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DYs and the Evolution of the Transport 
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We had a pretty good discussion going on a few months ago about the Astral Queen, DY designs and a few other things, and I thought it might be worthwhile to get back to that. This time however, I'd like to discuss the maybe evolution of transports from carrying containers arranged around a spine like the DY-100, to carrying a cylindrical container like Franz Joseph shows us with Ptolemy. Mixed in there are the Starstation Aurora designs like Durance, the transports from TAS (does anyone have a theory about how they might work?) and maybe even those curvy, cool designs that seem to pop up every now and then at the Starfleet Museum.

There's certainly no reason why all these designs have to fit into some kind of linear progression, or even be trying to accomplish the same thing or even the same thing to differing degrees. But if they aren't, then what might be going on? I can see a logical progression from DY style wrapping of multiple cargo containers in a (sort of) cylindrical arrangement, to those containers in the SFTM. Extrapolate upon Franz Joseph's ideas and you come up with many, many more variations on his theme that might include Ptolemy carrying an underslung spine with big pie-slice cargo containers filling up a cylinder's space. Sort of like this transport's load from the incredible Jefferies Station built several years ago (2004) for Wonderfest:

http://www.starshipmodeler.info/wfest2k ... l_ship.jpg

http://www.starshipmodeler.info/wfest2k4/pa_j_331.JPG

http://www.starshipmodeler.info/wfest2k4/pa_j_323.JPG

Pretty cool station if you are a FRS fan -- http://www.starshipmodeler.com/events/wfest2k4.htm -- Detroyat, Surya and Coronado all are there, as well as nods to Akyazi and others. But the transport pods are the thing to check out for purposes of our discussion. A really nice expansion of FJ's idea, huh?

But what about the other designs I mentioned -- Durance kind of fits into this idea of a chain of cargo containers, though in a different sort of way. And Masao's Constellation, Giant, Starmaster and Pachyderm all seem to be built upon the idea of greatly expanding upon the cargo hold of a starship like Enterprise until you have a ship that carries mostly cargo. Given that "cargo in a hold" is the only way Jefferies ever showed cargo being carried around in the TOS timeframe, this idea certainly has its appeal (and meshes quite neatly with the many cargo ships I drew as a sixth grader). ;)

Let's assume for a moment that the line of evolution from the DY to Ptolemy is valid. Are ships like these all carrying containers with HUGE stuff in them that can't fit in the smaller containers being hauled in the hold of Enterprise or by ships like Constellation, Giant, Starmaster, etc.? Or are there containers that Ptolemies (or Paris or Moskva tug variants, among others) carry that load up with smaller containers that are also loaded in starship holds and transports like Constellation, Giant, Starmaster etc.?

And what of Huron? And the robot transports? How do those odd shapes fit into all this?

So, how might Earth and Star Fleet transports evolve, and

How might they function in the TOS timeframe?

:?

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22 Nov 2009 21:09
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Well beginning with the DY-100, are we sure that those sixteen cargo containers are cargo containers? Remember that in Space Seed that some had been jetisoned at some point in the past. This is what you do for fuel tanks - get rid of the dead weight. Remember the first rule of reaction driven ships of space; to wit: Jetison what mass you don't need as soon as possible. The follow up is simular: Design parts of your ship to do so, just as soon as you can get away with it.

Why? Because it contains mass which reduces your empty mass to fuel ratio. Meaning that if you don't follow the rules you are wating propellent, in moving excess mass around. But if you jetison that unneeded extra mass, you have changed the mass to propellent ratio, and therefore can do more with what you have.

Now as more advanced propulsion system come online, your reaction powered ships will range farther out there. But the situation stay just about the same. That is, let us say that the DY-100 was designed to go out to Mars, but what came after? That is the question.

So we have to use reason to figure things out.

Once Mars is a going concern, it becomes a fuel tank. I am sorry, but that is what it is. This means that with out any change of technology, the DY-100's just mangaged to get farther out there, via stepping stones. This reduces the need for faster ships.

Or does it?

What it does do is increase the need for more ships. By at least a factor of four. That is, if a DY-100 can go to Mars, then it can also go to Venus. But what about Mercury? Or the Asteroid Belt? You have just doulded the number of possible choices in destinations. So using the inverse square-law, you will find you need four times the nubmer of ships just to keep up. All nine planets? Eighty-one times.

So one gets a great deal of experience in trying out different ideas.

Then along come Zephram Cochrane, with his discovery of the 'space warp'.

Think on it this way: an industry has evolved over time to handle the needs of interplanetary travel, now it has a new outlet for loosing ships. No, not their destruction, but that some percentage will be really far out there.

Further more, the weaknesses inherent in the designs you alreay have will become apparent very quickly, in the interstellar medium.

So ships evolve once again. but how fast?

Very fast indeed. Remember that 'we' have independent logic computers. Meaning that once the data is in, ne desing attempts will be done. But this will show up the inadequatices of those computers themsleves also very quickly. That is their design flaws will show up.

This is why I say repeatly that at the end of the first fifty years of interstellar travel, that the learning curve will start to level out.


22 Nov 2009 21:40
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There is no doubt that if that ship is conventionally powered, at least some of those containers would need to be fuel tanks. But it sure would be odd for a ship to drop tanks in the way that ship did -- leaving the ship totally lopsided. If the loss of the tanks was planned, you would think the modules would be missing in a pattern that would leave the ship with equilibrium. As one tank drained it would siphon off from the others to keep them all at the same level. Or, at least two flanking tanks at the same level so they could always be dropped in opposing pairs.

The fact it could still fly like that, and not spin around so fast that it quickly killed anyone inside, is another reason for the ship to be propelled by some form of gravity manipulation technology. Or at least some kind of massless propulsion. With massless propulsion the containers that are there can be... empty. It would need to involve a nuclear reactor -- the dialogue says that much. But that doesn't mean the nuclear reactor is part of a nuclear rocket.

Though I admit, I think that might have been their intention. I think that ship was designed for another purpose -- a launch set circa 2100 as Carey Wilber's original treatment indicated. And then it got changed and the model looked one way and the description ended up being something else. And that's what we are left with. A ship that looks like it is from 2100 that we are told is from 1996.

I just wish the remastering folks would go in and change the dates being mentioned to a hundred years later. :twisted:

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22 Nov 2009 23:14
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Will have to think on things a little before posting, but I thought I'd provide a link to a very similar discussion...or at least similar to where this one is going at the moment...that I raised earlier in the year. Opinions on the Botany Bay's propulsion system, cargo vs. fuel cell opinions, etc. Might save some time.

topic274.html

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22 Nov 2009 23:40
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The Botany Bay didn't have obvious thrusters, but did have a sort of ion propulsion system, going from the looks of things. Granted, this isn't ever really shown, and all we have to go on is how the aft assembly looked. We really don't know what makes her 'go', as it were. For all we really know, it was sent out via 'dead-reckoning' in a hurry...


23 Nov 2009 11:07
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Vanguard wrote:
The Botany Bay didn't have obvious thrusters, but did have a sort of ion propulsion system, going from the looks of things. Granted, this isn't ever really shown, and all we have to go on is how the aft assembly looked. We really don't know what makes her 'go', as it were. For all we really know, it was sent out via 'dead-reckoning' in a hurry...



Not that we saw, but if it was a 1990's ship, then a plasma drive is more likely. But here is the problem.

It was supposed to take years to get anywhere. From what I have learned over the years this would be with eithere plasma, or ion, a gross underestimate.

But if the ship was designed for 2100 A. D., and if the the short story version, is correct about when the warp drive (2018) was invented, then a ship of 2100 A. D. would have warp drive. Which changes everything.

It means that, for example that it propulsion system wasn't a simple warp drive only - the ship was off course, if I remember correctly. But relied upon a reaction system, to hold(change?) the course. This implies a great deal about the early ships. Especially when combined with Where No Man Has Gone Before.

It means that ships were subject to out side influences - gravity among them. In other words it is an additional data point for the early ships. Or is that several data points?

It also raises the question of independent logic computers, and what was their exact role in the history of star flight.

To go back into a circle, starting with the 2018 date for warp drive, it explain much - like why the DY-100s were sleeper ships. If they were fast by interplanetary speeds, this doesn't mean they were fast by interstellar speed requirements.

But that date of 2100 also explains gravity aboard the Botney Bay.


23 Nov 2009 12:29
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John, the script for "Space Seed" never says 2018 is the date for warp drive:

Quote:
McGyvers: Captain, it's a sleeper ship.

Kirk: Suspended animation.

McGyvers: Uh-huh. I've seen old photographs of this. Necessary because of the time involved in space travel until about the year 2018. It took years just to travel from one planet to another.

Kirk: Is it possible they're still alive...after centuries of travel?


All we know from this is that before 2018 it took years to get from one planet to another. And that centuries have passed since this ship started its journey. Warp drive isn't implied at all -- only a form of sublight with a much higher specific impulse. Or maybe something exotic that doesn't require propellant at all.

Every time I contemplate this question of what form of propulsion a ship of that design might have, I inevitably come back to something like this:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/09/mach-e ... swers.html

I understand why people balk at accepting this for the DY-100. After all, it requires one to resolve some of the conflicts between general relativity and quantum theory, and come to a subtly new view of how the universe works. But it is the kind of incremental step in the direction of warp drive one might expect for a culture that is going to achieve it within the next 70 years. This allows for a fundamental engineering grasp of the basis of inertia by the end of the 20th century, and presumably something more -- perhaps negative energy-based antigravity propulsion -- by 2018. Then, by 2060, antigravity is successfully combined with the taming of artificial singularities to create a workable space warp.

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"...here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -Thomas Jefferson, 1820


23 Nov 2009 13:59
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Go back and read the short story. That is the date given in it.


23 Nov 2009 18:56
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Basic impulse drive in 2018.. nothing more required for explanation.

Dammit, we've got 9 years, people!


23 Nov 2009 19:07
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Vanguard wrote:
Basic impulse drive in 2018.. nothing more required for explanation.

Dammit, we've got 9 years, people!



Quoting from page 108 of Star Trek 2 by James Blish, copy right February 1968.


"Yes. They were necessary for long space trips, until about the year 2018. They didn't have warp drive until then, so even interplanetary travel took them years.
This is found on page 108, of the book.

The question then bomes what exactly is warp drive? Some form of ehanced electromagnetic propulsion system?


23 Nov 2009 19:49
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