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The Distances and Time Factor

The Distances and Time Factor

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Feb-06-2017 10:51 AM

Zeta Reticuli is 39 light years away and it takes Prometheus 2,4 years to get there (which would mean that the spacecraft can travel 16x the speed of light)? The juggernaut (with David and Shaw) is probably (much) faster and presumably set off towards a planet further away from Earth?

So, I wonder how The Covenant would reach Paradise 10 years after the incidents with Prometheus on LV-223 (minus the time for David's and Shaw's own journey, a presumed signal from David and preparation for The Covenant expedition)? Most likely, WY received a signal from David (which must also, somehow, have travelled much faster than the speed of light)?

Paradise is perhaps very close to LV-223 or LV-426 (or one of them) or The Covenant has been upgraded and can travel much faster than Promethus? Or perhaps The Covenant set out about the same time as Prometheus or earlier? What are your thoughts?

27 Responses to The Distances and Time Factor


Feb-06-2017 11:22 AM

Do you think you could come up with something creative or is it more fun being destructive, Dr.Swojd?


Feb-06-2017 11:53 AM

Why do I get the feeling that you are not really here to discuss out of interest for these movies? A black hole (or wormhole) is of course possible, however, but it must have been newly found or created since Prometheus didn't use it.


Feb-06-2017 11:56 AM

Sci-fi factor + super FTL engines (which is sort of a sci-fi factor anyway)


Feb-06-2017 12:16 PM

Starship speeds improve markedly between 2093 and 2122, so it stands to reason they improved between 2093 and 2104.

We've no idea where David and Shaw went so it's impossible to make any judgements at this point.


Feb-06-2017 1:09 PM

Yes, The Nostromo apparently had Rolls-Royce N86 Cyclone thrust engines :) and travelled further out in the universe. I wonder what speed she could manage - 100x the speed of light?


Feb-06-2017 1:23 PM

No she was just 46x.

Sulaco was 677x though.


Feb-06-2017 1:42 PM

Where do you get these numbers from S.M? I also wonder why they keep alluding to Joseph Conrad (Nostromo, Narcissus, Sulaco)?


Feb-06-2017 1:51 PM

Maths. Distance/ travel time.

Giler and Hill picked Nostromo I think, because they thought it sounded good, and possibly also to appeal Ridley after The Duellists.  Cameron picked Sulaco in homage to Nostromo.  Alan Dean Foster used Patna (from Lord Jim) in the Alien3 novelisation, but Whedon moved in a different direction with Auriga.


Feb-06-2017 2:08 PM

OK. But when it comes to the names there must be a connection to Joseph Conrad since the three vessel-names were part of some of his novels. So the script writers must have been influenced by him (He wrote about sea vessels, frailty of the human psyche, evil, and an indifferent universe - which fit in with Alien I suppose?).


Feb-06-2017 2:22 PM

I don't believe Giler, Hill or Cameron had any particular affinity with Conrad (Narcissus is also a Conrad reference).

Walter Hill said in 2004 "I called the ship Nostromo (from Conrad, no particular metaphoric idea, I just thought it sounded good.)"


Feb-06-2017 3:05 PM

OK, so then they just continued with the references? Pity, since Alien really is in the "Heart of Darkness". :)


Feb-06-2017 3:27 PM

The crew bios released on the original DVD release were peppered with Conrad references.  They pop up a lot in expanded media too.


Feb-06-2017 4:20 PM

 Excellent question Chli.I've wondered just how far paradise is from LV-223,and how long David and Shaw have been there.

Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't let you in heaven for 


Feb-06-2017 6:41 PM

Dr.Sword. While we have our fun, I have a suggestion for you to ruin most of your scifi enjoyment-contemplate gravity/atmosphere in space-on a ship or on alien planets. Doc, Asimov considered things like that and was hardly the buzz kill you seem to aspire to being.


Feb-06-2017 8:49 PM

When it comes to FTL, I wonder if they use warp-technology? According to the Warp Scale (W1 - W10), Prometheus would manage about W2 whereas The Sulaco would rush off in W7 (If S.M’s calculations are correct :) ). The Sulaco would reach Zeta Reticuli in 21 days. It wouldn't even be necessary with hypersleep. :)


Feb-06-2017 8:56 PM

3 weeks without having to expend resources on food, water, heat, air, light and boredom.

Going by the lore for Alien they use hyperspace.


Feb-06-2017 9:06 PM

Yes, I suppose it would be the most efficient way, and probably "standard procedure", S.M :)


Feb-07-2017 5:55 AM

SM answered the question the same i would have, and indeed as time goes on the ships get more advanced.

The Prometheus seemed to have a FTL Speed of up to 20X, Nostromo 46X and the Sulaco about 677X

The Covenant could well be more advanced, as they going rate for the Yutani Merger is about 2099?  SM could be able to clear that up.

The Nostromo was commissioned in the year 2101 and its safe to maybe assume it could be faster than Prometheus but at this time it would be safe to assume maybe it was not as fast as the 46X Speed of Light that it was in Alien, as the Nostromo was upgraded with a Refit which included Engineers in the year 2116.

But we simply have no information to guarantee what advances had been made after Prometheus, we can only assume the USCSS Prometheus was the fastest Ship in the year 2091 and there was no major advancements in the pipeline over the next few years.

After say the year 2100 when Weyland-Tutani would have been Merged for a bit, we cant say what Speeds the ships in the Alien Universe have and how many types of Engines are used and Speeds.

Its logically to assume not every ship has the same speeds, and so when the Nostromo was re-fitted in the year 2116 its Engines could still not be the fastest of any ship available we have to assume the 46X Speed of Light of the re-fitted Nostromo is not the fastest Ship created by Mankind.

So we can only guess, at how Fast the Covenant would be, and it would be to safely Assume its between the Prometheus and Nostromo.

We simply dont have any data/information to when the Covenant left our Solar System or which System it ends up going to.

Once the movie is out and they give us the arrival date of December 2104 and date they departed Earth's System and then if the Location was in and around Zeta 2 then we can make a good guess at the Speed of that ship.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


Feb-07-2017 6:00 AM

The only thing i can safely assume...

Would be and especially if Paradise is within the same Zeta 2 System...   is that the Juggernaught would reach there in no time at all.

We dont however know where Paradise is, the Source i had said it was about 600LY but they said could have been 60 or 600 Parsecs.

But i dont even know if they was correct at all or true..

But the point still stands that if Paradise is even hundreds of light years away...  A Juggernaught would surely get there in no time.

My Assumption is based on the Star Map on the Juggernaught as it showed a Giant Bubble that must have been our Galaxy and on the outside was many small like bubbles that each had Galaxies and so the Engineers could traverse Galaxies never mind Stars...  And so some how they could travel Millions of Light years as much as maybe Mankind in the Franchise could 10's or Hundreds of Light Years.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


Feb-07-2017 6:02 AM

Sorry if that was a bit off topic..

I was pointing out that  indeed David could have been on Paradise for nearly 10 years, its safe to assume the Juggernaught would be able to travel very fast.

Which then brings us to the Covenant and i would assume they would have been traveling for at least a year but no more than 5 years.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


Feb-07-2017 8:55 AM

Thanks, BD. It would then seem possible for The Covenant to reach Paradise 10 years after David and Shaw left LV-223 (depending on how far out in the galaxy they went with their juggernaut, of course)? With just a bit slower speed than The Nostromo it would take about 1 year for The Covenant to reach Zeta Reticuli.

I wonder if the juggernaut can communicate with the same speed as the ship can dash through the universe? If David can control this he might be able to send a message (without taking years for it to reach WY)?


Feb-07-2017 9:02 AM

maybe the covenant has been enroute to its true destination for some time and has been redirected like the nostromo was as it is the closest vessel. it would raise less questions from the authorities as the ship is already underway. I wouldnt entertain dr swojd, folk like that just have nothing better to do with theyr time than antagonise so don't fuel the fool.


Feb-07-2017 9:19 AM

Good points, both of them, ali81. One can perhaps wonder what that destination might be since Zeta Reticuli was virgin territory (to humans, that is)?


Feb-07-2017 9:54 AM

We really dont know for sure how far Paradise is or how long the Covenant has been traveling.

I would say the Covenant would be traveling no longer than 5 years.  Which if its Technology was as follows would give it the following maximum ranges.

Prometheus Spec = Range in 5 years of 100LY

Nostromo Spec = Range in 5 years of 230LY

Sulaco Spec = Range in 5 years of 3385LY

We cant simply go by Age of the ships though, as each ship could have a different purpose but the Covenant does seem a large ship like the Sulaco.  We have to then ponder how far behind is Technology behind such large ships some 70 years prior?

The Synopsis seems to hint at a very far planet, as surely 39LY is hardly the far reaches of the Galaxy, but we cant take that as literal as Prometheus was off to the darkest parts of the Universe.

But i do feel that Zeta 2 System is not far at all, but maybe this is where they are going so as to actually connect the dots to Alien and Prometheus in a more simple way.. despite potential flaws and problems and Plot Holes.

Ideally a World far away would be more better, the Source i had claimed Paradise was in the Constellation of Ophiuchus but i can not say they are in any way correct at all.

4Chan and IMDB leaks and another seem to all point that they are going back to the Zeta 2 System.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


Feb-07-2017 10:06 AM

You hint that (in the prequel novel) Shaw and David visit the Engineer homeworld then they return to Zeta-II-Reticuli and land on LV-426 which moon became a friendly planetoid during their trip? And then A:C starts...? 


Feb-07-2017 11:44 AM

Yes, since The Covenant can't get too far beyond Zeta Riticuli in that time, maybe LV-426 is where "Paradise" is after all? It would make the connection with Alien quite easy? They could spend a couple of movies destroying the planet, leading up to The Nostromo landing on it? :)


Feb-11-2017 6:13 PM

Or they'll land on the third big moon, LV-629... (name by BigDave) :)

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