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Solar Sail

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Bajorans
Class Name : Solar Sail
Type : Solar sail ship1
Unit Run : At least several of these ships were built in the distant past. One modern replica was built in 2371 1 built in total. 1 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : Unknown
Dimensions : Length : 32 m2
Beam : 75 m
Height : 47.25 m
Decks : 1
Mass : 9.5 metric tons
Crew : 11
Armament : No beam weapons
Defence Systems : Light Wooden Single hull.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : -
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : -
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : -
Speed : -
Combat Manoeuvrability : 10
Overall Strength Index : 2


The ancient Bajorans were known to have used solar sail craft for intra-system travel in the distant past, but few believed legends that these vessels had also been used for interstellar journeys. Such voyagers take years even using modern impulse drives; using these vessels mission durations of centuries, even millennia seemed certain. A single small cabin could not possibly support such a multi-generational voyage. Yet legends of ancient Bajorans reaching Cardassia in solar sail craft persisted.

In 2371 Captain Sisko decided to reconstruct one of the Bajoran craft so as to test its capabilities. Initially it seemed that the test only confirmed the conventional wisdom - such craft were capable of very modest speed and range.

However, during its first flight the vessel encountered strong tachyon eddies in space. These accelerated the craft to high warp speed, sending it across lightyears in a remarkably short time. Captain Sisko did indeed succeed in reaching Cardassia, confirming that the early Bajorans could have made these journeys.

By a suspiciously remarkable co-incidence, Sisko's arrival coincided with the discovery of ancient archeological finds by the Cardassians which served to confirm that the Bajorans had indeed reached Cardassia in the distant past. The Cardassians, naturally, were overjoyed at this discovery.1

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 DS9 3 Explorers
2 Speculative Approximation based on the apparent size of the cabin.
Series : DS9 Season 3 (Disc 6)
Episode : Explorers
Source : Speculative
Comment : Approximation based on the apparent size of the cabin.


This ship was built by Captain Sisko in "Explorers", based on plans of ancient bajoran vessels.

The idea of a solar said craft is a real one, but science fiction depictions tend to greatly underestimate the size of the sail needed. In reality a ship the size of the one seen here would need a sail which was many kilometres across, and would still take many years to travel within a single system.

In the episode, the ship was able to go at warp speeds due to "Tachyon eddies". This is a little unlikely from a scientific point of view, to put it mildly - but then, so is warp drive.

Incidentally, the size comparison image here is a front view rather than a side view. If anybody has a side view of this ship, I'd be highly grateful for a copy.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 30,723 Last updated : 12 Apr 2020