So...the Enterprise runs on fire?

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Re: So...the Enterprise runs on fire?

Postby Mikey » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:32 am

Yep. In my post above, I specifically referenced a core smaller than the "main" core (I believe I called it "reduced-capacity.") Everything I said still applies. A bit smaller than "gigantic" is still pretty big; and even if you could somehow conceive of an emergency core that fits in a shoebox you still have the pretty big problem of having to store big tanks of instant-blow-up in the saucer section.
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Re: So...the Enterprise runs on fire?

Postby McAvoy » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:42 am

Well that would apply to the stardrive section as well. If instant-blow can happen to the saucer, then it can happen to main core. The saucer unless already seperated wouldn't survive.

But I get what you are saying. STG was an excellent example of the saucer saving the crew when the warp core is about to breach.
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Re: So...the Enterprise runs on fire?

Postby Mikey » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:48 pm

McAvoy wrote:Well that would apply to the stardrive section as well. If instant-blow can happen to the saucer, then it can happen to main core. The saucer unless already seperated wouldn't survive.

But I get what you are saying. STG was an excellent example of the saucer saving the crew when the warp core is about to breach.


Of course it can happen to the main core as well, but having one warp core is a necessary evil, unless you want to make a new Star Trek franchise called "Star Trek: Staying on Earth." Having a second one in the population center of the ship, at the expense of all the other things that are deemed necessary or desirable to have in the ship, and at pain of bringing the danger of catastrophe along with the complement when they're trying to escape said danger, doesn't seem to be an option that has a longer "pro" list than "con."
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Re: So...the Enterprise runs on fire?

Postby Mark » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:51 am

We've seen that there are many smaller warp cores available that could be designed for the warp core. And certainly nobody said it needs to be active during normal function of the ship, greatly reducing the risk to the ship. Of course, aside from the E-D and it's "glitch of the week", we have little evidence that the warp cores of Starfleet ships are so unstable as to not consider putting one on the saucer. With a small warp drive, it turns into a "safe ship" vessel as was originally intended by TNGs creators. Without a warp drive it turns into a single, very large lifeboat.

To McAvoy's point, even the Conne could blow its saucer clear of the stardrive section for an emergency escape from a warp core breach, so if that's all it was designed for then why add all the extra tech to allow it to re-dock?
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Re: So...the Enterprise runs on fire?

Postby Mikey » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:28 pm

Again... even if we a assume a safer-functioning, compact "emergency" type of warp core, you still have to carry tanks of reactants one of which is antimatter. You don't just have to worry about that antimatter contacting the stored matter reactant, because EVERYTHING on the ship is matter. Lose one iota of containment on the antimatter tank and you've got big boom-boom. Storing antimatter in the engineering section is a necessary evil; storing a secondary amount in the part that's supposed to be a last-resort safety option is irresponsible as well as defeating the point.

Further, as I'll say again, it's not just the extra core (compact as you can imagine one.) It's the reactant storage I mentioned, it's control equipment, it's monitoring stations, etc., etc. There's a reason that the engineering section is as much larger than just the reaction chamber as it is. Everything you take out to make room for the emergency core and ancillary equipment is lessening the ability of the ship to perform in some way, great or small.

Finally,
Mark wrote:Without a warp drive it turns into a single, very large lifeboat.


So? That's what it's there for. Increasing it's abilities beyond its intended function is great... except when, as I've shown, such an increase both compromises the ship's abilities to perform its functions AND radically endangers the very people it's supposed to help.
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Re: So...the Enterprise runs on fire?

Postby Mark » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:54 am

I'm thinking we're going to have to agree to disagree. I see everything your saying as valid points, and still say that it would be worth the extra effort and risk. Hell, they have a dozen or so shuttles each with warp drives across three shuttlebays with warp cores that pose the same risk. The Captain's Yacht has a warp core that could be breached with a pinpoint shot to the saucer.

A secondary/smaller warp core in the saucer takes up more room, granted. But how much room in the saucer isn't used anyway? We discussed this in a previous thread. You have all kinds of empty or poorly used space. The reactants would be stored the same way as any other warp core, CAREFULLY. And since it wouldn't be in use except in an emergency, there is less chance of a malfunction.

Then we move on to power. An extra warp core could provide an abundant supply of extra power to the ship just as the saucers impulse engines do, especially if none of it is being used for propulsion.

Finally, think on this. The original intent of the saucer separation was to keep the civilians and families safe if the stardrive went into battle, as displayed in Encounter at Farpoint and Arsenal of Freedom. The original intent was for a lot more saucer sep sequences than shown as the budget was to high, which was later explained by the ship needing the extra impulse power. Yet, in Encounter at Farpoint we saw the saucer transverse intergalactic distances to Farpoint station which leads me to believe the original plan was FOR the saucer to have some degree of warp speed, otherwise the E-D would been minus the saucer for the entire show.

I don't see how being stranded with a hostile force/deadly anomaly/spaceborn creature/misc problem would save the saucer if the stardrive was destroyed except under specific circumstances (ie Generations). If it had even Warp 1 though, they could have escaped the shockwave and been safe.
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Re: So...the Enterprise runs on fire?

Postby Mikey » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:18 pm

We're not talking about taking some unused room to house an extra garden, or futury-ball court, or a platoon of troops. We're (again) not even talking about taking enough room for the core. We're talking about taking the majority of the volume of the engineering hull - considering not just the core but the reactant storage, control and monitoring equipment, the reactor command room, etc, etc. OK, let's say you decide it's still worth it and you go ahead and make the install.

Fantastic! Now, you've got a GCS with a brand-spanking-new emergency warp core... but no stellar cartography lab, or auxiliary phaser control, or...

Yes, the shuttles have warp cores, as does the yacht. OK, so the saucer has to carry the sci-fi equivalent of a couple hundred tons of trinitrotoluene (this example not to scale.) Put a real, ship-sized warp core in there - even a reduced emergency one - and now you have to carry the equivalent of about 500,000 tons of the same TNT equivalent.

And all for what? To give basic warp capability to a function of the ship that was used twice in the history of ever?
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Re: So...the Enterprise runs on fire?

Postby Mark » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:44 pm

You guys are stuck on this massive warp core. The entire NX class ship had FIVE DECKS. The Defiant class had ten I think? If your not trying to hit warp 9.X, you don't need a core that size or one that would take that much room.
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Re: So...the Enterprise runs on fire?

Postby Mikey » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:52 pm

You're still talking about the core, as if it could exist in a vacuum. Please re-read: it's not the size of the reactor core of itself, especially if we accept a reduced-size, reduced capacity "emergency" core. Unfortunately, to be a true escape option for a shitload of crew and civvies, it must have a considerable range - ergo, big tanks full of (exceedingly) volatile reactants. Anything above a shuttle's typical sustainable warp speed would require considerably more voluminous control and monitoring equipment. So, nobody's "stuck" on a massive warp core - we're "stuck" on the fact that any warp core which would be useful for something as massive and which has the speed requirements of a separated saucer would have ancillary equipment which would require the loss of other functional equipment of the ship.
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