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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)

It was also used to describe a direction in subspace. (VOY: "Eye of the Needle")


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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)

The Picard Maneuver included a sensor bearing. (TNG: "The Battle")

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 (p. 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.

Deleted references[]

According to the script for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, a second patrol formation of Klingon cruisers approached the USS Enterprise on a bearing of "090-mark-20" to the USS Enterprise in the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

According to the script for 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".

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