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BadCatMan

  • I live in Australia
  • My occupation is Technical editor
  • I am Male

About meEdit

Hello, I joined Wikia in August, 2010. I'm knowledgeable and fan about Doctor Who, Forgotten Realms and Star Trek. Relevant to writing and editing here, I write fiction, enjoy play-by-post role-playing, I've written a whole damn thesis and now work as a technical editor.

You can also find me on the Forgotten Realms Wiki, where I am an administrator and bureaucrat.

My projects on Memory Beta, things I'm fascinated with or curious enough to explore further, or just had to sort out:

My favorite pagesEdit

My biggest and most complex works:

To doEdit

BookmarksEdit

FASA/SFC Timeline CalibrationEdit

The FASA RPG and Spaceflight Chronology (SFC) timelines are of course quite inaccurate after later historical development by the TV series. However, by-and-large, things are in the right order and have approximately the same scales. So I wondered if it was possible to calibrate the reference stardate (RSD) and SFC dates to regular years.

This is all highly speculative of course and I don't claim the following is accurate. But I think it will work as a good gauge of placing otherwise hard-to-date events: e.g., is 1/51 early or mid-23rd century, before or after 2224? Depending where in the scale an event is located, it should be possible to narrow it down to circa some year, within a decade, or within a few decades.

To do this, I've found dates for shared canonical events and aligned their years to stardates and SFC years as they appear in FASA RPG modules: The Federation, Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual. Standard years are taken from Memory Alpha – I'm assuming sources there are correct and not big leaps of guesswork. (Where did all those dates come from anyway?) I'm ignoring months and days, of course, not expecting the scale to be fine. I'm assuming that one RSD/SFC "year" is roughly the same size as a standard Earth year, but may be longer or shorter at different times.

Most of what follows is in reference stardates rather than SFC years to avoid confusion, and I'm also more familiar with them.

20th centuryEdit

These are perfectly matched, as the timeline was set to equal Earth years. The dating system is apparently based on a statement in Space Seed of Khan's time being two centuries ago, putting TOS Season 1 near the turn of 22nd/23rd century (or 2207 RSD/SFC, as it turns out).

21st centuryEdit

  • 2000 ≈ 0/00: RSD/SFC system begins
  • 2002 ≈ 0/20: Nomad probe launched. Weirdly, the traditional year of 2002 is advanced eighteen years to 2020 by RSD/SFC. Given the massively compressed FASA/SFC history that follows, this may be welcome. RSD/SFC runs quite slow from now on.

22nd centuryEdit

  • 2119 ≈ 0/62: Zephram Cochrane disappears
  • 0/79: Trade begins between Terrans and Orions
  • late 2151: Earth Cargo Service vessel ECS Horizon trading with Orions. Handily, these two dates are 8 and 10 years before the founding of the Federation in 0/87 and 2161, respectively, indicating a fairly close agreement.
  • 0/82: Meetings between later Federation founders, re: joint government.
  • 2155: Coalition of Planets formed. This isn't shared, but these two events are 5 and 6 years before Federation.
  • 21562160: Canonical Romulan War
  • 2161 ≈ 0/87: Federation founded, one way or another
  • 1/06–1/09: FASA Romulan War

Frustratingly, FASA has a very different Romulan War some time post-Federation, causing a snarl in the time-line. I'll ignore it. They are about the same length, however.

23rd centuryEdit

24th centuryEdit

  • 2138–41 ≈ 2/92–99: Data is discovered, studied, debated and sent to Starfleet Academy in either four years or seven RSD years.
  • 2244 ≈ 3/00: Enterprise-C lost. Again, a jump of 3 years to 1 RSD "year", indicating that RSD is running rather fast.
  • 2363 ≈ 3/03: Galaxy class enters service. I'm assuming the same standard year as the Enterprise-D doing the same. Another huge jump (20 years to 3), so its safe to say that the system falls apart here, just in time for the late 24th century stardate system to dominate.

Stardate/Year ConversionEdit

So, how to make use of the scale? Find the stardate and then you know what part of the century it sits in, at least. Narrowing it down further depends on the local scale. In the late 23rd century, you can assume year-to-year, and count back and forward from the nearest shared event, but I recommend qualifying everything with a circa, give or take a year or two. If the period is less detailed, find what range of dates it sits in, then find how many SFC/RSD years correspond, work out long they are, and then translate your selected stardate.

For example, let's take reference stardate 1/18 (Orions attempt to resettle Talna III). This sits in the ranges 0/87–1/46 and 2161–2219, which is a whopping 58 year gap, with 59 RSD/SFC "years" to it. Actually, they correspond so closely that I can simply count back years from the nearest. Ergo, 2219 – 28 = 2191. Therefore, "the Orions attempted to resettle Talna III in reference stardate 1/18 (circa 2191)".

Let's try another: rsd 0/82, the UNSS Marco Polo opens Terran trade with the Orions. This sits in the ranges 0/62–0/87 and 2119–2161, with a gap of 42 years to 25 RSD "years". Ergo, 1 year = 1.68 RSD years, or 1 RSD year = 0.59 years. So, 5 x 0.59 ≈ 8.4 years before 2161, giving a date of circa 2152. "The Marco Polo opened trade with the Orions in stardate 0/82 (circa 2152)." This is perfect, as the ECS Horizon was set to trade with Orions in late December 2152 in ENT episode: "Horizon".

I've also made a quick graph, plotting SFC years against standard years for a quick-and-dirty conversion. I'm impressed by how smooth this is from 2020 to 2286, disregarding some crinkliness where I discounted months in the TOS/Movie era. Clearly, this is a reliable method in that range. Whether the histories agree is another matter. Standard Year / Spaceflight Chronology calibration

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