In Star Trek: The Next Generation's episode named Contagion, the USS Yamato is destroyed because of an antimatter containment failure. At the moment of the explosion the saucer section is separated before being consumed in flames.

Could this separation be part of the ship's design, like a safety measure in case of a similar or lesser accident? Please note that I'm not asking if the disk section is detachable (since it actually is), but if the Federation designed the ship in such way that the saucer will detach by itself in case of a sudden explosion in the engines section.

  • It seems to me that the saucer in that clip might still be connected to (what's left of) the neck based on the angle. If so, this isn't a saucer separation at all. – Kevin Laity Feb 25 at 22:05
  • @KevinLaity The explosion begins at 0:26 in the lower section, at 0:30 the only thing remaining is the saucer, apparently propelled by the force of the blast and at 0:31 another explosion starts near the brigde consuming the rest of the ship. This break up can be either by design or coincidence. That's what I want to know. – LudovicoN Feb 26 at 0:26
  • I'm saying that it's not clear that the saucer is all that's left. Part or all of the "neck" of the secondary hull might still be attached. If so, it would be occluded by the saucer itself when viewed at this angle. – Kevin Laity Feb 26 at 15:56

The detachable saucers are certainly intended to serve as jumbo-sized luxury lifeboats for most of the crew. Says so in the technical manuals. So if they had a warp core going critical and they couldn't eject it, detaching the saucer would be the way to go.

  • 1
    Like in Generations. Still, I think the OP is asking about an automated mechanism that may have been in play in Contagion – Lightness Races in Orbit Feb 26 at 19:19

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