Saturn mission patch

"First To Saturn", Christopher, Fontana, O'Herlihy

The Earth-Saturn probe was the first manned mission from Earth to Saturn that took place in the early 21st century.

The expedition was led by Colonel Shaun Geoffrey Christopher; other crew members included Fontana and O'Herlihy.

In 1969, the USS Enterprise, which had accidentally traveled back in time from the year 2267, took aboard Shaun Geoffrey Christopher's father, Captain John Christopher, when he attempted to intercept the Enterprise with his F-104 Starfighter. Initially believing that returning Christopher to Earth would be impossible, due to the fact that he might inadvertently change history with his new-found knowledge of the future, Lieutenant Commander Spock eventually realized that he had to be returned, or Shaun Geoffrey Christopher would never be born and the Saturn mission would never take place.

The mission patch was among others displayed in the 602 Club. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday"; ENT: "First Flight")


Background information Edit

Astronauts Fontana and O'Herlihy are named after writer D.C. Fontana and director Michael O'Herlihy of "Tomorrow is Yesterday". The mission patch was created for "First Flight". Michael O'Herlihy had passed away by that point, but Michael Okuda sent a copy of the patch to D.C. Fontana. ("First Flight" audio commentary, ENT Season 2 Blu-ray; Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 228))

According to Star Trek Chronology, this mission took place in 2009. This date is based on conjecture that forty years had passed after the events of "Tomorrow is Yesterday".

According to the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology, this mission took place in 2020. The spaceship used on the mission was the Aventeur-class UNSS Lewis and Clark, a clean fission-powered ship assembled in Earth orbit in the year 2008. It was 125 meters in length and had the crew complement of three officers, twelve crew, and the passenger capacity of 94. The same ship was used for the first manned mission to Jupiter in 2014. The voyage to Saturn lasted 81 days. Geological surveys discovered signs of past mining on the second and fourth moons of Saturn, such as laser-cut mine shafts, tread marks, and strip mining scars. This was the first sign of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. According to VOY: "One Small Step", however, no signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life had been discovered prior to 2032.

In the novel The Rings of Time, the name of the ship as Lewis & Clark and the 2020 launch date of the Earth-Saturn probe are both used.

Information on early spaceflight missions from later Star Trek series would seem to imply that the Earth-Saturn probe was perhaps launched in the 2030s. The Ares IV was one of the first manned ships to Mars in 2032 (VOY: "One Small Step"). And the Charybdis was the third manned attempt to travel beyond the Sol system in 2037 (TNG: "The Royale"). The Saturn mission could have occurred sometimes between these.

External linkEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-NC unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+