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A recurring theme in Star Trek is time travel. E.g. in Star Trek: Picard, Season 2, when traveling back to the 21st century, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: The Voyage Home, Janeway returning in time to help the U.S.S. Voyager returning home and so on.

So, the travel is always, from their perspective, to the past and then returning. I can't remember anybody traveling temporarily to the future and returning to their time line afterwards.

In Star Trek: Discovery, at the end of Season 2, the U.S.S. Discovery travels 950 years into the future. However, they don't travel back into their original time. Same with Burnham's mother. She travelled to the future and then temporarily back into the 23rd century.

So, the question is if somebody has, for a short period of time, travelled into the future and then returned to their original time? If somebody has, did they bring some of the future tech with them?

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    Isn't the example of Burnham's mother you mentioned precisely what you are after? She traveled to the future, then came back to the present and brought back future tech.
    – terdon
    May 16 at 11:33
  • @terdon Arguably Burnham's mother never actually returned to "her" present. Instead jumping to various points in history, and given all the jumps she made back were tethered to their origin point in the future she had to return. May 16 at 15:23
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    @motosubatsu yes, I admit I weaseled my way out of that by using "the present" instead of "her present" in my previous comment. I don't remember for sure if she ever went back to the exact moment she left from. However, she did come back to her "present era", at least.
    – terdon
    May 16 at 15:46

4 Answers 4

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In addition to Machavity's answer there's a few instances of a character or characters travelling temporarily forward (relative to their own time if not that of the show) - Samuel Clemens traveled from the 19th Century to the 24th during TNG:Time's Arrow Part II before returning. He didn't take anything back with him IIRC

And a whole ship's worth traveled a couple of decades forward from their own time in TNG:Yesterday's Enterprise, and took at least minor tech back with them (and one Tasha Yar)

VOY:Eye of the Needle saw the Romulan officer R'Mor brought forward to Voyager's timeframe from 30 years previously before returning. No significant tech taken back with him - just a PADD of various letters the Voyager crew hoped he could deliver in ~30 years

VOY:Death Wish, while not a time-travel episode per se (despite featuring what I think is the furthest time jump the show has ever done: a round trip 2372-Big Bang-2372) has some brief cameo experiences by figures from various points in Earth history brought forward by Q before being returned

DS9:Accession had the Bajoran poet brought forward from the 22nd century by the Prophets before being returned to his original timeframe.

VOY:Shattered saw several - all of the timeframes Caretaker-era Janeway visted with Shattered-era Chakotay were the future relative to her. And the brief trip to Astrometrics where they met the grown Naomi and Icheb was 23 years in the future relative to Shattered. Nothing taken back - although Janeway did gain crucial knowledge as to the location of Chakotay's secret stash of hooch. So this one covers both traveling to the future relative to the show and characters from the show's past traveling to the show's time (and beyond).

DS9:The Visitor plays it straight with Sisko make progressive jumps to various points in the future (relative to the show) before being snapped back to his original time at the end.

ENT:Shockwave Part I is another future relative to the show jump featuring Archer travelling forward to the 31st century before returning in Part II

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  • The Enterprise-C is probably the best example. They not only brought someone back (Yar), but managed to change the timeline by doing so. May 14 at 13:45
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    @RobertColumbia - technically, they also brought technology back, because most of their replacement parts were replicated by the Enterprise-D crew.
    – Omegacron
    May 14 at 18:49
  • @Omegacron: That's an excellent point, given that presumably, the 1701-D crew started repairing the 1701-C and replacing parts with the objective of making the ship battle-ready in the current timeframe, before the decision is made that the 1701-C is going to return to its original time. May 14 at 19:17
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    @omegacron not necessarily a technology transfer, giving someone in the 20th century a replicated victrola wouldn't be a technology transfer. May 15 at 1:26
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    @O.R.Mapper it's been a while since I watched the episode but I believe you're correct - I seem to recall a conversation around them working on bringing the tactical systems of the 'C up to "modern" spec for the purposes of fighting in the war of the Alt!D's time. Of course whether any of the updated kit survived the destruction of the 'C is anybody's guess. May 16 at 12:40
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Jonathan Archer was transported to the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-J at some point in the 26th century (he was in 2154 and was moved about 400 years into the future). ENT: Azati Prime

(Archer leaves, goes down corridor, through into a turbolift and finds himself in... )
DANIELS: Welcome aboard, Captain.
ARCHER: Daniels. Where am I?
DANIELS: You're on Enterprise. Enterprise J to be exact, a distant relative of your ship. We're four hundred years in the future.

Seven of Nine was moved around 500 years by the timeship USS Relativity. VOY: Relativity

BRAXTON: Welcome back.
SEVEN: Why have you brought me here?
BRAXTON: For some reason, I always think you'll remember. I'm Captain Braxton. This is Lieutenant Ducane. You're aboard the Federation Timeship Relativity.
SEVEN: I'm no longer in the twenty fourth century?
BRAXTON: No. For you, it's almost five hundred years later. We've brought you here to help us solve a mystery. Someone, we don't know who, has planted a weapon aboard Voyager. It's designed to fracture space-time within a radius of one hundred and fifty metres.

Both cases appear to have originated in alternate realities. In neither case did anyone bring anything back.

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Berlinghoff Rasmussen, claiming to be a historian from the 26th century was actually from the 22nd and travelling in a stolen time vessel in TNG 5x09 : A Matter of Time. Having stolen the time pod in the 26th century he came to the 24th in search of tech to return to his home time, but was arrested and stranded in the 24th century.

In the TNG series finale All Good Things...(7x25/26), Picard travels to the future and the past, taking information to each time period so that all three crews could coordinate. He returns to normal time at the end of the episode.

In ENT 3x24 : Zero Hour, Daniels takes Archer seven years into the future - the day the Federation is formed. Archer returns with the knowledge of his importance in the founding of the Federation.

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Miles O'Brien traveled a short way into the future in "Visionary", but did not bring anything back with him other than knowledge of coming events.

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