Deep Space 9, originally known as Terok Nor, is an orbital space station constructed by the Cardassian Union in orbit of Bajor. Under Federation administration following the Cardassian withdrawal, DS9 transformed into a vital commercial port and defense outpost because of its strategic location near the mouth of the Bajoran wormhole. It also became a key tactical location in the Dominion War.
- Captain Benjamin Sisko - commanding officer (CO)
- Colonel Kira Nerys - first officer and liaison
- Lieutenant Commander Worf - strategic operations officer
- Constable Odo - security chief
- Chief Miles O'Brien - chief of operations
- Lieutenant Julian Bashir - chief medical officer (CMO)
- Lieutenant Junior Grade Ezri Dax - counselor
- Lieutenant Junior Grade Nog - station maintenance
Deep Space Nine was built between 2346 and 2351. (DS9: "Babel", "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night") Its original purpose was to serve as a refinery for uridium ore that was mined from Bajor's surface. Therefore, DS9 has extensive ore refining and transport facilities that occupy the large docking pylon structures. The station also served as a command post from which the Cardassian Prefect of Bajor, Gul Dukat, would oversee the military aspects of the Occupation.
In 2362, Gul Dukat took the unusual step of appointing a non-Cardassian as the chief of security aboard Terok Nor. Odo, a shapeshifter discovered on a derelict ship near Bajor some years before, had ties to both the Cardassians and the Bajorans on the station. (DS9: "Necessary Evil")
In 2369, the Cardassians decided to withdraw from Bajor after sixty years of occupation. Unable to move the station across interstellar distances, they were forced to leave the outpost in its high orbit. Before departing, however, Cardassian soldiers rampaged across the station, removing or destroying a large portion of the station's equipment. (DS9: "Emissary")
(It is not known for certain why the Cardassians chose to abandon the station rather than destroy it to prevent its use by the Bajorans. The Cardassians may have planned to reoccupy Bajor at some point in the future; however, no evidence of such plans has been found.)
Following the Cardassian retreat, the Bajoran Provisional Government petitioned for Federation membership, and also for Starfleet assistance in repairing and maintaining Terok Nor. A complex arrangement was established, where a Starfleet commander would have overall authority in running the station, while the station remained sovereign Bajoran territory. A representative of the Bajoran Militia would serve as the station's first officer and as liaison to the Bajoran government. The station was renamed "Deep Space 9," and Benjamin Sisko was appointed as commander.
As station commander, one of the most important facets of the station Sisko sought to develop was commerce. The Cardassians had allowed a small series of businesses and entertainment facilities to operate in a central, dual-level market area called the Promenade. Because almost all of the shops were owned by non-Bajorans, Sisko hoped to convince many of them to stay to help build a trade network through Bajoran space. In particular, Sisko convinced Quark, owner of Quark's Bar (the largest establishment on the Promenade) to maintain his business on-station as an example for the others.
DS9 and the Wormhole
Only days after the Federation took control of the station, a momentous discovery would change DS9's purpose forever. With encouragement from Kai Opaka, Sisko and his science officer, Lt. Jadzia Dax, searched for the mythical Celestial Temple of the Prophets, hoping to find a cause or idea to help unify the Bajoran people. While aboard the runabout USS Rio Grande, Sisko and Dax found the only known stable wormhole in the galaxy, which crossed over 70,000 light-years from Bajor in the Alpha Quadrant to the Idran System in the Gamma Quadrant.
The presence of a stable wormhole inside the Bajoran star system would have an enormous impact on commerce throughout the region, making the system one of the most important locations in the entire Federation — a fact recognized by the Bajorans, the Federation, and the Cardassians. Major Kira Nerys, DS9's first officer, ordered the station moved to the mouth of the wormhole in order to cement Bajor's claim. Despite the massive forces and pressures involved in moving the station with only six working thrusters, Chief of station operations Miles O'Brien devised a dangerous method by which the deflector shields were altered to lower the station's inertial mass to a level sufficient for movement. The station was positioned close to the mouth of the wormhole, approximately 1,000 kilometers from its event horizon.
However, the Cardassians had not completely abandoned the system, maintaining surveillance of activities in the region; they quickly found out about the wormhole's discovery and attempted to claim the wormhole for themselves. Gul Dukat ordered his warship through the wormhole, and was apparently trapped on the far side when the beings controlling the wormhole collapsed its entrance. A short time later, three additional Galor-class warships, under the command of Gul Jasad of the Seventh Order approached the station. Following a brief armed standoff, the wormhole reappeared, and both the Rio Grande and Dukat's warship returned. With a firm Bajoran/Federation claim established on the wormhole, the Cardassians withdrew. (DS9: "Emissary")
The impact the wormhole had on the station was enormous. Rather than a minor orbital servicing station and transfer point, DS9 had the potential to become one of the top commerce stations in the entire quadrant. Eager to explore the vast new territories of the Gamma Quadrant, dozens of races established trading relations with Bajor and began sending starships through the wormhole. At the same time, DS9 became the first point of contact in the Alpha Quadrant for any native species traveling from the Gamma Quadrant. Within the first two years, ships operating from or passing through DS9 made contact with at least twelve different cultures, including the Dosi, the Karemma, the T'Lani and the Kellerun, the Hunters and the Tosk, the Rakhari, the Wadi, and the Parada.
DS9 and Bajoran Affairs
Deep Space 9 was also a unique place for the constant contact and cooperation between people from Bajor and the Federation, and therefore also became a point of tension at times. In late 2369, DS9 became the center of a controversy between Bajoran religious fundamentalists, instigated by then-Vedek Winn Adami, and pro-Federation factions. The incident brought attention to the fierce contest to elect a new Kai following the disappearance and apparent death of Kai Opaka earlier that year. (DS9: "Battle Lines") Winn protested the ideas taught in DS9's school by volunteer teacher Keiko O'Brien about the wormhole, creating a rift between some conservative Bajorans and the secular Federation representatives. (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")
In early 2370, an extremist faction known as the Alliance for Global Unity (also called "The Circle") began an uprising against the Bajoran provisional government. During this coup, the station became a target of the insurgents as the Circle attempted to force all non-Bajoran influences to leave. All Federation and civilian personnel were ordered to evacuate the station, but Commander Sisko chose to remain behind with a group of volunteers, hoping to prevent the Circle's takeover. A division of the Bajoran Militia working under the direction of Minister Jaro Essa, the leader of the Circle, boarded the station and assumed control. General Krim and Colonel Day, commanding the force, engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with the small Starfleet contingent for two days. When evidence was revealed to the Council of Ministers that the Cardassians were secretly arming the Circle, using the Kressari as intermediaries. With this damning revelation, the Circle's rebellion collapsed, and Krim returned control of the station to Sisko. (DS9: "The Homecoming", "The Circle", "The Siege")
In later years, there were occasional flare-ups where Bajoran and Federation interests clashed, but none were nearly as explosive. Over time, almost all resistance to Federation influence on DS9 and on Bajor disappeared as Starfleet continued to prove its good intentions. In addition, the increasingly prominent role of Sisko as the Emissary helped build acceptance for his position as station commander, as well.
- In an alternate timeline in which Benjamin Sisko was apparently killed in an accident aboard the USS Defiant, DS9 was transferred to Klingon control in 2373. (DS9: "The Visitor")
DS9 and the Maquis
Around Stardate 47800, the Cardassian freighter Bok'Nor inexplicably exploded immediately after undocking from DS9. A previously-unknown group in the Cardassian Demilitarized Zone, calling themselves the Maquis, claimed responsibility. The Maquis were dispossessed Federation citizens resisting the cession of their home colonies to Cardassian control, and were arming themselves with contraband Federation weaponry. A short time later, the Maquis also kidnapped Gul Dukat from the station while aboard for consultations with Commander Sisko regarding the situation in the DMZ. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I")
Although DS9 was not located in the DMZ itself, the Bajoran system's proximity to that area made the station a major target for related operations on occasion. Most notably, in 2372 the Maquis hijacked a shipment of twelve Federation industrial replicators which were being sent to Cardassia to provide relief in the wake of the Klingon-Cardassian War. Michael Eddington, the senior Starfleet Security officer aboard DS9, publicly defected to the Maquis in this incident, and later went on to unify the various Maquis cells under his leadership. (DS9: "For the Cause")
DS9 and the Dominion War
Deep Space 9's greatest fame, however, would come in its role in defending the Federation and the Alpha Quadrant from Dominion invasion. Around Stardate 47950, Benjamin Sisko and Quark, while on a camping trip with their children in the Gamma Quadrant, were abducted by the Jem'Hadar, the soldiers of the Dominion. A representative of the Dominion boarded the station and informed the crew that the Dominion would not tolerate "intrusions" on its territory — and intrusions were defined as any vessel that entered the Gamma Quadrant. After the Galaxy-class starship USS Odyssey was destroyed in battle against the Jem'Hadar, DS9 was very suddenly placed on the front line of a new interstellar conflict. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar")
Weeks later, Starfleet assigned the experimental warship USS Defiant to the station to provide an additional line of defense against the Dominion threat. (DS9: "The Search, Part I") In addition, Commander Sisko launched a crash program to upgrade and expand the station's own tactical systems, adding new, heavier shield generators, more powerful phaser arrays, and a large battery of photon torpedoes. (These upgraded weapons actually saw their first use against Klingon warships in their aborted attack on DS9 in early 2372.) (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")
In addition to the threat of invasion by the Jem'Hadar, the Dominion also posed another, more sinister threat — infiltration by Changelings, the Founders of the Dominion. Because these beings could assume any form and avoid detection by almost all normal sensors, the potential damage from espionage and sabotage was enormous. DS9's crew helped pioneer several methods that tried to combat this threat, including phaser sweeps and blood screenings. (DS9: "The Adversary", "Homefront")
When the Dominion finally entered the Alpha Quadrant in 2373, the first battle was, surprisingly, not fought at DS9 as anticipated. A large fleet of more than 50 Jem'Hadar warships bypassed the station and moved instead to annex the Cardassian Empire — at the invitation of Gul Dukat. DS9 became a marshaling point for both Klingon ships (retreating from their Cardassian conquests) and for Starfleet, as well as a squadron of Romulan warbirds that joined the fleet. However, the Dominion chose not to launch an immediate attack on the station, and the fleet dispersed. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")
After securing the Cardassian territories, the Dominion began sending weekly supply convoys, including dozens of fresh warships, through the wormhole. Without sufficient forces, station personnel could only watch as more and more troops and warships poured into the Alpha Quadrant. As the Dominion also began securing nonaggression pacts with several regional powers, Captain Sisko, with approval from Starfleet Command, began to blockade the entrance to the wormhole with self-replicating mines. In response, the Dominion launched a massive assault fleet to capture the station and take control of the wormhole.
In the ensuing battle, DS9 accounted for the destruction of over 50 Jem'Hadar and Cardassian ships. Additionally, the USS Defiant was successful in completing the minefield, sealing off the wormhole. However, Dukat committed additional ships to mount another assault, and facing overwhelming numbers, Sisko decided to abandon the station. (DS9: "Call to Arms")
Facing an invasion on several fronts, Starfleet was unable to mount a counteroffensive to retake the station for several months. During this five-month period, the station was personally commanded by Gul Dukat in cooperation with Weyoun, the Vorta supervisor of the Cardassian Union. It was also re-named Terok Nor, its name from the days of the Occupation. Although it was officially still owned by the Bajoran government, for all intents and purposes it was once again a Cardassian station. However, because the minefield operated independently from the station, DS9 played no important role in the Dominion war effort aside from serving as a resupply outpost.
In mid-2374, the allies launched an offensive aimed at recapturing the station and preserving the minefield. Under the command of Captain Sisko, the allies won a major victory at the Battle of Bajor, forcing the Dominion to abandon the station and retreat to Cardassian space. (DS9: "The Sacrifice of Angels")
For the remainder of the war, DS9 functioned as a major repair and resupply depot for Starfleet, Klingon, and later Romulan forces. In addition, the major offenses that culminated in the First Battle of Chin'toka and the Battle of Cardassia were launched from DS9. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets", "What You Leave Behind")
Deep Space 9's structure is highly unusual, classified by Starfleet as a "hybrid planar-columnar triradial structure". Its basic form consists of a central core assembly containing most primary systems, a series of two concentric rings for habitat and docking facilities, and a series of three sweeping pylons containing ore-processing and additional docking facilities.
The central core is a roughly cylindrical structure consisting of several terraced platforms containing various key facilities. At the extreme ventral end of the core is the Operations center and the subspace communications antennae, as well as the deflector shield generators. Below this assembly is the three-level Promenade, a public area for commercial enterprises and entertainment for station personnel. (See also: Promenade Merchants' Association)
The lower sections of the core contain engineering and support facilities, including at least one large industrial replicator, the computer core, and multiple deuterium fuel tanks. At the extreme dorsal end sit the six fusion reactors.
The habitat ring is the inner ring of the station's structure, intended primarily for the housing of most of the station's semi-permanent residents. Spaced along the ring are also six landing pads, used by Starfleet's runabouts and other small craft.
Also mounted along the ring are three large defense sails, upon which a large portion of the station's armaments are mounted.
The docking ring is the outer ring of the station's structure, and is used primarily for moving and storing goods and for starships' docking facilities. Twelve large docking ports are distributed around the perimeter, and numerous cargo bays are connected to these facilities. In addition, a series of 52 thrusters are mounted on the edge of the ring. These thrusters are intended mainly for holding orbital position.
Three large, sweeping docking pylons emerge from the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the docking ring to give DS9 its characteristic spindly shape. At the extreme end of each pylon is an additional docking port (for a total of six on the pylons), which can accommodate larger starships up to those approximately the size of the Galaxy class. The majority of the pylons' internal structure is used up by ore processing facilities.
- Creating Deep Space Nine @ Federation Starship Datalink
- Deep Space Nine @ StarTrek.com
- Designing Deep Space Nine With Herman Zimmerman @ StarTrek.com