I am curious about which Federation crew has had the longest, uninterrupted mission/journey without direct Starfleet support (repairs, re-supply, personnel rotations, etc).

Any era of Trek is acceptable, but I am looking for the longest journey experienced by a crew, so hopping into the future through a wormhole wouldn't count. I will consider answers where the crew survived, but their ship did not (crash landings, abandoned ships, etc).

The number to beat: an alternate timeline Enterprise NX-01 became a generation ship, traveling for about 117 years.

  • I can't find the 117 year journey you are referring to. – Brian Ortiz Sep 13 '16 at 10:41
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    @BrianOrtiz That would be the 'Enterprise' episode 'E²' (s3e21). The Enterprise time travels to 2037 and sticks around in the Expanse until 2154 to help the about-to-time-travel Enterprise. – user45485 Sep 13 '16 at 10:55
  • in time or space? Books as well or just tv/film? – NKCampbell Sep 13 '16 at 14:01
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    In that case, the Star Trek Destiny trilogy may qualify. The NX-02 Columbia gets thrown back millions of years and 'survive' to the 24th century. To say anymore would spoil a terrific series. – NKCampbell Sep 13 '16 at 17:51
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    @NKCampbell As far as I can tell from MemoryBeta (which is not canon), the NX-02 is thrown back to the 16th century; the ship thrown back millions of years is a Caeliar ship. But Erika Hernandez, captain of the Columbia, does survive in linear time to the 24th century. But from what I can tell from the books' synopses she sort of gives up on whatever her mission was supposed to be very quickly (and after being made immortal by the Caeliar). She only tries to escape after meeting up with Riker in the late 24th century. – user45485 Sep 14 '16 at 10:35

200 Years

In Deep Space Nine's 'Children of Time' (s5e22) the crew of the Defiant is thrown back in time 200 years and their 8000 descendants (and Odo and Dax) survive to meet up with the Defiant again.

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    That is not a "journey on a Federation vessel". That is just a bunch of people who colonized in the past. -1 – ThePopMachine Sep 13 '16 at 15:30
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    @ThePopMachine According to the last sentence of the second paragraph of the original question this "mission" does qualify. Crash landing, continuing survival. – user45485 Sep 13 '16 at 15:42
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    @Hans: Survival is not a mission. It's more of a standing order if it's anything. – ThePopMachine Sep 13 '16 at 15:46
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    @NKCampbell Those missions were in the past but didn't last that long. In First Contact they went back 300 years but the entire mission lasted only several days. – user45485 Sep 14 '16 at 9:49
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    @ThePopMachine The example given by VapedCrusader, the NX-01 Enterprise being thrown back in time 117 years, is exactly the same. The (decendants of the) people experiencing the time paradox are waiting for the original moment the timeshift happened to make sure the same thing does not happen (Enterprise) or does happen (Defiant). It's a mission of a sort. Self-imposed, but still a mission. – user45485 Sep 14 '16 at 10:05

There are 2 "debatable" answers to this...

the first is "The Voth" in general left Earth 75 million years ago and might actually qualify as federation citizens which means their journey is the longest on record.

The second is "Voyager" depending on how you see the backup EMH program. If you view him as a separate entity from the Doctor, he certainly is part of the Federation and his trip lasted 700 to 900 years if he actually got home... although that's relative, considering he spent most of that time in active memory deactivated. And the other problem is the rest of voyager made it home at least 600 years prior to him being reactivated.

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    I don't see how the Voth "might qualify as Federation citizens" and I don't see how the backup EMH counts as "journey by a Federation vessel". No on both. -1 – ThePopMachine Sep 13 '16 at 15:29
  • @ThePopMachine If you interpret the question as "What crew/vessel and their descendant left earth and spent the most amount of time away before returning" which it can be interpretted as the Voth left Earth and have yet to return. The Back-up EMH is literally a part of Voyager and a crew member as much as the Doctor is. – Durakken Sep 13 '16 at 15:42
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    How do you get that? back-up EMH is Federation. That is one out of three. He is not really on a journey or mission for 800 years, nor is he a vessel or on one. – ThePopMachine Sep 13 '16 at 15:49
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    @Durakken The one big point (to me) where the backup EMH fails the conditions set is the "uninterrupted" part. Almost all of the time the EMH was dormant and you have to look at it from the EMH's point of view. VapedCrusader also mentioned this (4th comment in original question): "on the clock". The backup EMH was not "on the clock" for 800 years. – user45485 Sep 14 '16 at 10:09
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    @Durakken I think the Voth don't qualify because they don't have a persisting memory of their "mission". Also, if they have a mission at all it is not to get back to Earth. – user45485 Sep 14 '16 at 10:12

If you want the longest Starfleet journey by distance, it would be the episode involving The Traveler.

To summarize: The Traveler is a mysterious being who, through the power of pure thought, helps focus the Enterprise's warp core. In their mission to 'test this enhancement', they first are launched to the M33 galaxy. In a panic to get home, they then overshoot the mark and travel a billion more lightyears to the 'end of the universe'.

  • Welcome to SFF! Like the rest of the network we are a Q/A site and not a discussion forum so I've edited out the "discussiony" part of your answer. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 2 '18 at 15:34

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