Bay Decompression Quickie

Thanks to the DaystromInstitute subReddit for the thought, relating to "Cause and Effect"[TNG] in which decompression of the main shuttlebay allowed the ship to avoid a collision.  Quoting myself from there:


The Enterprise-D should mass around 6.5 million tonnes. Even assuming the shuttlebay takes up 10% of the saucer volume, a severe overestimate, that's 383,000 cubic meters. The density of air is 0.1 kg/m3. So they blew out no more than 38,000 kilograms in the hope of moving something that masses 171 times more and fast enough to avoid an oncoming ship.

In car terms, that would be like tossing out a 20lb bag of sugar in the hope of propelling the vehicle out of the way of an oncoming car.

Presumably, this trick only worked due to residual mass-lightening fields affecting the ship or something."

This seems confirmed by the motion of the ship which went directly forward instead of rotating around the center of mass.  Those fields seem to allow for such oddities.


  1. The problem with common use of "mass lighting fields" is that it renders the character's behaviors toward it in TNG: Deja Q and DS9: Emissary nonsensical. You shouldn't need to jury rig something that should be standard, and it certainly should not be outside the box thinking as it is in the episodes.

    ^_^ What about something to dampen or enhance inertia in the frictionless environment of deep space? We could call them "Inertial dampers". ^_^

  2. Well, in fairness, they jerry-rig it in regards to applying the field to an asteroidal moon in one case and a space station the next. I agree they shouldn't act like they're so awesome by doing it that they just hung the moon… not counting the fact that they sorta did.

    1. To clarify, it's like having wheels for two hundred years and deciding to put them on hard to move items, thus creating wagons and such. Cool, good job, but chill, y'all. So yes, good comment, Mr. Blank.