling into it like one would discover, say, the Americas, we must assume he either figured out the theory behind the phenomenon, or then stumbled onto the phenomenon in some lab, and then proceeded to write some papers.

    Whether he then also built scale models and the like, or had the job assigned to Boeing while USAF kept him in an office writing more papers, we don't know - that stage of his life is behind him for good in ST:FC. Whether he built any part of the Phoenix is also debatable - it's actually Sloan who claims to have been involved in the building, not Cochrane.

    Really, we can vary a large number of parameters for a variety of scenarios, from a meek US government worker to a criminal mastermind, from a drunken test pilot getting fortutiously misidentified to a brilliant scientist getting forced into the dirty life of a zombie hunter cum spacecraft hobby builder.

    In most of those scenarios, he'd have access to stuff allowing him to land all of the Phoenix more or less safely, even if one piece at a time. We have enough pointers that the hardware should not be difficult to come by at that time and age.

    Timo Saloniemi