The Enterprise D, an exploration ship?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Brainsucker, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Brainsucker

    Brainsucker Commander Red Shirt

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    This statement always make me confuse. Because I often hear that the Enterprise D is an exploration ship. But despite of that, many episodes that I watched long time ago suggest that this ship wasn't truly do explore. They tend to patrol the Romulan border, Defending Earth from Borg, visiting the Federation members, hunting Marquis Rebel, etc. So how can an exploration ship travel inside the Federation Space more than going into the outer Rim, and stay there for years in an exploration purpose?

    I think The USS Enterprise D mission was not truly to explore the unknown. Their mission was to expand the presence of the Federation in their immediate sector. Or more precisely, act as the Federation representative in their mission area. That's why when the Borg came in the final episode of season 3, they came after Picard. Because Picard knows about all Federation military element in the sector. He's more than a captain of a starship. He should be an admiral, because his duty was more of an admiral duty than a starship captain.
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The Enterprise-D was a multipurpose ship, just like the original Enterprise. Exploration was just one of the things she could do. And exploration is really investigating anything unknown out there, not necessarily just the new planet or life-form of the week. Sometimes she was required to investigate things even in Earth's own backyard (or even on Earth itself).

    That being said, I like to think that the Enterprise-D was maybe gearing up for a long-term exploration mission at the time of Generations, but fate had other ideas...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
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  3. SWHouston

    SWHouston Commander Red Shirt

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    It was clearly dual purpose. Otherwise, why would they be able to separate the Saucer section. And given that ability, I only remember Picard separating it once (I think in a Farscape episode) to protect the Civilians and Children, probably. But in all the battles E-D has encountered, and given the statement of how much more efficient it would be without the Saucer, it was left attached to the Battle Section consistently. Maybe that's why they got their butts kicked so much.
     
  4. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the original idea was to be an exploration ship far away from Earth and planets/alien races seen in the original series, which why they had families on board in the first place. This happened to some extent in the earlier seasons, before they pretty much became stuck in the Federation full time acting as diplomats and the space police.
     
  5. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Given the significance of the Galaxy-Class and the name Enterprise, then her mission would've been as much a PR one than anything else.
     
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  6. Brainsucker

    Brainsucker Commander Red Shirt

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    I can't disagree with you. You're right about that. That's why I said that the Enterprise was not an explorer ship. It was the representative of the Federation at her immediate area. Picard was more of a political officer than an explorer or a military commander. Plus, doing first contact doesn't mean that they haven't been discovered prior the engagement.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Still, the Enterprise-D probably made more discoveries in her short seven years than most exploration ships during their entire operational lifetimes (aside from the Voyager, of course). She likely still holds the record of going farther into the unknown than any other Federation starship due to "Where No One Has Gone Before."
     
  8. SWHouston

    SWHouston Commander Red Shirt

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    Promoted to Admiral...RUBBISH !
    After he's violated the Prime Directive more times than I can remember, been relegated to the Borg, submitted to a mind link by non Starfleet personnel (Sarrek) w/o Fleet approval, he should have been busted down to PFC, and put in a mental institution. IMHO Piccard was totally psychologically compromised, and should never have been allowed to continue as a ships Captain.
     
  9. kazemiya

    kazemiya Ensign Red Shirt

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    Well i think galaxy class is both explorer and battleship at once. A very powerful ship that could handle both hostile unknown enemy or solving difficult/deadly space phenomenon. If i remember correctly, i had read that galaxy is classified as heavy cruiser (explorer) by the federation, but her combat rating in the fleet is a dreadnought. No wonder that during cardassian war, each member of the galaxy wing serve as the leader of the fleets.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Might well be Starfleet had some ambitions on sending the E-D to explore originally, but they paid attention to Q's words in "Encounter at Farpoint" and canceled that mission.

    Then again, Picard never really said it would have been his mission to explore. He was there just to inspect Farpoint so that exploration in general could commence!

    Onscreen, the Galaxy class is never given a "traditional" naval mission class description. Instead, she's supposed to be an Explorer, which appears to be a futuristic addition to the collection of mission classes, a few steps above Cruiser and possibly replacing Battleship or even going one step up from there. Although whenever our heroes actually call something Battleship, it's way bigger than a Galaxy.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  11. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

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    Trying to pigeonhole the intended role of any class of starship hearkens back to the old argument of 'what is Starfleet?'

    I contend that Starfleet is a unique organization in human history. It's not an exploration organization, the military, or NASA, although it performs ALL of those functions for the Federation and more. Starfleet is what it is: Starfleet.

    That being said, the Enterprise-D is a Starfleet ship, and her missions are to conduct operations as required by Starfleet Command. That means she is an Explorer, a Battleship, a Research Vessel, a Rescue Ship, Colony Support Vessel, Diplomatic Courier, Flagship, and whatever else Starfleet needs her to be. In short, she's just a Starfleet ship.

    Kind of reminds me of the Breakfast Club. :D
     
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  12. Brainsucker

    Brainsucker Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, she doesn't need to leave the Federation space in order to made a lot of discoveries.

    But in the final season 3, why it is Picard that kidnapped by the Borg? There was a Federation admiral in the vicinity, and a Starbase. You know, the officer who command a Starbase should have higher authority than a starship captain for coordinating defense in the region. yet they prefer Picard. And according to the show, Picard was chosen because he knows all the Federation element of defense in the region. So, what is Picard if he's not an Admiral? At last in Season 3. He may have been demoted or stripped from his position after he became a borg
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  13. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Brainsucker

    Brainsucker Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, I remember when I watched Babylon 5, when an Explorer Class Starship came to the station. If the Galaxy Class (specially the Enterprise D) was an explorer ship, then they will do what the Explorer Class do in the babylon 5 show. Their mission will prioritize more on mapping unknown region, deploy support (jump gate in the Babylon 5), probing star systems, and investigate foreign phenomena. They won't be called upon for battle.

    And the most important thing is, this ship will leave the Federation space for long time. So not patrolling mission in the neutral zone, intercepting the incoming Borg cube, and hunting Marquis Rebel. Those jobs belong to the military.

    And the most confusing thing is, that the Federation send their best ship (the Enterprise D was the best ship when she leave the stardock) to the unknown; encountering many danger that capable to destroy the ship in the process. And they prefer to protect the Earth; the capital of the United Federation of Planets with obsolete ships like Miranda etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  15. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

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    Well, you have to assume that Earth (and the other core worlds of the Federation) are relatively safe on a day to day basis, where a starship in uncharted space on an exploration mission is at far higher risk day to day. So it stands to reason that you want your newest gear with the best sensors, operated by your best minds, out there on the leading edge. Ultimately there is a lot less Darwinism that way and probably fewer interstellar wars in the long run.

    And I'm sure there's plenty of 'good stuff' left to defend the Federation at large. We just don't get to see it on screen. Except for the Mars defense perimeter- those guys got smoked really quick. ;)
     
  16. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    That really reinforced what I said.
    Star Trek isn't Babylon 5. Different fleet, different policies.

    Starfleet tends to build their ships with a certain level of versatility. While one ship may be assigned to a particular mission at a particular time, it can also carry out a wide variety of other missions if necessary, including Federation defense, search & rescue, scientific or tactical investigations, law enforcement, diplomacy, and even routine cargo/passenger transport when necessary. We saw the original Enterprise do all of the above during Kirk's 5-year mission. One design could be more optimized for a certain task than another, but versatility seems to be an underlying approach to Federation starships.
    There's no real indication that the Miranda-class was obsolete at all. If anything, its longevity may be due to the fact the design was able to be easily upgraded over the decades to avoid being obsolete--ultimately becoming a tried-and-true workhorse of the fleet capable of carrying out the complete range of Starfleet missions. And even though the Enterprise-D may have been referred to as the Federation flagship a few times, that could be more of a PR thing to the Federation public and the larger interstellar community. At most, it could be simply an honorific.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  17. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    By TNG, Mirandas, as well as Excelsiors and Constellations, may have remained in service as work horses. Old, but still useful in some capacity.

    At least, that is the impression I got.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  18. Brainsucker

    Brainsucker Commander Red Shirt

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    I disagree. With the long history of Earth being attacked and raided by Foreign Force, it's only logical if they guarded all the Federation Core World tightly. Plus sending your best ship out there is not without risk.

    First, the best ship in the fleet contain the newest technology that you possessed. Thus, these are the very strength that you have right now. And it is the deterrent that you have to force the devil alien from harming your country. If you lose this power to a foreign force, It's more logical if they can study the systems and steal the technology from you; thus use the power that they obtain from this ship to destroy you. Just forget the show; because the Enterprise crews was shielded by the most powerful weapon ever in the universe; the plot device.

    Second, It is more logical to place your best ships in the most strategic sector in your country. Because they are your best bet when an invasion / raid is coming to harm your core planets. By sending them far away from home (exploration duty), then you just strip your very chance to survive. A galaxy Class that explore the outer Rim is not capable to answer the call of arm when a borg cube come to destroy the Earth. While Miranda Class that surround your core planets are not powerful enough to contain the threat.

    Third, the best ships of the fleet not only use the latest technology; but also have the best crews, and it's very costly to build. Losing this ship just because it encounter something horrible out there will reduce your military strength tremendously. Remember, building a Galaxy Class needs more resource and time than creating several Miranda Class. And because it is the best that you have, it is natural to give her the best. So imagine if the USS Enterprise D didn't have the most powerful shield ever, the plot device. And the entire crew are killed while exploring the unknown. It will be a setback for the Starfleet capability
     
  19. Brainsucker

    Brainsucker Commander Red Shirt

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    "Useful" is not enough. Specially when it is a matter of life and death / the survival of your country. So why don't you send these useful ships out there to explore while you keep your ace at home to safeguard your core? Even in peaceful time, these ships are capable to give better 'deterrent' than the useful old work horse that you possessed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  20. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Useful", at least for milk runs within Federation space. By TNG, Excelsiors were being used as a buses-ferrying people out to the Enterprise D.

    Of course, if Federation space was invaded, you would throw at the enemy any thing you have on hand. Which might explain some of the unusual ships that we saw in "First Contact". Steam runner and Norway classes, for example. It has been suggested that the Steam runner is a kind of carrier ship. Norway reminds me of a cargo plane-I think the idea was to design a middling size starship that could land on a planet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016