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In Starfleet, the navigator held the position responsible for projecting the course of a starship and for determining a ship's position, velocity, and direction in relationship to a course. The navigator could also use the ship's navigational sensors to determine the positions, speeds, and trajectories of other objects. Additionally, in the 2250s and 2260s, a navigator was in charge of coordinating phaser crews for real and simulated combat and for firing the weapons. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Obsession") By the end of 2266, this last function had shifted to the helmsman. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

On Earth Starfleet's NX-class starships, navigation was handled by the helmsman. (Star Trek: Enterprise)

On Federation Starfleet vessels of the 23rd century, the navigator was a bridge officer, while the helm officer's role was usually combined with that of the tactical officer. (Star Trek: The Original Series)

By the 24th century, navigator responsibilities were once again merged with those of the helmsman to form the position of flight controller, or conn. (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

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