In modern real life space exploration the time is taken to deorbit probes rather than risk them crashing into and contaminating moons or planets that have even the slightest chance of habitability while Starfleet seems to stand in stark contrast by shooting cadavers or probes off willy-nilly and having to deal with the consequences later.

The crew of the Enterprise happily fired Spock's body at a brand new class-M and accidentally created an entire evolutionary line from just a few microbes stuck to the pod, to say nothing of resurrecting a sentient being.

Voyager had at least one of their dead they shot off into deep space encounter an unknown alien race though they at least were quite pleased to have a freeze-dried corpse to work with.

Has Starfleet ever shown any sign it wants to avoid unnecessary environmental impact on other worlds as they explore in the same way they tiptoe around cultural damage or is it just a case of make sure the biosphere is safe for the crew only and they just hope space burials and probes fired to distract randy flagellating space beasties don't hit something?

  • 6
    There was that TNG canon about high warp speeds causing [insert something about subspace instability here] across wide regions of trafficked space, leading to policies and treaties limiting high warp usage.
    – Lexible
    Dec 26, 2021 at 2:02
  • Star fleet is not suppose to interfere at all from my understanding so it stands to logic that they would be against pollution Dec 26, 2021 at 6:06
  • @Lexible that was my first thought too, but wasn't the issue that the damage eventualy made warp travel impossible, so was more if a vested interest than proof of a wider principle?
    – Michael
    Dec 26, 2021 at 11:33
  • 2
    Captain Janeway and crew certainly had an issue with the Malons' polluting of space. Dec 29, 2021 at 15:27
  • The Lower Decks crew loves “high warp” as its favorite mode of travel. Jan 4, 2022 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


No, Starfleet seems unconcerned by leaving objects floating through space, and there is no discussion of potential issues this might cause.

Pollution was most directly addressed in the USS Voyager's interactions with the Malon species, which dump antimatter waste outside their space, with varying concern for the negative impacts on nearby species. This is discussed in Voyager episodes Night, Extreme Risk, and Juggernaut. The Voyager crew finds this immoral and shocking, but doesn't cite Starfleet regulations which presumably exist but have no relevance in the Delta Quadrant.

In the Next Generation episode Force of Nature, it is discovered that warp travel is damaging subspace. While this is a case of environmental destruction, it seems different than your question.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.