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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-06-2011, 09:07 PM
Originally Posted by Blayyde
Well, as I said above, the Long Range Science Vessel DOES fit the design of Federation starships if you include the design of the Voyager in the consideration. Voyager wasn't Roddenberry's design, but it DOES fit the configuration of the two nacelles, engineering hull, and a main body, only that main body is now an arrowhead and not a saucer.

Second, there are many ship designs, totally canon in the Star Trek universe, that do NOT have an engineering hull. The Miranda, Sabre, Akira, Nebula, and even the original NX Enterprise have just a saucer and two warp nacelles with NO engineering hull, and these are all canon ships from the movies, TNG, and DS9, which Rodenberry was involved in. And the Olympic, with its sphere in place of a saucer, was based on an early design for the TOS Enterprise, and appeared in TNG and DS9.

The Prometheus appeared in Voyager, as well, so only the Oracle (the LRSV) the Luna (designed by fans for a ST novel series) the Hermes, the Vanguard and the various reskins of the base ship types are completely invented by STO. To my mind, I don't think they've done a bad job of capturing the look of Star Trek ships in general. Even the Stargazer, with its four nacelles (although they were in a different configuration, positioned close together above and below the ship) and the Galaxy refit with its three nacelles were feature in actual Star Trek episodes. If those designs with multiple nacelles are invalid, then they are invalid in canon ST episodes.

BTW, I think that I should point out an explanation I have heard as to why the Enterprise is such a beautiful, as well as relevent and long lasting design, which has successfully been expanded on and updated without losing its beauty. You essentially have a combination between the feminine, in the form of the main saucer hull, with the masculine, in its nacelles and engineering section. Thus, the ship conveys both strength and power, and yet also a sense of comfort and safety. It is a "home" for the characters, and so we identify with it.

You also have a sense of stability in the triangle formed by the warp nacelles and the engineering hull, which in many of the science ships is reversed, to put the warp nacelles below, and the "science pod" above. The article you linked to also points out an important factor, which is that the warp nacelles are ALWAYS visible, from any angle on the ship. (For the Voyager, this is accomplished by actually moving them before going to warp) The article implies there is a technological reason for this, but asthetically it enforces the "tripod" structure and ensures the power source of the ship is obvious to the viewer.
I will have to refute some of your points, please don't take it personally.

Voyager did have a saucer. True it was more triangular, but it was both longer and wider than it was deep. The Long Range Science Vessle is deeper than it is wide, as such it looses the clearly defined saucer section.

Yes, the Nebula and the Miranda were created for projects that Gene Rodenberry was involved with. There is debate as to whether the Miranda's roll bar was for weapons or the engineering section (I think it was both). The Nebula does indeed have an engineering section which is the same as the Galaxy. In fact, the Nebula really does have the same mass and volume, it is just more compact and has a smaller surface area compared to the Galaxy, but I digress. The Saber, Akira, Norway, Steamrunner and NX were created after Rodenberry's death. They do have engineering sections. The pyloins and pods consitute the engineering section. Both the Daeleus and Olypmic do indeed also have engineering sections as well.

As for the three nacelles, that is clearly against what Rodenberry advised. He said that the warp engines always worked in pairs. The Freedom and Niagra classes in "The Best of Both Worlds" ship grave yard violate this, and Michael Okuda even reminded his coworker about that, but those ships were included as it was agreed that the details would be very difficult to make out with the recording technology of the time. The only explination I can give for the thrid nacelle on the Galaxy Advanced Dreadnaught is that if the ship looses one nacelle, there is a backup one that could help, though the warp field would be very unstable because of absolute asymmitry.