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Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-17 10:33pm
by Themightytom
They had it in Star Trek 3, and then forever after. A seven Mile or so tall space station where I guess, ships went to park. They reused the model and it became a template that continued into TNG, but... I mean... Why?

The Enterprise was pretty badly damaged so I suppose under certain circumstances you would want a contained environment for repairs, but it doesn't seem to be pressurized, I would imagine heavily damaged star ships would be a menace, leaking plasma, or at risk of an antimatter explosion or who knows what radiation.

They seemed to be storing the Excelsior there, again, what is the cleaning even like if they store spaceships meant for space, indoors. The frameworks we saw in the motion picture and at the beginning of Star Trek II seem like they work for construction work just fine and are much easier to construct or sustain. They used one after Enterprise D survived the Borg, or again when Enterprise E played bumper cars with Shinzon.

So why a space dock. If you need a giant space station for commerce, or administration, or even defense, does it make sense to do all this at once?

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-17 11:25pm
by FaxModem1
Themightytom wrote:
2019-05-17 10:33pm
They had it in Star Trek 3, and then forever after. A seven Mile or so tall space station where I guess, ships went to park. They reused the model and it became a template that continued into TNG, but... I mean... Why?

The Enterprise was pretty badly damaged so I suppose under certain circumstances you would want a contained environment for repairs, but it doesn't seem to be pressurized, I would imagine heavily damaged star ships would be a menace, leaking plasma, or at risk of an antimatter explosion or who knows what radiation.

They seemed to be storing the Excelsior there, again, what is the cleaning even like if they store spaceships meant for space, indoors. The frameworks we saw in the motion picture and at the beginning of Star Trek II seem like they work for construction work just fine and are much easier to construct or sustain. They used one after Enterprise D survived the Borg, or again when Enterprise E played bumper cars with Shinzon.

So why a space dock. If you need a giant space station for commerce, or administration, or even defense, does it make sense to do all this at once?
I think it's a way to include all the infrastructure you need for a starbase in one place. Crew quarters, bars, restaurants, office, brigs, repair facilities, etc. while also being a base for orbital defenses against invaders, as well as nearby storage for parts, and maybe even ships in storage so they aren't continually exposed to external radiation, micrometeorite impacts, giant whale probes, etc.

Considering we see the same model of space station all over the Federation, I wouldn't be surprised if they just make the things into kits, transport the kits to a planet, assemble them, and then have solid defense against any invaders.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-18 06:05am
by Lord Revan
Yeah it seems like a Place where you can have on the infrastucture in a convinient place, it wouldn't suprice me at all if ESD functioned as custom station for the civilian trafic to Earth as well.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-19 11:53am
by Knife
It concentrates personnel, resources, and equipment. It's logistics. At anytime, you can direct the resources and specially trained people to any or all ships at the dock. In a single space you have the logistics to outfit, change, refit, fix, staff, or overhaul multiple ships at once.

In the other 'ship yards' we see in trek, they are just scaffolding. Everything needs to be brought to that location, including workers. In a space dock (the mushroom looking thing I believe we're talking about) it's all there already. They have the volume for workers and equipment to be present at all times.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-19 12:21pm
by bilateralrope
I would imagine heavily damaged star ships would be a menace, leaking plasma, or at risk of an antimatter explosion or who knows what radiation.
Unlike starships, a space dock doesn't need to keep all its forcefield generating equipment inside the shield volume. So they should be able to contain a larger explosion than a starships shields can withstand. Plus, they can always transport most of the antimatter out of the ship and only put more back in as needed, instead of the starship having a full tank.

So that problem looks manageable.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-20 01:11pm
by Themightytom
There was a caretaker station next to the scaffolding in TMP, and I got the sense that people transport up from Earth to work a shift and then go back. Maybe Space Dock is more about repairs then long term refit, and if the Excelsior was built but still being tweaked, maybe that's why it was in there?

In more remote places I can see a lot of value, more even, if space dock were mobile or at the very least towable You move one out onto the frontier, use it to build infrastructure, then move it further out again, but they seem too big for that.

The new DS9 design seems like a blend where ships are still repaired outside but it does all that other stuff.

Image

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-20 01:18pm
by bilateralrope
Where does this new DS9 design come from ?

Because the hull color says Federation station to me. Not Cardassian.
Plus the 'pylons' are both connected to a central spire and look to be at 90 degrees from each other. Meaning 4 of them, not the 3 DS9 on TV.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-20 02:07pm
by Elheru Aran
bilateralrope wrote:
2019-05-20 01:18pm
Where does this new DS9 design come from ?

Because the hull color says Federation station to me. Not Cardassian.
Plus the 'pylons' are both connected to a central spire and look to be at 90 degrees from each other. Meaning 4 of them, not the 3 DS9 on TV.
Suspect it's from the cover of a Trek novel post-DS9 but still carrying the label. Either the Cardassian station is heavily remodeled or retired.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-20 02:25pm
by tezunegari
Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-05-20 02:07pm
bilateralrope wrote:
2019-05-20 01:18pm
Where does this new DS9 design come from ?

Because the hull color says Federation station to me. Not Cardassian.
Plus the 'pylons' are both connected to a central spire and look to be at 90 degrees from each other. Meaning 4 of them, not the 3 DS9 on TV.
Suspect it's from the cover of a Trek novel post-DS9 but still carrying the label. Either the Cardassian station is heavily remodeled or retired.
The original cardassian Terok Nor / DS9 was destroyed by the Typhon Pact in one of the Typhon Pact novels - I think it was "Raise of Dawn".
That looks like the replacement station they build (Personally I really abhor that new design.)

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-22 09:53pm
by Tribble
Another reason why some Starbases like Spacedock are enclosed could be to defend the starships undergoing repairs / refitting inside as they could be vulnerable to an enemy attack. Most starbases would likely have at least some weapons for defence and by being enclosed they may provide enough time for the ships to be made ready and/or reinforcements to arrive. Hell DS9 was capable of holding off an entire fleet on its own, although that was a deliberate retrofit due to the threat of a Dominion attack. That being said, DS9 was an old decommissioned mining station and it stands to reason that a top of the line Starbase ought to be even more heavily armed and armoured, even if we never really saw them in action.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-23 08:49am
by Jub
Like people above have said a large spacedock type station could make sense for a lot of reasons.

1) They could function as repair/refit yards and, if desired, could probably function as a low yield frontier shipyard in a pinch.

2) Being a protected dock for smaller classes of vessel either in times of war or against hazards like periodic solar flares, especially active debris fields, etc.

3) Facilitating supply transfer via dock may still be faster than using transporters to do the job. A specialized cargo ship might simply be able to offload goods more quickly and easily via conventional means and an enclosed dock may help with that.

4) Large stations allow a sizeable population to live around a planet that may be strategically valuable but less than desirable to live on. A 7 km station could easily hold hundreds of thousands if not millions of people if required.

5) Large stations can house larger reactors and thus power stronger weapons and shields which is a good thing when combined with all the other roles they serve.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-27 01:43am
by Themightytom
So for contrast here is more about the new DS9 in the original timeline,
Image

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Yorktown

Why even build this thing if you could just make a planet to live on and a shipyard to out ships in. It seemed inevitable some dude would try to fly his ship around in it, and endanger everyone's lives, Kirk just got there first.

Admittedly this is the alternate universe where everyone acted different, the federation seemed younger and more rapidly expanding, and even with all that Starbase Yorktown would have been a hundred years before DS9 serving bigger ships.

If protecting ships and enclosing everything inside is the goal, couldn't they actually make them just globes, like Yorktown, and then larger? I feel like building in three dimensions instead of pretending gravity is still up and down when it isn't kind of wastes a lot of space on Space dock. I mean I guess it's good that ships know not to fly in upside down?

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-27 01:43am
by Themightytom
So for contrast here is more about the new DS9 in the original timeline,
Image

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Yorktown

Why even build this thing if you could just make a planet to live on and a shipyard to out ships in. It seemed inevitable some dude would try to fly his ship around in it, and endanger everyone's lives, Kirk just got there first.

Admittedly this is the alternate universe where everyone acted different, the federation seemed younger and more rapidly expanding, and even with all that Starbase Yorktown would have been a hundred years before DS9 serving bigger ships.

If protecting ships and enclosing everything inside is the goal, couldn't they actually make them just globes, like Yorktown, and then larger? I feel like building in three dimensions instead of pretending gravity is still up and down when it isn't kind of wastes a lot of space on Space dock. I mean I guess it's good that ships know not to fly in upside down?

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-27 01:58am
by Themightytom
Sorry about duplicate posts but for some reason trying to include images is ruining everything.

So for contrast here is more about the new DS9 in the original timeline,
Image
https://memory-beta.fandom.com/wiki/Dee ... 9_%28II%29

Frontier class, Population 13,000, full drydock and conatruction facilities, an entire deck memorial for all the people who died on the old DS9, a... Park?? And is the head quarters of Starfleet JAG, maybe too much went down during DS9 for Starfleet taste.
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/sta ... 0130143622



incidentally they towed a "portable" construction station out to build it, Construction Station 173, obviously a legend in it's own right.

Image

https://memory-beta.fandom.com/wiki/Con ... tation_173

I guess they built it in the Bajor system, then when DS9II was built they moved it to Earth?
This seems like kind of a lot of effort, they could have just started with modules and added on from there, Space Dock could almost look like they started with the bottom and then added increasingly bigger sections.


Image


Then there is this ridiculousness,(At least in my opinion, and Dr McCoy's)
Image

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Yorktown

Why even build this thing if you could just make a planet to live on and a shipyard to out ships in. It seemed inevitable some dude would try to fly his ship around in it, and endanger everyone's lives, Kirk just got there first.

Admittedly this is the alternate universe where everyone acted different, the federation seemed younger and more rapidly expanding, and even with all that Starbase Yorktown would have been a hundred years before DS9 serving bigger ships.

If protecting ships and enclosing everything inside is the goal, couldn't they actually make them just globes, like Yorktown, and then larger? I feel like building in three dimensions instead of pretending gravity is still up and down when it isn't kind of wastes a lot of space on Space dock. I mean I guess it's good that ships know not to fly in upside down?

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-05-27 02:09am
by bilateralrope
It sounds like they really beefed up the station. Which makes sense when it's sitting right beside the only choke point in Federation space.
I feel like building in three dimensions instead of pretending gravity is still up and down when it isn't kind of wastes a lot of space on Space dock.
That depends on the nature of artificial gravity systems. If having them all pointing in the same direction makes things easier*, then that defines an up and down for the station. The same reason probably applies to docked ships. Which means that anybody who is planning to dock is going to orientate themselves with the stations up and down. Anyone departing the station has no reason to reorientate their ship during their departure.

*Maybe they use significantly less power if they aren't having to act against each other. Maybe it's just to avoid the hazards of moving between areas of different gravity orientation.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-06-03 09:57pm
by JI_Joe84
If space docks do not make sense then why have Naval Bases? Because some times you need to work on you're ships or just need a place for all you're parts and stuff.
Also trafic is gona be hell if every one is going back to the planet after their shift. Like seriously? This needs to be said?

One last thing, does any one remember that episode where Spock decided to go hang out on Romulus for a while? And Starfleet got that nifty pic of him running around down there? How do you think they got that? And why couldn't some one use that technique to do some thing more mundane but still military? Like say watch these guys build their new super awsome gona kick every ones azz battleship being built?
That alone is reason enough to have some place safe to park you're ship's.
I really can't understand why Starfleet does not have more Halo like ring stations like big enough to go around planets big. See Corellia of starwars for reference.
It seems like when trek tries to do a station they just think small when it really behooves you to think BIG when it comes to space docks/station's.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-06-03 10:05pm
by Batman
Traffic is going to be a nonissue thanks to transporters and nobody's denying the usefulness of/need for space docks in general. The issue is with the huge 'keep all the starships inside' version first seen in Star Trek III

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-06-03 10:06pm
by bilateralrope
JI_Joe84 wrote:
2019-06-03 09:57pm
I really can't understand why Starfleet does not have more Halo like ring stations like big enough to go around planets big. See Corellia of starwars for reference.
What need do they have for a station that huge ?

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-06-03 10:37pm
by Batman
And why do you think they have the resources/means for something like this? The loss of a measly 40 starships at Wolf 359 was a big blow to the Federation

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-06-04 12:48am
by Esquire
It's plausible that warships cost more than an equivalent volume of space station - maybe high-grade warp drives are like 80% of the cost of a Galaxy-class, I don't know.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-06-04 11:21am
by Knife
Manufacturing, storage, preposition of supplies, and assembly of starships makes fine sense for the station. The scaffolding type don't have that much in pressurized hull. Parts are obviously sent there for assembly. A large centralized station could be the actual manufacturer of large parts of the ship and enough space to assemble them.

It also protects the personnel from standard dangers of space, micro meteorites and other space junk, and radiation. The internal space is a safe place for workers to ... well work as opposed to the scaffolding type.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-06-04 11:48am
by JI_Joe84
bilateralrope wrote:
2019-06-03 10:06pm
JI_Joe84 wrote:
2019-06-03 09:57pm
I really can't understand why Starfleet does not have more Halo like ring stations like big enough to go around planets big. See Corellia of starwars for reference.
What need do they have for a station that huge ?
Because once you have mining/manufacture ing in space all you have to do is just keep adding to the station and you can reach mind boggling sizes for very little cost.
The more station you have the more ships they can service.
It could also be one heck of a last line of defense.
A ring around a planet would give firing arcs in all directions and if they could make a bubble shield big enough they could cover the planet with it. It would protect and allow control over beaming shenanigans.
It's a good idea, but a little mad in scale but look at what we gain.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-06-04 11:54am
by JI_Joe84
Esquire wrote:
2019-06-04 12:48am
It's plausible that warships cost more than an equivalent volume of space station - maybe high-grade warp drives are like 80% of the cost of a Galaxy-class, I don't know.
I think I will second this notion, piston engine's in cars are like 10 to 20 % the total cost but turbine engine's can are really expensive by comparison.
A GE turbo prop in the 600-800 hp range is about 500k, that's just the engine ready to bolt up to the aircraft that normally sells for 1 maybe 2 million dollars.
Something like a warp drive, even in serial production, could be really really expensive.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-06-04 11:56am
by Imperial528
Large stations are one thing, a planetary ring is well beyond that.

Halo-type ring stations that are set in a conventional orbit would only need to be strong enough to hold together if spun, but a rigid ring that is wrapped around a planet would have stability issues. Namely, it wouldn't be orbiting around the planet, and would have to be actively stabilized either by thrusters or perhaps tractor beams. And if you're slapping thrusters of that power on something, you may as well have used them for starships instead.

Re: Does space dock even make sense?

Posted: 2019-06-04 12:06pm
by JI_Joe84
Imperial528 wrote:
2019-06-04 11:56am
Large stations are one thing, a planetary ring is well beyond that.

Halo-type ring stations that are set in a conventional orbit would only need to be strong enough to hold together if spun, but a rigid ring that is wrapped around a planet would have stability issues. Namely, it wouldn't be orbiting around the planet, and would have to be actively stabilized either by thrusters or perhaps tractor beams. And if you're slapping thrusters of that power on something, you may as well have used them for starships instead.
I don't see why a ring station with a width equal or greater than low or high orbit would need tractor beams just to stay in one piece. Just spin it. Satelites stay in orbit by just scooting along it perpetual free fall, just spin this thing fast enough to do that plus artificial gravity.
Maybe some tractor beams for controlling the ships trying to dock but beyond that I do not see why it would need tractor beams and so many thrusters you might as well have built a galaxy class ship.
Just really good structural engineering. That's all you would really need and a will to continually add to this thing until it is built.