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Falling Station Dilemma


Falling Station Dilemma  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. The fall of an orbital station on a planet will end with at least a thousand deaths on the population, but the crew of the station (147) would be saved. You have an alternative to use your weapons to destroy the station before it reaches the surface, saving the population but effectively killing the crew. Will you shoot?

    • Yes, destroy the station. Its crew will be remembered with honor, but the lives of a thousand civilians are worth it.
    • No, you can not fire on Starfleet personnel, whatever the reason.
    • No, but order the station to use their autodestruct system themselves, betting a thousand civilian lives on their will to do it.

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As captain of an starship, you respond to a distress call coming from an orbital station orbitting a heavily urbanized planet. The station engines have failed, and its orbit is rapidly decaying, falling towards the planet. You rush in and start evacuating personnel, but the atmosphere of the planet is dense and electrically charged, so before you are done, once the station enters the atmosphere, your transporters and tractor beams become useless.

According to your officers’ records, there are 147 lifesigns left onboard the station. They could get to escape pods and save themselves, landing somewhere in the planet in relative safety. However, that procedure will take so long the station will end crashing on the surface. Your crew estimates the resulting life loss in at least a thousand people. You have an alternative. You can order the station fired upon. The destruction of the station will reduce the falling impact to relatively harmless debris. But there is no way the remaining crew could escape in time before you are forced to destroy it.

Of course, you could order them to use the autodestruction system themselves, without time to get to the escape pods, but it’s a hard decision to put on their shoulders, and you have no guarantee they will comply.

Would you fire your torpedoes on the station? Let us know, and then check the Wikipedia article on the Trolley Problem to know the original formulation of this classical dilemma.

This is a new edition of our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favourite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!

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None of the above but do something different. Match speed with the station, get the ship beneath the station and push it back into orbit. 


If that doesn't work, hold it in place long enough for their crew to use escape pods or affect a docking procedure and enter my ship.  Them move away to destroy the station. 

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