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.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)
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: "E²")
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")
Krann Fleet shipsEdit
- Blacklight (4th century)
- Lost Road
- Rea's Helm
- Archernar IV (millions of years ago)
- Betelgeusian Argosies (~ 20th century)
- Epsilon Anubis generational ship (~ 20th century)
- Irapina starships
- Kelvan generational ships (20th century)
- Lethanta asteroid ships
- Lyra (Dyson sphere)
- Rifas-L world ship
- Sanoora world ships (500,000 BCE)
- Sky Spirits generational ships (43,000 BCE)
- Varro generational ship (c. 1970s)
- Vedala asteroid homeship
- Yonada (7500 BCE)
- TOS episode & Star Trek 8 novelization: For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
- TOS episode & Log Five novelization: The Jihad
- DS9 novel: Objective: Bajor
- VOY episode: "The Disease"
- TOS comic: "The Perfect Dream"
- TOS comic: "The Evictors"
- TOS comic: "Planet of No Life"
- TOS comic: "The Savage Within"
- TOS comic: "Mission's End"
- TOS novel: The Galactic Whirlpool
- TOS novel: World Without End
- TOS novel: The Starless World
- TOS novel: Ex Machina
- TOS novel: Exodus
- TOS novel: The Face of the Unknown
- TNG novel: The Last Stand
- STO - Season 7: New Romulus mission: "The History of New Romulus"
- TOS episode & Star Trek 6 novelization: By Any Other Name
- VOY episode: "Elogium"
- TOS novel: Planet of Judgment
- TOS novel: Unspoken Truth
- TNG novel: Rogue Saucer