Monday, December 11, 2006

Starship Warp Speeds

Helm warp 1 Engage! Captain Picard gave this order in the movie Star Trek Generations. The Enterprise NCC 1701-D escaped the deadly heat of the imploding Amargosa star and subsequent level 12 shockwave. The Enterprise which was in orbit of the Armagosa Observatory had only five minutes to reach safety.

The order "warp 1 Engage!" alerted the navigation officer. The fact Captain Picard said "Engage" meant " Now, on the double." instructing the helm to make it so. Picard usually does'nt stand up to give simple commands, so this only tripple emphasized the hidden meaning - Lets get the hell out of here!


Image Copyright Belongs To Paramount Pictures.

Warp Factor 1 is a unit of measurement determining warp speeds. Its been used since Kirk left spacedock with his galant crew on the first stardate 2323. On stardate 3045.6 the episode "Arena" TOS established for the first time that warp factor six was the normal maximum cruising speed of the Enterprise NCC 1701 and that its panic stations when you reach a maximum speed of warp 8.

Tv viewers also found out that the transporters don't work when the shields are up. The Enterprises encounters with various alien lifeforms enabled the ship to exceed warp 10 reaching warp 14.1. Scotty's complaining about the engines blowing up always prompted Captain Kirk to take corrective action.

Image Copyright Belongs To Paramount Pictures.

By the 24th century starships were bigger and faster. The Galaxy Class was luxurious and spacious compared to Kirks 23rd century Constitution Class where they packed the crew in. A new warp scale was introduced in Picards time, while still making warp 1 the equivilent to the speed of light, warp 10 was theoretically impossible.

Until Lt Tom Paris of Voyager NCC- 74556 ran some extraordinary tests in a shuttle craft and succeeded in reaching the Warp 10 speed. This placed him in all points in the universe at the same time. Had he achieved this record in federation space it would have made him famous.

Under the new warp formula Picard's U.S.S. Enterprise Ncc 1701-D cruising speed of warp 6 is equivilent to Kirk's Enterprise Ncc 1701-A of warp 7.3 on the old scale. The maximum normal warp 9.2 velocity is equal to 11.8 under the old warp system. Alot of advances were made in the last 78 years, starship technology being one.

Due to increased space travel, it was discovered that warp fields were wearing away the fabric of the space time continum. A new upper warp speed was established in " Force of Nature - TNG" for all starships. Unmodified warp engines were limited to warp 5.

I guess all they needed was a good catalytic converter. Problem easily solved for Starfleets Core of Engineers. Poor Geordi, stuck in engineering warping around at W5, man he must have been sooo depressed...wheres the fun, if you can't go for a spin anymore?

Live Long and Prosper Trekkers!

2 comments:

I Rhone said...

nice article,,BUT YOUR FACTS ARE WRONG ABOUT WARP SPEED,,DO YOUR RESEACH,,IN KIRKS DAY HE COULD MADE IT HOME IN 35 DAYS FROM THE DELTA WHERE JANEWAY WAS!!!! SO THEY CUT WARP SPEED DOWN IN PICARDS AND JANEWAYS DAY much slower!!

Spacerguy said...

Error Error does not compute...sparks flying...does not compute. There are many God out of the machine Deus Ex in Star Trek. It hadn't occurred to me to embrace technicality but to which one are you referring?

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