# Klingon unit of distance in space

In The Search for Spock and The Final Frontier, the respective bridge officers of Captain Kruge and Captain Klaa's ships use "kellikams" (perhaps "kellicams") as a unit of distance in space. An example usage might be:

20,000 kellikams and closing!

The unit may have also been used in some episodes of the TNG-era series (perhaps the DS9 episode "Once More unto the Breach", before, during, or after the raid on Trelka V's Dominion outpost).

Can anyone provide a reference for converting 1 kellikam to a Terran unit?

Apparently the spelling is "kellicam", and the Memory Alpha wiki article says:

Klingon transporter systems have a range of 20,000 kellicams. (TNG: "Redemption") ... It was stated in "A Matter Of Honor" that Federation transporters have a range of 40,000 kilometers. If Klingon transporters have a similar range, this would indicate that 1 kellicam is approximately equal to 2 kilometers. This is the measurement given by the Star Trek Encyclopedia.

The Star Trek Encyclopedia was co-written by TNG-era technical consultant Michael Okuda, so this is probably about as close to canon as you can get without an actual onscreen conversion. Note that the entry (which you can see on google books here) says that the conversion is approximate:

Kellicam : Unit of distance measure in use by the Klingon Empire. One kellicam seemed roughly equal to two kilometers.

• 40000 km? They have to enter the Stratosphere to beam people to the ground on Earth? – Taemyr Jan 21 '15 at 10:14
• @Taemyr ~40000km is Earth circumference ;) Stratosphere is at ~40km (40000m) – PTwr Jan 21 '15 at 10:51
• @Taemyr: They can comfortably beam down from a geostationary orbit. ;-) – DevSolar Jan 21 '15 at 15:28
• @Taemyr I believe this diagram might be useful Diagram – MrDobilina Jan 21 '15 at 16:31
• The stratosphere ends at approximately 50 km, or 0.125 % of the purported range of a Federation transporter. – user71943 Sep 23 '16 at 14:08