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Building a starship in a gravity well

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Probably the one thing that irked me about ST XI. Based on existing canon, a Constitution class ship is too big to construct on the ground and was built in geo-sync orbit above the San Franscisco yards orbiting Earth. I understand the plot-point...the torn young man contemplating his future while watching the ships construction....but it's 'messy'. BobT

Building starships on a planet has been seen before, in "Parallels", where we see that the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards was building a Galaxy-class starship on Mars.--31dot 10:18, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
31 is right. File:Utopia Planitia.jpg. --- Jaz 07:15, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
From a manufacturing and industrial engineering standpoint I would say that we don’t know enough about the surrounding economy, the relevant technologies, or the industrial culture to know if it is better to build on the surface or in space. I personally can concoct plausible arguments for both practices based on what I have seen in canon over the years.--Hribar 16:32, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Maybe for some reason they build starships in both places- for whatever reason. I can't think of why, but that doesn't mean there isn't a reason.--31dot 18:46, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I would guess cost and convenience forces the project to the ground. We were given the impression that the ships were built by arc welder wielding field crews. I think that it would be much more economical and less stressful on the workers to build the ship on the ground than in space. Of course, one might ask why they don’t automate the process with machines. The computer tech certainly exists for that level of robotics. At any event, this is the issue I was thinking of when I said “Industrial Culture.”--Hribar 21:01, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
BobT, as you should be able to tell by now, there is actually no existing canon stating that a starship is too big to be built on the ground. In fact, at least one canon episode (TNG: "Parallels") shows otherwise. According to The Making of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry considered the USS Enterprise to have been built on Earth and assembled in space. There's been nothing to state that the prime reality Enterprise was "built in geo-sync orbit above the San [Francisco] yards orbiting Earth." --From Andoria with Love 03:56, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

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