43

This is primarily attributable to Hollywood style. Even though it is realistic, Star Trek more often chooses what "looks right" instead. People are used to observing things in a 2D or gravity constrained 3D frame of reference, so when things are near each other, but in different planes of travel, it doesn't really look right to our minds. There is a ...


33

In-universe: First, even though space is indeed 3D, most solar systems/galaxies are relatively flat. So, a ship enroute from, say, DS9 to Earth would approach the Sol system at a relatively low angle of incidence relative to the ecliptic plane of the galaxy (but possibly not to the ecliptic plane of the Sol system itself). Second, even in a 3D space, there ...


17

It's not very plausible, really. The orbits of the various satellites we have up there are very different. If a satellite were to explode, it would not change its orbit much, so it wouldn't be much of a danger to the other satellites. I remember reading an article after I saw the movie, it's quite interesting. Here it is. Anyway, I'll quote what's ...


15

The MAV was an orbital craft...it would be nearly useless if it were not. The reason why it needs to be heavily modified, and why it DOESN'T achieve orbit (even though it could) is because it has to match the insanely fast velocity of the Hermes as it does a fly-by. A little orbital mechanics, and what happened to the MAV after the rendezvous was that it ...


14

Low Earth orbit is the most efficient place to locate a transfer station. The energy required to reach low Earth orbit is the most efficient place to locate a transfer station. The greatest difficulty in launching spacecraft is getting them into stable orbits around the Earth. The reason for this is that the energy required to reach the initial low Earth ...


11

There's also another argument to be made for how these shots are made. Historically, the show has used scale models (way before CGI), which are held up by invisible strings and thus must comply with the local laws of gravity... of the studio set.


10

Space Station V hosted a range of facilities including an orbital Hilton Hotel. It was used as a transfer point, sure, but the majority of people on board seem to tourists (who are presumably traveling from Earth to the station, then returning to Earth) which means that a nice close Low Earth Orbit would be a far more efficient location than a high orbit in ...


8

Andrew and I have been discussing this on the Physics SE. This is possibly not an appropriate answer hereabouts since it's science not science fiction, but in case anyone is interested here is the calculation of the orbital radius. We don't know: the total distance, call this D the acceleration, call this a We know: the total time for the journey, T at a ...


7

We are talking about nominal emergency planning here - an expedition besieged by li'l green men is forced to abort-to-orbit in the MAV. The MAV ascends into a Mars orbit, and then meets up with the Hermes. Mark Watney's case (a hyperbolic rendezvous with the Hermes in Martian fly-by) is much more scary since orbital mechanics won't give him another ...


7

I think the general term your looking for is "metric" calendar or "decimal" time. However, most of the Earth based ones that have been tried are still tied to the solar year and lunar month - such as the French Republican Calendar. Then again - we do have the Unix timestamp, which is simply the number of seconds since the 1st of January 1970. This is ...


7

I don't have an explicit answer, but maybe this can help you find your answer. There are not many candidates for the basis of such a time system. Every time system must be based on some observed event, which happens at a regular rate or interval. For obvious reasons, the rotation of the Earth, and the orbit of the Earth and moon are the basis for our ...


7

You didn't misunderstand anything, nor was this an example of sloppy writing. What you're looking at here is an example of an extremely low orbit, presumably less 7km above the planet's surface. At that height, atmospheric drag is extremely high and will cause orbital decay almost immediately without spending fuel on orbital station-keeping. Scott ...


7

Had Gallifrey remained where it re-appeared, it would likely have shredded Earth and the Moon, and possibly sent it careening out of the solar system (or into the Sun). That said, the same effects would have likely had similar catestrophic effects on Gallifrey. Sure, Earth is smaller, but they would both have felt tidal forces from the other, and I'm sure ...


6

Sounds like Clarke's "Jupiter Five". The Satellite in Question (we call it "Amalthea" now) has turned out to be be a giant spaceship built by an extinct alien race, and two rival expeditions learn this at the same time. One of them steals a valuable artifact from the other, who retaliate by throwing its leader into Jupiter - secure in the knowledge that in ...


4

There was one episode in one of the Star Treks where the captain commented that the other ships were thinking in 2D, and he outwitted them by some 3D thinking. I think this is because we do not often think in 3D - we naturally tend to think in a 2D mode, and so when captains of ships meet others, they tend to align themselves in 2D. But the question is ...


4

Keep in mind that the Hermes uses an Ion propulsion system, which produces very small amounts of thrust, 2mm/s^2. The advantage of this is that it uses very little fuel (gas) and so can be almost constantly in use. The probe is using conventional chemical engines which has the advantage of producing lots of thrust in a very short period of time. This is ...


4

I haven't seen the movie yet. But I'll quote a paragraph from page 386 of the book: Bruce slid the booklet across the desk to Venkat. "The problem is the intercept velocity. The MAV is designed to get to low Mars orbit, which only requires 4.1 kps. But the Hermes flyby will be at 5.8 kps." A low Mars orbit isn't suborbital. The Hermes is moving 5.8 ...


4

They didn't use the landing vehicle. They used the MAV (Mars Ascent Vehicle). Since this vehicle is specifically designed to launch from Mars and dock with Hermes it shouldn't have a problem doing that. Keep in mind too that this vehicle was part of the mission abort protocol. Since using the MAV to connect with Hermes was the key to the capability of ...


4

The film's Official Novelisation describes it as "spectacular and isolated". The clear implication is that it doesn't receive a lot of energy from its (relatively close) local sun. This was, presumably one of the reasons why it was chosen to play host to the Starkiller Base: The fleet of Star Destroyers stood off the white world. Spectacular and ...


4

The transportation model in "2001" consisted of reusable winged shuttles from ground to a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) station, then transferring to LEO-to-lunar-surface shuttles. This kind of model was prevalent in mid-century sf; sometimes a Lunar orbit station and moon-to-low-lunar-orbit rocket shuttles were added (Heinlein favored this system). This thinking ...


3

I'm unable to comment this, but, I believe it was stated by Finn that Starkiller Base (unable to look through the book at the moment) is moved into orbit around a star it can absorb. It would be understandable for The First Order to create the orbit as close to the star as possible while still keeping the surface of the planet habitable. It could very well ...


3

Orbit of this planet wouldn't be stable because it would have to cross accretion disk or paths of particles falling from it into hole - it would cause significant drag and cause deorbitation - it would fall into the black hole. Another thing is that this photo seems inaccurate: being near photon sphere, planet would be much closer - in similar distance as ...


3

It may happen never. Given enough speed the planet might have a stable orbit. Risks are: The black hole increases its mass by continually swallowing matter making the black hole heavier and therefore make before stable orbits unstable Debris around the black hole slows down the planet Neither is terribly likely, as the space is mostly empty.


3

The book, Caliban's War, doesn't shed more light (heh) on the issue. The mirrors do, as you assume, orbit Ganymede. At least: Almost every time they're brought up in the book, they're called "orbital mirrors". The great orbital mirrors had always been his allies, shining down on his fields like a hundred pale suns. Caliban's War, page 21 The following ...


2

In Enterprise, vessels often docked with one another (prior to frequent use of the transporters). In-universe, vessels orienting themselves on equal planes could just be a remnant of an earlier commonly-performed maneuver, sort of a standard operating procedure akin to hailing and the like.


2

There's no good in-universe explanation. The Enterprise always seems to be travelling from planet to planet in a 2D plane, which would be unrealistic due to the thickness of even our disc-like Milky Way galaxy. Bear in mind that the starships of Star Trek are inspired substantially by naval vessels. The organizational structure of the crew, certain roles, ...


2

Honestly, I'm going to go flip-side on this, and NOT recommend a different time scale. As we are creatures of habit, it would be perfectly natural for a species to keep to a unit of measure that they are most familiar with. Just look at the differences between the SI/metric system, and those who grew up with them. I know the SI System by heart, and can gauge ...


2

tl;dr - it's possible, but not with the likely location of current satellites. You can have two ways to have regular interactions in orbits: different inclinations and different eccentricities. Inclination is the vertical angle off of the reference plane: Picture http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_inclination You can see the "ascending node" in this ...


2

The 500 is likely meant to be 500 MPH. The "space craft" are just regular flying cars in Waldo and are primarily used to travel across the Earth's Surface. On the ground and in atmosphere a vehicle's ~speed~ is typically measured in Maximum Velocity attainable. But once a vehicle gets outside of the atmosphere velocity is relative and Max Velocity is not a ...


2

It's explicitly stated (in "Look to Windward") that a Culture Orbital rotates around an imaginary axis, situated roughly where the Orbital's hub usually locates itself: Culture Orbitals are built so that the same speed of revolution which produces one standard gravity also creates a day-night cycle of one of their standard days. Local night is ...


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