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Old July 30 2010, 05:07 AM   #1
Scottery
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When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

Hi, this is my first post so here goes.
When (on the earth timeline) did the different species in Star Trek, such as Klingons and Vulcans etc, achieve space travel/warp drive?
I have watched All of TNG and am just starting DS9 and was wondering this.
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Old July 30 2010, 06:38 AM   #2
Timo
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

We've never really been told "Species X achieved warp in year Y". Instead, we've been shown that humans on Earth first achieved (manned?) warp drive in 2063, and that numerous species had warp drive in the 2150s when the show ENT took place.

Major or familiar species that had warp in ENT:

Klingons (no mention how long they had had it)
Vulcans (again no mention, but a ship of theirs had a "warp engineer" aboard in 1957 already)
Romulans (again no mention)
Andorians (again no mention)
Tellarites (again no mention)
Ferengi (again no mention)
Borg (again... you get the picture)

Now, each of these species seemed "well established" in interstellar affairs, so presumably they had been warping for several decades at the very least. But we know that Vulcans had been interstellar for 3,000 years at that point, or that they at least had a 3,000-year-old temple in another star system at that point. We also know that Romulans reached their home planet at least 2,000 years before ENT, but whether they did so with warp, impulse, or just flapping their ears real hard, was never told. We further know that Klingon history includes references to starflight: Kahless himself said Klingons would meet him again on a distant star, a millennium before ENT. But we don't know the exact timetable of the early Klingon spatial exploits, and we don't know whether they were being poetic or literal with some of their spaceflight accounts.

The Ferengi spent 10,000 years struggling towards warp drive, as Quark laments in "Little Green Men", but there's no data on when they achieved their goal (that is, managed to buy the secret from an unknown seller). Quark also thought he could become that seller when time-traveling back to 1947, and claimed that the Ferengi would then get warp "centuries before humans or Klingons or even Vulcans". But of course, 1947 would not be centuries before 1957, so Quark was either in error there, or then simply thinking that he should become a time-traveling salesman now that he knew how.

The Borg used warp in ENT, but we don't know if this was their first warp experience ever (time loops notwithstanding), or perhaps the billionth anniversary of their first flight.

Despite decades upon decades of Star Trek, then, the writers have managed to keep things delightfully vague. We may postulate that Vulcans had warp several thousand years ago and then lost it in wars, or that they invented it in 1934. We may say that Klingons during Kahless were a starfaring empire already, or that they first learned to warp in 2098.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 30 2010, 10:14 AM   #3
captcalhoun
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

The Borg were known to be interstellar when the Vaadwar went into hibernation and that was (IIRC) 900 years prior, so about the 15th century.

the Tellarites were also operating over interstellar distances in the 1950s, cuz they picked up the Vulcans' distress signal in Carbon Creek and that was a freighter, not an exploration vessel.
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Old July 30 2010, 10:29 AM   #4
Crewman47
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

The one thing about Warp drive for other races is that very few of them have speeds over warp 5 by the 2150's, Vulcans have warp 7 but all the major races seem to have progressed on warp speeds at the same time once the Federation was formed and are now at warp 8 and 9+ by the 2380's.

This sort of implies that, like Earth, the other races are fairly new to warp drive, maybe within a few hundred years, or that once they developed warp drive whenever they did they just stuck with the first thing they had and kept with it with very little progress.
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Old July 30 2010, 11:36 AM   #5
ProtoAvatar
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

Timo wrote: View Post
We've never really been told "Species X achieved warp in year Y". Instead, we've been shown that humans on Earth first achieved (manned?) warp drive in 2063, and that numerous species had warp drive in the 2150s when the show ENT took place.

Major or familiar species that had warp in ENT:

Klingons (no mention how long they had had it)
Vulcans (again no mention, but a ship of theirs had a "warp engineer" aboard in 1957 already)
Romulans (again no mention)
Andorians (again no mention)
Tellarites (again no mention)
Ferengi (again no mention)
Borg (again... you get the picture)
If you take trek lit into account:
The klingons obtained warp drive from the Hurq, invaders who once conquered the klingon world, then a medieval society, not only socially, but also technologically.

The vulcans/romuland did not have warp drive when the romulans went in their exodus. The romulan journey was made in relativistic, near-light-speed ships.

The borg had warp drive from the moment they were born in their current state - being 'descendants' of warp-capable species.
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Old July 30 2010, 11:47 AM   #6
Timo
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

We may also consider that Zephram Cochrane of Alpha Centauri was considered to have "discovered the space warp", probably sometime in the 21st century but at least before his disappearance in the 2110s, according to TOS "Metamorphosis".

It might in theory be that no species in the universe known to our TOS heroes had discovered space warp prior to Cochrane, and that everybody we saw warping in ENT had acquired that capability after 2063. At least that was probably the intent of the writer of "Metamorphosis", and so far only a single piece of canonical evidence seems to go directly against this idea: the presence of a "warp engineer" aboard a Vulcan ship in 1957 in "Carbon Creek". Apart from that, all our alien references are to interstellar travel by unknown means, not to warp drive as such.

In practice, though, no recent writer of Trek has considered Cochrane to have been the inventor of warp drive in the general sense - but merely in the sense of introducing that drive to the human species on Earth. Supposedly, other species had their own Cochranes, or bought or stole warp from yet other species. It's just that the evidence isn't explicit, and a stubborn arguer could still support the claim that humans were the first (out of the usual players at least) to come up with a working warp drive, in 2063.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 30 2010, 02:27 PM   #7
barnaclelapse
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

I always had a hard time believing that for some reason.
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Old July 30 2010, 04:19 PM   #8
Finngle Bells
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

^what exactly are you referring to?
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Old July 30 2010, 08:28 PM   #9
Scottery
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

Thanks for the great replies!

So were most of the species at a plateau of warp technology until Humans and the Federation came into the picture? Kinda like when Q talks about how humans are progressing too fast?
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Old July 31 2010, 12:11 AM   #10
DS9forever
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

Dialogue in "Little Green Men" seemed to suggest the Vulcans didn't have warp drive in 1947.
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Old July 31 2010, 01:08 AM   #11
The Wormhole
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

DS9forever wrote: View Post
Dialogue in "Little Green Men" seemed to suggest the Vulcans didn't have warp drive in 1947.
This has been covered recently in another thread. Enterprise made it clear that Vulcans were warp capable and had a fleet of ships engaged in active exploration of space in the 1950s.

This leaves us with two theories:

-The Vulcans accomplished a lot in 10 years.
-Quark was wrong.
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Old July 31 2010, 09:29 PM   #12
Timo
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

To be sure, there's no explicit mention of the Vulcans having warp-driven ships in 1957. We see two ships that lack identifiable warp nacelles or warp rings in 1957, and neither of them is seen at warp, or said to have moved at warp speeds. Quite possibly both ships might have reached Earth at sublight speeds, given the longevity of their crews.

All we learn is that one of the ships that didn't demonstrate warp propulsion had a "warp field engineer" aboard. Might be somebody who operated the ship's unseen warp engines. Might be somebody who operated the ship's ansible instead, though, because that's what the dialogue of the episode indicated: T'Mir asked this guy whether he could build a subspace transceiver for the castaways. Perhaps Vulcans knew that the space warp might be used for propulsion one day, but hadn't mastered that aspect of the technology yet?

Timo Saloniemi
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Old August 1 2010, 09:37 AM   #13
captcalhoun
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

some times i think you over-think things. Occam's Razor. the simplest explanation is that they had warp drive and Quark was wrong.
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Old August 1 2010, 11:57 AM   #14
Timo
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

It should be remembered, though, that Occam's razor doesn't work on entertainment. It's based on false moustaches, after all. The simplest answer is usually the most boring, and thus to be avoided.

Although I'm convinced that giving Vulcans a few thousand years of warp history will be more interesting than claiming that they only have a few decades of it in ENT.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old August 1 2010, 12:46 PM   #15
ProtoAvatar
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Re: When Did different species achieve space travel/ warp?

The answer that is most consistent with what's shown on-screen - and may even have the most potential, story-wise - is that vulcans developed warp drive in the centuries following the romulan diaspora and, by the time of enterprise, had it for some time.
But they failed to improve it much in all these centuries (much like most species in this part of the galaxy). Humanity entering the scene provided a technological boost, mostly by bringing the resources and creativity of many species together, but, why not, also through its own mythical 'humanity is special'.
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