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arts / rec.arts.startrek.current / Warp speeds... yet again....

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o Warp speeds... yet again....John Crane

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Subject: Warp speeds... yet again....
From: John Crane
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Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2020 16:04 UTC
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I remember the 'Outline for Star Trek' written by Roddenberry  from Chapter 1 of the 'Making of Star Trek' book.  I recently came across another version of it here: https://b-ok.cc/book/1682284/8d20e7

The key difference for me is the top speed of the Enterprise (then called the Yorktown) is mentioned in the latter.  0.73 light years per day.  I'm assuming that's WF 6 - which seems about right to me. That's very different from the speed of light cubed business Whitfield mentions in the MoST.  Maybe that's why he saw fit to 'edit' GR's words.

I'm just thinking all that consternation in the fan community over the years trying to figure out what the warp speeds actually are could have been avoided if Whitfield put GR's full text in his book.

And if you are unfamiliar with the debate, it all started because the speed of light cubed business does not work - it's far too slow: several times a freighters top speed is mentioned as WF 2.  Well, 2 cubed is 8 times the speed of light.  That's 2 YEARS to make a cargo run from Earth to Vulcan 16 ly distant. And TOS  mentions 900 to a thousand light years on a few occasions - that's 1 YEAR of travel at Warp 10.  If Scotty can't hold the ship together at Warp 8 for more than 10 minutes in an episode, there's no way he could do it for a year.

And then there are the shuttlecraft... Even if they travelled Warp 6, that's 7.6 days from Earth to our nearest star Alpha Centauri.  Warp 8 would take 3.2 days.  A WEEK in a shuttle?  In Menagerie, Kirk mentions a limited life support capability in the shuttle - when it should be good for at least a week - or more given an adequate safety margin in the design. And a take off without a preflight checklist? - not in Starfleet.  GR was a pilot - he knows that. Anyone would agree it's a valid assumption that Starbases would have prepped shuttles on the pad for emergencies at all times. Surely something was not right... and so the debate went on...

Of course we're all arguing about fiction - we know that.  But from a literary stand point, even fiction needs to be internally consistent and 'make sense' at a basic level.


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