Why was Pike headed for Vega?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by uniderth, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    The Enterprise was at Rigel 7 where some of Pike's crew were killed and injured. At the beginning of "The Cage" Pike is headed from Rigel to the Vega colony to take care of their sick and injured. But why is Pike going to Vega instead of Earth? Rigel is about 860 light years from earth. Vega is about 25 light years from earth. Running some basic calculations based on the positions of Rigel, Sol, and Vega, that puts Vega at about 881 light years from Rigel. That means Earth is about 21 light years closer.
     
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  2. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Vega colony might not have anything to do with the star Vega.
     
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  3. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    In other discussions, we had to conclude that places like Rigel and Vega might not be those stars as officially named. "The Vega Colony" could be anywhere, if that's a company name. Vega Inc. could build a facility on some planet orbiting some star and we wouldn't know anything about its location.

    Also, some people have said you'd never have Rigel II, Rigel IV, Rigel V, Rigel VII, and Rigel XII all as habitable planets in a single solar system. The numbered Rigels could be nicknames or private space catalog designations that aren't at the star we call Rigel.
     
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  4. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    Probably the Vega Colony's medical techniques are state of the art and with the Enterprise Time Warp Factor hyperdrive system the travel wouldn't be an issue, and maybe the Vega Colony's enroute to their next mission... out there and not where Earth lies.
     
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  5. GNDN18

    GNDN18 Plaid Lensman Premium Member

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  6. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    That annoyed me the first time I saw "The Menagerie". And then of course there is this:

    http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/16b.htm

    It is quite a detour to travel over 26,000 light years from Earth on a voyage from Rigel to Vega. But maybe Pike feared the Talosians might invade and tried to mislead them.

    Possibly the Vega colony was a colony of beings from Vega, or possibly a colony named after its founder, a Mr. Vega.

    So possibly Vega Inc. started a colony called the Vega (Inc.) Colony, and named mining planets Alpha Vega, Beta Vega, etc., though they seem to have sold Delta Vega to the Galactic Mining Co____.

    Of course such thoughts never stopped Jack Vance from imagining a "Rigel Concourse" of 26 habitable planets orbiting Rigel in The Star King (1964).

    See also TRAPPIST-1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRAPPIST-1

    See also The Ultimate Engineered Solar System at PlanetPlanet. https://planetplanet.net/2017/05/03/the-ultimate-engineered-solar-system/

    As Pike says to Boyce:

    During the Illusion of being back on Rigel VII, Pike says:

    http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/16b.htm

    So it has taken the Enterprise two weeks to travel less than about 880 light years from Rigel to the Vega Colony and it will take more time to complete the voyage.

    On one hand, it is hard to see how the Vega Colony could offer better medical facilities than Earth, and on the other hand Vega seems like it would be one of the innermost star systems in Earth's interstellar civilization and it is rather strange that a starship on the frontier of exploration would travel from someplace as distant as Rigel to someplace as close as Vega.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
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  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't find it appealing to think the Vega Colony would offer superior care, either. Say, in "Turnabout Intruder", involving a very specific type of medical emergency, Spock argues that a stop at an utterly random starbase would provide care superior to that found on the Benecia Colony. Sure, Benecia is a backwater and Vega might be superior to a starbase - but the UFP seems to believe in centralization of resources, and Earth besting Vega would be the natural assumption.

    However, we're not dealing with weirdness like "Lester's" (actually Kirk's) predicament here, but simple combat injuries as far as we can tell. Indeed, Boyce probably took care of the patching up already - in all likelihood, Pike was delivering his wounded to Vega simply because they would need time to recover on proper medical leave, not because they needed further advanced treatment. And perhaps Vega was the ideal place for that because the ship was going there anyway? That is, exactly because there was no emergency whatsoever, Pike did not deviate from his assigned mission and would next pick up rhomboframmistic telescopes and duotriticale seeds from Vega as scheduled.

    The one hiccup with that is the fact that Pike is the first to fall prey to the Talosians. If he were plying a routine spacelane here, this would be hard to justify. An emergency diversion for reaching Vega quicker would fit the bill better - but we are aware of no other emergency than the potential medical one. An emergency shortcut route is our best bet for why Kirk had the chance and the duty to survey Murasaki in "The Galileo Seven", too, say.

    Perhaps this is part of the "Our new ships can-" thing, though? That is, Pike is flying a vessel that can take a route previously not possible or at least not favored. Curiously, he seems to be flying at impulse or low warp, specifically accelerating to warp seven to respond to the SOS. Perhaps the new ships, with their reputation of "breaking" barriers, are good at penetrating rather than at speeding, and thus choose to travel through a "subspace shallows" of some sort that previously kept most ships away from Talos. This combined with a non-emergency, business-as-usual next stop at Vega would seem a consistent solution overall.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The writers were pulling star names out of their arses, with zero regard for their real-life locations.

    Like how Voyager occasionally had aliens named for "local" stars despite being on the other side of the galaxy.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    OTOH, a trip from the "real" Rigel (that is, Beta Orionis) would be a nice match for the travel time in the broadest terms of the later Trek context, and a trip to the "real" Vega would nicely fit the dramatic bill of heading home, beautifully also establishing that the definition of home has been appropriately broadened for mankind. Let's dip into the serendipity when we can!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  10. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Great thoughts everyone. I'm in the camp that really wants the names to match the actual stars. But I'm going to admit there are problems with this approach. Vega colony only makes sense IF Rigel is the REAL Rigel and, as pointed out by @Timo pointed out, they are not concerned with getting to the closest medical facility. If Vega is en route to their next destination then that could make Vega a logical choice.

    The other problem with every instance of Rigel being the real Rigel isn't just that they have at least eight habitable planets, but that the planets don't make sense. Rigel 2 was home of a cabaret that McCoy went to. Geordi retired to Rigel 3 in the alternate future. The Hill people are from Rigel 4. There were medical trials on Rigel 5. Rigel 6 is an inhabited non-federation world in the 24th century. Rigel 7 was the site of Pike's conflict. Rigel 12 was the distant lithium mining colony. Also the planet killer was headed for Rigel which Decker referred to as "the Heart of our Galaxy" where "millions" of people could die.

    Rigel 7 in the Cage always struck me as an out of the way place, yet supposedly it's orbiting the same star as Rigel 5 which apparently has superior enough medical facilities to run trials. There's also Rigel 4 which was host to the Hill People who at least had enough technology for Mr. Hengist to get to Argelius. Was Rigel 7 some sort of historical preserve planet and for some reason Pike decided not to patch up his crew on Rigel 5? The lithium mining station on Rigel 12 also seemed like an out of the way place There only three lonely guys there. I'd expect more if this system is supposedly the "heart of the galaxy".

    Putting all of these planets in one system is implausible from a cosmological perspective AND also doesn't make sense considering all the different developmental levels of the planets.

    If we conclude that SOME of the Rigels are part of the same system, then I'd group Rigel 2, Rigel 3, and Rigel 5 - These are all low enough numbers to be inner planets. They are all probably Federation aligned, and probably have the same technological level. This is specifically referred to as "the Rigel Colony." It is host to millions of people and when taken with other nearby systems is "the heart of our galaxy" that Decker was referring to.

    The rest seem unique enough that they'd probably be part of their own systems. So the question becomes which, if any, are part of the REAL Rigel. That I'm not sure.

    Rigel 4 - Redjac came from earth and moved out to Mars, Alpha Eridani Two, etc as mankind expanded. The name "hill people" on Rigel 4 sounds more like a name for indigenous inhabitants rather than colonists, do and earth ship must have unknowingly dropped redjac off there.

    But wait there's more! Rigel, and Vega aren't the only colonies out there. There's also the Orion colony. Problem is, Orion is a constellation not a star. The constellation Orion is made up of stars (including Rigel) at a great variety of distances so it doesn't makes sense to group them together from any other perspective than as a constellation from our vantage point. So which star of the Orion constellation(if it is even there) is host to the Orion colony. IN fact looking at references Orion is just a mess. apparently Orion is a colony, and its also a government, and its also a (presumably blue skinned) species discernible from humans, and it's also a race of green animal women. Y U DO This Too Me, Star Trek? :brickwall:
     
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  11. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    I think something more occurred with the "breaking the time-barrier" than just going to a couple higher warp factors with better engines. Yes, that probably occurred, too, especially with a top-of-the-line, starship cruiser versus a lowly exploration vessel. Something more than just bigger engines occurred, rather, some technology or science changing event. I like to link it to discovering one or two magnitudes increase in speeds (i.e. the Cochrane Factor). The new 2245 Starships (Enterprise) and refitted older ones (Constellation) are the first to use the new breakthrough. Prior to this time, the Earth/"Federation" space was still fairly small (~100 lys?) with some long range jaunts (~1000 lys). Losses were high which would slow the exploration and expansion rate of Earth/Federation space. Now, with the new warp technology, the Earth/Federation space has been expanding rapidly (maybe a little chaotically) over the last 20 years especially with safer explorations (help is a reasonable time away, better ship technologies, avoiding new wars). The (TOS) current size limit (~200-500 lys) is still fairly small probably due to the low number of starships. Season 1 seems to imply that Starfleet moved under Federation control with a new golden age of space exploration just over the horizon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  12. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I'm just making this up, but could it be the Rigel sector?
    So not one solar system but an area with many stars.
    Aren't some stars named the same with a Greek letter, like Alpha Centauri, Beta Centauri, in the Centauri sector? Maybe it's just more convenient to say Rigel 12 then rather than Omicron Rigel 12.
     
  13. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not sure what to say about Rigel but the Vega colony could be a planet settled by people from Vega and it's closer to the Enterprise than the earth would be?
    JB
     
  14. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My view was that they were going to Alpha Lyrae.
     
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  15. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    This, this, and this. Let's put this into perspective with an example from a contemporaneous TV show. I've been watching episodes of Dragnet 1967 recently. For the first few episodes, I was pleasantly surprised that the days and dates dropped matched up with dates on the 1966 calendar. Then they started dropping dates that hadn't occurred on particularly recent calendars. Now the last one I watched, the first scenes took place on a date that last occurred on the 1964 calendar...and the last scenes, which took place nine months later in the story, fell on dates that had last occurred on the 1962 calendar. I have to wonder, are there Dragnet aficionados out there who are still losing sleep over this?
     
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  16. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    Maybe only one, and he just posted on this site...:whistle:
     
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  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Dragnet11.jpg
    "You think you're real funny, dontcha, mister?"
     
  18. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can relate to this. I do a fair amount of chronologies of TV shows and books, and one of my projects was a timeline of one of my favorite television series, Homicide: Life on the Street. I thought that the crossover episodes with Law & Order would be easy, since they use real dates in their interstitial title cards, but nope. The L&O dates didn't jibe with the HLOTS dates (Homicide was in February while the L&O episode started in December), and most of the L&O dates didn't conform to the calendar year in which the show aired. I guess they figured that no one would bother to check them. :)

    The calendar that can be glimpsed in "City on the Edge of Forever" doesn't conform to any month in 1930, either.
     
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  19. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    After reading this post I have interpreted the calendar in that photo in this thread: https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/what-year-does-city-on-the-edge-of-tomorrow-happen-in.298627/
     
  20. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    In the Doomsday Machine, the planet killer's next stop was the Rigel colony:
    SULU: It's veering off, back on course for the next solar system. The Rigel colony, sir.
    SPOCK: Evidently programmed to ignore anything as small as a ship beyond a certain radius. We'll maintain a discreet distance and circle back to pick up the Captain.
    DECKER: You can't let that reach Rigel. Why, millions of innocent people would die.
    SPOCK: I am aware of the Rigel system's population, Commodore, but we are only one ship. Our deflector shields are strained, our subspace transmitter is useless. Logically, our primary duty is to survive in order to warn Starfleet Command.
    DECKER: Our primary duty is to maintain life and safety of Federation planets. Do you deny that?​
    This Rigel colony is Federation with population of millions in the Rigel system (not one planet). Rigel sounds like the star name.
     
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