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360-degree axes

Tactical analysis sierra vi

Romulan scoutship at relative bearing 270/mark 014

A bearing, sometimes referred to as relative bearing, was a common way to describe a specific direction in relation to a starship. (TOS: "Balance of Terror"; TNG: "The Defector" display graphic)


Bearings were commonly used to define the direction at which another object or the origin of a transmission was located in space, in relation to the current orientation of the ship. Bearings have also been used to indicate a direction on a planet by an away team on the surface or from the planet's atmosphere. Bearings were also used when the ship made a course correction in its current heading. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "By Any Other Name"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

In space, bearings were given in one or two 360-degree angles, sometimes with one or two decimal place accuracy, with various other information. For example:

On a planet, bearings were also given in one or two 360-degree angles, with various other information. For example:


See also

Background information

The first use of the term bearing to indicate a direction occurred in Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Balance of Terror". The meaning of bearings has been further defined in the writer's guides and several reference books, such as Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual (pg. 36).

Bearing 000-mark-0 is directly in front of the ship and bearing 180-mark-0 directly behind the ship. Coming about to bearing 090-mark-0 would be a sharp turn to the right or starboard. Coming about to bearing 270-mark-0 would be a sharp turn to the left or port. The second figure after the "mark" is the elevation angle. Coming about to bearing 000-mark-90 would be tilting the ship directly upwards and 000-mark-270 directly downwards.

In a deleted scene from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, as the HMS Bounty was leaving Earth, Uhura detected an unidentified aircraft in Earth's atmosphere at "range 30 miles, bearing 010". [1]

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