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Memory Alpha
Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)

A five-year mission of deep space exploration into uncharted space was a type of assignment given to Starfleet starships primarily in the 23rd century.

History[]

Prime reality[]

In 2245, the USS Constellation began her first of three five-year missions under the command of Commodore Matthew Decker. (PIC: "The Star Gazer" commemorative plaque [1](X) )

In 2257, Captain Christopher Pike mentioned that he had been on a five-year mission aboard the USS Enterprise, a considerable distance away, when the Federation-Klingon War broke out the year before. They had not been ordered to return, which had taken a toll on the crew. (DIS: "Brother")

One of the greatest chapters in Starfleet history was another five-year mission of the USS Enterprise from 22652270 under Captain James T. Kirk. (Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, VOY: "Q2")

In 2269, Captain Kirk told Odona that the USS Enterprise carried on board enough food to feed a crew of 430 for five years. (TOS: "The Mark of Gideon")

In the 24th century, Captain Nyota Uhura led an exploratory five-year mission to the Lesser Magellanic Cloud. The mission lasted from 2301 to 2305. (PIC: "The Star Gazer" commemorative plaque [2](X) )

Five-year missions were abandoned by 3189. (DIS: "Die Trying")

Alternate reality[]

The first official five-year mission of deep space exploration into uncharted space was undertaken in the alternate reality by the USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, on May 12, 2260.

By the third year, the ship had been in uncharted space for an extended period. This had stretched the ship's mechanical capacities, although the engineering department was up to the job. The rest of the crew likewise continued to act admirably despite the rigors.

By day 966, the crew were looking forward to a resupply stop at Starbase Yorktown. From there, the ship continued on a rescue mission to Altamid, where it was destroyed. The crew later continued their mission in the USS Enterprise-A after it was finished. (Star Trek Into Darkness; Star Trek Beyond)

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Background information[]

The 2265-2270 five-year mission of the USS Enterprise mission was chronicled in Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Animated Series, based on the opening narration to those series. The Star Trek Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., p. 18 and Star Trek Chronology, 1st ed., pp. 31 & 34 have conjectured that Captain Robert April had one five-year mission and Captain Christopher Pike had two five-year missions with the Enterprise before Kirk assumed command. These sources also state that Kirk had a second five-year mission after Star Trek: The Motion Picture. DIS: "Brother" later made canon that Pike did indeed have at least one five-year mission as commander of the Enterprise which, based upon dates given in the series, would have been underway at the time of "The Cage".

Until 2260 in the alternate reality, a five-year mission of deep space exploration was unprecedented. Because the alternate reality was a divergent timeline that split from the original universe in 2233, there presumably had not been any official five-year missions prior to, at least, that year in the prime reality.

No references have been made to five-year missions after the 23rd century. Instead, the opening narration of Star Trek: The Next Generation refers to the Enterprise's "continuing mission". However, in 2363, the USS Olympia embarked on an eight-year mission. In an interview in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 3 DVD, Ira Steven Behr said that the USS Defiant was "on a five-year mission to kick ass."

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