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In SG-1 and SG:A the stargates are made of a material that is nearly indestructible; it didn't seem certain that even a nuclear blast would destroy a stargate.

But in SG:U a stargate had a chunk blown out by a blast from a drone. The blast of a drone couldn't take out a weakened shield on Destiny, nor did it make a ginormous blast in the streets when one tried to kill the SG:U scouting teams in the second to last episode, so I doubt the blast was on par with a nuclear explosion.

So is there anyplace that canonically stated the gates created by the seedships were different or weaker than the gates made in the Pegasus and Milkyway, but still would have held up to centuries or possibly eons of erosion/weathering on a planet in the distant reaches of the universe? My only idea is that the gates are made of more "native" materials as the seedships are recharging supplies periodically, like Destiny refuels from stars.

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    The SG-1 and SGA gates were made later on, so it's possible they're more durable. – user1027 Nov 10 '11 at 15:10
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Destiny had a lot of prototype technology, including the gates. If you remember the chair that powers Destiny had a frightening interface.

It's the discovery of naquadah in our galaxy that made them start to be nearly indestructible. They perfected the technology as they went. Remember, they build Atlantis on Earth before taking it to the Pegasus galaxy and seeding it. The SG:A gates were more advanced than ours.

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    You can tell they were more advanced, since they were prettier! :) – geoffc Nov 10 '11 at 19:03
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    I wonder if this means that the older gates wouldn't have survived dialing near a black hole, the way the SG-1 gate did in one episode... – Bart Silverstrim Nov 17 '11 at 14:52
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    @BartSilverstrim not sure, would have been a great material for SG:U to cover if it hadn't been canceled. – Alexander Kahoun Nov 17 '11 at 17:40
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    @AlexanderKahoun: There is a lot of fantastic material that we would have seen if it weren't for the evident desire of the prevalent dregs of humanity's desire to watch wrestling. Ugh. – Lightness Races with Monica Jan 31 '12 at 0:55
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Destiny's plans are old, and don't take into account the technological advances made later on. The gates it makes are less advanced as a result, and thus more prone to damage (apparently increased durability was one of those advances).

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I like to think of the SGU stargates as being similar to the one used in the SG1 episode Ascension, known as the mini stargate. Of course, the SGU ones were more durable, but...

In any case, the Mini Stargate was built off of materials like Titanium, fiber optics, capacitors, and a toaster. The strength of the ring was mostly Titanium, which while it is strong, wouldn't survive a reasonable blast.

As other people have said, the technology had improved considerably, surviving many events in SG-1 and SG-A. A few million years will do that;-)

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They aren't supposed to use much if any Naquada in their construction.

It's generally assumed the style of gate from Destiny is oldest but some sources, namely the comic continuation of SG:U indicates Destiny was launched well after the era we see Atlantis leave Earth on screen. The comic is supposed to be a canon continuity but the publisher made tons of typos in the equally "canon" SG:A comic. So who knows.

The design differences could be for reliability

It's worth considering that the two main failure modes we see for MW gates are the inner ring getting stuck and the gate falling over. It's a very bad day for any traveler who comes through after the destination gate has fallen on it's back... We see the Pegasus gates eliminate the inner ring but it seems the only thing keeping these gates upright is the fact everyone seems to know how to use them and its also in their best interests not to make the Wraith come in ships. However the Ancients were clearly expecting to be around to maintain them.

In SG:U the gates also eliminate the inner ring but preserve manual dialing. This could be an alternative approach used by a design competing with the Pegasus model. Explorers far from support and rescue are much more likely to need it especially after the gates are left unattended for perhaps a million years. Likewise the fact these gates are fixed in a large base could be the obvious way of reducing the chance of falling over and this only makes them seem less advanced.

They might have known naquada was very rare in most galaxies

Even the reduced or eliminated use of naquada might only reflect the fact they never discovered it until they were in the Milky Way. Meaning they might've had good reason to expect it's not always as plentiful and therefore should not be used as a necessary constituent of the seedships gates. This seems most likely but doesn't require these gates to be newest or first.

Presumably these gates are only expected to last long enough to support Destiny and it's crew in their mission. I suspect Destiny held at a fixed point for an unknown time waiting for it's overdue crew to gate in. If so there could be quite a gap between it and it's fleet of seedships. We know at least the gates near the Norvus colonies were there at least 2,000 years but this is only a lower limit for how long these gates are known to remain functional.

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