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In the season 2 premiere of Star Trek: Discovery,

the only reason they needed to use pods to land on the asteroid is because they couldn't use transporter due to interference. They even needed to setup transportation pads to beam everyone out.

But, how were they able to beam down Pike outside the pads and then beam up Burnham and Pike from outside the pads?

  • Pure speculation, but I think that by that time Discovery was much closer to the asteroid? Also, the pattern enhancers were still active, albeit further away, so I don't know if that helped. – Loki Jan 20 at 19:40
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They specifically mentioned (and showed Nhan setting up) transport signal enhancers. They also told Reno that using them was a backup plan in case the Hiawatha's own transporter didn't work.

More specifically:

Burnham: (On the way to the pods) We have less than two hours to fly down to the asteroid's surface and search for survivors then set up pattern enhancers and beam back.

On the asteroid Burnham discovers the Hiawatha's transporter is operable.

Burnham: Set up the enhancers around the ship, widest perimeter possible, then meet us at Sickbay.

Nhan: Got it.

Bunham: We're in business.

Reno: Why are we moving them if you're creating an enhancement field big enough to beam from anywhere on the ship?

Burnham: The enhancers are just a backup in case the Hiawatha's main transporter doesn't stay online. Ship to ship beaming on the pads is far more reliable and will be safer for your patients.

So the use of Haiwatha's transporter pads was specifically to reduce risk, especially for the critically wounded survivors, but otherwise once the enhancers were up, Discovery could beam people down and up with an acceptable risk.

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