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Star Trek’s U.S.S. Enterprise is a masterpiece of design, one of the great icons of 20th century design, up there with the crown of the Chrysler Building and Paul Rand’s logos.

But nothing’s perfect.

Take the weapons array, on the underside of the saucer section in most versions.

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Its death rays can shatter anything that flies through space — as long as they’re somewhere below it. A tiny Klingon vessel flying over the Enterprise can fire disruptor cannons and photon torpedoes at the bigger ship’s bridge (inconveniently located atop the saucer), and old NCC-1701’s mighty weapons can’t do a damn thing about it.

And look at the struts holding up the Enterprise’s nacelles.


Pretty thin, considering that the nacelles push the ship through space and make it capable of warp speed. And the struts aren’t exactly a tiny target; they look nearly as long as the nacelles. Cut those sticks — a few disruptor blasts from any Klingon or Romulan warship would do it — and the Enterprise is a paperweight. (Okay, a paperweight with impulse power, but impulse is watery sauce compared to warp power.)

Now, let’s go inside the ship. Over the years, bad guys and equipment malfunctions have cut off the bridge and other parts of the ship from the rest of the vessel, depriving our heroes of necessities like, say, air.

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Well, that’s kind of dumb. Every cabin, corridor, and crawl space (except maybe the brig’s prisoner cells) should have an independent air supply, canteens full of fresh water, at least one phaser, a first-aid kit, and other prerequisites for keeping oneself alive in unpredictable situations.

I love the Enterprise, I really do.

But nothing’s perfect.