The age of Starships, how old can they get?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by valkyrie013, Jun 3, 2021.

?

What would be a good age for a ship to be decommissioned?

  1. 30 years

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  2. 50 years

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  3. 80+ years

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  4. However long they want it.

    5 vote(s)
    26.3%
  5. Until it falls apart, or damaged.

    5 vote(s)
    26.3%
  6. Until its obsolete

    7 vote(s)
    36.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    :wtf: The idea that Starfleet doesn't know how old one of their own ships is is beyond ludicrous. So is the idea of requiring the captain to point out something they are certainly keeping track of.
     
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  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    On the other hand, it does sound reasonable to have a court martial as standard procedure if somebody loses an entire starship. That is, misplaces her, losing track of her whereabouts! Which is pretty much what happened in the backstory of "The Battle".

    What Picard did not do was get his starship destroyed. Which may well be exactly why he got prosecuted. Old or not, the skipper might be required to scuttle his ship, rather than let her be lost.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    In a book, the stargazzer after the battle of maxia was on fire all over the ship, lost power, and in an orbit of a gas giant that was in a degrading orbit. Picard thought she was toast.
    Only the freingi coming by not to long after saved the ship from orbit.
    So Picard thought it was destroyed. And thats what he reported.
     
  4. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe new designs are partially driven by new enemy ships?
     
  5. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    As I recall, the trial of Picard in the Autobiography wasn't suggesting that Starfleet didn't know how old the ship was and Picard withheld that information from the brass, but that the maintenance routines under Picard's captaincy were not in accordance with regulations. But then the investigation revealed that the ship's maintenance routine, though not following regulation, were actually above and beyond regulation. Also, the prosecutor (Philipa LaBois) suggested that it was irresponsible to keep running the Stargazer in spite of it being well past it's prime, and the judges, all former captains who understand the balancing act Picard was pulling off, decided that there was no wrong-doing in evidence.

    --Alex
     
  6. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    This was definitely the case with the FASA Trekverse, as a number of newer Federation and Klingon ships came out of the Four Years War. Also the Klingons and Romulans were having constant border problems, so they each developed some new technologies in addition to their reluctant technology exchange and alliance against the Federation.
     
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  7. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    Theres always some science nerds working to improve or invent new technology .
    Better reactor, more efficient warp coils, better weapons , better sheilds, etc.

    Some of those advancements can be incorporated into existing designs, but some can't. Draws to much power, built into the frame itself, etc. So you use the ship until it's next major refit and decide what you want to do with it, keep it going but know it's an obsolete ship, mothballs it or strike it and recycle it to make a new ship.

    Lets look at the excellsior, for awhile it was top of the line. But by tng timeframe, its not. It's used as a courier, 2nd contact, cargo runs, follow up explorer, things that are needed but isn't glamorous .. Think lower decks.
     
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  8. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    If I were the defense lawyer, I would counter that Command was derelict in their duty for not knowing how old the ship was before sending it out on a mission, and also if the ship was "too old" for service, they were criminally negligent for sending it out.
     
  9. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

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    Very interesting observations.

    The upcoming second edition of Shipyards: Starfleet Ships 2294 - The Future includes the 32nd century Constitution class, which therein is described as a refit of the 23rd century era ship, rather than a new class that reuses the name.

    As mentioned earlier in this thread, we know from ENT: "These Are The Voyages..." and "E2" that a ship can easily be decommissioned long before its time.

    Discovery remains functional under Zora for 1.000 years without outside maintenance.

    Going non-canon and into the expanded universe, the Miranda class remains active at least into the year 2769. Also in STO, modern technology can be installed on any ship - any shuttlecraft even - thus rendering any age-limits obsolete.

    Finally, by the year 12265, Unifleet puts an Enterprise (NCC-1701-∞) into service that completes a million-year long mission.
     
  10. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This why I think the 24th century was effectively a 'focal point' where you can put modern technology into virtually any starship and render age limits obsolete.
    As you go forward and better technologies and algorithms are developed, it will reconfigure and upgrade the ship automatically on the go keeping it up to date with modern most advanced ships... unless of course it gets blown up by an anomaly or a far superior enemy in combat (but those are separate situations).

    Disco is a bit of a different story since it had the benefit of AI with full scale automation at its disposal to maintain itself over the course of 1000 years (which is also supposed to have occurred since the 32nd century).

    I suspect that if SF developed similarly benevolent AI's like Data since the 24th century, they could easily keep the ship running for 1000 years or more.
    Logically speaking, ships would have very little or none of the actual moving parts, which would make maintenance occasional to very infrequent at best... malfunctions simply speaking wouldn't occur... because everything would be designed to last for as long as possible.

    And if ships are designed to NOT break down from the get go (external environmental factors which stress the ship constantly not withstanding - which would technically speaking be invalidated by needed repairs after combat), then technically speaking there would be no need to 'maintain' them in the first place... I mean that just makes sense... and we can design technology and tools that don't break down and can last over 100 years for example (or more - depending on what the limit of a given material is - problem is, we don't live in a system that promotes longevity, modularity and upgradeability - UFP on the other hand operates on a different system and it wouldn't artificially instill such limits - meaning that all those times we saw the Voyager crew maintaining the ship is a bit nonsensical since it wouldn't be necessary after first batch of repairs, a lot of which would be done by automation - and once you repair a component or fashion a new one, it would effectively behave as a brand new one - malfunctions would only be expected if a ship is an adverse environment which degrades technology or the ship may be under attack - but again, after sufficient repairs are done, it wouldn't be a problem).

    Oh and, the NX-01 was running for over 100 years in E2 episode and got all the modern upgrades that most new ships would get (minus some Warp injectors age - you'd think they'd be able to fashion or trade for new ones in all that time).
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
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  11. Spock .

    Spock . Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    They did know, they just didn't do anything about it. The prosecutor was trying to say that he was negligent because he didn't point it out to command. The prosecutor suggested that he didn't point it out because he didn't want to lose the ship. It was more an issue of pointing out the age than informing command about it.
     
  12. dupersuper

    dupersuper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Informing command? Wouldn't they know?
     
  13. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    I pulled out the book to check. The prosecution's argument (such as it was) wasn't so much that Picard was not negligent in failing to inform command of how old the Stargazer was, but that, since the ship's age had been an ongoing concern (Picard had had engineering step up maintenance beyond what Starfleet required, and mentioned he believed the ship's age contributed to the amount of damage it suffered in the battle), that he should've suggested the ship be decommissioned and raised a stink about how much trouble flying such an old ship was causing him and his crew. His defense points out that Picard's logs and reports were quite clear about the condition of the ship and the steps he was taking to remediate them, and that no captain in Starfleet history had ever suggested their own ship be decommissioned, because that's not their decision to make even if the ship they've been given is falling apart around them.

    The part about the average ship being 16 years old is pretty implausible, and seems like it'd only be the case if Starfleet had done a massive build-up in the past few years to drag the mean down. Even calculating the first five Enterprises (using the TNGTM dates for the loss of the -B and launch of the -C), ships that tended to be on dangerous, high-risk missions that saw them destroyed before their time, had an average age of 20 years.

    Of course, the whole argument is meant to be shoddy and absurd; that's what was established in "The Measure of a Man," that the court-martial was a farce where Louvois tried to throw the book at Picard even though he hadn't done anything negligent, just to demonstrate her own skill and impartiality against someone she'd been involved with. "The Buried Age" did it better in its version of the trial.
     
  14. matthunter

    matthunter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It frankly sounds like it took Picard's line about the Stargazer being "overworked and underpowered" in Relics and drove it into the ground.
     
  15. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commodore Commodore

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    For a StarShip, as long as the core structural frame remains in good shape or gets repaired back to normal, you can recycle the StarFrame and refit most everything unless it makes more sense to make a new StarShip.

    Although, I can see a future where older StarShips are stripped of StarFleet components and handed over or sold to civilian entities so they can start their own businesses.

    Privatized StarFleet / Entities can run their own businesses using older StarShip frames and updated with civilian equipment.
     
  16. matthunter

    matthunter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't it implied that the Oberth-Class ship in the TNG ep Hero Worship was civilian-owned? She has an SS designation rather than USS, plus the NAR registration prefix that has otherwise only been seen on the Raven (the ship belonging to the Hansens, 7 of 9's parents, who were civilian scientists).
     
  17. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commodore Commodore

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    I believe so, but we can only infer to the SS designation as genric "Star Ship" for civilian use.

    But what would NAR be short hand for?
     
  18. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    For the stargazzer, it was what? Let's say built in 2280 or so, by 2355 it would be 75 by then or so. Even in 2233 it would be over 50.
    So the line about over worked and under powered maybe used to discover that it was a 50 year old ship, has been getting refit but is long in the tooth.
    And underpowered may be describing all the newer stuff being plugged in but not enough power generation to compensate. Like getting one of those plug bars and stabbing in 9 things into 1 plug.. And then doing that to every plug. Fuses will pop, things will be turned off to use another thing, etc.
    Some ships are ride hard and put away wet. Stargazzer seems that way.

    Now disco waiting a 1000 years. That's doable quite easily. You have it in a nebula, minimal power to the shields to keep the dust radiation etc. Away. Plenty of fuel around. He'll could just run a fusion generator to keep the ship warm. No life support needed. Just be adrift. Have the robots do maintenance .. No problems.
     
  19. matthunter

    matthunter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Something Allied Resarch (or Astronomical Research)?
     
  20. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The rule of thumb is that spaceframes are forever.