Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby Black Jesus » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:33 am

Perhaps Starfleet didn't need to send the Enterprise-D on long range missions of exploration into unknown space. The argument for keeping the E-D closer to home for defense and so forth (as outlined in the post above referencing "The Neutral Zone") seems plausible when you consider that Starfleet was already operating long range/long term starships for exploration. In DS9 "The Sound of Her Voice," the USS Olympia had been sent on an eight year mission to explore the Beta Quadrant in 2363, a full year before the E-D was commissioned. The notion of keeping her around and they explored the unknown space just on the frontier of Federation space (as stated above), able to be recalled fast, doesn't seem too far out there. I'd imagine the Olympia wasn't a one-off mission, but rather one starship of many doing the same thing--not even all of the Alpha Quadrant was explored.
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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby Black Jesus » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:45 pm

Perhaps, too, it's a good thing they didn't take the E-D into entirely unknown space. One thing we know about Trek is that when they take the lead ship and crew too far outside of the local galactic neighborhood we end up with Voyager--very few episodes of Voyager are memorable. Keeping a show inside or just on the periphery of Federation space provided for better adventures.
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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby Mikey » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:08 pm

All of which are valid points; I think what GK was saying wasn't that there was no reason for keeping the E-D reined in, but that if that were the case then the show shouldn't have built up the premise that the E-D would be going "out there" if it really wasn't.
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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:01 pm

I'm not saying that it's a bad idea to use the GCS within the Federation for border patrol, etc. Rather, what I'm saying is that out of universe, the show runners opened by claiming that it was going to do farflung exploration missings, but then didn't really do that for whatever reason - probably without even realising that they were doing it.

And in the novel universe, the explanation presented is that Starfleet planned to do bigtime exploration with the Galaxy class, but then screwed the pooch and gave up on the idea. Which I find to be an interesting idea, since it makes the allegedly utopian Federation rather more fallibly human.
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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby sunnyside » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:11 pm

Graham Kennedy wrote:I'm not saying that it's a bad idea to use the GCS within the Federation for border patrol, etc. Rather, what I'm saying is that out of universe, the show runners opened by claiming that it was going to do farflung exploration missings, but then didn't really do that for whatever reason - probably without even realising that they were doing it.

And in the novel universe, the explanation presented is that Starfleet planned to do bigtime exploration with the Galaxy class, but then screwed the pooch and gave up on the idea. Which I find to be an interesting idea, since it makes the allegedly utopian Federation rather more fallibly human.


To be fair the Enterprise and other ships ahead of her were running into tough stuff in those early episodes.

If I had that experience in a video game I'd figure I needed to level up more before being out there. Stupid overpowered Qs and then 5th dimensional beings tanking my crew moral stat by blocking our shore leave. The other newb ship had a total party kill, freezing in showers of all things.
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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby McAvoy » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:30 am

Seems like they big ideas with the Galaxy class. This big ship that is supposed to be a jack of all trades ship master of all. Able to do it all. Represent the Federation in the best light.

Seemed almost political.
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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby Black Jesus » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:20 am

Graham Kennedy wrote:I'm not saying that it's a bad idea to use the GCS within the Federation for border patrol, etc. Rather, what I'm saying is that out of universe, the show runners opened by claiming that it was going to do farflung exploration missings, but then didn't really do that for whatever reason - probably without even realising that they were doing it.

And in the novel universe, the explanation presented is that Starfleet planned to do bigtime exploration with the Galaxy class, but then screwed the pooch and gave up on the idea. Which I find to be an interesting idea, since it makes the allegedly utopian Federation rather more fallibly human.

Right. However, the out of universe explanation is that "Farpoint" could not have ended any differently than it did. Anything less is an anticlimax and why would they do that?

I've not read the book you're referencing but it does seem like a nice spin on the general notion they didn't do they much deep space exploring. However hindsighted it may be.
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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby sunnyside » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:54 am

I wonder if the USS Constitution has anything to do with the TOS Constitution class? In the sense that those Frigates were considered "super cruisers" and were the best we had as we didn't have proper battleships. While not the first, the USS Constitution is the most famous of those.

Graham Kennedy wrote:Acording to the official "Star Trek: Star Charts" book, the basic layout is this.

So there is a Klingon-UFP border, a Romulan-UFP border, and a Romulan-Klingon border. But Cardassia is on the other side of the UFP from those borders, along with Tzenkethi and Ferengi space. Which is odd, as Dominion ships taking shortcuts through Romulan space was considered to be a problem during the Dominion war.


Interesting map. Based on your link I found a larger version of the same. It makes it look like the Federation is about to completely engulf the Romulans and the Klingons.
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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:03 pm

The background to the Star Charts book is quite interesting; it was written back in the day when newsgroups were popular, and there was a fair bit of discussion of how best to incorporate canon into it - one of the people given credit for the book it Timo Saloniemi, who hung out on the newsgroups and led a lot of the discussion on the subject. He corresponded with the book's author on the subject, which is how he got the credit. Although I was around the groups at the time, I didn't really participate in the discussion myself. It was interesting to watch, though. For instance, there are quite a few maps shown on computer graphics during the Dominion war. But they don't really fit in well to the location of Cardassia and the Federation - so the writers assumed that Cardassian maps are rotated 90 degrees compared to Federation maps, because then they do fit quite well. :)
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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:15 pm

I always figure a 2-D map can't represent 3-D space too well. ;) Either that or there's no 'real' way to get an 'accurate' map of Star Trek, especially considering the number of contradictions throughout the series.
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Re: Just how much exploration did the Enterprise-D do?

Postby sunnyside » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:30 pm

RK_Striker_JK_5 wrote:I always figure a 2-D map can't represent 3-D space too well. ;) Either that or there's no 'real' way to get an 'accurate' map of Star Trek, especially considering the number of contradictions throughout the series.


Except in the center our Galaxy is pretty "thin". So while still 3D one could imagine major powers making an effort to extend from the "top" to the "bottom" for defensive purposes. I believe that's fairly established as canon with some on screen maps of Federation and Romulan borders. Given the 2D spacing of the monitoring stations I think it would be reasonable that, given the thinness of the this part of the Galaxy, a single station in the middle could get readings from the "top" to the "bottom".

In principle anybody could simply go outside of the galactic plane. However there is at least one episode that indicates a whole lotta funkyness happens if you try to do that. And I don't think any group ever does that.

That said, given that the Federation doesn't go on wars of conquest, I'd expect their territory to look more like a Jackson Pollock painting than a traditional country as some worlds join and some worlds don't. I suppose we could presume the Federation has a high rate of recruitment, or perhaps that they simply claim a great deal of space once they've engulfed non-Federation systems.
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