Wanderer, a generational ship launched in the 21st century.

A generational ship is a type of sub-light spacecraft launched for an extended voyage through space, usually for decades or centuries, and designed to provide life support and residence for generations of inhabitants.

Specifics[edit | edit source]

Generational ships were often used by cultures without warp drive as a type of colony ship in which the descendants of the original ship's personnel would arrive at their destination, rather than preserving the original crew in stasis. Most were built to accommodate a significant number of passengers. Some looked like spacecraft, while others were built within hollowed-out asteroids or planetoids.

The term also encompassed some planetary refugee ships, as well as vessels unexpectedly displaced by spacial anomalies or with damaged propulsion systems.

Yonada had artificial gravity.

Some generational ships produced artificial gravity. Yonada used collapsed matter to create gravity, whereas Wanderer and Betelgeusian argosy frigates generated gravity through rotation. (TOS novels: Ex Machina, The Galactic Whirlpool, The Face of the Unknown)

In cases where many generations had passed since departure, the world-view of the inhabitants often became limited, as they'd not been exposed to the outdoors or sunlight, existed in confined spaces, and never had even the cultural stabilizer of seeing a home star, which often led to a perception that they were a unique entity in all of space. (TOS novel: The Galactic Whirlpool, TOS episode & Star Trek 8 novelization: For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky, TOS novel: Unspoken Truth)

During the Sundering, a mass exodus of dissidents from Vulcan to Romulus in the 4th century, the journey served to strengthen their resolve. (TOS novel: Exodus)

History[edit | edit source]

In an alternate timeline, time travel regressed Enterprise (NX-01) back to the year 2037, resulting it becoming a generational ship. T'Pol and Charles Tucker III had a child, Lorian, who grew up to become the vessel's CO. (ENT episode: "")

In 2368, the Krann Fleet of 163,247 cloaked Krann generational ships containing three billion colonists migrated towards the planet Nem Ma’ak Bratuna, ending a 6,000-year quest. The planet itself had been previously colonized by Lethanta generational asteroid ships. (TNG novel: The Last Stand)

In 2371, Kathryn Janeway discussed with Chakotay the possibility that USS Voyager would be forced to become a generational ship as they faced a 70-year journey back from the Delta Quadrant. (VOY episode: "Elogium")

In 2372, a generational colony ship in the form of a planetoid was discovered in the Myalon Corridor, which Jake Sisko speculated was from M-31 or the Andromeda Galaxy. (DS9 novel: Trial by Error)

Generational ships[edit | edit source]

Earth ships[edit | edit source]

Krann Fleet ships[edit | edit source]

Romulan/Vulcan ships[edit | edit source]

Others[edit | edit source]

Appendices[edit | edit source]

Images[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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