The Picard Maneuver takes its name from Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who devised the tactic while in command of the constellation-class U. S. S. Stargazer NCC-2893. Crossing the Zeta Maxia star system in 2355, the stargazer is attacked without warning by an unidentified starship. Thanks to a brilliant maneuver performed by Captain Picard, the outgunned Stargazer managed to destroy the hostile vessel, though the badly damaged Federation Starship also had to be abandoned.
THE PICARD MANEUVER
1: IN CONTACT
The U. S. S. Stargazer is about 9 million kilometers from the Ferengi Marauder. Since light travels at roughly 300, 000 kilometers per second, it takes about 30 seconds for light from the Stargazer can be seen-but because it is 30 light-seconds away, the actual image is 30 seconds old.
2: ENGAGE WARP
The U. S. S. Stargazer engages warp drive and accelerates faster than light-but because of the light speed lag, the Marauder will not see this move for 30 seconds. Even at the lowest warp speeds the Federation starship can cover the distance between the two vessels in less than 30 seconds, and it has that time in which to make the attack.
3: FIRING POSITION
After 15 seconds, the U. S. S. Stargazer has moved to within firing range of the flank of the Marauder. Since it is much closer to the enemy, light from its starting position. In effect, the marauder will see a second "Stargazer" suddenly appear, while the "first" remains in its observed position.
4: TARGET DESTROYED
Twenty seconds into the maneuver, the U. S. S. Stargazer opens fire. The light from the Stargazers original move finally reaches the Ferengi ship location after 31 seconds, showing the Federation starship accelerating to warp speed. Sadly for the Marauder, it is too late, since it has already been destroyed by the critically damaged Stargazer.
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