Why saucers?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by NewHeavensNewEarth, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    I like your explanation better =D
     
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  2. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    The other advantage that I can find in a saucer is that it makes it relatively easy for a person at one part of the saucer to get to nearly any other part without running into high congestion through a cramp / common corridor like in Romulan / Andorian design.

    Normally (Long & Narrow tubular) designs have central corridor(s) where you can get cut off and makes it easy for boarding parties to cordon off sections by locking down corridor(s).

    With large saucers and just larger frame vessels, they may be harder to defend, but also harder to assault and keep taken over.

    The existing crew would always have an advantage because they are expected to know the layout better then any invading force and can secure the critical areas easier then an assaulting force.

    Also in a worse case scenario should an accident happen, a central corridor could literally doom part of the ships crew should they be cut off.

    A saucer being as wide and corridor filled gives more options for ingress/egress.

    Sphere might have the disadvantage of a large profile from any angle, but the Saucer has a good compromise IMO.

    Also Saucers have lots of internal volume compare to similarly lengthed tubes.

    Compare the roominess of a Klingon Bird of Prey to a Defiant class.

    Those two vessels should be similar enough in size (Length x Width x Height), yet the Defiant should have WAY more internal volume / surface area and should be able to support far more crew.

    There is something to be said about being Multi-Function capable. Given the amount of science and technical issues they run into while out & about in space, being capable of dealing with many different issues is a good thing.
     
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  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...I wonder if this boarding issue has anything to do with the odd fact that the only way to get anywhere inside a saucer is to walk around at least two corners before taking a turbolift?

    Turboshafts are hell to accessibility. Either they have to dodge and weave up and down like mad, or then the corridors themselves have to, or one or the other gets blocked off. Just about any geometry other than "wide and flat" would work better in that respect.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    The NX class popularized the idea of saucers. It was loosely based on the reports and sighting done of the Enterprise-E by Zefram Cochrane in 2063.
     
  5. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    Back in the days, all SF spaceships have been either rockets, or saucers.

    The original Enterprise is essentially a saucer with rockets.
    Just physically "more" correct: The saucer doesn't spin. The rockets don't exhaust fire. Instead they generate a warp field.

    As for in-universe reasons? The "flat" design is obviously close to the optimal shape for a starship to create an efficient warp bubble, that's why even Klingons and Romulans have long, flat, tri-angular starships.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...But stupid primitive folks such as Vulcans (as eventually seen in ENT) or Eymorg or the First Federation (already seen in TOS) do not! No wonder humans conquered the universe.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    Considering none of them use traditional warp nacelles, it's quite obvious they use slightly different warp bubbles, which means other optimal starship shapes...
     
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  8. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    With access to these advanced warp technologies, by the next century, the Federation will be traveling in spherical starships. :bolian:
     
  9. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought the spherical design was so nice for Beverly's ship in AGT. For the rotational aspect of defense, DS9 kinda sorta did that with its weapons upgrades, but I'd still love to see something more like what "Oblivion" did with its sphere craft.
     
  10. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    If the saucers have traditionally been the "crew section" of the ship, a sphere makes a ton of sense for a Hospital ship - because of it's incredibly larger internal volume, there is just way more space for hospital rooms and people on board.
     
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  11. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    Most Hospital Rooms would prefer to have a Window view for it's patient rooms.

    All the Doctor Rooms / ER / Offices can be done on the inside where there is no Windows.

    So a Sphere makes sense given what they are trying to do.
     
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  12. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    Mostly because 'Star Trek' was heavily inspired by the 1956 film "Forbidden Planet" and the C57-D Cruiser looked like this:
    https://lovecraftzine.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/forbidden-planet.jpg?w=470&h=189

    And the ORIGINAL idea GR had for the 1701 was that the Saucer section would detach and land on a planet, much like this (again a shot from "Forbidden Planet":
    https://rubinmuseum.org/images/content/6188/forbiddenplanet_master2__detail_carousel.jpg

    But the production people said it would be too expensive to do different 'Saucer landing' VFX shots on a weekly basis and felt that doing 3 or 4 reusable 'stock' shots would get really repetitive (Hell, they had enough similar issues with the planet orbit stuff once they went to series; but the separation and landing shots would have compounded that.

    Thus, GR came up with 'The Transporter' (cheaper effect, lower cost) to get to the surface.

    As for why other artists kept the 'Saucer Section' for later post series design work of Federation ships, I guess they considered it a defining factor as the look of the 1701 was/is considered iconic by fans then and now.
     
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  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, but FP was building on the already-established association of "flying saucers" with spaceships. The concept of flying saucers had been an ongoing fad since 1947, and flying saucers began showing up in film in the 1950 movie The Flying Saucer, followed by The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Thing from Another World in '51, Invaders from Mars in '53, This Island Earth in '55, and probably others. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers came out just months after FP. So it was firmly entrenched in an existing design trend.

    By the way, I said earlier that every film & TV spaceship I knew of before the Enterprise was either a saucer or a rocket, but I've just found one exception: the alien ship from It Came from Outer Space, which was a geodesic-ish sphere with a tailfin.


    No, his original idea was that the whole ship would land. From p. 10 of the original series pitch: "The Cruiser will stay in space orbit, will rarely land on a planet. Landings are made with a small (and transportable) recon rocket vehicle." Remember, it wasn't Roddenberry who designed the ship's appearance, it was Pato Guzman and (mostly) Matt Jefferies. They gradually arrived at the saucer-and-cylinders design after dozens of prototypes, some with saucer elements and some without.

    http://forgottentrek.com/designing-the-first-enterprise/

    I really wish people would stop giving Gene Roddenberry, a writer, credit for the work of his production designers. He guided the design process by approving or rejecting their concepts, yes, but he didn't do it all himself.
     
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  14. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    IDK what to believe at this point. I had read from multiple sources that GR wanted the Saucer section to detach and land, but again was told the VFX would be too expensive/difficult, and that's why when he was doing ST:TNG, the 1701-D had the whole 'Saucer Section Separation' ability, and why he made sure to show it in the Pilot TNG episode, as it was always something he wanted to do/see on TOS as well.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's erroneously conflating several different things from different stages of the creative process. The parts are true but they don't go together. Initially, the plan was for the whole ship to land, and that's what they gave up for budget reasons. Later, once the ship had been designed, it was decided behind the scenes that the saucer could separate and be used as an emergency lifeboat -- very much NOT for routine landings, but only in extreme circumstances. This is alluded to in dialogue in "The Apple" when Kirk tells Scotty to "Discard the warp drive nacelles if you have to and crack out of there with the main section, but get that ship out of there!"

    The idea of a saucer being designed to separate and reattach routinely was not introduced until TNG. It was a change from the previous idea that it would only be done in emergencies. The whole reason the "neck" of the E-D has that broad top instead of being narrow like the original "neck" is because it was designed to look good when separated, which the original Enterprise design was not.
     
  16. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, finally utilized that tech from the First Federation and Balok.
     
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  17. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because advanced people use circles. Since the dawn of man, the wheel, Stonehenge etc... the circle has been seen as the pinnacle of evolution in design... Unless you're talking about literal pinnacles... which are spires... I guess. What a weird word

    That's why I always liked the Pasteur's design too. Quite sensible. Funny though that they didn't employ the even more sensible design, based on their basic premise... and stack saucers atop one another... In other words, a cylinder, which would provide nearly duplicated decks for patient housing... But would admittedly look pretty silly lol
     
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  18. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    More surface area to join gives a stronger fit.

    You don't hear enough about Pato Guzman....
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Partly, yes, but as I said, it was mainly about the aesthetics, since they expected that saucer separation would be used more frequently than it ultimately was.


    Apparently he delegated most of the ship design work to Jefferies, but he was in overall charge of the art department on "The Cage." So yeah, it would be nice to hear more about his contributions.
     
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  20. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why 1947? Sorry if I missed it if it was explained earlier.

    It's interesting that Voyager seemed to do the most landing on planets, and to the best of my knowledge, it had no ability to separate. So it was kind of saucery without the design functions that were in place for ships like the Enterprise-D.