In the DS9 Episode Explorers, Ben Sisko builds a replica of a ship modelled on an 800 year old Bajoran model. The surprise is that this ship is designed to catch tachyon beams to cross vast realms of space. Ben ends up travelling across the galaxy to the Cardassian system, proving that the ancient Bajorans could have done this.

Now Thor Heyerdahl built a balsa wood ship in South America, and managed to sail is across to the Pacific Islands (ie across the whole Pacific). We know that the Pacific Islands have some DNA traces of South Americans, and that South American potatoes are in the South Pacific.

My question is: Is the DS9 Explorers episode based on Thor Heyerdahl's cruise?

  • The link you've provided would suggest that the ship was originally just gonna be "old", then they slapped solar sails on it. – Valorum Jul 4 '16 at 9:51

The Deep Space Nine Companion quotes Hilary J. Bader (who gets the story credit for the episode) as saying yes, it is inspired by Heyerdahl and the voyage of the Kon-Tiki

"I was talking with friends about the fact that the Federation is based on ships," says Hilary Bader, then an intern on Deep Space Nine. "Somebody mentioned exploring, and the old ways of doing things and people trying to prove things. And as soon as you start thinking along those lines, you see the parallels to Kon-Tiki. I thought, 'wait a minute, that would be a good story.' So I went in and pitched it."

This is the passage referenced by the Memory Alpha article (under Production) when it mentions Heyerdahl.

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