Melissa Navia portrays, Lt. Erica Ortegas, the pilot of the Enteprise on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Being aboard a Starfleet vessel comes with risk. There’s always a very large chance the occupants are going to be struck by debris, involved in a space battle, or hit by a wave of radiation that sends the ship into a tailspin. Usually, at least one of those sends the crew on the bridge scattering, slinging them across the floor like they weigh little more than a five-pound bag of flour. With so much potential for injury, Star Trek fans have often wondered why the crew’s safety isn’t taken into consideration when the ships are constructed. Essentially, where are the seatbelts?
Melissa Navia, the wisecracking pilot of the Enterprise on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds asked that same question in an interview with Slashfilm. She and her fellow castmates, Celia Rose Gooding and Christina Chong discussed how to make the scene look real when the Enterprise is struck by something or the ship is supposed to shake for any other reason.
"“I always ask, ‘Why don’t we have seat belts?'”"
Melissa Navia admits to being very specific.
Navia wants to know more than just what direction she should move.
"“I get very specific. I’m like, ‘Is it directional? Is it non-directional?’ And I’m like, ‘What are we being hit by exactly? Versus is this like the force of it?’ And some directors will be just like, ‘She’s one of those.’ And I’m like, ‘Yes, I’m one of those.’ I need to know what’s hitting us, at what speed, in relation to what else. And then we all look in and then we do the shake.”"
So it’s no wonder she asked about the seatbelts. According to Atlas Obscura, seatbelts have been in airplanes since the 1930s and 1940s. The Enterprise NX-01 was completed in 2151 and included a transporter, shuttle bays, a medical bay, and all the other accoutrements a starship should have. But it didn’t have seatbelts. Neither did any of the other Enterprises that followed. Or any of the other starships.
Airplanes can fly between six and eight miles above sea level. And they all are equipped with seatbelts. So it does make a Trekkie wonder why this common piece of safety equipment isn’t installed on Starfleet vessels.