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Old September 7 2008, 10:41 PM   #1
LutherSloan
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Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

I have been trying to figure out the difference between the Earth Starfleet and the United Earth Space Probe Agency (UESPA), both of which were mentioned throughout 'Kobayashi Maru', and possibly other 'Enterprise'-era books.

Anyone have a clarification?
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Old September 7 2008, 11:11 PM   #2
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Onscreen, there isn't a difference. In the fourth season of ENT, we saw a logo that said STARFLEET COMMAND - UNITED EARTH SPACE PROBE AGENCY:

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Imag...leet_UESPA.jpg

We also saw a UESPA logo by itself in the "Friendship One" probe in VGR and in the flashbacks in ENT: "First Flight." So maybe Starfleet was formed out of UESPA or merged with it. We know that the term UESPA continued to be in use throughout the 23rd century; Kirk mentioned it as the body he reported to in "Charlie X" and "Tomorrow is Yesterday," and its name appears on the Enterprise-B's dedication plaque.

Perhaps UESPA continued to be used as a traditional name for the Earth Starfleet that grew out of it, or maybe Earth Starfleet was a subdivision of UESPA that eventually overtook the whole thing. And then when the Federation Starfleet was formed, the Earth branch of the combined service, which had formerly called itself Starfleet, went back to calling itself UESPA instead. Perhaps it and the Vulcan Space Command and the Andorian Guard and so forth continued to have some existence, at least in organizational terms, within Starfleet through the late 23rd century or so. But apparently the term had fallen out of use by the TNG era.
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Old September 7 2008, 11:17 PM   #3
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Well, I find it interesting that in 'Kobayashi Maru', the captain of that vessel talks about his ship having trouble with meeting UESPA regulations, after Archer tells that captain that his ship does not meet a lot of their standards. I found it kind of odd that he said that, rather than Starfleet regulations. It made me think that Starfleet and the UESPA were somewhat different, with Starfleet in control of everything except cargo and transport vessels, which seemed to fall under the UESPA's jurisdiction. Maybe both of them still existed separately as of 2156?
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Old September 7 2008, 11:24 PM   #4
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

I would presume that the United Earth Starfleet is a division of the United Earth Space Probe Agency, in the same sense that the United States Marine Corps is a division of the United States Department of the Navy.
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Old September 7 2008, 11:38 PM   #5
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Christopher wrote: View Post

Perhaps UESPA continued to be used as a traditional name for the Earth Starfleet that grew out of it, or maybe Earth Starfleet was a subdivision of UESPA that eventually overtook the whole thing. And then when the Federation Starfleet was formed, the Earth branch of the combined service, which had formerly called itself Starfleet, went back to calling itself UESPA instead. Perhaps it and the Vulcan Space Command and the Andorian Guard and so forth continued to have some existence, at least in organizational terms, within Starfleet through the late 23rd century or so. But apparently the term had fallen out of use by the TNG era.
I thought I remembered there being a reference somewhere to the Federation members still having their own planetary fleets that focused solely on defending their own world. I could very well be mistaken though, that does happen to me alot.
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Old September 7 2008, 11:41 PM   #6
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Sci wrote: View Post
I would presume that the United Earth Starfleet is a division of the United Earth Space Probe Agency, in the same sense that the United States Marine Corps is a division of the United States Department of the Navy.
That makes sense. So UESPA is the branch of the government that oversees it and Starfleet is the organization itself?
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Old September 8 2008, 01:14 AM   #7
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Christopher wrote: View Post

That makes sense. So UESPA is the branch of the government that oversees it and Starfleet is the organization itself?
Agreed, at least as far as Earth Starfleet. The idea doesn't seem to hold up though once the Federation comes into play. Why wouldn't Kirk say that he reported to the Federation and use the old Earth Starfleet's overseeing body? Unless UESPA was molded into the federation (which sounds logical, except why would it keep its pre-federation name?)
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Old September 8 2008, 02:30 AM   #8
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Well, the Enterprise had a mostly Earth-human crew, so maybe Starfleet was divided into different fleets under different planetary governments' administrations. The Starfleet we saw in TOS seemed very Earth-centric; maybe there were other subfleets that were Vulcan, Andorian, Tellarite, etc. The Intrepid could've been under the supervision of the Vulcan branch of Starfleet, for instance.
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Old September 8 2008, 02:43 AM   #9
Nerys Myk
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

My guess is that UESPA is the organization that oversaw all of Earth's space related ventures. It included the UE Starfleet (exploration and defense), the Earth Cargo Service (commerce), what ever organization controlled Colonial operations and anything else space related.
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Old September 8 2008, 02:48 AM   #10
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
I would presume that the United Earth Starfleet is a division of the United Earth Space Probe Agency, in the same sense that the United States Marine Corps is a division of the United States Department of the Navy.
That makes sense. So UESPA is the branch of the government that oversees it and Starfleet is the organization itself?
That was always my inference, yeah -- a bit like if the US government was to established a "United States Space Force" and place it under the jurisdiction of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I figure UESPA isn't an executive department, but rather an independent executive agency such as NASA or the Central Intelligence Agency.

But of course that's just my interpretation of the UES/UESPA seal in "Demons," and others could be perfectly valid.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, the Enterprise had a mostly Earth-human crew, so maybe Starfleet was divided into different fleets under different planetary governments' administrations. The Starfleet we saw in TOS seemed very Earth-centric; maybe there were other subfleets that were Vulcan, Andorian, Tellarite, etc. The Intrepid could've been under the supervision of the Vulcan branch of Starfleet, for instance.
That theory goes a long way towards explaining why the Federation Starfleet would seem so species-specific during the TOS era, and also gives us some retroactive justifications for Kirk's referring to the Enterprise as a United Earth ship and as being under UESPA command during TOS episodes produced before they came up with the idea of the Federation and the Federation Starfleet.

Having said that, my inclination was always just to pretend that when Kirk called the Enterprise a United Earth Ship, he was actually saying "Federation starship," and that when he referred to UESPA, he actually said, "Starfleet." But it's all good.
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Old September 8 2008, 03:20 AM   #11
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Sci wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, the Enterprise had a mostly Earth-human crew, so maybe Starfleet was divided into different fleets under different planetary governments' administrations. The Starfleet we saw in TOS seemed very Earth-centric; maybe there were other subfleets that were Vulcan, Andorian, Tellarite, etc. The Intrepid could've been under the supervision of the Vulcan branch of Starfleet, for instance.
That theory goes a long way towards explaining why the Federation Starfleet would seem so species-specific during the TOS era, and also gives us some retroactive justifications for Kirk's referring to the Enterprise as a United Earth ship and as being under UESPA command
From which one might draw the conclusion that, at least by the time of ST:TMP, Federation or Starfleet officials had begun to encourage more integration, a trend which continued into the 24th century; though it might be fair to say that the trend of having species-dominated vessels was a case of "old habits die hard" with many ships on-screen still having a predominantly human crew, or the all-Vulcan ship seen in "Take Me Out To The Holosuite" (DS9).

Taking another approach to that, I can imagine myself being an Andorian in the mid-to-late 22nd century, finding myself part of this new Coalition/Federation and thinking "OK: fighting along side Vulcans I can do, but serving alongside them... no way!" I can see this trend disappearing over time, but it sounds reasonable to assume that even a century after the formation of the Federation, that it would still be "more comfortable" for individuals to serve with their own kind, but as time progresses, the barriers continue to break down and multi-species crews become increasingly common, and even encouraged (<cough>Titan</cough>).
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Old September 8 2008, 04:37 AM   #12
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Sci wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, the Enterprise had a mostly Earth-human crew, so maybe Starfleet was divided into different fleets under different planetary governments' administrations. The Starfleet we saw in TOS seemed very Earth-centric; maybe there were other subfleets that were Vulcan, Andorian, Tellarite, etc. The Intrepid could've been under the supervision of the Vulcan branch of Starfleet, for instance.
That theory goes a long way towards explaining why the Federation Starfleet would seem so species-specific during the TOS era, and also gives us some retroactive justifications for Kirk's referring to the Enterprise as a United Earth ship and as being under UESPA command during TOS episodes produced before they came up with the idea of the Federation and the Federation Starfleet.
Who knows? Maybe when Kirk said there were "only twelve [starships] like it in the fleet," he was referring to the Earth fleet, which was anchored by the Constitution-class starships. Maybe there were other fleets with different classes of ship. Since we never saw the Intrepid, maybe it was a Vulcan ringship, one of the capital ships of the Vulcan branch of Starfleet.
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Old September 8 2008, 04:20 PM   #13
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

I think I like Christopher's take on it. And Osquevel's. It makes the most sense.
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Old September 8 2008, 11:13 PM   #14
LutherSloan
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

I'm not sure. From TOS onward, we no longer see any indication that the Vulcans, Tellarites, and Andorians had their own fleets, at least non-Earth style vessels. We know that the Vulcans had transport craft, but it generally doesn't seem to make much sense that each of these worlds would continue to build their own ships after the founding of the Federation. It makes more sense to have one singular Starfleet charged with exploration and defense of the various member worlds/systems.

Although it begs the question why, even though Vulcan ships were more advanced and powerful at the time of the Federation's founding (based on ENT), their ships weren't the basis for the Federation Starfleet. The only answer I can come up with is the hostility between the Vulcans and Andorians, who would both rather work with humans than each other.
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Old September 8 2008, 11:32 PM   #15
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Re: Difference Between Earth Starfleet and the UESPA?

Somehow, I find it very, very hard that Earth's local space military could ever have accepted the name "UE Space Probe Agency". Militaries do not accept wussy, sissy, completely nonmilitary and nonpatriotic names like that. They just don't.

It is much easier for me to think that Starfleet would work together with a "peaceful" UE organization dedicated to space exploration, closely enough to warrant a joint seal, and that this peaceful organization would somewhat predate the space combat force because probes like Friendship 1 are probably much easier to execute in practical terms than credible space combat starships, early on in the history of starflight.

Having Kirk work, at least part time, for a peaceful Earth-run space research organization sounds quite acceptable, OTOH. And this is something he'd be happy to declare to a fellow Earthling from the 1960s, as opposed to confessing to his day job as the minion of an interstellar and thus essentially foreign military.

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