It is unlikely the starship Voyager was decommissioned after its return to the Alpha Quadrant, no matter what wikis may report. The ship had only been in operation for seven years and had at least another 25 to 30 years of effective operation before she would become obsolete.
It is more likely she became an experimental ship which included within its crew complement a new collection of scientists and engineers who would continue to test and analyze the host of alien technologies retrofitted to it during its journey.
These multiple technologies encountered, successful or not, were likely stored in the ship’s databases, successful implementation or not, which would make Voyager a trove of technological capacities rarely equaled in the Federation. All of Voyager’s mission telemetry, scanner records and analyses would be an incredible trove of data to be studied by Federation scientists.
While many of the wikis report that Voyager was decommissioned after it returned from the Delta Quadrant, it is highly unlikely for the Federation to do so. The ship had been exposed to a variety of experiences which would likely leave traces that the Federation could, coupled with the ship’s records, recreate a number of these technologies to be added to the Starfleet databases for possible use at a future date.
It is more likely after the ship and its modifications were studied, refined and analysed effectively, those technologies which did not cause problematic feedback with standard Federation technology, were left intact, with additional telemetry, scanning and analysis equipment to monitor the technology for safety, efficiency and overall viability as potential upgrades to other ships in the Federation.
Voyager at the end of its journey had access to a number of technologies traded from the Borg during their alliance as well as a host of other technologies studied, scanned and experienced including technology taken from a parallel, future timeline which they acquired during their seven year journey. Such technology might be considered classified and only used in extremis, especially if it violated treaties already in place with Federation allies.
These technologies included:
- Borg nanoprobe-enhanced torpedoes capable of destroying Species 8472 bioships in a single shot.
- Ablative generators: were an advanced armor technology used by Starfleet. Shield emitters generated a nearly-impenetrable layer of armor around the hull of a ship so equipped. This defensive technology was acquired by the crew of USS Voyager in 2378 from Admiral Kathryn Janeway of an alternate timeline. (VOY: “Endgame”)
- The transphasic torpedo was an advanced type of torpedo weapon of unprecedented destructive potential used by Starfleet. The torpedoes could be launched from standard starship-mounted torpedo launchers. A single torpedo was capable of destroying a Borg cube. This weapon technology was acquired by the crew of USS Voyager in 2378 from Admiral Kathryn Janeway of an alternate timeline. (VOY: “Endgame”)
- The chrono deflector was a time travel-device invented by a Klingon scientist named Korath in the early-25th century. The device operated by generating a powerful tachyon pulse to form a temporal rift, which could then be directed to a specific time and place. Although able to generate a stable rift, the device also produced a large amount of tachyokinetic energy as a byproduct of its operation, posing the risk that it would burn itself out after a single use, prohibiting a return trip for the user.
- Transwarp Coil: Voyager had also integrated a Borg transwarp coil onto their ship. A transwarp coil was a propulsion device which allowed Borg vessels to generate a transwarp conduit. (VOY: “Dark Frontier”)
In mid-2375, after surviving a battle with a Borg probe, the crew of the USS Voyager managed to recover several Borg data nodes containing, among other information, long-range sensor telemetry and vessel movements for a radius of thirty light years. Utilizing this information, Voyager was able to locate a damaged Borg sphere and steal a working transwarp coil from the ship’s transwarp chamber.
The coil was fitted to both the Delta Flyer and Voyager itself, providing twenty thousand light years of travel before giving out, shaving approximately fifteen years off Voyager’s journey home. (VOY: “Dark Frontier”)
These technologies would make Voyager one of the most valuable ships in the Federation and its experimental notation would likely be extended as the scientists and engineers studied the work of Belanna Torres, Seven of Nine and the rest of the crew’s work which was highly experimental and optimized under less than ideal conditions.
To take the ship out of commission permanently would be a waste of one of the fastest, most capable and potent starships in the Federation at that time.
Technology Voyager interacted with during its journey
- Voyager: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/USS_Voyager
- Transwarp Coil: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Transwarp_coil
- Ablative Generators: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Ablative_generator
- Chrono Deflector: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Chrono_deflector
- Quantum Slipstream Drive: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/…/Quantum_slipstream_drive
- Transphasic torpedoes: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Transphasic_torpedo
- Holographic Mobile Emitter: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Mobile_emitter
- Voth Spatial Displacement: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Spatial_displacement
- Bio-Molecular Warhead (anti Species-8472 weapon): https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Bio-molecular_warhead
Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.