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Speed of light

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The speed of light, also referred to as light speed, or the warp threshold, is the velocity that light travels in a vacuum. This constant, usually denoted c, is exactly 299,792,458 meters/second or 186,282 miles per second in imperial units. The speed of light was equivalent to the speed of warp factor 1. (ENT: "First Flight", display graphic)

The Phoenix, piloted by Zefram Cochrane, was Earth's first ship to be successfully equipped with a faster-than-light propulsion system. (Star Trek: First Contact)

The ability to travel faster than light was considered to be a major technological milestone in a species' development. The United Federation of Planets typically subdivided civilizations and cultures on whether they had developed technology to exceed the speed of light. The species that had not yet achieved the level of technology required were placed in the pre-warp civilization category. The Vulcan custom of not making first contact with pre-warp civilizations was later on adopted by the Federation as well. (ENT: "Civilization"; TNG: "First Contact")

In 2254, the USS Enterprise encountered a faked distress call from SS Columbia created by the Talosians. The signal was keyed to register on sensors as an unknown object on a collision course which traveled with the speed of light. (TOS: "The Cage")

Faster-than-light technology

Subspace communications

Propulsion

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