Lack of Redundancy and warp capable lifeboats in Trek

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by sciquest2525, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, but there's no consideration of using it in Day of Honour, which is precisely when it would be useful. If it requires a drydock to install it, then it's basically pointless.

    I suppose we have to assume in reality it was either damaged at some point, or not a "plug and play" spare. Perhaps it had already been cannibalised by that point to repair the main core?
     
  2. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    That's the head cannon I've always gone with. Belanna in those early episodes was in full-on Marquis mode!
     
  3. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Captain Captain

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    Given a star 4.3 light-years away, it would take over 58 days to reach the star at Warp 3. If you have nearly two months worth of food, water and air and enough power to maintain continuous warp for the same amount of time, you're not in an escape pod. You're in a warp-capable shuttle. Might as well just have lots of shuttle bays and forget the escape pods.
     
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  4. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Commander Red Shirt

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    Shuttles are in a concentrated location. Having dedicated escape pods, even if as capable as shuttles, means always having a vessel completely stocked and ready, nearer to where it is needed in an emergency so escape is more assured and streamlined.
     
  5. Samuel

    Samuel Captain Red Shirt

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    Actually that is not true about the Space shuttle main engines. If a single engine fails it is entirely possible that the space shuttle won't reach orbit and in fact might well be lost in the ocean. Depends on the altitude it happens at. Fortunately the only time it happened the shuttle was already at near orbital velocity and "aborted to orbit".

    There is no way the space shuttle would survive if two engines failed during ascent.
     
  6. Samuel

    Samuel Captain Red Shirt

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    If you really want to get all technical about what starships should or should not have, a ship of the size and importance of the Galaxy class U.S.S. Enterprise should've had at least a couple of smaller ships escorting it whenever it traveled anywhere remotely dangerous.

    After all, Starfleet has an entire category of ships labeled "escorts". Logically they should be escorting something.
     
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  7. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Captain Captain

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    The thing that would concern me about escape pods is that you don't know if they're going to work until you get into one an launch it. If you have a lot of shuttles, and you properly rotate their use, and you maintain them all properly, you can be reasonably sure they're all in working order. If you're worried about getting out fast, you can always have BSG-style launch tubes.

    Also, escape pods are all on the surface of the ship, tightly integrated into the ship's hull, so it would be easy to damage them. That said, of course, shuttlebays can be depressurized during a battle, making it really hard to get to your shuttle...
    Nah! They don't need it. Once the shields of a Galaxy Class ship fail, they can use all of those civilian family members as a human shields.
     
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  8. Samuel

    Samuel Captain Red Shirt

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    I always wondered. One such incident was alluded to in the old FASA Starfleet ship recognition guide.

    Could crewmembers in a shuttle, powered up and sealed survive the explosive destruction of its starship if it was still in the hangar of that ship? To me given that the shuttles can survive high speed atmospheric descents and ascents it should be possible.
     
  9. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Captain Captain

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    I kinda doubt it. They'd have to simultaneously survive both the intense radiation of a warp core breach and collisions with a significant amount of the ship's hull traveling at high velocity. It's almost as bad as a ship with a warp core breach ramming your shuttle.

    You might be able to survive a direct weapon strike on the hanger, though. So you could survive the destruction of the ship, but only if the warp core was already ejected. Or maybe if your shuttle was equiped with a phased cloaking device...
     
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  10. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Commander Red Shirt

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    There are systems which are designed to sit around for a decade without maintenance and just be ready, but systems like that also have inspection cycles just to make sure. The missiles in VLS cells are, I think, just such a system, and once the life cycle is up it gets sent back to the factory for a deeper inspection, refurbishment, and upgrade. Life boats have to have a similar setup, even if future tech allows a longer interval between inspection and replacement. Also, the lack of use of a life boat helps extend its life versus a shuttle which would suffer many hours of material fatigue and system wear through normal use.

    If it's a warp core breach of the starship then I can't see anything surviving at close range. If it's all the fuel reacting then I find it just as unlikely. If it's secondary systems, or proximity blasts from weapons fire then I could see shuttles surviving.

    When the escape pods launch from the Enteprise-E I would have liked to see them very rapidly pop out, orient, and blast off more like missiles from naval missile cells, or make a micro warp jump. It's the only way they would escape a warp core breach blast zone in time. The Enterprise-D saucer barely survived the combat section's warp core breach because it was already a couple kilometers away and should have a stronger hull than an escape pod, maybe it had conformal shields too.
     
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  11. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Captain Captain

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    This would be a better argument if the escape pods didn't have so many functions they had to perform once launched. Missile systems chiefly just have guidance, propulsion and a warhead. Lifeboats just have to float. An escape pod has to basically be a full warp-capable shuttle that's connected to the ship with explosive bolts.
     
  12. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Commander Red Shirt

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    More functions don't really matter since it is all just sitting in place until needed, and we know shuttles can already do all those functions just fine on a regular basis. I also think you are underestimating the complexity of a cruise missile, the requirements for launch, cruise, coordination, evasion, getting to a target, and attacking the target are all quite different.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Have we ever heard of a warp-capable escape pod?

    The two interstellar evacuations we know of, Stargazer and Kelvin, both involved shuttles, not escape pods (dialogue specifies this in the former case, visuals in the latter). All other evacuations have been in circumstances that might involve later pickup by warp-capable assets (any fleet battle, say), explicitly involve a short hop to a nearby planet (the closest we get to a contradiction is "Angel One" and there a pod takes five months to match two days at warp one, which doesn't yet make it FTL), or implicitly preclude the use of warp (because the enemy would easily overtake the pods and is interested in destroying them - say, the Borg).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  14. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Captain Captain

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    Just propulsion on a warp-capable vehicle requires a warp core, warp engines, impulse engines, thrusters, a navigational deflector, sensors (for navigation and obstacle avoidance) and a computer for helm and navigation. That's to say nothing about life support, communications, food and water, waste processing/disposal and more. That's far more complicated than a modern cruise missile, regardless of how complex its systems are, an it's very difficult to perform maintenance on them because they're not inside a shuttlebay where you have room to work and oxygen.

    Actually, now that I think of it, it would make more sense if the escape pods where in an interior bay and launched out of dedicated tubes rather than being on the surface. Then, you can maintenance them in the pod launch bay. Better yet, have the pods in the bay also connected to the turbolift system. Turbolifts would just slide straight into an escape pod harness and eject. This would work well if you're using the simple escape pods that @Timo describes, which just need to reach the surface of a nearby planet.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The thing is, we have seen quite a few pod designs already. TNG showed ones that were basically small shuttlepods (that is, boxes with pointed noses, windshields, and an aft entry door), and sometimes were alternately referred to as shuttles, even. DS9 showed an even larger craft with a dedicated operating crew, but also a small pod design shared with VOY where we essentially have a flying phone booth with apparent maneuvering rockets and a possible heat shield - extremely primitive tech if that's what it is (although the pods had their own phaser strips!); ST:FC showed a competing design. ENT showed (Mirror universe) largish pods while the 2009 movie and ST:B showed very small single-person coffins.

    What is common to these all? The lack of warp nacelles. Those aren't vital for going to warp, of course, but OTOH none of these pods are shown going to warp. Interstellar escape is attributed to "shuttles" (or to craft not defined in dialogue, such as the two-seat, aft-hatch craft from "The Search" that in hindsight probably was the very-much-warp-nacelled shuttle Chaffee).

    Turbolift cabs could be lifepods on their own right, of course, simply getting ejected towards safety, or then flying past an ejection station that bolts a survival pack onto them before letting them go. But putting lifeboats of any sort indoors is a very bad idea in general, because getting them outdoors then requires working machinery - and the point of the lifeboats is to get out when things are not working.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  16. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Captain Captain

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    So it'd be fine to have the turbolifts slot into ejection stations mounted on the hull? Or would it make more sense to have all the necessary equipment already on the turbolifts and just eject them from a part of the turbolift tunnel network that connects to the outside of the ship?

    Actually, are escape pods even a good idea to begin with? What's the chance you're going to be close enough to an M-Class planet to survive? In most cases, wouldn't you die waiting for help in the cold depths of space?

    Random Thought: Give every escape pod a single warp coil. The pods could form up into a chain to product a single warp engine from many pods.
     
  17. oberth

    oberth Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    it's both rather stupid - using the turbolifts as escape pods
    kinda strands crewmembers in areas with no direkt access to the hull - time is of the essence and such
     
  18. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Captain Captain

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    Wouldn't most of the crew have to take a turbolift to get to the escape pods in the first place? Seems to me that you could just have turbolift ejection ports in several places about the ship so you can just get in and say "Computer, eject turbolift!", and it would automatically eject you from the nearest functioning ejection port. After all, escape pods might be damages, whereas your turbolift can navigate to another ejection port if the nearest one is damaged.
     
  19. oberth

    oberth Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    if you are the last to use that particular turbolift maybe - from a technical standpoint it sounds like over engineering. you need to use an escape pod as turbolift and both are of a completely different design.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why would they need to be different? Both are independently maneuverable spacecraft, normally operating in vacuum (it would make no sense to have air, or gravity, in the turboshafts, at least not at sea level pressure, although automation could provide some of both if it detected people venturing into the shafts without protective gear). Both could be expected to only provide protection for a short while. And neither should be expected to withstand much pounding.

    Survival aids come in layers and varieties in any case, as seen with the multiple styles of pods. Bailing out in a turbolift might keep you alive to see transfer to another type of evacuation means, a means you could never have directly reached in time.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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