General Star Trek starship thread.

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Charles Markov, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, it's explicit that Vulcan late in the game still does some exploring and surveying on its own - and a Vulcan survey ship is the go-to when a hero wants to sidestep Starfleet protocol in DS9 "Vortex", and OTOH not qualified to represent Starfleet or the Federation in full for first contact in "Move Along Home".

    Which makes it all the more significant that there never is anything explicit about separate "national" fighting forces...

    As for the idea of ENT not existing, my headcanon on that issue is that in Star Trek, you just plain can't go to deep space until you have discovered phasers, shields, tractor beams, transporters and saucer-hulled starships. Venturing out in Babylon 5 style vessels and packing plasma guns just gets you killed, pretty much how it nearly did Archer's team in. So ENT needs to be a generic Trek show, representing the threshold between before and after, and there won't and indeed can't be anything new after that. Kirk and Picard are part of the same Federation of venerable starflight cultures that hasn't invented anything truly new after coming together in the Archer era, and won't, because coming together hinders development: the junior partners need to catch up before they can do any contributing, and the seniors already were maxing it out when they decided to join hands with the juniors.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    I'm much the same way, in no small part because they expand an era that we don't often see as much (the interim TMP era), aside from FASA's work in the same period. Personally I infer that the V3 ships are late 23rd and turn of the 24th century designs, when the Excelsior had proven it was a reliable workhorse and the Oberth design family had made good use of light modular components. Obviously it would be a bit silly for Starfleet to spend resources to upgrade the FJ designs to TMP specs and then quickly mothball them for the Excelsior variants, so I'd like to think Starfleet employed both a for a while. I also tend to think that there doesn't necessarily have to be any inherent contradictions between canon terminology and fan works, if it's handled correctly; the idea that the Reliant was an Avenger class frigate isn't a contradiction with the Miranda designation, because the later wasn't used until TNG and could be seen as a term for refit ships from that era. Same with the Oberth being a TNG era refit, with FASA calling the Grissom a Gagarin class vessel and the Tsiolkovsky a Sagan class (TNG Officer's Manual) refit with improved systems. Since the models didn't change, I find this easy in my headcanon. :D

    Incidentally, the first volume of the Designing Starships book has some interesting expansions on the Centaur design kitbashed for DS9, and the original model was never intended for screen use. There are some excellent pictures showing off the actual design, which is basically an Excelsior saucer stuck directly onto the Miranda rollbar with modified Excelsior nacelles. It was conceived as an infiltrator vessel that could sneak into hostile territory and recover valuable information or resources before escaping back to friendly lines.
     
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  3. Tarek71

    Tarek71 Captain Captain

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    SPECIES SPECIFIC CREWS

    I assumed that species specific or species predominant crews reflect many factors. Andorians might prefer temperature settings that some might find too cold. Vulcans might like it hotter than many species. Atmospheric composition, lighting, and strength of gravity could also vary by enough among member worlds to favor segregated crews.

    In other cases, species that avg 7 ft tall or 3 ft tall might prefer chairs, beds, couches, work stations, console dimensions, etc that are more comfortable and ergonomically better suited to them. There could also he cultural reasons as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  4. Tarek71

    Tarek71 Captain Captain

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    IS STARFLEET MOSTLY HUMANS?

    Depends on what sort of government the Federation has. Is it more like the USA, with member states that have very limited autonomy with fully unified federal Armed Forces? That allows for state police, state guard and National Guard units but not really separate militaries. Or is it more like the EU, where despite considerable, and contentious, integration the separate national governments and armed forces are retained?

    The Federation might be somewhere in between the two. More integrated than the EU, but greater autonomy that US states. But the mostly human crews on the tiny fraction of ships we have seen can be explained by other factors though, like those mentioned in the previous post. Physical differences in species and in planetary physical and atmospheric conditions seems sufficient to explain species segregated crews.
     
  5. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Most crews are well integrated except for the few Federation species that don’t fit well in the same room, i.e. the 30-foot tall sentient jellyfish, the Pb’wwians. We don’t see the high diversity because it’s just off camera.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A bit of extra-convoluted headcanon on a specific issue:

    Then again, in the fandom registry range of Ships of the Star Fleet, there's a prominent and curious gap in the 1830s range - and the lowest Miranda registries from on screen and from comics and novels fall exactly in that gap. So perhaps the very earliest ship in the very earliest variant or subclass of this general design was indeed called Miranda (that would be NCC-1833, more specifically)? The name would then be grandfathered as the general designation when Starfleet got fed up with subclasses and their endless retrofits.

    The onscreen Miranda in that slot is of course the Lantree, at NCC-1837. She's a rollbar-less variant, and as such perhaps the nicest possible tie-in to what may have come before - a good grandfather onto whom one can pile rollbars, side pods and other "later" modifications.

    Similarly, half the Oberths existing in the early decades could well be Gagarins or Sagans originally, that is, built into those subclasses or production batches or whatnot. But USS Oberth would be the oldest of the lot (supposedly at NCC-602), and eventually Starfleet would start using that designation for all the ships of that shape. Because, no doubt, by the mid-24th century, all the refits and overhauls would have left the ships unrecognizable inside, with generic modern hardware that blurs the original subclass borders.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    As I recall, SotSF has some TOS versions (Surya and Coventry) that evolved into the Miranda/Avenger series, and did not have a rollbar in the original configuration. I think those registries transferred over, but I'd have to look at the starting registry. FASA had the Reliant as a cruiser that evolved from the older Antons, some of which retained the Anton 1800 series registries until later ships were assigned a much higher one, for the Reliant variant. Fun with continuity! :biggrin:

    Another thought that's crossed my mind, for purposes of head canon, is the idea that it's common for Starfleet to build a number of subclasses that use the same external configuration but have internal modifications. This is certainly true with real navies, and one potential advantage is that an enemy might not be sure what model he's facing at first. The Klingons seem to enjoy this with the BOP.

    That being said, I tend to be careful about going too far back or forward with a given design - I don't think every TMP+ design necessarily needs a version contemporary with TOS, personally.
     
  8. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Starfleet esthetic is a combined Federation one. The Human or Terran memberworld has its own tech esthetic, like any other memberworld. Maybe our ships are Earth Force gray or UN blue.

    There's a question...what do we call ourselves? Humans, Terrans, Earthers, Earthicans?

    Also, maybe Earth was chosen initially to be the Federation capital in part because it was a younger and less advanced world, and was thusly less threatening. But the Federation, not wanting to have all its eggs in one basket, has multiple backup HQ facilities on multiple worlds, and many planets could serve as a capital in case of catastrophe.

    Further, different Federation and Starfleet division HQ's are found on different planets. Maybe Starfleet Tactical is on Andor, Starfleet Engineering on Tellar, and Starfleet Medical on Vulcan.

    Also, the most populous area in the Federation may be the Rigel corridor, with multiple species native to it (chelinoid, humanoid, vulcanoid, that new one from ENT) and a long, pre-Federation, history of interstellar trade and commerce. Or the Arcturian system, a society that could ready "billions of clones" almost overnight (TMP supplemental material).
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  9. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, from an engineering standpoint it is going to be a lot easier, and more efficient to design a shipboard environment that supports a narrow range of species-specific needs. Less likely to be able to provide everything for everybody than to provide most things for somebody.
     
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  10. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Fusion reactors were used to power many early warp ships. Such as all ships before the NX for Earth and Romulan vessels up to TOS. Fusion reactors are limited in power output and efficiency however and a major technological milestone for a race to achieve true interstellar flight is to build a matter/antimatter reactor. Allowing a ship to break the warp five barrier.

    That was what made NX-01 Enterprise so revolutionary, her new matter and antimatter reactor allowed her to achieve warp five, a major achievement for Earth and the sign for the Vulcans that humanity was beginning to branch out onto the greater galactic stage.
     
  11. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    One of the more interesting ideas in the FASA TNG OM is the suggestion that designs like the Galaxy had Medusan crew serving as navigators, with special interfaces built for them.
     
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  12. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I do recall that. The TNG Tech Manual by Sternbach/Okuda described a similar arrangement using orcas and dolphins.
     
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  13. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ those were interesting. They should have played with more non-humanoid member-species on these futuristic starships of a diverse multi-species Federation. It would have been far more interesting, as were the deck plans by Whitefire, which I enjoy as head canon!

    TPTB had a hard-on for smaller ships and environments as the franchise went on. The Enterprise-D barely got any larger rooms, Voyager was smaller, as were spaces on DS9, and the E-E is half the size of its predecessor, side-view notwithstanding. The arboretum seemed to shrink from “Data’s Day” to “Dark Page” too.

    They were also not so good at making larger spaces. Stellar Cartography in GEN I read ate up a lot of budget, when a green screen of the entire room would have been both more visually dynamic and cost-effective. They’d only needed to build the floating walkway and could have left much of the background a starscape. In my mind, I imagine a larger spherical room, with maybe CG’d vertical light columns dividing the room into three or four cartographic sections.

    I imagine the D with larger spaces, going by the windows alone. Plus, what were some of those science labs like? I think of exoaquatics or airponics or civilian spaces to have some interesting spaces.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  14. Tarek71

    Tarek71 Captain Captain

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    I cant believe that in 150 odd member worlds everyone like the same light, pressure, gravity, etc. You have Super Earths with 50%-200% heavier gravity, red dwarf planets with eyes evolved for infrared light, different atmospheric pressures, temperatures, ammonia or methane atmospheres, etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or then everything has been carefully terraformed billions of years ago already - the very first documented civilization four billion years ago was humanoid, and seemed to rule over the entire galaxy. Of her many successors, those compatible with Class M environments would be at an advantage, and would keep the good terraforming effort going, until there were few other types of habitat left.

    "Terrans" is out - the terminology makes our heroes uncomfortable during their visits to the Mirror Universe. "Humans" they accept, even though they (for professional reasons?) usually self-identify as "from the Federation". Earthlings, Earthers, Earthicans, Earthworms... Kirk already seems more cosmopolitan than that, basically only referring to old Earth when other people wax nostalgic about her. There doesn't even seem to be special prestige to being Earthborn rather than colonial.

    ...And might fail at that, despite the good intent and the good faith, it apparently being common for Trek star empires to fall when their capital planet does.

    Or then none native, but all frequent visitors or longterm denizens nevertheless. Big multicultural gathering places might be useful in the Trek universe.

    It would be fun to get references to that sort of thing. Sure, the Federation is more or less explicated to be the only political-military alliance of its sort in the local space in recent history, but other types of trysts might lurk in the background.

    ...I like to believe in "the old Orion empire" as obliquely suggested in "What Are Little Girls Made Of" and used in the novels, with the current pirates rightful heirs to a great heritage. all sorts of ancient greatness might be waiting to be found - spectacular ruins beneath sand, abandoned superships behind a nebula, individuals of the old species still mingling with mundane mortals.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Actually I am using something along those lines for the Orions in a thing I am writing. Basically in ancient times they and the Vulcans knew of one another. However the big upheavals that led to Surak rising on Vulcan led to a dark age for the race in which they lost the ability to visit the stars. The various Orion kingdoms which existed in the period collapsed around this time and by the time of TOS only squabbling statelets and pirates remain.
     
  17. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Earthans could apply to the species in reference to its origin. Not all Vulcans are from Vulcan. I prefer the more cosmopolitan Human, but it hasn't always been used properly.

    Not sure. If a species-ist military empire like the Cardassian Union loses its head, okay, but the Federation isn't ruled by a single species. When Weyoun says that the Dominion may need to wipe out Earth to quell rebellion, I think of it more symbolic than definitive. After all, there are a lot more humans all over the place, unlike if the Great Link were wiped out. Also, when the English burned Washington D.C. in 1812, the Union did not fall.

    I like to imagine the chelinoids native, but I dunno about the humanoid and vulcanoids. I think of it as part of the mystery of the Rigel system.

    That's cool. Did you read ST:TNG The Buried Age ? I wonder if there aren't some "ascended" Orions out there. And I really wish someone would write a story about the Klingons or Romulans or Cardassians uncovering ancient super-tech and how they’d view ancient civilizations. Or about the Borg almost conquering half the Virgo Supercluster if not for the remnant intelligence of an ancient tech they uncovered. What's stopping any of those guys from taking advantage of ancient tech like that which we manage to find? Same with time-travel tech. I doubt there's a Borg Temporal Prime Directive and time-cops.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    By real world precedent and obvious conjecture, star empires shouldn't fall when their capitals do. But by Trek precedent, they still do.

    Whether being multispecies is a factor there, we don't know. Were the Tkon or the Iconians multispecies?

    Perhaps it's all a misunderstanding. Possibly the Tkon vanished when their hubworld blew up, but not overnight - their enemies just moved in and had better success crushing them now that there was confusion and temporary loss of key resources and whatnot. Might have taken the Tkon thousands of years to fall after that. And the Iconians going when their hubworld did might be a factor of them being crushed so that the hubworld was their last refuge - even though obviously they would be exceptionally immune to being "geometrically contained" i.e. surrounded and cornered...

    That Sulu in "DDM" mentions this most densely populated region called the Rigel Colony or Rigel Colonies might suggest a certain lack of nativity. Perhaps the place isn't even anywhere near Rigel, just like Earth Colonies are distant from Earth?

    Lots of potential Rigels out there, of course, including real ones in addition to the probably fictional one from "Broken Bow" (the only one whose location we have something solid on, that is, the fifteen-lightyear distance from the Earth-Qo'noS course of NX-01). I've yet to come up with headcanon that would explain why the very name Rigel is unfamiliar to our ENT heroes in that episode, though.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    Having all your governmental functions on one planet is stupid for a intergalactic species.
    The UFP needs to diversify and physically split the locations of all the major branches of government.
    In a worse case scenario, only a fraction of the government is lost if one of the sub capitals is attacked.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Then again, if a single planet can be lost to threat forces, why not many? A random force of nature demolishing a single planet might cease to be a concern eventually: the Feds can already divert asteroids and the like. A military attack capable of defeating one capital planet will be capable of defeating another, though... And if the idea is to deplete the forces of the attacker through defense, so that capitals 3 and 4 will survive after 1 and 2 are lost in valiant battles, why not concentrate the defenses so that even the first attack will fail?

    Timo Saloniemi