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Affiliation: United Federation of Planets
Status: Destroyed (2168)

The Horizon was a Federation starship that was in service in the mid-22nd century. Horizon discovered the planet Sigma Iotia II, located on the outer reach of the galaxy, in 2168.

While there, the crew of the Horizon made first contact with the planets inhabitants, the Iotians; a civilization that was in the beginning stages of industrialization. It was also reported that the Iotians were an extremely intelligent and somewhat imitative species.

The Horizon's contact came before the Non-Interference Directive went into effect, and the ship inadvertently interfered with the normal evolution of the planet. The source of contamination was a number of textbooks and technical manuals on how to make radio sets. The most damning was a text published in 1992, called "Chicago Mobs of the Twenties". This text would serve as the "Bible" of the Iotian culture for the decades to come.

The Horizon was only equipped with conventional radio, in the days when only certain vessels had subspace communication. The Horizon was lost shortly after leaving Sigma Iotia II and Starfleet would only manage to receive her radio reports nearly a century later, in early 2268.

A month later, the USS Enterprise was dispatched to investigate the Horizon's reports, only to discover the break down of Iotian society that had occurred as a result of the Horizon's influence. Because the breakdown of Iotian society was the fault of a member of the Federation, the crew of the Enterprise was obligated to correct the Horizon's mistake. (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

The dialog from "A Piece of the Action" did not specify a prefix for the name of the ship. According to the reference books Star Trek Concordance, Star Trek Encyclopedia, Star Trek Maps and The Worlds of the Federation and the article [1] as well as apocryphal sources such as the Decipher supplement Worlds, the FASA RPG source book The Federation this vessel was the USS Horizon, which was later seen on screen as a model in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
According to the novel Kobayashi Maru however, this ship was the freighter ECS Horizon mentioned throughout Star Trek: Enterprise and seen in the episode "Horizon".
Based on a statement made by Captain James T. Kirk, The ship won't land, but we'll transport several people down., the Horizon might have had the capacity to land on a planetary surface. However, this line was seen by some as ambiguous. These same people argued that it might have referred to shuttles, if there were any, that were stored on this ship.

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