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Why does Earth have two stargates?

I think this was covered in the series, but when I tried to find it in the Stargate wiki, I couldn't find it.

Why is it that incoming wormholes seem to always connect with the SGC stargate? Why don't SGC teams ever end up connecting to the Russian gate when they dial home? Since they're dialing coordinates and not a specific gate, how do they distinguish between one gate and the other?


2 Answers 2


The gate system is intelligent enough to connect to a gate that has a functional dialing device connected to it.

The SGC computer is recognized as a dialing device, so when it's available, it's used.

When the Russians had a DHD and a gate, their gate gained priority when they had their DHD connected - it was recognized as the superior dialing device.


Because the Russian one isn't connected to a DHD and thus inactive.

Actually, the Russian gate, the one they found in Antarctica, is the dominant gate and should both be connected at the same time the Russian one will always catch all incoming wormholes.

  • The Antarctic gate wasn't dominant, though - the DHD there was connected the entire time (until it was discovered by O'Neill and Carter) and it wasn't sealed. It was, for some reason, bypassed in favor of the Egyptian gate.
    – Jeff
    Feb 17, 2012 at 15:15
  • I think the Antarctic gate was somehow rendered inactive once the SGC gate was brought online. When the SGC gate was buried in Egypt, the Antarctic gate was the primary gate for Earth.
    – user1027
    Feb 17, 2012 at 15:24
  • 2
    @Jeff I refer you to a recent Mythbusters episode, where the ignition for a block of C4 was put in liquid nitrogen. While frozen, the current couldn't flow sufficiently to make the C4 explode. After defrosting, it worked fine. Most likely, the ice of Antarctica rendered the DHD inoperative, even though it was technically still connected.
    – Izkata
    Feb 17, 2012 at 23:57
  • @Jeff: It was broken. Sep 5, 2014 at 17:15
  • The Russian Stargate was actually the original Giza one. It was lost at sea after Thor's ship the Bilskirnir crashed with it on board. After this, SGC started using the Antarctic Gate and Russia recovered the Giza one. Jul 23, 2018 at 6:09

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