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Charybdis Mission Patch, remastered.jpg


Class: Explorer / exploratory shuttle
Owner: United States of America
Operator: NASA
Status: Destroyed (21st century)

Debris from the Charybdis

The explorer ship Charybdis was a mid-21st century NASA exploratory shuttle.


The Charybdis was launched from Earth on July 23, 2037, under the command of Colonel Stephen Richey. The ship was Earth's third manned attempt to travel beyond the Sol system.

During the mission, telemetry was lost. The ship had moved from the Sol system to the distant Theta 116 system, where it was apparently fired upon with a weapon that caused molecular disintegration of the hull and destroyed the ship. All crew except the mission commander were lost. Colonel Richey awoke to find himself in an advanced simulation of the novel The Hotel Royale built on the surface of Theta VIII. He continued to live there for the rest of his life.

In 2365, the debris of the Charybdis was discovered in the upper atmosphere of Theta VIII by a Klingon cruiser passing by near the system. The remains of the ship were investigated by the USS Enterprise-D. A piece of the debris was beamed aboard containing the American flag and NASA logo for analysis.

Richey had conjectured in his journal that an alien lifeform had created the Hotel Royale simulation for him under the assumption that it was what Richey considered to be the ideal world, possibly as compensation for having introduced some contamination into the shuttle that had killed the rest of his crew. (TNG: "The Royale")


Background information


The original mission patch

  • The original mission patch for Charybdis used in the broadcast version of "The Royale" was a reuse of the mission patch for the Apollo 17 lunar mission, the last to take men to the moon. The names listed on the patch ("Cernan", "Evans", and "Schmitt") are for Commander Eugene Cernan, Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, and Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans; fictional mission commander Steven Richey was not listed. When "The Royale" was remastered for the TNG Season 2 Blu-ray release, the mission patch was revised to eliminate the Apollo 17 crew names from the design - the patch now shows the words "NASA" and the mission motto "First beyond the Solar System" in place of the crew names.
  • The NASA "worm" logo which appears on the ship debris was retired in 1992.
  • An unused okudagram was released in Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Continuing Mission. [1] It provided further details on the ship, crew, and mission. The space vehicle Charybdis was equipped with a block D gas-core fission reaction propulsion system. Complete crew complement on the mission was fifteen. Richey was given the middle initial G. The ship was equipped with hibernation systems. The ship's extrasolar survey mission objectives included the survey of deep extra solar environment to distance of 100 AU, interaction of the solar magnetic field at heliopause, long-duration crew habitation, and a USAF electric fields experiment module adaptability study in an interagency co-operation. NASA lost contact with the Charybdis following the apparent failure of the ship's telemetry system on February 7, 2038. The official NASA report read: "Vehicle systems at telemetry cutoff indicated thrust abnormality. Vehicle attained 12× solar escape velocity 2.56 hours earlier than planned. Assumed vehicle was lost with consumables run out, 20% possibility of crew survival with hibernation systems at low usage mode. Follow up mission Jacob resulted in negative track."
The okudagram gives the years of launch and the year the mission was lost as 2087 and 2088 in an apparent typo.

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