[image via io9]
From J.J. Abrams’s new Star Trek prequel / re-imagining, comes this construction shot of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701. However, in a counter-intuitive and perhaps counter-canonical move, it appears that the iconic ship is under construction planetside. We’ve already seen terrestrial ship-breaking yards for crashed and decommissioned space craft, but if you’re building an enormous starship, wouldn’t it be a hell of a lot easier to do so in a zero-gravity environment? Maybe not. As always, we can turn to wikipedia for the answer:
According to The Making of Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry and Stephen E. Whitfield, the components of the Enterprise were built at the San Francisco Navy Yards and the vessel itself was constructed in space. The film’s co-writer, Roberto Orci, acknowledged depicting the Enterprise being built on Earth would cause debates among fans regarding canon. Explaining that the concept came from their own creative license and the precedent set in Star Trek novels, he said that the idea that some things have to be constructed in space is normally associated with “flimsy” objects which have to be delicately assembled and would not normally be required to enter a gravity well. He said that this did not apply to the Enterprise because of the artificial gravity employed on the ship and its requirement for sustaining warp speed, and therefore the calibration of the ship’s machinery would be best done in the exact gravity well which is to be simulated.
So there you have it. It’s always best to calibrate your warp nacelles in exact gravity. Who knew? Bonus: The Next Generation’s Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), measured against Seattle.
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