- "Can we ask you what it's supposed to do?"
- "Catapult a vessel across space in the time it takes to say 'Catapult a vessel across space'."
- - Commander Chakotay and Tash
A graviton catapult propels spacecraft across space. The power core of the catapult generates a massive graviton surge, that locks on to a ship through an array of projectors. The surge sends the ship hurtling into null space for some hours. Upon emerging back to normal space, the vessel has jumped many hundreds or even thousands of light years. The distance is determined by the graviton field strength.
In 2376, USS Voyager discovered a stranded alien starship, commanded by Tash. Their crew had built such a device as a means of getting home in a shorter period of time than by warp drive. The first test had destabilized the tetryon reactions of the tetryon reactor used as the power core, causing it to leak bursts of epsilon radiation. Voyager used graviton pulses fired from the deflector dish to stabilize the reactions.
Having helped Tash's starship to successfully use the catapult to get home, Tash sent recommendations for deflector shield adjustments to the Voyager, so they would not experience similar system overloads during mid-flight. Following the enhancements to the shield variance, the crew of the Voyager used this device to travel across 30 sectors in less than an hour, taking three years off their journey home.
The Voyager crew theorized that the graviton catapult technology may have been derived from the displacement wave technology used by the Caretaker to bring ships to the Delta Quadrant. Both the catapult and the Caretaker's array were powered by tetryon reactors, the only two ever encountered as of 2376. According to Seven of Nine, the catapult constructed by Tash's crew could also be used to bring ships from Alpha Quadrant to the Delta Quadrant. (VOY: "The Voyager Conspiracy")