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Memory Alpha
Kataan probe

The probe in space

Kataan probe launch

The probe being launched

A Kataan probe was an artifact created by the Kataan to preserve memories of their civilization before their extinction in the 14th century.

At the time of its demise the people of the Ressik community, realizing that their sun was about to go nova, launched such a probe containing a memory record of their civilization and a Ressikan flute, native to their culture. This probe later encountered Captain Jean-Luc Picard and transferred its memory record to him, giving him the life experiences of Kamin in a matter of minutes.

Elines necklace

The probe shaped necklace of Eline

The probe was constructed out of low-tech materials like paricium and the ceramic alloy talgonite. It was propelled by a solid form of propellant, crystalline emiristol, which it used as fuel.

The device carried no exterior markings and was launched in the 14th century from a location close to the community of Ressik in a missile. Kamin was present when the probe was launched. His wife Eline carried a pendant on a necklace that resembled the probe's exterior shape.

The origin of the probe could be traced by programming a Federation probe to follow the radioactive trail left behind by the propellant. The probe traced the path of the Kataan probe to the Kataan star system in the Silarian sector.

The probe emitted a nucleonic beam, a particle transmission that sent Kamin's memories to a host, in this case Captain Picard. The transmission was an all encompassing sensory experience whereby the person receiving the memories assumed the identity of Kamin as well as experiencing the environment as though it were real. After the transmission was finished, the probe shut down and was tractored into shuttlebay 2 aboard the USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "The Inner Light")

In 2401, the probe was amongst the artifacts stored on Daystrom Station. (PIC: "The Bounty")

Another Kataan probe was encountered by the USS Cerritos, and placed in her anomaly storage room. In 2381, Lieutenants jg Beckett Mariner, D'Vana Tendi, and Sam Rutherford used it as part of a booby trap to prank Lieutenant Dirk. When Rutherford later attempted to dismantle the trap, the probe was accidentally activated, transmitting the memories of an entire lifetime into a Betazoid gift box. (LD: "In the Cradle of Vexilon")

The probe-shaped necklace that Eline wore was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [1] [2]