Public Affairs Office Personnel Profiles:
Sam Archer   |   Tessa Kensington   |   Cassie Queen

Saturday, March 23

The Tellidaris Nebula

The Tellidaris Nebula is absolutely stunning. It is almost like fire and ice mixing together to create a place that burns with frozen brilliance. Never in my years of space travel, have I seen something this utterly awe-inspiring. I could almost reach outside the ship and touch heaven.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Thursday, March 21

Our First Mission Begins

A few hours ago, the Enterprise arrived at the Tellidaris Nebula, dropped out of warp, and began our methodical scans of the nebula and surrounding space. We will be spending the next two weeks conducting tests and gathering data, and then return to Earth next month.

Our stellar science departments will certainly be busy – they live for missions like this, but there won’t be a lot for us, here in the Public Affairs Office, to do. We deal with people and connecting to the galaxy outside the ship. When we’re in deep space, our work load becomes lighter, and the communication networks become fewer and more distant. It’s a miracle that I’m still able to post messages on our Facebook page, and you can, almost instantly, read what I write – but that’s a “technology” post for another day.

For now, all is well. The Enterprise has begun its first deep space science mission, the crew is getting settled in, and we’re all learning more about this great warp-powered city that we now call home. Life is good, and space travel…. well, space travel never ceases to amaze me.

Here’s hoping your Thursday has been as fascinating as it has been for us aboard the Enterprise. No matter where you are in the galaxy, thank you for being a fan, supporter, and follower of this great Galaxy-class starship. We're glad you're here. Stick around, our story is just beginning!

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Wednesday, March 20

USS Enterprise-D: Bridge Stairs & Conference Room

These are the stairs leading down from the bridge to the bridge conference room on deck BM2 (bridge module, deck 2). To the left and right are six half-models of each Starfleet vessel that carried the name, Enterprise. All six models are displayed against a polished wood background.

At the bottom of the stairs is the door that leads into the bridge conference room. The door to the left (partially obscured) opens into a spare command office, reserved for any admirals traveling aboard the Enterprise. When there is no flag officer aboard, the office remains empty.

This image shows the stairs leading up to the bridge. To the far left (not seen in this image), is the bridge conference room door. To the right is the short staircase leading down to deck BM3 (bridge module 3). The small BM3 deck (behind the lower door) contains a security response office, a small bridge crew lounge, restrooms, and two systems control programming rooms.

This image shows the interior of the bridge conference room, as seen from the doorway leading out into the bridge stairs area. In this conference room, the captain frequently confers with his senior staff, and discusses missions and incident operations.

You can also see the rear half of the Enterprise saucer outside of the conference room windows, since the bridge conference room itself is located on the aft end of the bridge module.

This is another view of the bridge conference room -- from the other side of the table. The door on the left leads out into the bridge staircase area.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Tuesday, March 19

USS Enterprise-D: Bridge

There are a few different bridge modules that have been tested for Galaxy-class starships. This is the module currently in use aboard the USS Enteprise-D.

Located on deck 1, the bridge serves as the command and control center for the entire vessel. Every major ship function is monitored by the stations in this room, with secondary data fed to the departmental ops centers located elsewhere on the ship.

In the front of the bridge, on the left (above), is the Helm position. From this single-chair console, navigation officers pilot the Enterprise. To the right of the helm (above), is the Conn. This is the operations control chair, usually manned at all times by a ranking operations officer.

In the center of the bridge, on the raised platform, are the command chairs, with the shift commander's chair located in the middle. The two chairs on either side of the captain's chair are reserved for admirals, mission specialists, or diplomatic personnel.

This image shows the port side of the bridge. The three raised stations along the wall are reserved for Communications, and are manned by communications personnel. The rear-aft door is the primary turbolift access. The door on the far right leads into the captain's ready room.

On the port support wall, in front of the raised communication consoles, is a small beverage dispensing alcove. This device provides a limited selection of beverages for the bridge crew.

The image above shows the starboard side of the bridge. The three raised stations along this wall are reserved for Science, and are manned by science officers, as needed. The door to the rear-left opens into the stairs leading down to the bridge conference room. A second door opposite this door (not seen in the image) leads to a small bridge officer restroom.

On the far left support wall, is a another small beverage dispensing alcove. Above that beverage alcove is the USS Enterprise dedication plaque.

This is a view of the bridge facing forward. Behind the viewer are the rear ship monitoring stations. In the foreground (above) is the bridge Tactical station, usually manned by a dedicated tactical officer. This bridge design provides a chair for the tactical officer to sit in.

The door on the left (above) leads to the secondary turbolift access. Opposite this door (not seen in this image), is the door to the captain's ready room. The door on the right (above) leads to the battle bridge turbolift. It is a direct-access turbolift that connects the bridge to the emergency battle bridge in the Enterprise-D stardrive section.

This image shows the rear command stations that monitor all of the ship's other primary functions. Within this bank of consoles, you will find two mission ops stations, an environmental monitoring station, and two engineering stations. If necessary, these stations can be configured in other ways to provide consoles focused on more specialized ship-monitoring needs.

A cushioned chair slides out from the under-wall of each station, in order to allow the user of that work station a place to sit during extended use.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Thursday, March 14

The Physics of Time Travel

There are many unique theories regarding how we might view time, but there is only one way through which it actually works. Time began as a solitary point when the universe was created. Before that point, there was nothing. After that point, it flows forward through our present, and disappears into our future. We can see the past with relative clarity, but the future is completely unknown to us.

Every decision that we make, theoretically, causes an endless variety of branches ahead of us in the flow of time. The branch we choose becomes the next segment in our prime timeline. Each branch that we did not choose becomes a new alternate timeline that moves forward on a different path outside of our own. We are unable to experience the trillions of other alternate timelines that we did not choose, while the single timeline of branches that we did chose became known as our history.

Our history is in our past. It is concrete, and cannot be changed. It is a single, unbroken timeline that goes all the way back to the point when time began. Our future has yet to be written, and branches off ahead of us like a giant tree of possibilities.

If someone were to travel into the past of our timeline, their actions would create a new timeline that branches off of our own. They would then either continue to exist within that alternate timeline, or become part of our own already-written history.

If someone were to travel into the future, they would, theoretically, experience a future that might not even happen. It would be nothing more than one possible future – a random branch derived from things that could happen somewhere in the distant unknown.

There are, however, many people within the Christian faith (myself included), who believe in a God that is all-knowing. That God is the only person who can see the timeline that we have not yet written. He can see this future timeline because he created time, and he exists outside of it. We, who live within time, are not allowed to see our own future, unless God chooses to show it to us. The past is known so that we can learn from it. The future is unknown so that we can rely on the God who is guiding us into it.

To date, there are no publicly known records of time travel, either to the past, or to the future. There could certainly be confidential instances where the time barrier was broken, or someone shifted across timelines, but there is nothing listed within the Federation database. If time travel is possible, it would be an amazing experience, but it would also likely come with a level of responsibility few people or species would be able to manage.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Tuesday, March 12

Vessels: Commship

SHIP CLASS: -- Commship
SERVICE: -- Federation Commship Command

LENGTH: -- 14.64 m
BEAM: -- 3.26 m
HEIGHT: -- 4.5 m
DECKS: -- 1

CREW: -- 2-3
PASSENGERS: -- 1 = (if absolutely necessary)

WARP: -- 9

Because of the laws of physics, data cannot travel faster than the speed of light. This is a constant of the universe that cannot be broken. Communication, therefore, cannot travel faster than warp 1. So, in order for messages and digital data to be sent across the Federation, a fleet of small vessels, known as “commships”, are required to transport messages from planet to planet (or ship to planet). These runabout-sized vessels are powered by warp-9 engines, and are maintained by a service branch known as the “Federation Commship Command”.

Starfleet does maintain a few of these vessels for their own special operations, however, like the rest of the Federation, they depend upon the Federation Commship Command to transport daily messages, reports, and, occasionally, a person or small package, between Earth, distant outposts, and every Starfleet ship.

Since commships are essential to maintaining communication, they are designed to fit within the primary shuttlebay of most Starfleet ships. The Enterprise-D is designed to host two commships at any given time, although, they come and go on a daily basis. Messages from the Enterprise are downloaded into the computer core of a commship, taken to their destination, and then distributed to their recipients upon arrival.

As a result of the long distances between planets and starships, there is always a delay between a message’s send-point, and the arrival at its intended destination. Below is a short list of commship transit times before a message is able to reach its destination:

1 light year = 6 hours
5 light years = 1 day
10 light years = 2.5 days
20 light years = 5 days

Instantaneous message delivery is impossible, unless a ship is in orbit and communicating with a facility on a planet’s surface, or a message is transmitted between two ships in close proximity. Sensor reach is also restricted by these data transmission limits, thereby limiting sensors to close range, and requiring science vessels to conduct in-system survey missions.

Commship engines are impractical for runabouts and shuttlecraft, due to the increased machinery space necessary to operate scaled-down warp-9 engines. Any remaining space in a commship is devoted to spartan crew facilities and a small cargo room.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

(Attached Image: Digital illustration of a commship vessel design)

Sunday, March 10

The USS Enterprise-D Has Been Commissioned

The USS Enterprise-D has entered the fleet. We are now an active Starfleet ship, currently warping to our first assignment – a science mission to the Tellidaris Nebula 45 light years from Earth. At warp 9 we will arrive at the nebula in eleven days, spend two weeks conducting tests and gathering data, and then return home to Earth next month.

As of right now, we have a full crew, although we are still waiting on our Chief Medical Officer. Commander Beverly Crusher is scheduled to transfer to the Enterprise, however, she is currently aboard the USS Prometheus (Nebula-class) on deep space assignment, and won’t be available until early May. Our new medical staff will cover the position until she arrives.

Now that we are underway, and the day’s events are behind us, we can sit back and unwind a bit. Yes, I did write and release a full recap of the day’s events – as promised – I just won’t post it here due to the length. You can, however, find it contained within the Enterprise public events packet that I sent out via commship.

In summary, though, it was a good commissioning ceremony. Nearly 1,200 civilians, media and dignitaries showed up, as well as a surprise contingent of Vulcan officials from the Vulcan Embassy in Paris (on Earth). Admiral Edward Janeway was the presiding flag officer who opened the ceremony, and issued our orders. The Starfleet Command chaplain gave an invocation, the Federation Anthem was played, flags were hoisted in the commissioning hall, and Captain Halloway accepted command.

Our ship’s sponsor, the sister of Captain Rachel Garrett (the captain of the USS Enterprise-C, killed at Narendra III, 19 years ago), also shared some remarks as the first crew shift took their stations on the bridge, and then she issued the traditional order, “Man our ship and bring her to life.” The honor guard fired a rifle salute, Admiral Edward Janeway delivered an inspirational address, a brief video tour of the enterprise was shown on the hall screen, gifts were presented to Captain Halloway by the ship sponsor, builder, and USS Enterprise Society, and the ceremony came to a close.

An hour later, the Enterprise slipped out of her moorings at McKinley Station, and we were underway to the Tellidaris Nebula.

The Enterprise-D is a ship of the fleet now. It’s time for our missions to begin.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

(Attached Image: Attendees watching the brief Enterprise tour video)

Saturday, March 9

Commissioning Day D-1

Tomorrow, the USS Enterprise-D will be commissioned into the fleet. There will be admirals, dignitaries, flags and music. Our crew will report aboard, we will receive our orders, and when the ceremony concludes, we will drift out of our moorings at McKinley Station, and enter open space. From that point onward, we will be the USS Enterprise-D, the sixth Starfleet ship to bear the name, Enterprise.

Upon departure, we will resume the footsteps of our immediate predecessor, the Ambassador-class, USS Enterprise-C, lost 19 years ago while defending the Klingon outpost on Narendra III. For the first time in nearly two decades, there will be an Enterprise in the fleet.

For those who wish to attend the ceremony, the McKinley Station public viewing deck will open at 1100 hours, and the ceremony will begin an hour later. The event will also be broadcast on the Starfleet Commissioning Channel, viewable, in real time, by anyone located on Earth. Video highlights will be sent out to the rest of the Federation aboard the afternoon comship departures, and I will post a written recap from my office in the evening.

Many of us have been looking forward to this day for years.

We're ready, we're eager.... let's do this!

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Wednesday, March 6

Data, Chief Operations Officer

The USS Enterprise-D now has a Chief Operations Officer, and he is a one-of-a-kind officer. Yes, our new COO, Lieutenant Commander Data, is an android.

Data is one of only five androids created by the enigmatic cyberneticist, Dr. Noonian Soong. The other four have been destroyed or disassembled, with Data remaining the only operational model. No further androids are likely, as Dr. Soong died in a tornado on the agricultural science colony of Omicron Theta 21 years ago, and no one has been able to replicate his work with positronics.

After the death of his creator in 2342, Data chose to leave the Omicron Theta colony, and relocate to Earth. Living among Humans in the colony inspired him to learn more about humanity, and his interaction with the Starfleet scientists that worked there, motivated him to seek application to Starfleet Academy. Three years later, he began his Starfleet education.

Since graduation, Data has proven himself to be a dedicated Starfleet officer, despite the misgivings from many who are uncomfortable serving with a self-aware machine. Data has taken it in stride, however, and has made a name for himself in the fleet. He served two assignments as a science officer, and one as the Chief Operations Officer of the USS Bonchune (Nebula-class), before being assigned here to the Enterprise.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Monday, March 4

Gordon Mills, First Officer

Captain Halloway has announced the identity of our new Enterprise Executive Officer. That man will be newly-promoted Commander Gordon Mills.

Commander Mills was born in 2329, in the city of Sheffield, England in the United Kingdom on Earth. His is currently single.

Mills began his career as a security officer aboard the Ambassador-class USS Gandhi, and worked his way up to Chief Security Officer of the USS Charleston (Excelsior-class) -- his previous posting before the Enterprise. Late last year, he chose to attend Command School on Earth, with the hopes of pursuing command of a starship someday. After graduation from the 14-week school, he was promoted to the rank of Commander, and selected by Captain Halloway as our new XO.

Commander Mills is a well-respected command officer, highly experienced in the areas of Starfleet security and law enforcement, and an avid fan of cycling, boxing, and Parrises Squares. Commander Mills also loves cooking, and considers himself to be an amateur chef. His cooking has been popular with his previous crewmates.

Commander Mills is also a fan of his personal tattoos.

-Lieutenant Sam Archer

Sunday, March 3

The Enterprise Comes To Life

The crew of the USS Enterprise-D has started to report aboard. Officers and enlisted personnel are arriving from Earth and other ships in the sector, and civilians are moving into their new quarters – some are even opening up shops on the deck 10 Promenade. This ship is coming to life. We don’t have any additional senior officer assignments to report at this time, but those will come this week. For now, quarters are filling up, cargo is arriving, and the Enterprise is preparing for its first adventure among the stars.

I can report two new crew assignments of note, though. They aren’t senior officers, but they are two individuals you may get to know rather well. A Lieutenant (JG) Tessa Kensington, and an Ensign Cassandra Queen have been assigned to join me here in the Public Affairs Office. Both women reported aboard earlier today, and are getting settled into their quarters here on deck 2.

Right now, there’s a lot happening aboard the Enterprise. Seven days until we are commissioned. Seven days we enter the fleet. Stick around. It’s going to be a big day!

-Lieutenant Sam Archer