In the most recent episode S02E12 of Star Trek: Discovery,

USS Discovery faced the entire fleet of Section 31 which was after Sphere's data.

As Sphere's data doesn't allow itself to be deleted from the system,

Pike reached a decision to destroy the ship itself.

My question is: Why can't they simply remove the data core and destroy it? Why destroy a super expensive ship with unique Spore Drive?

  • 1
    As the name says: Data core. It contains all the data and programs that control, guide and in short, keep the USS Discovery intact. Losing the data core will result in instant shutdown of everything electronic on the ship. Well, that's a painful way to die. So Pike chose an easier death by blowing up everything (at the same time allowing all/most of the crew to escape.
    – Shreedhar
    Apr 9, 2019 at 14:09
  • @Shreedhar Or, they could've jumped out of there using Spore Drive and get the Data core replaced at nearest Starbase.
    – user931
    Apr 9, 2019 at 17:02
  • I agree it seemed like destroying the ship felt rushed. The biggest issue I ahve with this data core issue is that data that is in storage is not executing, can't act, and can't protect itself. It's like a hard drive, the way it sounds to me, and a hard drive's data cannot run without a CPU on which the data can execute. Give that there is magic here, they should just physically remove the hard drives and transport them into a star. Apr 16, 2019 at 15:36
  • @JerryNixon-TOS Given the events of DS9's The Forsaken or TNG's Contagion, it seems that Starfleet computers don't have quite the same distinction between "Storage" and "Executing" that ours do... Aug 14, 2019 at 11:39

1 Answer 1


As you said, the data does not allow itself to be deleted from the system. It also does not allow

The self destruct system to destroy the data, by cancelling the self destruct. It also does not allow Enterprise to destroy the data, by raising Discovery’s shields.

It’s abundantly clear that the data is capable of hijacking any ship system in order to preserve itself. Further tests of this self preservation instinct could end badly in all sorts of ways, like by the data deciding it would be a good idea to release all the oxygen from the ship while the people are still in it.

Neverminding that there isn’t a canonical description of Discovery’s “data core” or any indication that it can be removed at all, either by routine or extraordinary means.

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