In the first part of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the Klingon captain Klaa destroys an object, described by his First Officer as a...

"...probe of ancient origin"

enter image description here

Is this one of the Voyager or Pioneer probes?

  • 7
    It's strange to call these "orbiters". I mean, sure, technically, they orbit the center of the Milky Way, but that's not how we usually use the term. Nov 12, 2022 at 21:44
  • 2
    Those are probes. The Space Shuttle Enterprise "was not capable of spaceflight." - I was wondering what scene they blew up an orbiter in, three years after 1986....
    – Mazura
    Nov 13, 2022 at 0:32
  • @Mazura OP is clearly misusing the term "orbiter" and making reference to any of Pioneer 10, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, or speculative future missions (future to 1989) which achieved solar system escape velocity and will continue to travel interstellar indefinitely.
    – Anthony X
    Nov 13, 2022 at 16:14
  • 2
    @AnthonyX - Indeed. This is the sort of small inaccuracy that can be corrected with a quick edit rather than a lengthy discussion
    – Valorum
    Nov 13, 2022 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


Per the original script

A NASA Pioneer probe tumbles through space. Ancient, forgotten, the device is flotsam. On its side is a plaque showing image of two humans and simple mathematical and scientific symbols. It comes past camera and out of this distortion, a Klingon Bird of Prey materializes.

Identified in the Star Trek Encyclopaedia as Pioneer 10

Pioneer 10.
Ancient robotic space probe launched from Earth in 1972 by NASA the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Pioneer 10 studied the planets Jupiter and Saturn, and was the first human-made object to leave Earth's solar system. The probe drifted for centuries in the interstellar void until it was destroyed in 2287 by a Klingon bird-of-prey piloted by Captain Klaa (Star Trek V The Final Frontier).

enter image description here

  • 1
    That never made any sense to me. The gunner's "target practice" was presumably happening many light-years from our solar system. Since all probes launched to-date had insufficient velocity to get very far from our solar system in the next few centuries (tens of thousands of years to get as far as Alpha Centauri), I assumed it was supposed to be a probe launched after the movie's release date traveling much, much faster.
    – Anthony X
    Nov 13, 2022 at 16:19
  • 3
    @AnthonyX - You seem to be mistaking their world for our world. In the world of Trek, we're already knee-deep in the Eugenics wars and capable of primitive interstellar travel
    – Valorum
    Nov 13, 2022 at 17:33
  • 1
    Star Trek has not aged well in that regard. Nevertheless, what they show in their future world is usually an extrapolation from our real world up to the point of scriptwriting, notwithstanding a few left turns like the "nuclear missile platform" of TOS: Assignment: Earth.
    – Anthony X
    Nov 13, 2022 at 20:48
  • You can actually see the Pioneer Plaque attached to the spacecraft shortly before it is destroyed (youtube.com/watch?v=9qm0wMI8ods) Nov 16, 2022 at 5:41
  • @AdamJLimbert - That plaque was on more than one space probe.
    – Valorum
    Nov 16, 2022 at 7:13

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.