This answer to my previous question made me thinking -- why Voyager wasn't able to travel back in time, in the end of "Future's End" episode, without assistance of Capt. Braxton's ship / 29th century technology / created time rift, if in "Star Trek: First Contact" TNG crew managed to return back to "their" time without assistance from the Borg or anyone else?

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    Considering that there was a lot of Borg technology aboard the partially-assimilated Enterprise-E, there very well could have been Borg "assistance" involved that simply wasn't mentioned. It's also possible that there was some lingering effect from the Borg's initial transit that the Enterprise simply triggered and rode back - after all, in "The Descent" the conduits didn't have any apparent/visible material source.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 15:13
  • I agree with you. However, linked answer points to my question, that has many other answers, that clearly suggests, that time travelling is generally possible and an fairly easy task. These answers contains many examples, that "unassisted" travel in time is possible, so my question, why special assistance was required to Voyager seems to remain.
    – trejder
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 15:28
  • @trejder Which scene are you referring to exactly? Wasn't it so that in the end of the episode, Braxton requested Voyager to come along with him back to their original timeline, rather then a trip upon the crew's initiative?
    – tmh
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 15:48
  • Because the Enterprise used the existing time rift created by the Borg
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 16:10
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    If I recall, I think Voyager departed and got stuck in the Delta quadrant prior to First Contact. Although Future's End might occur later, the Voyager would be limited to whatever technology they left with. I could be wrong though.
    – Brandon
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 23:53

2 Answers 2


In Star Trek: First Contact, the Enterprise used the existing time-rift created by the Borg to return to their own time.

Excluding a couple of "early episode madness" episodes from TOS, the only other instances we see of time travel being initiated by a crew from the 22nd, 23rd and 24th Century are various accidents and the single instance of the Klingon vessel from Star Trek IV which was notably crewed by Spock who was (apparently) keeping the secret of time travel to himself.

  • It seems, that we have an interesting situation here. Answers to my previous question are all (or most of) written in mood of "yeah, time travelling is not a problem in Star Trek universe". While you're answer here seems to be in direct contra-point to all those. It seems, that you're claiming here, what I was always assuming -- that time travelling in 24th century, in Star Trek universe, using Federation technology is not possible and always is an effect of some accident or usage of other species technology (like Borg).
    – trejder
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 21:31
  • @trejder - Time travel is accomplished in Star Trek pretty regularly, but is almost always the result of accidents (explosions, temporal rifts, etc) or outside interference by godlikes. While there are controllable time machines available to the Federation as a whole (one thinks of the Guardian of Forever), those aren't readily available to most Federation ships.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 22:25
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    @richard I don't know if the novels are canon here, but the Department of Temporal Investigations novels (specifically Book: Forgotten History, by C. L. Bennett) tackles this question. They were never able to replicate the original Enterprise engines which were responsible for the two time travel TOS episodes (Naked Time and Assignment:Earth), but during the event in the novel DTI finds out what really happened and unwittingly gives the formula to Kirk, who will use it in Star Trek IV with the Klingon ship. Afterwards they probably buried it again, to avoid more interference with time. Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 19:19

Janeway really had no choice. Alternate Braxton could have enforced his direction to Janeway if she chose not to comply. This was not about having the means, but having to comply with someone who can back up their request with lethal force.

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