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The Slipstream Project is an ongoing research and development project started by Starfleet after the the return of the USS Voyager from the Delta Quadrant. It's focus is the development and implementation of the Quantum Slipstream drive on new and previous generation Starfleet vessels to facilitate Starfleet's deep space exploration initiatives. It is the source of the Andromeda Mission. (Star Trek: Andromeda)
When the USS Voyager returned from the Delta Quadrant, it brought back with it numerous technologies which became of great interest among Starfleet researches. One of them being the Quantum Slipstream technology they had obtained. At the time, Starfleet was exploring numerous avenues to advances past the Warp 10 barrier. As such, it wasn't long before Starfleet began a top-secret investigation of the Slipstream technology. For years the team attempted numerous studies on the modified warp reactor that the Voyager engineering team and built in an attempt to return home as well as began designing numerous concept engines for testing. However, little progress was made in the first decade of research.
In 2385, the project was made public, boosting Federation interest and pulling numerous Starfleet and civilian researches together and giving the project a much needed boost. By 2390, the first experimental slipstream drive coupled with the new 100% bio-neural based computer was field tested with fantastic results. The unmanned ship managed to travel 20,000 light years in 10 minutes, taking it to the fringes of federation space before its return journey.
In 2392, Admiral Doug Ross of Starfleet Command, in collaboration with the team leads on the Slipstream Project, drew up conceptual plans for two missions: The Andromeda Exploratory Fleet and the Delta Quadrant Exploratory Fleet. The goal was to provide a springboard for advancing Starfleet's exploration boundaries. The project, however, was placed on the back burner when the second test flight of the Slipstream Unmanned Test Vehicle ended in disaster.
The Generation 0 Slipstream DriveEdit
On January 2, 2393, eight months after the loss of the Slipstream Unmanned Test Vehicle, Starfleet completed the Slipstream Unmanned Test Vehicle Mk. 2. This ship, equipped with the newly built Generation 0 Slipstream Drive, completed its first, 20,000 light year test flight with flawless efficiency.
In the subsequent months, the Slipstream Project team managed to complete six more successful tests, the last being a 50,000 light year journey from the fringes of the galaxy to the galactic core. In two months, a second drive was built around the NX-98232, USS Wing's of Apollo. The ship, barely larger than a Danube-class runabout, was the first manned ship equipped with the Generation 0 Slipstream drive. After two months of simulated tests, on January 2, 2394, Captain Marcus Reynolds took the helm of the starship and completed the first manned Slipstream journey since the USS Voyager's decades earlier. The ship traveled 2,000 light years in sixty seconds.
Two months later, the Slipstream Project Team delivered a report to Starfleet Command with their findings.
The Andromeda and Delta-Quadrant MissionsEdit
After two month's of review of the findings of the Slipstream Team and subsequent reviews by internal boards from the branches of Engineering and Science within Starfleet itself, Starfleet Command began a project study of the technology and began to draw up plan's around further development of the drive and mission applications.
One of the drawbacks of the Slipstream Team findings was the fact that the Generation 0 slipstream drive required a massive energy pool to create a stable slipstream field. Calculations showed that a starship, traveling from federation space, to the delta quadrant, while only using a percentage of their energy reserves equivalent to that of traditional warp-drive's power draw while in the slipstream field, would require twenty percent of their energy resources to engage the field itself. This meant that the current technology could only be used for long range, quick jumps to distant destinations. From their, starships would have to use traditional warp-drive to explore the surrounding area.
It was at this moment that Admiral Ross, still part of the Slipstream team, presented his original plans for the Andromeda Mission and Delta-Quadrant Mission. His plan called for two fleet's of twelve ships to be refitted with the new Generation 1 Slipstream Drive and Advanced Logic-based Intelligent Computer Core. These ships would make the quick journey to their mission's namesakes and set up a semi-permanent federation outpost to provide a base for their exploration of the two destinations.
Two weeks later, Starfleet Command approved the two Slipstream Missions and the development of a new class of federation starships to serve as the core of these new exploratory fleets, the Monarch-class Deep Space Explorer.