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FLEET REQUIREMENTS AND STARSHIP DESIGN 
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Of course, the situation described above would be even more likely to generate a great many "non-traditional" designs. After all, if supporting hundreds of people gets in the way of your primary mission, then (at least in some instances) you figure out how to make do without so many people.

Or how to make do with even less.

I tend to think that on the frontier, where concerns of exploration and scientific research might be a bigger part of the calculation, and there would be a need for deeper, more versatile crews because of detachment from any restaffing sources, saucers would dominate the designs. But as the intended deployments move inwards, deeper into settled space, the designs would be much more straightforward and single-purpose. By the time these ships engage, there's no room for fallback. They must get the job done, and everything about their designs should be calculated to that effect.

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26 Sep 2011 08:46
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