Starship Orbits in Trek

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by DanGussin, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. GNDN18

    GNDN18 270 Premium Member

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    I’m not sure, long tons maybe. Where did you get those numbers? Neither is the close to a “million gross tons” said by Scott on-screen.
     
  2. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Captain Captain

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    The exact quote is “Gross 190,000 tons” in Roddenberry’s proposal of March 11, 1964, presumbly referring to volume, not mass, and this was months before the design was finalized and scaled up to 947 feet in length.
     
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  3. Lakenheath 72

    Lakenheath 72 Commodore Commodore

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    In the STD episode "Brother", the Enterprise's gross tonnage was given as 190,000 metric tons on a graphic.
     
  4. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So the mass is 190000 metric tons?
     
  5. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Captain Captain

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    The remaining specs don’t apply to the Enterprise redesign (having been copied from the Star Fleet Technical Manual) and the question is also how “Gross Tonnage” and “Metric Tonnes” should be interpreted in combination: Franz Joseph used deadweight tonnage.
     
  6. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As a first estimated go with 190000 metric tons? Then stick with 947' as the length?
     
  7. Lakenheath 72

    Lakenheath 72 Commodore Commodore

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    I mentioned it as it is now canon.

    I am aware that the info is not consistent with the redesign. The graphic artists copied a source, not bothering to modify it so it matched the redesign and the dialog.
     
  8. Cosmic Consciousness

    Cosmic Consciousness Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    FWIW, here is a post of mine back from 2011 about real-world physics and screen-accurate orbits in TOS.

    https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/tos-enterprise-question.148570/page-3#post-5292702

    The image is in Photobucket, so hopefully it is visible and remains so for a useful period of time.

    There is a whole discussion from before and after regarding this and regarding the assumptions that went into it. e.g. with @blssdwlf. There aren't that many posts involved, but the discussion does get in-depth.

    Enjoy!
     
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  9. DanGussin

    DanGussin Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    This part of Court Martial is a bit confusing.

    Kirk shutting down the Impulse Drive as to not interfere with locating Finny could make sense. His putting the Enterprise into an orbit that would rapidly decay to draw Finny out also works -

    But

    When did Finny decide to tap out the Primary Energy circuits ? It almost seems as if he ran to do it once he realized his plot had been uncovered and used Kirk's own plan to take revenge. And what would his end game been had the trial had not been moved to the Enterprise ?. It seems very unlikely that Finnys plan would have worked if the crew would have remained on board. Ether he would have been caught or the resulting damage repaired in time as everyone on board would have been looking for sabotage. Or was Finnys original plan to hide out and find another time to strike? It almost seems that he first planned to escape and watch Kirk's carrier go down in flames but then changed his mind once things started to unravel.
     
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  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It would seem a good bet for Finney to jump ship at earliest opportunity, and assume another identity, thereby preserving the illusion that he is dead. But obviously Starbase 11 isn't such an opportunity! Yet the ship wasn't going to rot there for long: once Kirk was convicted and summarily drawn and quartered, another skipper would take the already completely repaired ship to another mission, at which point Finney could beam down and disappear, to read the news on Kirk's shameful demise in his lair while rubbing his hands together with glee.

    When Kirk doesn't get convicted but instead returns to the ship, Finney is pretty low on options. Killing Kirk by subverting his own stupid command decision is a pretty good Plan B, I guess. Would Finney have had a plan for surviving himself? Probably not, since any "survival" would depend on his ability to escape unnoticed, and that option was long gone.

    As for standard orbits, I go with a figure-eight. After all, that's not just what it takes to be able to use line-of-sight devices such as phasers or transporters in support of the landing party - it's also what it looks like, with the ship making sharp turns in front of the camera...

    Not that a figure-eight would be the only option. But it may still be the standard one: when our heroes are aboard a ship that is about to lose a phaser target to the approaching horizon in "Mirror, Mirror", they are not established to be in standard orbit at the time, say. Although quite possibly they were on one when Kirk and the party were planetside...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  11. Spock Riding

    Spock Riding Commodore Premium Member

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    I forgot about Mirror, Mirror. I agree with your analysis. After "loitering" for transporting, they must have maneuvered into a low natural orbit (fairly fast moving based on targets coming and going) to incrementally approach upon multiple targets for planet-wide bombardment.

    More proof of station keeping: the city of Stratos permanently hovering over a fixed spot.
    SPOCK: Remarkable. The finest example of sustained antigravity elevation I've ever seen.
     
  12. matthunter

    matthunter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We'd probably also need to factor in that any orbit should be within transporter range, although I'm not sure if any episode has ever given an upper limit on that? The TNG Tech Manual suggests the E-D transporters have a maximum range of 40,000km.
     
  13. Spock Riding

    Spock Riding Commodore Premium Member

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    Maximum Transporter Range is suggested at 30,000 km in Obsession. At least we know it worked at that distance.
     
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  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not that all transporters should be equal, though. A maximum or standard orbit for a 24th century runabout or a 22nd century explorer might be quite different from that of a 23rd century cruiser, solely due to differences in transporter performance.

    Indeed, we got quite a few "close calls" with NX-01, distinct from the generic orbit shots of TOS or TNG. Or of DS9, although there the same shots that had served TNG in establishing the preferred orbit for a Galaxy now were fine for a Danube or a Defiant, too. But we could still easily argue that the close shots of ENT were due to 22nd century transporters while the generic ones of TNG/DS9 were due to 24th century ones.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Spock Riding

    Spock Riding Commodore Premium Member

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    Stumbled on another orbit situation from The Savage Curtain:
    First, the Enterprise is clearly in an orbit for scanning the planet:
    So, Enterprise is in an orbit, and it is maintained to beam Lincoln up as the Enterprise moves over to his position. After Lincoln's tour of the bridge, we learn:
    Then, Enterprise changes orbit to beam down:
    Enterprise seemed to change orbit to "dwell" over the transport site. Since it is synchronous, no power is needed for station keeping (for at least four hours on reserve power):
    And at the end, Kirk and Spock are beamed up apparently with no orbit change:
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...This is probably the only explicit use of a synchronous freefall orbit in Trek. Doesn't mean other implicit cases wouldn't have been freefall orbits, too. Doesn't mean they would have been, either.

    Why would Kirk freefall here, rather than hover? The fake Lincoln is the one who dictates that Kirk reach him by orbiting, rather than by directly flying to specific coordinates and then hovering there. But Kirk is the one to dictate the terms of the subsequent beam-down, so presumably he chooses the freefall (that is, no-fall!) means of staying above the site.

    Is Kirk's motivation here one of precaution? Not in anticipation of a power failure - but in anticipation of hostile actions by the surface entities, in preparation against which the ship ought to move farther out, making a natural synchronous orbit an attractive option. Especially since it looks so natural and would not alert said entities to the fact that Kirk is suspicious.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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