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The UESPA's First Footsteps

There are two major impacts from Zefram Cochrane's achievement that set the future of Earth right there on the spot. The first impact was gaining the attentions of the Vulcans, a friendly extra-terrestrial race and Earth's first interstellar ally. First contact had its own spectrum of effects on humanity. However, the biggest effect from first contact by far was that the event made humanity seem smaller. From Earth's perspective, humanity isn't alone in the universe anymore and there are things out in space bigger than any human. This made most of post-war humanity realise the futility of further conflict when anything that could be fought over paled in comparison to what is out in space. Granted, there was still a sizeable number of humans that ignored first contact and choose to remain with the 'old ways' for some time. But generally, by the first few years of the 22nd Century, these sentiments became isolated to non-existent. Moving on to the second major impact of Cochrane's success, we have the fuelling humanity's ambition. There is no doubt that until 2063, humans were still doubtful of ever recovering from WWIII. Seeing this achievement inspired and reassured most of Western civilisation (and eventually Eastern civilisation too) that rebuilding was possible, and Earth began to move forward as unified entity once again. Although the official United Earth government was still decades away, the iconic name was realised around a year after first contact as a part of the United Earth Space Probe Agency (UESPA). The UESPA was Earth's first unified extrasolar organisation, a merger of whatever remained of previous space exploration organisations.

After foundation, the strongest of Earth's rebuilding governments tasked the UESPA with a number of projects only months after its founding:

The Friendship Probes

SS Valiant

Bonaventure-class

Even before the success of the first three major UESPA projects were realised, the UESPA had its sights aimed at other possible projects. Pressure from the governments backing the UESPA demanded that the UESPA explore the possibility of deep space colonisation and spatial material exploitation. Both tasks were deemed necessary to allow Earth to rebuild quickly.

Earth has a finite amount of space for its population. Whilst the recent war reduced the population temporarily, it would only be a matter of decades before Earth's population would be too large for any ecosystem to support. So colonisation was a must for human recovery, and UESPA used planetary survey data collected from its probes and SS Valiant to assess potential colony sites. If colonies could be established in the near future, both UESPA aims could be meet together. Achieving what it wants would be no easy task, and it would require functioning spatial infrastructure and an entire fleet of capable ships.

SS Conestoga

DY-500-class

Generally, the 2060s and 70s are looked at as being two very successful decades where the UESPA sets the stage for Earth's recovery and begins to expand outside the solar system for the first time. Whilst that assessment is overall accurate, it is important not to forget that ambition and technological breakthrough do not come without a cost. Earth kept pushing the boundaries for 20 years and suffered some tragedies and setbacks in that time.

SS Voyager

Revised
2017-11-05