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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
06-06-2012, 11:48 AM
This sounds like the sort of thing in the DO NOT section of the user manual. Right in between inviting Orion women up onto the bridge and beaming objects into the warp core.

Just because something can survive in a vacuum does not mean it can survive under pressure. Under water a balloon just shrinks. In space it'll explode. In fact, things built specifically to operate in a vacuum, to contain pressure, like a spacecraft, would be terrible at resisting forces from the outside. The one thing Starfleet and its contempary vessels have going for them in that regard is that they're all armored, built to resist heat and kinetic forces, survive atmospheric entry, so maybe a case can be made for them operating under pressure. They do it in gas giants, or a sun's corona, with varying degrees of success. But I don't think those really compare to what you're thinking of...

Even if you can keep the engines going under water (Shields seems like a bad idea. Anything that can keep out countless tons of water, will also bounce back your impulse exhaust, negating any inertia you'd gain, and slowly cooking you in the process. In space you can build in a week spot for exhaust. Underwater, that's called a leak.), raising the ship up from any depth requires a lot more force than just taking off from the ground, and that required force increases with depth. Just because it can do the first thing, doesn't mean the second thing is likely to be part of the design specs. So while I might be able to believe some landing capable Starfleet ships surviving/hiding underwater, beyond a certain (probably not very deep) depth, it's probably not coming up again.

As for fluidic space, I like to think that fluidic space doesn't have a 'down'. No central source of gravity that all of fluidic space is rushing toward, and crushing your ship against. Basically the equivalent of a massive and really, really dense nebula. In that case pressure wouldn't really be that much of a factor there.