How did the Phoenix land?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Messianni, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Rivas_Jakarta

    Rivas_Jakarta Lieutenant Junior Grade

    Nov 26, 2007
    Hey what about a nose-first reentry like the DC-X Delta Clipper. The cockpit did have re-entry tiles, right? Now, to protect the back half of the Phoenix.

    Cochrane could, MAYBE, deploy an inflatable ballute-type heat shield from behind the cockpit. This ballute should be inflated wide enough to dispell most of the heat away from the ship. Just think back to the Leonov's aerobraking scene in "2010" to see what I'm talking about.

    Also the nacelles may or may not be retracted for re-entry. I like the earlier poster's idea about using the nacelles to generate a plasma shield. This could supplement the ballute.

    Once braked to sufficient speed and altitude, Cochrane shuts off the plasma shield and deploys parachutes to get home. The ballutes could be used as airbags for final landing.

    Well, that's my theory.
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Actually, with a rocket engine as good as the one used for launching the ship, the Phoenix wouldn't need a reentry system as such. She could simply hover down, riding on her rocket flame.

    That's an amazing rocket Cochrane has there, make no mistake. The teeny weeny lower stage of his missile delivers a payload that probably vastly outmasses the Apollo mission spacecraft (command, service and lunar modules together with their fuel) to an orbit that at least matches and probably outperforms what the entire Saturn V stack was needed for. And the upper stage engine apparently is capable of backtracking the warp ride at sublight speed - that's at least a couple of dozen lightseconds in a matter of a day at most, again outperforming Apollo by an order of magnitude if not two or even three. That is, I rather doubt Cochrane would have risked reusing the warp drive for the return trip.

    Basically, an engine like that could do a nonballistic, nonaerodynamic return at an arbitrarily slow speed, simply by killing orbital velocity and then dropping butt first, firing the rockets to slow the descent. Essentially "Tintin: Destination Moon" style. And if desired, Cochrane could go buzz the offices of his financial backers to show off a bit, then fly over to Montana in time for his Vulcan meeting.

    Timo Saloniemi
  3. startrekfiero

    startrekfiero Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 8, 2007
    Isabela, Puerto Rico
    Assuming as someone posted earlier that the Smithsonian wasn't in orbit at that point (which I would assume it was not), then they had to have had a way to land it since it is mentioned by Picard earlier in the film that he saw the phoenix in the museum.
    I guess since that part was probably unimportant for the overall FC story they either didn't have to worry about figuring it out and/or explaining it or figured that with our space shuttles being able to land in our time period that we would just assume that Cochran had designed something in the Phoenix that allowed them to then take it back to Earth and safely land it.
    Is there possibly a break down/cut away drawing that has been done on the Phoenix that may possibly show how it would have been brought back to Earth? Like showing that it had landing gear, parachutes, etc?
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    I always assumed that the cockpit section could be used as an escape vehicle for reentry. As for the rest of it: Who knows. We know the SS Valiant was constructed and launched only two years later; perhaps by then, Earth authorities could retrieve the rest of the Phoenix.
  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 21, 2005
    On the USS Sovereign
    Aren't there other threads that addressed this?