The Delta Quadrant is the common designation for one-quarter of the Milky Way Galaxy. Its boundary is defined by a meridian passing through the galactic core and the Sol system, and a second meridian 90° perpendicular at the core. Its closest point to Earth is located approximately 30,000 light years away.
Humans were first planted in the Delta Quadrant by a race known as the Briori around the year 1937 as a form of slave labor. The slaves rebelled and their descendants built a new civilization on a Class L planet. (VOY: "The 37's")
The Delta Quadrant was first visited by Humans of their own free will on stardate 32629.4, when the USS Raven followed a Borg vessel into a transwarp conduit. (VOY: "Dark Frontier") The first Starfleet mission into the Delta Quadrant occurred during an inspection of the Barzan wormhole in 2366. (TNG: "The Price")
Due to the immense distance between the Alpha and Delta Quadrants (an Intrepid-class starship would take thirty years to reach the edges of the quadrant at its maximum warp velocity), the Federation knew very little about this region of space until 2371, when the starship USS Voyager was pulled into the quadrant by an alien force called the Caretaker. When contact was reestablished with the starship in 2374, hundreds of kiloquads of data on the region was received, increasing the Federation's knowledge of the quadrant immensely.
When Q discovered Voyager, he assumed Quinn was responsible for transporting it there, stating that Humans weren't supposed to be in the Delta Quadrant for another one hundred years. (VOY: "Death Wish")
24th century political makeup
The major power in the Delta Quadrant, until at least 2378, was the Borg Collective. In addition to a vast swath of territory which they had completely assimilated, the Borg used a transwarp network to routinely visit different points scattered throughout the quadrant. Following the Borg-Species 8472 War, the insurrection led by Axum, the destruction of a part of the transwarp network and the destruction of Unimatrix 01, it is unclear how the Borg's status in the Delta Quadrant has been altered. (VOY: "Scorpion", "Unimatrix Zero", "Endgame")
Other alien species that controlled significant areas of the quadrant included, among others, the Vidiians, the Devore, the Kazon, the Voth, the Hirogen, the Hierarchy, and the Malon. Species 8472 had also established a presence in the Delta Quadrant until they returned to fluidic space. (Star Trek: Voyager)
The political power of the Krenim Imperium depended largely on its temporal weapons, and as such its influence may have been altered dramatically by its own manipulation of the timeline. (VOY: "Year of Hell")
Millions of years before recorded Human history, it is speculated that the Voth may have left Earth and traveled to the Delta Quadrant where they established a powerful and reclusive civilization. (VOY: "Distant Origin")
Around 45,000 years ago, a humanoid species from the Delta Quadrant travelled to Earth, where they discovered a tribe of humans. Though the humans at this time had no language or tools, the humanoid visitors admired their respect for the land. The humanoids continued to visit Earth for thousands more years, seeing the tribe they visited become the Native American people, and they came to worship the humanoids as the Sky Spirits. The humanoids stopped visiting when European settlers started to conquer their land.
Around the 3rd century, an epidemic known as Phage spread throughout the Vidiian Sodality, reducing a previously renowned culture to subsisting on organ piracy and slave labor. (VOY: "Phage", "Faces")
In the 15th century, the Vaadwaur controlled many colonies and exerted influence across much of the Delta Quadrant, if not further, via a series of underspace corridors. In 1484 an alliance of species led by the Turei destroyed the Vaadwaur empire, forcing survivors to undergo cryostasis in the hopes of preserving their society. (VOY: "Dragon's Teeth")
Jal Sankur united the Kazon sects in 2346 to overthrow their enslavers, the Trabe. Virtually all Trabe territory fell under control of the various sects, which soon began fighting amongst each other. (VOY: "Initiations", "Maneuvers", "Alliances")
Prior to 2371, an entity known as the Caretaker, while not claiming any specific territory per se, was a major factor in the sociopolitical climate near the outer rim of the Delta Quadrant, in the midst of Kazon space. (VOY: "Caretaker")
- Chaotic space
- Nekrit Expanse
- Northwest Passage
- The Void (anomaly)
- The Void (region)
- Vyntadi Expanse
- Window of Dreams
- Yontasa Expanse
The Delta Quadrant was originally suggested as the setting for Star Trek: Voyager by Michael Okuda. On 27 September 1993, he sent a memo to Rick Berman that stated, "Since the Gamma Quadrant is the province of ships from DS9, suggest that this new show be set in the Delta Quadrant. One of the few things we know about the Delta Quadrant is that the Borg homeworld is located somewhere there. This might present opportunities for the Borg to be recurring bad guys." (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager, pp. 207-208) Although fan lore and non-canonical novels had situated the Borg as residing in the Delta Quadrant, they were first canonically cited as residents of the region in Star Trek: First Contact. (Delta Quadrant, p. 189) That Star Trek film was released about three years after Okuda's memo to Berman.