1900 - 1999
The Wright Brothers build and fly the first motorized airplane in Kitty Hawk, North
Carolina, forever giving mankind "wings."
Albert Einstein introduces his Special Theory of Relativity and contributes to the
development of quantum theory. Introducing the concept of space-time and postulating that
mass and energy are equivalent and transposable, he formulated the equation E=mc2. In
doing so, Einstein predicts that the velocity of light is the absolute "speed
limit" in the universe.
Aviator Charles Lindbergh makes the first nonstop solo transatlantic airplane flight and
galvanizes world interest in aviation.
Edith Keeler dies in a bus accident. Her death could've been prevented by Dr. Leonard
McCoy (CMO - USS Enterprise, NCC-1701), but Dr. McCoy is prevented by Captain
James T. Kirk, also of the Enterprise.
Seven women are knifed to death in Shanghai, China, on Earth. The murders remain unsolved
until 2267, when new information suggests they have been committed by an energy being that
thrives on fear.
American battleship USS Enterprise CV-6 launches. After barely missing the
Japanese attack on Pearl Habor in 1941, the Enterprise will participate in every
major battle in the Pacific theater during World War II and become the most decorated ship
in U.S. history.
Aviator Amelia Earhart, who captured the world's attention as the first woman to match
Lindbergh's transatlantic flight, vanishes somewhere over the Pacific Ocean while
attempting to circumnavigate the globe.
- It is reported that observers in Roswell, New Mexico, find a strange craft, and its
crews, crashed in the desert. Officials claim the object was a weather balloon. People
begin to believe beings from outer space are visiting the Earth.
- Test pilot Chuck Yeager travels faster than the speed of sound in
a new rocket-powered plane. Yeager's supersonic flight begins the Jet Age.
Earth's Space Age, and the so-called space race, begins when the USSR puts an artificial
satellite, SPutnik-1, into orbit around the planet.
Radio astronomer Frank D. Drake carries out humanities first attempt to detect intersellar
radio transmissions in an effort called SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).
The stars chosen by Drake for the first SETI search are Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani.
1961The first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise
CVAN-65, is commissioned.
- Yuri Gagarin is the first human to achieve orbital space flight. His craft, Vostok I,
circles the Earth once. The flight, which lasts less than two hours, proves that the human
body can function in the weightlessness of space.
First manned lunar landing. The crew of Apollo 11 - Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin
E. Aldrin, Jr. (with Michael Collins remaining in lunar orbit) - set down in the Sea of
Tranquility, collect moon rocks, and return safely to Earth.
The Pioneer 10 Jupiter flyby space probe is launched. During its journey, the probe sends
500 images of this enormous planet, plus amazing technical data, back to Earth. This
mission is followed up by Pioneer 11 and the Voyager series, all of which allow mankind to
closely observe the large outer planets and their moons.
1976NASA unveils Enterprise (Space Shuttle OV-101), the
prototype for its new fleet of reusable Earth-orbiting shuttles. Flight testing begins the
- Viking 2 lands on Mars at Utopia Planitia and sends images from the planet's red surface
to Earth. Viking conducts experiments to discover the presence of microorganisms. The test
results are debated.
Pioneer 10 passes Pluto's orbit boundary and becomes the first man-made object to exit the
Earth's solar system. The probe carries an engraved plaque with a message of greetings
from the people of Earth.
1986NASA's space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after
lift-off, killing all seven on board including the first private citizen in space. The
tragedy brings the manned space program to a temporary halt pending an investigation.
- The first human habitat in permanent Earth orbit, the Mir space station, begins
construction. Mir becomes a shared resource and training ground for future space stations.
1992Khan Noonien Singh rises to power, assuming dictorial control over
one quarter of the Earth, from South Asia to the Middle East. Khan is the product of
genetic engineering and eugenics experiments. NASA's space shuttle Challenger
explodes shortly after lift-off, killing all seven on board including the first private
citizen in space. The tragedy brings the manned space program to a temporary halt pending
- The book Chicago Mobs of the Twenties is published in New York.
A group of genetically bred "superior" humans seize power simultaneously in some
forty of Earth's nations. Terrible wars ensue, in part because the genetic
"supermen" take to fighting among themselves. Entire populations are bombed out
of existance during these Eugenic Wars, and Earth is believed to be on the verge of a new
An organization that places dead loved ones into cryogenic capsules orbiting Earth
receives a brief surge in popularity. The hope is that future generations will revive the
1996Eugenics Wars end. Khan Noonien Singh is overthrown and escapes
from Earth on the DY-100-class sleepship S.S. Botany Bay along with 96 of his
fellow genetic supermen.
The poet Tarbolde, from Canopius Planet, writes "Nightingale
Woman," a love sonnet considered to be among the most passionate for the next two
- Earth scientists announce the discovery that a Mars meteorite may contain fossilized
evidence of primitive bacterial life. While the findings are considered inconclusive, the
possibility that life may exist or have once existed on the Red Planet adds urgency to
Martian exploration efforts.
1999 British astronomer John Burke of the Royal Academy maps the area
of space including Sherman's Planet. This region is later the subject of a territitoal
dispute between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.
Because previous deep-space exploration attempts ultimately
failed, a new approach, an unmanned probe named Friendship 1, leaves Earth with a message
of peace, warp technology instructions, and an invitation to visit Earth.
- The sixth space probe in the Voyager series is launched and continues studying the
planets in Earth's solar system.
- Astronomers make the first direct observation of an extrasolar planet passing in front
of a star, leading scientists to conclude that planetary systems may be a common
phenomenon in the galaxy and boosting optimism that intelligent life exists elsewhere.