First adopted in France in 1799, the metric system was a system of standardized measurements devised on Earth. Each base unit could be divided or multiplied in increments of ten, as indicated by the prefix appended to the base unit. For example, a meter, the base unit of length, could be expressed as a kilometer, with the prefix kilo- indicating that the unit was 1000 meters; alternately, the prefix centi- in centimeter indicated that it was 1/100th of a meter.
A meter was the base unit of length in the metric system, and was roughly equivalent to 39 inches in the imperial system, while a kilometer — 1000 meters — was approximately 0.6 miles in that system. The First Federation warning buoy maintained a distance of 1,593 meters from the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 when the starship made first contact with the First Federation on Stardate 1512.2. The First Federation Starship Fesarius was so enormous, that even at a distance of 5,000 meters, it filled the viewscreen.
A kilogram was the base unit of measurement for mass in the metric system. A kilogram, or 1000 grams, was equal to about 2.2 pounds. Very large masses could be expressed as metric tons, with each ton equal to 1000 kilograms.
Notes and References
- Trimble, Bjo. Star Trek Concordance. Book, revised and updated edition. Citadel Press, 1995.
- Roddenberry, Gene (Executive Producer). "Where No Man Has Gone Before." Star Trek, Season 1, Episode 1. Directed by James Goldstone. Written by Samuel A. Peeples. Desilu Productions, 22 September 1966.
- Bormanis, Andre. Star Trek: Science Logs. Pocket Books, March 1998.
- Roddenberry, Gene (Executive Producer). "The Corbomite Maneuver." Star Trek, Season 1, Episode 2. Directed by Joseph Sargent. Written by Jerry Sohl. Desilu Productions, 10 November 1966.
- Roddenberry, Gene (Executive Producer). "Mudd's Women." Star Trek, Season 1, Episode 3. Directed by Harvey Hart. Story by Gene Roddenberry. Written by Stephen Kandel. Desilu Productions, 13 October 1966.