Wow, first time on the old computer today, and I find my ideas being called "stupendously retarded" by proxy :-( I have to echo Fondue (sorry dude) about this... It doesn't matter what's easier. It's a matter of canon. If the ship in the movie went from ground to orbit, it had to do it *some*how, so we have to speculate on what would be the easiest way to get the ship from ground to orbit, nevermind if it would be easier to do it in orbit to begin with. That's not up to us, it's up to Abrams and the writers.
Little update: For my own off-topic contribution about ships launching from planetary surface, back to Stargate again - the Ha'tak motherships were shown being built in an antigravity cradle on the surface of a planet; the Ori motherships were built on the ground itself; the Aurora-class Orion (or Hipaphoralcus(sp?? yeah right) if you prefer ;P) was kept in a hangar on the ground and presumably would launch itself into orbit somehow on the days that it wasn't riding a volcano's eruption out of the hangar and hyper-jumping to orbit.
Registered: Jul 2005
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Hmm, the Ha'taks have been shown being built sans major scaffolding or supports on multiple occasions, and on the ground too. I can't remember why they needed to use the AG harness in "Orpheus", the only episode to show this; mind you, it was a pretty convenient plot point to NEED to disable the AG systems to distract everybody.
Also, good point on the Ori ships. They're bloody HUGE, and not really even on their ventral sides to land (even though they're seen landing in some episodes). OTOH, most of these ships are built by slave labour on primitive worlds. It MIGHT make sense that in the rush to build many ships in a short time, they forego making huge spaceyards and enough spacesuits for everyotn in favor of a slightly harder engineering challenge in building things in a gravity well.
Oh wonderful, so I'm not even being called "stupendously retarded" based on my own merits? Tough day! To me the simplest method would be to construct the ship and allow it to raise itself up off the ground. A combination of antigrav, impulse engines and warp fields would be enough to get the ship lifted and on its way.
As for ships launching from ground to space, the only ones that spring to mind are from Transformers (god help me!): the Ark and the Nemesis launched to space from Cybertron's surface in "More than meets the eye" (G1) and the Axalon and the Nemesis (again) launched from the surface of Earth during Beast Wars. Admittedly the Axalon crashed shortly after takeoff, but the Nemesis not only took off, but did so from underwater.
Oh no, hang on, what about the Valen class cruiser in B5: LotR? That landed on Minbar, as I recall, and took off from there with no problems. And that ship, at 1,300 metres long (at least according to this site) is pretty big, and probably pretty heavy.
That said (ooh, brainstorm!), would the ships built by the Master during Doctor Who's "year that never was" count? They looked more like rockets, but then again we never really got a good sense of scale - they could have been huge for all we know. Granted they never got to take off, but they were built planetside.
Registered: Nov 2004
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One might note that no one has yet built, in the sense we're talking about, anything in space. The closest we've come is ISS, which is built here on Earth and then "merely" assembled in space.
(Lately I've seen claims that Roddenberry's original Star Trek writer's guide said the Enterprise was constructed in such a manner. Does anyone know more about this than I do?)
Registered: Mar 1999
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Space isn't far away. You could drive there in an hour if you could drive straight up. Given all the amazing technology of Trek, the notion that a Constitution Class starship can't make the hop without help is odd. Hell, a busted-ass NX could fly around New York skyscrapers.
Compare this to, for instance, the refit Enterprise in ST:TMP, which went from Earth to Jupiter in 1.8 hours. The distance from Earth to Jupiter is quite variable over their respective orbits, but I decided to try narrowing it down a bit. According to the excellent space simulation program Celestia, the example date of July 4, 2271 gives us a distance of 4.773 AU from Earth to Jupiter, or over 714,000,000 kilometers (about .66 light-hours). That's an average speed of 110,191,481.5m/s. Assuming a constant acceleration over those 1.8 hours (and thus the lowest possible acceleration value), the ship would have had to reach a final speed of 220,382,963 m/s (0.73512c), assuming a start from zero. That would be, then, a constant acceleration of just over 34,000 m/sē, or over 3,460g.
Earth holds us down with all of 1g, meaning the Constitution Class would have in the neighborhood of 3,459g to spare. The ship could basically sneeze and inadvertently reach orbit.
IIRC, Picard's final log entry in Generations mentioned that they just had ligh casualties but that the Enterprise could not be salvaged. I always thought that he was implying that the ship had suffered too severe structural damage (from the BoP attack, the Warp core explosion and the more or less uncontrolled entry into Veridian's atmosphere), but otherwise it would have been no problem to get the saucer back into space. Maybe it was just a matter of "it's easier to build a new one than to repair this one".
Most of the capital in the new SW trilogy are able to land on a planet (for loading/unloading troops and equipment for example). While I do *not* want to imply that Star Trek has anything in common with Star Wars - - but today, we seem to be more open towards the whole landing-on-a-planet-thing that back in the days of TOS or the original trilogy. Maybe this is related to simple technical restictions of that time? It's easy to do that stuff today with CGI (SW, Stargate etc.), but it would have looked stupid back in the days of TMP I guess, while a spacedock-launch in TOS or even TMP was quite impressive even in the late 70's if done right. Just an idea.
Registered: Nov 2001
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I'd say between the pylons on the secondary hull, facing aft over the top of the hanger deck. It would explain why the nacelles look so HUGE if they're not actually attached yet in this shot and are just out of position.
As for the whole landing issue; for years we've accepted that the saucer could land quite happily by itself, but for the whole ship I think it's only practical if there's a purpose built docking berth for it to sit on. I can't see much space being allocated in the secondary hull for landing gear.
The only potential problem I have with it's take off abilities is that I'm not sure the thrusters are man enough by themselves and using the impulse engines might not be a good idea, at least until it's clear of the drydock. Perhaps the real function of those red triangles under the saucer are the take off thrusters with the "plasma vents" on the pylons as stabilisers.
I have to agree with Lee, I think this is the top of a nacelle, looking aft - the two protrusions on either side are the ones at the end of each nacelle.
If those are just ordinary human beings standing on it - say, within a range of five to six feet or so tall - then I would expect the engineering hull to be a lot wider than that, with multiple rooms, corridors, turbolift shafts on each deck.
I'm more interested in this image - if that's the underside of the saucer in the distance, what's that guy welding in the foreground? One of the nacelle pylons?
Registered: Nov 2004
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From having looked at the pic, I'd wager that it's actually on the back of the nacelle, between what used to be called intercoolers (the little short fin thingies on the top rear of the nacelles) looking forward.
I feel confident that the Gabe Koerner-esque ramscoop enlargements actually appear on the Enterprise (as indicated by the 45-degree lines sweeping up and back from the bottom of the ramscoop spinners), and thus that the hump we see in the distance in the pic is in fact the front of the nacelle.
I much preferred the idea that the saucer was built on the surface, the nacelles were manufactured in some orbital facility, with microgravity casting for the warp coils to cool homogenously, and the secondary hull built in the orbital drydock. That is, all the antimatter-using systems are never on a planetary surface.
And I know this isn't what's shown in this new movie. Doesn't mean I accept the new version.
Incidentally, Jeffries/fandom have long held that the Enterprise massed about 190,000 metric tonnes. And Kirk had Sulu head out of Earth-local space at "warp point-five", which is 0.5c. We have a pretty good timeline from leaving dock to that order, so someone who likes math more than I do can calcualte how proximal Earth and Jupiter were for Enterprise to make it there in 1.8 hours.
-------------------- "That's what I like about these high school girls, I keep getting older, they stay the same age."
--David "Woody" Wooderson, Dazed and Confused
Registered: Feb 2001
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quote:Originally posted by Guardian 2000: I'm more alarmed at the A-shape corridors that look even less futuristic than the Battlestar Galactica corridors
I'm curious as to how exactly you define "less futuristic"-looking. Also, you're comparing apples and oranges. The corridors from "The Cage" would make for a better reference point.
Registered: Jun 2001
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