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Old March 8 2013, 10:31 AM   #18
Re: How far has Starfleet explored

Remember in that DS9 episode, The Olympia was assigned to an eight year mission in deep space with no contact with home.
Yet "Deep Space" 9 itself was located in relatively well known space, casting doubt on the relevance of the term. And TOS often featured ships failing to make contact for the better part of a year, despite supposedly operating in well-known space. So the Olympia example might not be quite as extreme as it seems, although it's a good one.

I think the quote from Wesley was that 19% of the galaxy was charted.
Wesley indeed uses the word:

"We've only charted nineteen percent of our galaxy."
Kosinski in "Where No One" says "charted", too:

"In three centuries of space flight, we've charted just eleven percent of our galaxy."
But apparently, charting is something you do with starships, as in TOS "Corbomite Maneuver" where the taking of photographs of the sky is referred to as "star mapping". Presumably, then, mere telescope operations from Earth don't meet the criteria of our heroes, possibly explaining the low percentages. It may well simply be an issue of obscuring: you have to fly around obstacles to get a proper view (and a parallax reading). And even a single properly directed long range mission may add several percentage points by offering a convenient angle for photography.

Then again, "charting" may call for even stricter criteria, such as getting some idea of what planets and other debris might be found around the star. This we know requires actual starship or probe visits ("Doomsday Machine", ST2).

Timo Saloniemi
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