Why was Pike headed for Vega?

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

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it still sounds like a colony all right, with mere "millions" at risk. (Perhaps even a penal colony, so that there are others besides "innocents" there? :devil: )

    Rigelians and Orions are established cultures and perhaps even species; Vegans might be that, too, even if onscreen references don't go quite that far (at best, there's the suggestion that the one Rhaandarite from ST:TMP might have been a vegan, although with possible weekend relapses to dairy products). So Rigelian, Orionite and Vegan colonies could be located just about anywhere, even if the Rigelian culture hailed from a homeworld next to the star Rigel etc. And the use of the possessive, descriptive or other form would be an exception from the nominative case rather than a rule - Earth has Earth Colonies, not Earthen or Earthly Colonies...

    To stretch the usage a teeny weeny bit in case of "DDM", we could further say that "the" Rigel system is one of the many possessed by Rigelians. It just earns the definite article here because it's the one Rigel system that concerns our heroes on that day. That is, our heroes would speak of "the Earth system" were Earth Colony Five at risk that day.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. mb22

    mb22 Captain Captain

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    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.

    Plus the reddish looking musicians and serving girls and guy with whip (mostly cut from the final version of "The Cage")

    http://www.startrekhistory.com/cagepage.html
     
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  3. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Something that was edited out of The Menagerie from The Cage is the time it took to travel the 18 light years to Talos. It's in the scene where Pike and Vina have a picnic

    PIKE: Tango! You old devil, you. I'm sorry I don't have any sugar. Well, they think of everything, don't they? (feeds lumps to the horse)
    VINA: Hey, your coffee. Is it good to be home?
    PIKE: They read our minds very well. Home, anything else I want, if I co-operate, is that it?
    VINA: Have you forgotten my headaches, darling? I get them when you talk strangely like this.
    PIKE: Look, I'm sorry they punish you, but we can't let them
    VINA: My, it turned out to be a lovely day, didn't it?
    PIKE: It's funny. It's about twenty four hours ago I was telling the ship's doctor how much I wanted something else not very different from what we have here.​

    18 light years in 24 hours is very close to the 0.73 LY/hour that Roddenberry put in his initial series bible for the Enterprise's typical cruising speed. It would also mean that they'd easily cross 100 light years in less than a week (at Time-Warp 7 anyway)

    However, in the actually broadcast form (The Menagerie) this dialogue was cut, so maybe the Enterprise isn't really that fast?
     
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  4. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    Good work.

    Approximately 18 light years in about 24 hours is about 0.75 light years per hour, 18 light years per day, or about 6,574.5 light years per Earth year, at time warp factor seven. Later, in TOS, warp factor seven was allegedly 343 times the speed of light, only 0.052 of 6,574.5 times the speed of light, and warp factor seven and warp factor eight were only used in emergencies. This indicates that time warp factors are not the same as TOS warp factors, and that there was some unspecified type of problem with the superfast engines of Pike's Enterprise which caused them to be replaced with much slower engines in a later refit in order to avoid those unspecified problems.

    Thus must be canon In any fictional universe that includes "The Cage".

    In a fictional universe which includes "The Menagerie" and not "The Cage", there isn't such a precise indication of how long it took the Enterprise to reach Talos IV.

    In the Rigel VII illusion in "The Menagerie, Part 2" Pike says:

    One one hand, they could have received the distress call from Talos IV right as they were leaving the Rigel system. Then the full two weeks of travel would have been the 18 light year voyage from the Rigel system to the Talos Star Group. If the distance was 18.00 to 18.99 light years and the two weeks was between 11.00 days and 17.00 days, the speed of the Enterprise would would been between 1.058 light years per day - about 386.43 times the speed of light - and 1.726 light years per day, about 630.55 times the speed of light.

    Uniderth's original post in this thread says:

    At speeds of 386.43 to 630.55 times the sped of light, it should take about 1.317 to 2.409 years to travel about 831 to 931 light years from Rigel to Vega.

    Note that the lower speed for time warp factor seven would be a little more than the 343 times the speed of light for the official TOS warp factor seven.

    On the other hand, it could have taken them two weeks to travel the entire distance from Rigel VII to the Vega Colony, and then they zipped 18 light years to the Talos Star Group too fast to add much time to the journey.

    So if the Enterprise travels about 881 light years - about 831 to 931 light years - in two weeks - between 11.00 days and 17.00 days - it's speed would be about 48.882 light years per day - about 17,854.279 times the sped of light - to about 84.63 light years per day, - about 30,913.431 times the speed of light.

    Travelling 18 light years to Talos at that speed range would take about 0.00058 days - 0.838 minutes - to 0.001 days - or 1.45 minutes. Not worth counting.

    So if the spot where the Enterprise picked up the distress call from Talos IV was somewhere between Rigel and Vega, the speed of the Enterprise making the trip would be somewhere between about 386.43 to 30,913.431 times the speed of light.

    And it would be possible to chose a position for the spot where the Enterprise picked up the distress call from Talos IV so that the speed of the Enterprise from Rigel to there was consistent with time warp factor seven being 6,574.5 times the speed of light, as indicated by Pike's comment in the Cage" that was not included in "Menagerie".

    If the journey from Rigel VII to where they picked up the distress call from Talos IV took two weeks minus one day, or about 10.00 to 16.00 days, at 6,574.5 times the speed of light, the Enterprise would have traveled about 180.00 to 306.00 light years from Rigel VII to where they picked up the distress call from Talos IV. And the total journey of 831 to 931 light years from Rigel VII to Vega would take about 0.126 to 0.141 years at 6,574.5 times the speed of light.

    At 343 times the speed of light, the official TOS warp factor seven, it would take about two weeks, or about 10.0 to 18.00 days, to travel a distance of about 3,430 to 6,174 light days, or 9.390 to 16.903 light years. At the official TOS warp factor seven, it would take 18.102 days to travel 17.00 light years. So it would take about 18.113 days to travel 17.01 light years at 343 times the speed of light.

    So it is possible that "time warp factor seven" in "The Cage" could equal the official TOS warp factor seven, though that would make the "two weeks" to travel to Talos closer to three weeks. And of course that would make the 831 to 931 light year voyage from Rigel (Beta Orionis) to Vega (Alpha Lyrae) take between 2.422 and 2.714 years.

    So according to the data in "Menagerie", it would take the Enterprise sometime between 11.00 days and 2.714 years to travel from Rigel to Vega, and the longer trip time would be more consistent with the official TOS warp scale. So Pike was not heading from Rigel to Vega to get his injured crew members emergency medical treatment. Instead he was probably planning to leave crew members too badly wounded to perform their duties in the hospitals there for recovery, rehabilitation, and possibly receiving artificial limbs or regeneration of limbs.

    Spock describes what the Enterprise was doing when they received the message from Talos IV:

    So that would seem to indicate that they were making a routine patrol with stops at places as far apart as Rigel and Vega and Pike decided to leave his injured crew members at Vega when he made his scheduled stop there. And that opens the possibility that the Enterprise was not heading straight from Rigel to Vega but was zig-zagging between various destination stars, making the problem of how long it would take to travel from Rigel to Vega even worse.
     
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  5. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Great thoughts all. Spock's statement of being on routine patrol makes sense because it seems that the Enterprise is not a time warp during the opening of the episode. They are in a "meteorite" field and the apparent distress call traveling at the speed of light intercepts them. If they are traveling FTL during this part of the voyage then the message wouldn't be able to catch up to them. So they could be routinely patrolling a solar system and traveling through a belt or cloud of debris. With no indication of survivors Pike orders "maintain present course."

    Whats's odd is that Number One(pun intended) mentions that there are no earth colonies or ships as far out as Talos, but it's only 18 light years away. 18 light years is NOTHING. But it does indicate that their present position is probably homeward while the Talos Star group is further "out". Because if their present location was, lets say 100 light years, on the way home from Rigel then the Talos group at only 18 light years away would not be considered OUT there.

    This would seems to indicate that the course from Rigel to their present location was not a homeward course. Rather they could could have been more "L" shaped and after this mission they were heading home to Vega.

    We then have the Pike's Quarters scene where he dreams of living a different life. This is where our "about twenty-four hours" counter starts. After this scene Pike returns to the bridge and the follow up message indicates there are survivors. He then orders time warp factor seven to go to Talos. We then cut to the Enterprise having arrived at Talos. The rest of the events until the 24 hour remark seem to be pretty sequential with the only gap being Pike's unconsciousness, which I'd argue is not too long considering the crew beams up and has the briefing room scene. Any variation could be accounted for in the "about twenty-four hours.

    So as you all deduced earlier it was twenty four hour to get from wherever they were to Talos. And you guys all did the math there. We also have the two weeks remark which considering the flow of events the travel time from their position x to Talos is was one day of those two weeks. So from Rigel to position x was thirteen days (assuming a standard earth week and day length). Now we don't know how long the Enterprise lingered at Rigel after the incident, nor do we know at what speed they proceeded to position x. So it could be anywhere from 0ly(just leaving Rigel) to 234ly at time-warp factor seven.

    In any case I bet Voyager wished they had the Enterprise's time-warp factor seven.They could have gotten home in ten years.

    So I guess our next questions are why were this type of fast warp speeds rejected and at what point? There are other example of Kirk's Enterprise going very fast and defying the "official" scale. So lets assume that at least the pre-refit Enterprise was very fast. That means either the refit slowed it down, or the slow down came AFTER the Enterprise. If it came AFTER the Enterprise then what was up with the excelsior? It was the fastest slowest ship around? And Why wasn't Scotty bragging that the old Enterprise could have kicked the Excelsior's trash?

    So if the Excelsior type ships were super-duper fast, then the slowdown would have come during the Enterprise-C era. But regardless of when it came, why? If they had the capability of going that fast what would have caused the slowdown? Was it a galaxy wide problem? Was it a slowly killing people? Something fundamental about space changed? Whatever it was it must have been permanent, or else would would have seen examples of it being used again.
     
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  6. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Something else to note is that the classified document shown to Kirk in "The Menagerie" says that Talos 4 is located "in third quadrant of vernal galaxy."

    Vernal is an adjective to describe something that is "of, in, or appropriate to spring." Perhaps vernal galaxy is a name that describes the region of stars that make up the constellation Orion. I've noticed that there are a lot of young stars in that era as well as new star formation in the Orion Nebula, etc. So perhaps this regions of the galaxy got the name "vernal" becasue it seems springlike with all the young stars. This would then be divided in to four quadrants, of which Talos 4 is located in the third one. This could also be used to make the Rigel in "The Cage" be the actual star Rigel.
     
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  7. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's unlikely there was a actual radio message and the Talosians were sending the message in real tilme to the ship's receivers.

    When Pike said that they didn't even know if there were survivors, a second message promptly arrives say there are.

    If the ship had been at warp, then a type of communication that could be receive at warp would have been what was used by the "survivors.".
     
  8. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    "Official?" Did I miss an episode when this occurred? :wtf: Nice math, though.

    I'm still in the camp where the maximum speed of 0.73 lys/hr seems more "official" since it came directly from GR around the time of making the CAGE, and seems the basis for making 18 lys in about 24 hr. In addition, there are many other episodes where the Enterprise exceeds that speed as @uniderth indicates. Also, I doubt anyone at this time was consulting with a star chart to come up with distance appropriate stars; if "Vega" sounded good, then "Vega" was put in the script. No deep thinking here, guys.

    So, why was Pike going to Vega colony? We are given the feeling that the Enterprise was cruising with purpose for 2 weeks (fast or not?) to Vega. Pike did not want to detour at first; he wanted to get to Vega.
    BOYCE: I understand we picked up a distress signal.
    PIKE: That's right. Unless we get anything more positive on it, it seems to me the condition of our own crew takes precedent. I'd like to log the ship's doctor's opinion, too.
    BOYCE: Oh, I concur with yours, definitely.
    PIKE: Good. I'm glad you do, because we're going to stop first at the Vega Colony and replace anybody who needs hospitalisation and also. What the devil are you putting in there, ice?
    BOYCE: Who wants a warm martini? <edit. I left this in because I drink martinis, too.>​
    We have a "Rigel 7" and we have a "Vega colony". Somewhere between these two points we get the 18 year old radio signal, and detour 18 lys to Talos. It's silly to assume Pike is flying 800+ lys in circles in the galaxy. Ballpark scales: draw a 100 lys sphere around the area, and there you go.

    Interesting that 13 years later (The Menagerie), Starbase 11 is near Talos, and 14 years later (The Doomsday Machine), the Rigel system is said to be in the Federation, too. Did the CAGE era barbarian Rigel 7 calm down and join the Federation sometime in the next decade? Was Decker/Constellation stationed at Starbase 11? Before this episode, Kirk was around Starbase 12, then after this episode, Kirk was around Starbase 10. Starbase 11 could be somewhere between 10 and 12. This explains why Kirk was in the area during the DM; just passing through.
    If near Rigel and Starbase 11, then the DM blasted solar systems of L-370 through L-374 could all be young stars in this area.
     
  9. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, agreed. It was an illusion. However, it was such an illusion that it was perceived as reality by our heroes. They perceived it as having set off their viewscreen and the exact manner that an old style distress signal would have. And while the signal was an illusion, its origin in the Talos star group and the location of the star group was confirmed by their computer records. They were also successfully able to navigate to Talos 4.

    To have the Enterprise be at warp we would have to conclude that the Talosians were giving them the illusion that they were at sublight so that it would make sense that the message could approach at the speed of light. If they were going to go for that more whole sale illusion why bother with a distress call at all? Just give the crew the illusion they were operating the controls as normal when they were actually navigating towards Talos 4. In my opinion the only illusion present at this stage was the distress call.
     
  10. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, but that's the easy way out.

    Interesting thought. The Menagerie says Starbase 11 is six days away from Talos 4 at maximum warp. Just assuming maximum warp is Time Warp Factor 7 then that would mean Starbase 11 is 108 light years away from Talos. If maximum warp is faster than that, then it would be farther away. So Starbase 11 is at least 108 lys from Talos.

    If we're going to assume that Pike's orders were to go directly from Rigel to Vega, then I think we have to assume that they are just leaving Rigel at the start of the episode. They were tooling around the Rigel system from thirteen days after the incident, probably completing surveys of additional planets. That means Talos 4 is 18ly from Rigel.

    Now the excellent question of the other Rigels. Decker mentions that the Planet Killer heading for Rigel colony is heading for the "heart of our galaxy". It doesn't really make sense becasue, as you noted, the Rigel colony in "The Doomsday Machine" is clearly an important area of the Federation. It also doesn't make much sense that the barbarians would join the Federation. The way that is presented it seems like they are a less technologically advanced species. So Pike and crew were trying to do an incognito survey of the castles there but ended up getting trapped. If only he had taken a clue from the swords and armor laying around that one of their warriors was still there.

    BUT on the other hand Decker doesn't say the "heart of the Federation", only the "heart of our galaxy." Maybe, like vernal galaxy, "The Heart" is a term for a specific region of space near Rigel. The Enterprise was just checking up on the Rigel colony and also decided to visit a neighboring planet (Rigel 7) with less advanced species.
     
  11. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    is "warp factor" simply a short verbal term for time-warp factor, or are they two entirely different systems?
     
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  12. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    That's my theory. Considering that the engines of the Enterprise under both Pike and Kirk look largely identical, it seems like they would be the same system.
     
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  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And they could have slowed down to investigate the interference that they have encountered a bit before the adventure begins... Something they'd be more likely to do if "patrolling" than if "transiting".

    But if it's 18 lightyears from the middle of nowhere, rather than from Earth, then where's the problem? Also, I don't think the dialogue establishes "further out": Talos could be 18 ly towards Earth from the ship's position just as well.

    Why not? 100 ly from home would already be "out there" by TOS terms (say, "Miri", where "hundreds" of lightyears from Earth firmly establish a total lack of Earthling presence, not just of colonies but also of ships).

    They did. On short sprints like this, every starship in every era has done well. Say, in "Scorpion", 5.2 ly is covered at warp 2 in moderate story time (that is, one cut), and it doesn't occur for Janeway to command anything like warp 5, warp 7 or warp 9 for this acute need to be five lightyears thataway.

    It's just that sustaining warp seems to be a big no-no, so the sprints don't get you home from across the galaxy.

    ...And all of them save "That Which Survives" involve short dashes, which nicely fits the bill.

    Which is a non-issue of sorts, as the "official" scale has only ever applied to special cases in spinoffs (insystem speed in "Broken Bow", extremely long distance speed in "New Eden") : it has no relevance to any TOS adventure.

    But it really doesn't, as every ship in every spinoff is very fast. In dashes.

    And thus highly appropriate for astronomical phenomena, as astronomy really is all about the times of the year as derived from cues on the sky. "Vernal" could well be a direction, with an obscure origin in astronomy as conducted from the surface of Earth, but with a well-established other meaning in the 23rd century. I mean, 23rd century astronomy would be starving for new terminology, having to deal with a wholly different scope of pointing and fixing.

    Then again, there's that bit about "3XY phagrin level-mass computer", which sounds more like a codestring than a description of a computing device. A bit like "Picard 47 Alpha Tango" or "Afghanistan Banana Stand", phrases that have nothing to do with taking the lead in an intimate dance or buying foreign fruit. "Vernal galaxy" could be a codeword as well, then.

    As for the nature of Rigel, I wouldn't worry about

    a) the level of civilization there - Trek is full of warp-capable places where you can get into trouble with a barbaric man wielding a sword.
    b) the exact location - we already know there's at least one Rigel mere 15 years from the Earth-Qo'noS beeline, and the real skies are full of Rigels, including an appropriate candidate for the one above.
    c) the nature of Pike's mission there - Trek ever since TOS has relied on adventures that do not derive from Starfleet orders to go and do, but from chance encounters.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  14. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    That's true too. Regardless of the "why", I'm fairly convinced they are traveling at sublight at the beginning of the episode.

    I'll admit it's a bit of grammatical hocus pocus on my part, but saying something is "that far out" just doesn't make sense to me if it is on a homeward trajectory. Especially becasue if Talos is homeward of Rigel then Enterprise is in fact an earth ship that is that far out, further in fact. If Talos is outward from Rigel then Number One's statement she didn't know of any earth ships that far out is logical.

    It would be interesting to analyze the data on this. Somebody else has to already have done the work so I can just copy them. I know @blssdwlf has made some charts concerning this stuff.

    Could be a codeword. I think we're pretty much at liberty to come up with whatever makes sense. At least until the show runners incorporate it in someway that make zero sense and then everyone can just shout and call each other names. That is the procedure in the official Trek fan handbook, isn't it?

    True no doubt, though the Keylar seemed notably more primitive compared to other sword wielding, barbaric, spacemen that we know. The one we saw lived in a run down castle, made no intelligible vocalizations, and had no indication of more advanced technology.

    The problem though isn't necessarily the technological level of Rigel 7, but the other Rigels. The facts we know about them don't make sense as existing in the same system. Some are Federation aligned, some aren't. Seven inhabited planets at least two of which have native inhabitants yet the population is only in the millions. At the minimum I'd say there are three Rigels.

    Not only that but Rigel itself is a quaternary star system so there's four Rigel's right there.

    I'm not sure about a Rigel 15 light years from earth.

    True. Though they are often chance encounters on go and do missions. "We've been ordered to" blah blah blah. And all that jazz.
     
  15. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The notion of "subspace highways" crops up now and then in fandom (and on this board) to help explain why starships in certain episodes can travel ridiculously faster than in other stories. I happen to think that an artificial "highway" of this sort was created as a side effect of the super-duper molecular transporter used to beam the entire USS Enterprise 990 LY in That Which Survives. This is how they had even a hope in hell of getting back to the planet at Warp 8.4 before the landing party died of dehydration.

    There are also plenty of naturally occurring "highways in the galaxy, regions of space where subspace permeates closer to the surface of normal spacetime. This in turn permits ships to increase their velocity massively without increasing their warp energy output. There seems to be something like this near Cestus III, but might there also be one near Talos?
    In the 2250s, perhaps these time-shortening phenomena were referred to as "time" warps, to distinguish them from the regular method travel?

    As regards the Rigel situation, put me in the camp that thinks we are dealing with different star systems for each one - the planets are simply too different and too numerous to be part of the same one! I imagine that the ancient Rigelians were a conquering species and annexed several star systems for their Empire, naming each new one after their home. So, we get Rigel II, Rigel VII, Rigel XII and so on, each with a single habitable world (and very different from one another). The Rigel Empire faded at last, but the naming convention lived on. YMMV :devil:
     
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  16. Doc Mugatu

    Doc Mugatu Captain Captain

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    That is easy to answer as it is laid out in the canonically recognized Star Trek fan fic story by B'Doobie Sheckman in the story "WHY?" (sequel to "HUH?"). The answer is bagels. A fresh Vega made bagel with a smear of cream cheese and some lox … delicious!
     
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  17. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Commodore Commodore

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    Another name for Alpha Centauri is Rigil Kentaurus. Does this help? There are some others like that, that start with "Rigil" too, I think.
     
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  18. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    we all mis-heard the dialog. pike was headed to vegas.

    nothing like a little rest and relaxation.
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    vernal equinox
    n
    2. (Astronomy) astronomy the point, lying in the constellation Pisces, at which the sun's ecliptic intersects the celestial equator

    If I had to try to make it fit, my guess I'd say the "vernal" here was the region of the galaxy that is visible from Earth through the constellation Pisces. Sort of like calling space in the direction of the north star Polaris galaxy. It's all rubbish of course.
     
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  20. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    The mission was classified and the location was obscured with code words such that it appears as rubbish. By reading the classified document, we now learn that the Enterprise's mission "in third quadrant of vernal galaxy" was actually "in forth planet of Talos star system":
    Code = Translation
    third = forth
    quadrant = planet
    vernal = Talos
    galaxy = star system​
     
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