Friendship 1 (UESPA-1) was a deep space probe launched by the United Earth Space Probe Agency in 2067 with the purpose of finding other species. The probe contained a great deal of technological, scientific, and cultural information, such as translation matrices, data on computer chips, transceivers, warp drive, and Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. As only four years had passed since first contact, Humanity was keen to find other intelligent lifeforms, but they were aware that the lifeforms they intended to find may be unaware of how to create a means of contacting Humanity, so the probe was equipped to inform any lifeforms on how to design communication arrays.
The opening greeting of the probe was: "We the people of Earth greet you in a spirit of peace and humility. As we venture out of our solar system, we hope to earn the trust and friendship of other worlds." Both Harry Kim and Tom Paris had to memorize the greeting in third grade.
Starfleet lost contact with the probe in 2248. Friendship 1 eventually landed on an unidentified planet in Grid 310 of the Delta Quadrant. The planet's natives reverse engineered the probe and learned of its antimatter and applied the technology to their planetary power grid. However, they lacked the technological expertise to utilize it safely and antimatter was accidentally released, causing a nuclear winter and contaminating the surface with antimatter radiation.
In 2378, Starfleet charged the USS Voyager with finding the probe, its first official mission in seven years. They came into conflict with the survivors on the planet where Friendship 1 landed, who blamed Humans for giving them the information that caused their self-destruction. Eventually, Voyager was able to eliminate the radiation by triggering an atmospheric isolytic reaction with its photon torpedoes. (VOY: "Friendship One")
Background information Edit
The Friendship 1 emblem appeared to be the traditional Starfleet/Enterprise "arrowhead" insignia, with the United Nations banner inside it – marking the first chronologically known use of the famous ship's mission insignia, and one of the few times it was used, chronologically, prior to TOS's Enterprise.
Studio model Edit
The Friendship 1 was originally designed by Rick Sternbach. It possessed warp nacelles that were reminiscent of those of the Phoenix, and the head of the probe was not dissimilar to the top of the Nomad probe. Sternbach has noted, "There wasn’t much in the episode to indicate a true scale. To my mind, the thing was likely no bigger than Cochrane’s Phoenix; that is, about a 10 foot diameter central body and warp nacelles about 3-3.5 feet in diameter. That donut and cylinder in the tail was the antimatter supply within a protective mag field, as a test for future crewed vehicles, where the antimatter container might have to be jettisoned due to a breakdown of the field. Best way is to keep the pod at the rear and blow it away backwards. The deuterium tank, on the other hand, would have been fine; it’s just super-cold and only needed good insulation." (X)
The CGI model as eventually featured was a redesign by digital modeler Pierre Drolet and constructed by him at Foundation Imaging. Drolet recounted, "The first spaceship I built for the Star Trek world was actually not a spaceship but a probe name "Friendship 1." This would have been the only model I did for Star Trek if I f*#^ it up. Let me explain; The original design of "Friendship 1" that we received from the art department from Paramount was pretty much a box, with two small wings and a direct TV dish on the frame. Rob and I were not impressed with this so he gave me the green light to make a bold move, which was to redesign Friendship 1. When I look back, I could have followed instructions to strictly just built it from the original design, but luckily in this case diverging from the norm ended up paying off. Dan Curry was the visual effect producer for Star Trek at the time and, luckily for me, he liked the new design. That was the beginning of my full time job as lead modeler for Star Trek for five years."