In the TNG episode 'Up the Long Ladder', when the colony ship SS Mariposa crashed & the five survivors began to clone themselves, why couldn't they also create clones of the deceased crew members?

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    I'm not sure that it is explicitly mentioned if there were any bodies left of the deceased to clone. A spacecraft has many ways to dispose of bodies when it's badly damaged, like plasma-explosions, core-breaches, hull-breaches... you name it.
    – Einer
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 11:40
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    A more important question is, why did cloning mysteriously stop working after a few generations? (cough Star Trek handwaving, insert name of made-up subatomic particle here.) Or even if it did, why they didn't keep some tissue samples from the first generation of colonists on ice, providing a reserve of several billion original cells? (Good question, and the answer is -- hey, look at that thing over there!) Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 9:06

1 Answer 1


The quote from the episode script is:

GRANGER : Captain, we need your help. Three hundred years ago during our landing on Mariposa, the skin of the ship was breached. Only five colonists survived. The progenitors weren't willing to just give up and die, and they were scientists --

Although it's by no means certain, you could easily infer that the remaining colonists were either vented into space or burned up in the atmosphere. That would certainly explain why there are no grave sites to raid for DNA.


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