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Monday, August 05, 2013

"Firefly: Serenity as a Star Trek Ship"


As many of you know, I'm a big fan of the fantastic, yet short-lived television series, Firefly. I'm also a devoted Star Trek fan. Last week, an idea was presented to me that captivated my geeky curiosity -- what would the Firefly-class Serenity (captained my Malcolm Reynolds in "Firefly") look like as a warp-capable transport ship in the Star Trek universe?

To pursue this idea, we have to assume two things. First of all, we have to operate under the commonly-held belief that Star Trek is an optimistic view of our own future. This means that our present day 2013 exists in Star Trek's past. And if we are part of that Star Trek timeline, then people living within that future must know about the television show "Firefly."

Second, if the Star Trek future knows about "Firefly", then they are free to incorporate that knowledge into their daily lives. To that end, let's assume that the CEO of a major Federation starship manufacturing company is also a big fan of "Firefly". In fact, he's such a big fan that he decides to build an adapted replica of Serenity, and put it into production as one of the cargo vessels constructed and sold by his company. As a result, the Serenity we know from the Firefly universe, becomes a warp-capable transport ship in the Star Trek universe. Cool idea, huh!

As you'll see in the image above, Serenity's adjustable VTOL drive pods (the jets on both "wings") are redesigned to serve as stationary, custom warp nacelles, complete with warp coils and all other necessary technology. The thrust engine at the back of Serenity is redesigned to house an adapted Federation impulse engine (thus the color change from Firefly yellow, to Federation blue). In addition, a deflector dish has been installed below the front neck of the vessel, above the cargo bay door (not visible in the image). Shield generators have been installed along the outer hull, and the entire ship is composed of materials common within the Star Trek universe. This Firefly still makes use of solar power collectors (in honor of it's fictional forerunner), and it carries aboard two adapted Endo/Exo-Atmospheric Shuttles -- the beetle-like docked shuttlecraft that Inara Serra called home (although both shuttles are now adapted to include non-warp, runabout-like impulse engines, visible in the image).

This Serenity can still land, as it did in "Firefly", although, it no longer does so with VTOL technology. Standard Star Trek thruster packages along the underside of the vessel facilitate all landing protocols.

The interior of Serenity has also been reproduced as well, based upon the popular television sets. A few changes have been made, though, for the sake of practicality, realism, and to facilitate the inclusion of standard Star Trek technology.

Of these changes on the interior, the ship now sports a standard 2-3 person transporter, as well as a cargo transporter in the cargo bay. Crew and cargo can now beam onto and off the vessel as easily as they could aboard the USS Enterprise. Also changed is the practical removal (or more accurately, the relocation) of the passenger quarters that were originally situated on the lowest level of Serenity (underneath her rear engines). Two of those passenger quarters now replace most of the lounge area near the infirmary/sickbay.

Also present aboard this Star Trek-version of Serenity is the standard replicator system, with food and small-item replicator terminals placed throughout the vessel. The lower aft section of the ship is now devoted to raw materials storage -- the matter from which all replicated items are constructed. The Serenity kitchen and galley still exists -- for those who like to cook, however, a quick meal can easily be replicated as well from anywhere on the ship.

I even put together some detailed deck plans based upon the original layout of Serenity. The plans, though true to Serenity, do reflect the adapted nature of this class of vessel within the Star Trek universe. Feel free to download and save a copy for your own personal use.

(click image to enlarge)

And, of course, what starship listing would complete without vessel specifications. I've included a few below for your reading pleasure. These are the adapted specs for the Star Trek version.

Firefly class -- (commercial market transport/cargo vessel).
COMMISSIONED: - 2358 – (SS Serenity)

BUILT BY: - Tellerton Shipyards, Deneva
STATUS: - In service. In production.

In-service specifications include:

  • LENGTH: - 115 meters (378'8")
  • WINGSPAN: - 43 meters (142'-6") - (to warp engine mounts)
  • HEIGHT: - 28 meters (92'-6")
  • DECKS: - 3 - (staggered)
  • CREW: - 5 crew quarters, 2 passenger cabins
Power & Propulsion:
  • DRIVE: - (2) Federation custom nacelles (warp 9 engines)
  • POWERPLANT: - (2) dual-linked custom fusion reactors
  • ADDITIONAL POWER: - multiple exterior hull solar collectors 
  • MAX SPEED: - Warp 9.5 for 12 hours
Carried Vessels:
  • (2) custom ship-specific Endo/Exo-Atmospheric "Beetle" Shuttles (impulse only)
  • (8) single occupant emergency escape pods
  • space for 1-2 small shuttle or ground vehicles
Weapon Systems:
  • (1) forward-mounted class-G micro-torpedo launcher
  • (1) forward-mounted class-IX-B phaser bank 
  • energy-field shield generators
Other Ship Technology:
  • (4) magnetic grappler launchers
  • Federation-standard deep-space sensors
  • whole-ship replicator system and raw material storage
  • (1) standard personnel transporter
  • (1) cargo transporter (available for personnel use)
  • forward mounted deflector dish
So, yep.... there you have it -- the Star Trek universe version of everyone's favorite Firefly vessel, Serenity. Two amazing science fiction universes in one beautiful, "I've-gotta-have-one-of-these" starships! Excuse me for a bit, while I hop on over to Tellerton Shipyards on Deneva, and grab me one of these before they're gone!

VESSEL USED IN: - "UFP: Starfleet Academy" (Star Trek series) on Facebook.

(photo available in "Commercial Ships" photo album)

-Jon

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Jon Baas

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