I have to say, I really like the use of hard shadows, squared off geometric lines, and exhuasts in the central fame of this panel. By comparison, the more fully illuminated shuttles pop in comparison to the seemingly darker starship, which itself gains a monolithic aspects. Over all it comes off as very dynamic, and reminds me somewhat of the movie ‘Gravity’.
You guys are fucking awesome.
Yes, there would be diminishing returns in acceleration as you approach the maximum speed. However, 15 MPS (33 MPH) is a vanishingly small fraction of that.
If the mystery radiation is being emitted from the damage warp nacelle in an even, omni-directional manner, they ought to be able to escape its effects in fairly short order or at least note a difference. Each doubling of the distance would cut the radiation 8 fold. So at 54 km/h they should experience only about 12% of the original dose in under 5 minutes. In 36 minutes they would be down to about 0.003% of the initial amount of exposure, and in 71 minutes about 0.0004%
Not sure why the velocity of Hood would “level off” in space, where there is no medium to resist additional acceleration. Surely the ship continues to accelerate as long as the shuttle engines are firing, and the only constraint is the shuttles’ fuel supply. (This is what you get for posting a comic that attracts engineers.)
But the shuttle can hit a maximum speed from its maximum output and so would whatever it is towing. You can’t accelerate forever with a finite amount of force.
Vehicles traveling on Earth, through water or air, experience resistance from the medium they are traveling through. The higher the velocity, the more resistance, until you reach maximum speed–where the entire output of the engine is required just to maintain the speed you already have. Because we all live on a planet, this is intuitive to us.
In space, there is no medium to offer resistance and slow you down, therefore the acceleration provided by the engine is constantly increasing velocity, even if the acceleration is very small. That is the principle behind ion drive. The acceleration is weak, but it can be maintained for a long time, and can produce a high velocity, eventually.
I am speaking here only of sublight speeds. Since I have no idea how warp drive works, I can’t say what it can or can’t do.
You are right that canon Trek gets this wrong all the time, and speaks of “maximum speed” as if that’s a thing. So there’s no shame in making the same little mistake that canon Trek has been making for 50 years.
The one that always gets me is where the Enterprise “pulls up” to the Regula station in TWOK. The Enterprise drifts slowly across the screen as we hear the sound of her engines. The engine sound stops, and the Enterprise slows to a stop, like a ship gliding into a dock. Um…no. It should just keep going.
Anyway, like I said, engineers. Am I right?
In canon Trek there has been an idea going around that the starships use mass lightning to get past the increase in mass (and the required increase in energy) that goes with accelerating to light speed. So when the Enterprise cuts her engines, she resumes the previous mass and thus energy requirements and seems to slow down when the engines cut out as she “pulls into” Regula One.
In TNG’s Deja Q and Deep Space Nine, the concept is demonstrated by partially wrapping a warp field around a very large asteroidal moon to make it easier for the Enterprise-D to push, and in DSN putting a subspace field up around the large station to move it on a handful of small, barely working thrusters to the wormhole in a day instead of the 2 months using the thrusters conventionally take.
I’m not sure that gaining mass like that would actually make the ship act like there was drag. The only real life example that comes to mind is relativity, where an object gains mass as it approaches light speed. This doesn’t slow down the object, it just means it takes more energy for further acceleration. Adding mass to a coasting starship is also problematic because unless the acceleration somehow doesn’t affect it (which would seemingly require the ship to actually be leaving chunks of itself behind, yet still connected to the rest) that “lightened” mass is still moving at the same speed as the rest of the ship and would continue to do so unless put under acceleration again.
Any chance we’ve got a physicist in the room?
You know, they do establish that shuttles are caught and slowed by tractor beams when they dock (one would assume because flooding a hangar with hot plasma exhaust would lead to some pretty outrageous worker’s comp claims.) Wouldn’t it make sense for a space station to do the same automatically for any ships that might be approaching? After all, the station might have a more ready access to energy reserves than a starship, and it would make sense that you’d want some kind of local traffic control to avoid collisions.
It’s simplest to interpret the leveling off as a manual choice, a compromise between a well paced getaway and shuttles with spare fuel in case something else goes wrong. After all, the only actual speed limit is their thrust, extremely increased mass thanks to the engineering section, and fuel. Fuel is the true speed limit for a spaceship.
If the engineering section is 350,000 tons out of 700,000, and if the shuttle is a nice round 10 tons, and it accelerated at 5 m/s^2 we can get a force.
350,000 tons x 5m/s^2 = 1,587,573,295 newtons.
1,587,573,295 newtons / 10 tons = 175 000 m/s^2
So, a shuttle would have hit the speed of light in less than 3 seconds if unhooked from the engineering section. That’s great, because our would be hero likely had no more than 3 seconds to accelerate. Nothing but a warp ship can catch him now, and next to no time will pass for him.
Silly me, I confused kilometers and meters. He would be 571 times slower than the speed of light.
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