United Federation of Planets
|United Federation of Planets
|Motto: Ad Astra
(Latin: “To the stars.”)
|Anthem: "Star Trek Theme"
(composer: Jerry Goldsmith)
(and largest city)
|Utopia Planitia, Mars
|None at federal level
|English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Klingon, Vulcan
|Trekkers, Trekkies, FedFen
|Representative democratic constitutional republic
|Founded (as STARFLEET)
|May 23, 1974
|First orbital flight
|May 24, 2007
|Declaration of Sovereignty
|May 8, 2008
|Signing of Kandor Treaty
|March 28, 2010
|Major (largest organized faction)
|Nosy and self-righteous scientist/soldiers who never leave their ships.
|Let me end with an explanation of why I believe the move into space to be a human imperative. It seems to me obvious in too many ways to need listing that we cannot much longer depend upon our planet's relatively fragile ecosystem to handle the realities of the human tomorrow. Unless we turn human growth and energy toward the challenges and promises of space, our only other choice may be the awful risk, currently demonstrable, of stumbling into a cycle of fratricide and regression which could end all chances of our evolving further or of even surviving.
—Gene Roddenberry, Planetary Report Vol. 1, 1981
The United Federation of Planets (abbreviated UFP, also known informally as the Trekkies) is the largest and best-established of the Fen factions, encompassing roughly ¼ the system-wide population and 32% of the Convention’s annual GDP. Founded in 2008 as an amalgamation of worldwide Star Trek fan clubs, the Federation established the first permanent settlement on Mars, the first permanent installation in another solar system and the first orbital spacecraft construction facility in Fenspace.
- 1 History
- 2 Politics
- 3 Administrative divisions
- 4 Economy
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Culture
- 7 Notes
The United Federation of Planets traces its roots to 1974, when the Texas-based Star Trek fan club USS Enterprise renamed itself STARFLEET and joined together with other clubs to form the first large (and eventually, first international) Star Trek fan association. Their presence in space dates to May 24, 2007, when the Waiuku, New Zealand-based USS Southern Cross club launched a makeshift shuttlecraft into orbit two weeks after Katz Schrödinger’s historic flight. STARFLEET followed up this success with the Alabama-based USS Dejah Thoris club’s successful landing on Mars on July 9, 2007. Club science officer Commander Mary Zeiger became the first human being to set foot on the Red Planet shorty thereafter.
2008 saw the assembly of Starbase 1 in high Earth orbit from core modules launched from the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. This station was the staging base for the USS Phoenix mission, which proved handwavium engines could travel faster than light and in the process visited Alpha Centauri for the first time. It also saw the invocation of handwavium panic through much of the first world; nearly 85% of STARFLEET members in the United States and their dependents fled offworld. In response to this potential humanitarian crisis STARFLEET’s board of directors disbanded the fan club and reformed as the United Federation of Planets, offering citizenship to any dispossessed Star Trek fan, making the Federation the first recognized faction in Fenspace.
August 2009 brought Islandcon (officially "Anticipation"), the first World Science Fiction Convention in space. Fenspace's standing constitution was refined and adopted here, and the Federation's leaders were among the first to sign it. However, the Federation were one of the first two factions to violate the convention, during the Tomed Incident in November 2009. It took a diplomatic note from both Starfleet Command and the 501st Legion to the people involved – the Treaty of Algeron - to get things under control.
Official recognition of the Federation by Earthside groups started in 2010, when Paramount endorsed the faction's use of their intellectual property. The new movie was released the following year; its success brought a new generation of fans off Earth and into the Federation.
The UFP, like all factions, took part in the Boskone War. While they were most visible in large fleet actions against Boskonians, their primary contribution was delivering people and supplies where they needed to be, flying escorts for both smaller factions and their own transports.
Post-war the Federation settled into their role as the Convention’s unofficial hegemon, spending most of their time focusing on playing peacemaker among the smaller factions and exploring the nearer stars. On May 2, 2022 the Federation became the first major faction to annex a minor faction, when the Sozvezdie Soviet voted to join the UFP as a member state.
The Federation is a representative republic, with an elected president as both head of state and head of government. The presidential election is held every four years and a president may serve unlimited terms. Legislative power is held in the Federation Council, which is composed of representatives of every member state. Individual Councilors are elected or appointed according to their constituencies’ desires. The Council meets for one nine-month session every year: under special circumstances the President can call for an additional session.
The Federation Council convenes in the Palais de la Concorde in Utopia Planitia. Most civilian executive agencies maintain their central offices in the Palais as well.
Law and criminal justice
The Articles of Federation are the supreme law of the faction, and consist of written text and unwritten conventions. It has foundations in the common law traditions of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom (where the majority of the faction’s founders originated). The enactment of criminal law is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, and as such the Federation criminal code is applicable uniformly throughout faction strongholds and applies to UFP citizens throughout Fenspace. Federation common and criminal law maintain the standards held by the Articles of Convention.
Law enforcement duties are most commonly carried out by the Security division of Starfleet. Large settlements like Utopia Planitia, Korolevgrad and others have their own local police forces, which are answerable to the Federation government directly.
The Supreme Court of the Federation is the highest court in the faction, and holds final judicial authority over Federation laws and the interpretation thereof. Superior and inferior court matters are traditionally handled by local magistrates when necessary.
Starfleet is administered by the Board of Admiralty, which is composed of the senior ranking officers of the fleets as well as the commanders of non-fleet divisions like the Marines or the Corps of Engineers. The Board answers directly to the Federation Council, which has final veto on Admiralty appointments and decisions.
Starfleet is organized into 5 separate fleet task groups, each with a specific operational sphere and home base. The First Fleet is based out of Starbase 1, Mars orbit and is tasked with defense and coastal patrol duties in the Mars system out to the nearer Main Belt asteroids. Fifth Fleet is the first Starfleet task group to be based outside of the solar system: the fleet operates from Deep Space Four orbiting Chiron, and is tasked with supporting the colonization and surveys of the Alpha Centauri trisystem.
The Starfleet Marine Corps are best known as the “Redshirts” for their distinctive crimson duty tunics, as well as their source material’s penchant for dying in droves. The Redshirts took the implied insult and turned it into a badge of pride, serving with distinction during the Boskone War and in countless small-unit police actions since.
The Starfleet Corps of Engineers is responsible for the construction and maintenance of Starfleet ships, exosolar bases, Federation colonies and nearly everything else the rest of the Federation takes for granted. The Corps command is based on the USS James Doohan, the only Starfleet ship named for an original cast member. Assignment to the Corps of Engineers is a mark of prestige for most Starfleet engineers, many of whom entered their careers because of Montgomery Scott.
The Federation was a signatory to the 2014 Space Arms Limitation Treaty (PEPPER) and the 2020 PEPPER II treaty. Fleet units are rotated through Great Justice service on a biannual basis: most of Starfleet’s operational combat craft either have served or are serving with Great Justice at any given time.
Since the founding of the Federation, the iconic form of the USS Enterprise has been missing from the fleet. Early efforts to build an appropriate Enterprise fell short of the mark due to lack of resources, or simply proved too quirky to be functional. Starfleet purchased OV-201 USS Enterprise in 2014 just to have a functional Enterprise; the shuttle Enterprise went on to a successful career as a science vessel. Despite this, in 2020 the Federation Council in a rare moment of directly butting into the affairs of Starfleet ordered the Admiralty to draw up plans and begin requisitioning the necessary materials, lab time, etc. to build a functional Constitution class starship (expected to be either NCC-1700 USS Constitution or NCC-1701 USS Enterprise) with a launch date of no later than September 8th, 2030.
As of 2022 the Admiralty hasn’t decided which Constitution class vessel will be implemented by the Council’s 2030 deadline. The original Matt Jefferies design is the favorite of the Corps of Engineers, with a strong minority favoring the Andrew Probert redesign and smaller groups agitating for the Ryan Church reboot design or just skipping the Constitution class altogether and going for the Excelsior or even the Galaxy class.
Relations with other factions
As the 800 pound gorilla of Fenspace, most other factions treat the Federation with a certain amount of respect. But only a certain amount; most fen when asked will consider the average Trekkie aloof, self-righteous and a little nosy. This attitude frequently causes friction between the Federation and the other top-tier factions, particularly the more freewheeling Coalition of Independent Moons. This situation wasn’t improved by the Federation habit of putting their more abrasive civil servants into positions of diplomatic authority. The Federation Council corrected this problem around the beginning of the Boskone War, but the stereotype of the “arrogant idiot Federation Ambassador” remains strong in Fen circles into the 2020s.
The Federation and the Galactic Republic have a standing rivalry dating back to the Tomed incident. Neither faction has engaged in outright hostile action against the other, though there have been a number of mini-crises as the two factions seek prestigious achievements or successes, or accuse the other of unfair competition. Diplomats from both side ensure the rivalry remains in ‘chilly disagreement’ mode and doesn’t flash hot.
Klingons have always been a major Trekkie subgroup since the beginning of the fandom, and the Federation-centric nature of the faction never sat well with the neo-Klingons. The situation remained static during the scramble of the early days, but after the Boskone War the newfound peace allowed the neo-Klingon grumbling to start boiling over.
Klingon separatists built a small outpost and shipyard on the moon Rura Penthe in preparation for their oft-threatened official break with the rest of the Trekkies. The Klingons plan to use Rura Penthe as their official point of presence in the Sol system while the rest of the separatists move to Qo’noS, an appropriately-dangerous earthlike planet in the Pi 3 Orionis system discovered by Klingon scouts in 2022.
The Federation’s long term plans as of 2022 are focused mainly on exosolar migration. While the faction has no plans on abandoning Sol outright, analysts predict that mass migration away from Earth will start happening over the next generation as more and more earthlike exosolar worlds are discovered, and whoever has the claims and infrastructure down will win near exosolar space. Starfleet is developing colony ships for extended migration to Pandora, Chiron and Vulcan.
Secondary long term plans involve convincing minor factions to follow the Soviet example and join the Federation as semi-autonomous member states. To date no other factions have expressed public interest; faction leaders and SMOFs are waiting to see how the Soviet experiment works out before joining in. Privately the Lagrange unificationist movement at Central Station is intrigued, but again waiting to see how the Soviets fare as Federation members before making any moves.
The Federation is – on paper – divided into multiple member states, each one representing the concerns of Federation citizens to the Council. As of 2022 there are 9 member states: Venus, Terra, Luna, Utopia, Jupiter, Pandora, Chiron, Vulcan and the Sozvezdie Soviet. Due to the highly diffuse nature of Fenspace only Utopia, the Soviet and the extrasolar colonies have any distinct regional legislative authority or autonomy. Outside of these areas, the majority of Federation citizens live in the larger non-aligned communities or aboard one of the numerous Starfleet vessels.
See main article: Utopia Planitia
The first city on Mars, Utopia Planitia was founded in 2007 near the site of the Viking 2 landing. Initially the settlement existed to a) prove it was possible and b) provide support for the foundation of the Utopia Planitia shipyards. As the Federation grew the city grew alongside it, becoming the official faction capital in 2010 with the construction of the Palais de la Concorde. Utopia Planitia faces significant problems in the future, as Martian terraforming threatens to inundate the city; project planners estimate the area Utopia Planitia sits on will be under several dozen meters of water by 2050, with the level gradually increasing as terraforming progresses.
Pandora (Alpha Centauri A II.12) was the first life-bearing world discovered outside the solar system. Originally charted in 2008, the Federation established Starbase 2 in orbit to support exobiological research on the moon. Pandora’s surface is hostile to human life due to excessive oxygen content, though the Federation opened the Hallelujah Plateau (at an average altitude of 9,000m above sea level, the highest altiplano in known space and the only inhabitable region of Pandora) to limited settlement in 2019. The current population of the plateau is 2,500, mostly concentrated in the town of Ewya.
Chiron (Alpha Centauri B III) is an Earthlike world surveyed by the Federation in the original 2008-09 exploration of the Alpha Centauri system. The planet is somewhat colder and significantly drier than Earth, but is still more hospitable to Earth based life than any other place in the Alpha Centauri system. Settlement was officially opened in 2014 with the conclusion of the Boskone War. Currently 35,000 people live on the surface, with another 700 living at the Deep Space Four station in high orbit. The largest city on Chiron is the town of Saganville, with an estimated population of 12,500.
Vulcan (Keid A II-1) was first surveyed in 2018 by the Federation. The inital survey squadron was hoping to find a high gravity desert world, and instead found a standard gravity world covered in shallow oceans with only a few tectonic rafts, islands and atolls poking above the water. They named the planet Vulcan anyway, which goes to show that Trekkies do have measurable sense of humor, or at least irony. The planet was officially opened for settlement in 2021.
The largest settlement on Vulcan is the Shi’Kar settlement evaluation outpost, which has an estimated population of 7,500.
See main article: Sozvezdie Soviet
The Sozvezdie Soviet was the first non-Trekkie group to join the Federation, in 2022. Their primary population base is on Luna, with small outlying colonies in the Main Belt and the Tau Ceti system.
The Federation maintains protectorate status over the Lalande 21185, Epsilon Eridani, Epsilon Indi, Delta Pavonis and Zeta (1) Reticuli systems. These systems do not (yet) have permanent colonies set up, though research teams and the occasional tourist roll through. Starfleet maintains Deep Space Stations in orbit, and patrol squadrons rotate through on a regular basis.
Trekkies enjoy the highest per-capita GDP in Fenspace, and the ninth-largest GDP (just behind Sweden) in the world. Standards of living are extremely high for a frontier society: the Federation has been in the top ten countries in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) since 2017.
The faction likes to present itself as an infant post-scarcity socialist economy: in truth, the Federation operates on a mixed economy, with a free market sector combined with a strong welfare state and state ownership of key industries. Post-scarcity independence is a long term goal for the Federation government but in the short term the Council has decided that a heavily-regulated mixed economy is less likely to cause difficulty with key export partners in the Convention and on Earth.
The state has partial ownership of key strategic industries such as resource extraction, general construction and telecommunications. The Federation holds a state monopoly on spacecraft construction: all Trekkie yards are subsidiaries of Utopia Planitia Shipyard and most often managed by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.
The Federation was a founding member of the Bank of Sol, and uses it as the factional central bank. The standard Federation currency is the solar credit.
Science and technology
The Federation is considered a leader in handwavium-related sciences. Most scientific research is done by Starfleet, though the Federation has several civilian research foundations and companies like Yoyodyne Technologies. Federation engineers were the first to create consistently replicable technology using handwavium, including atmosphere containment fields and other forcefield technology. Roughly 85% of Federation citizens consider themselves scientifically literate.
Utopia Planitia Shipyard
The largest ship construction facility in Fenspace, the Utopia yards are the centerpoint of the Federation’s economy. Nearly 60% of all shipbuilding in Fenspace happens at Utopia itself or at one of its secondary yards. While much of this work is done for Starfleet, the yards also build spacecraft for civilian Federation interests and other clients within Fenspace.
The yards consist of a surface construction facility (used mainly for smallcraft) and larger orbital slipways for large spacecraft. Utopia Planitia is not designed to construct large space stations: the slipways have been used for modular station construction in the past, but not often.
Federation Merchant Marine
The Federation Merchant Marine is the fleet of civilian-owned ships that operate in and out of Federation space. During peacetime operations, the merchant marine ferries cargo and passengers around the solar system and into interstellar space. During the Boskone War, the merchant marine were called to service as Starfleet auxiliaries and transported military supplies between operating bases.
As of 2022 the merchant marine consisted of 110 spacecraft and approximately 10,000 people.
The Federation’s population estimate in 2022 was 2,752,191. The largest city in the Federation was Utopia Planitia, with a total population of 215,000. The main driver of the population is immigration; the Federation’s average annual growth rate since founding has been 39.9%, almost all of that being immigration.
The largest self-reported ethnic origin in the Federation is American (accounting for 27% of the population), followed by English (18.5%), Canadian (10.7%), Brazilian (9.3%), Korean (6.1%), Vietnamese (5.5%), Chinese (4.7%), Senegalese (3.9%), and Tunisian (3.1%). The largest ethnic groups in the Federation are experiencing a slight decline as UFP migration policies shift away from industrialized nations like the United States and United Kingdom towards the smaller nations of Asia, South America and Africa.
Roughly 1.3% of the Federation’s population (roughly 36,000 people in the 2022 estimate) have undergone handwavium biomodifcation. 45% of Trekkie biomods are one variety of Klingon or another, another 40% are Vulcanoid modifications and the remaining 15% are divided between Andorian, Catian, Bajoran, Cardassian and other biomods.
The United Federation of Planets has no official language. The majority of Federation dealings and official documents are written in English, with copies in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and Klingon. Multiple designs for universal translators have been proposed and implemented, but so far none have been truly ‘universal’ in nature. The Corps of Engineers is still working on it, though.
The culture of the Federation is derived from the common threads linking the Trekkies together, particularly their love for the Star Trek series, as well as immigrant influences and new traditions springing from the unique needs of living in space. The Federation tends towards a strong romantic nationalist movement, idealizing the Federation of the source material as a golden-age-to-be that all Federation citizens should strive to attain.
Psychology and stereotypes
Federation citizens hold the concept of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations (IDIC) as their core ideal. IDIC originated with the Vulcans, as a celebration of the vast array of variables that the Universe has to offer. As a philosophical tenet, Trekkies adopted IDIC as a justification for egalitarianism and a preference for pacifism over confrontation. A popular aphorism among Trekkies regarding this stance is Carl Sagan’s quote: “Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”
Some people in Fenspace view the Federation as weak, a common stereotype originating from the faction’s overall pacifist and non-confrontational nature. One thing forgotten in this stereotype is the Federation’s large store of indirect power in Fenspace, and that earning the ire of the Council or Starfleet means earning the suspicion of Federation citizens who are quite literally everywhere in the solar system and make up a majority of extrasolar colonists outside Achird.
Arts and entertainment
Trekkies as a group tend to think of themselves as having refined sensibilities above and beyond more common pursuits, and Federation arts and entertainment reflect this belief. Classical music is popular, as is ambient and new age synthetic music. The Federation produces large numbers of edutainment programs: documentaries based on Starfleet expeditions of course, as well as more generic programs about living and working in Fenspace. DIY programs are equally popular, especially among new migrants.
Federation fiction tends to be derivative of established Star Trek fiction though in recent years the trend has been pulling away towards something more original and less based in old patterns. “Pacifist adventurer” fiction ‒ stories where the protagonist gets by on wit and skill rather than violence is the fastest-growing genre among Trekkie writers, and has found a home in many Fen and mundane demographics.
Trekkies are also innovators in interactive fiction. While the vaunted holodeck is still some years away, Federation citizens already write expansive “holonovels,” part novel and part RPG similar to Japanese “visual novels,” that can be used from any modern multimedia system.
Federation Broadcasting Company
The Federation Broadcasting Company (FBC) was established in 2010, initially as a public-access channel broadcasting entertainment and news. FBC programming was available only aboard Starfleet ships and in Utopia Planitia for the first several years of operation, as the network operated off proprietary (and classified) Starfleet communications protocols. In 2013 FBC officially went general access, and is available across Fenspace.
FBC programs include the number-three news program in Fenspace (FBC News Night), a large variety of edutainment shows such as Scotty’s Corner (an engineering-focused children’s program), and repackaged Earthside material.
Officially, the Federation practices state atheism. Religious belief and practice is not officially prohibited due to Federation membership in the Convention, but it is mildly discouraged with a bit of a patronizing attitude. The official state position on religion doesn’t seem to have had much effect, however. In a 2020 survey only 14% of Federation citizens professed as atheist, though another 30% consider themselves generally non-religious. The rest of the population tend to follow the same beliefs they did on Earth: Christianity and Islam make up the majority, followed by Buddhism, Judaism and Vodun. Several attempts to codify Klingon and Bajoran religions have been attempted, but so far none have been successful.
- Not to be confused with any of the spacecraft bearing that name.
- NCC-63550/1 USS Richard Taylor.
- "Stop being dickheads and play nice, already!"
- It was free publicity for the then-upcoming franchise reboot, and they couldn't stop it anyway.
- Among factions with functional governments. Counting armies-without-a-country factions like the Roughriders the Federation ranks sixth.
- Sometimes referred to as MACOs by the small number of Enterprise fans.
- Ideally, the Council hoped Starfleet would get their act together and have an Enterprise ready to launch on September 8th, 2026, the 60th anniversary of Star Trek: TOS. This may have been overly optimistic.
- Mostly thanks to the exhaustive Franz Joseph deckplans, which give the engineers a base to develop from.
- Enterprise, who will core transfer to NCC-1701 once one’s built, has remained neutral through this somewhat ridiculous debate.
- Formerly Proteus or Neptune VIII.
- Similar to the Island class used in the Greenwood colonization of the Achird A system, but simpler to manufacture and designed to be broken down into parts for a surface colony at the destination.
- The Soviet claims on the Tau Ceti, Delta Pavonis and Zeta (1) Reticuli systems have not officially gone over to the Federation and remain under the subfaction’s jurisdiction. The Soviet is expected to allow open colonization on Yggdrasil, limited colonization on Gallifrey and restricting colonization in the Arda system.
- Taking over from Starbase 1, the original command outpost the Federation leadership left Earth aboard in 2007.
- Particularly after annexing the Soviet.
- The actual percentage of scientifically literate people in the Federation is slightly lower, but only slightly.
- Large vehicles only; smallcraft such as flying cars fall under a different category.
- Vulcans and Romulans being only barely distinguishable physically per canon; Romulans throw better parties.
- Remarkably few of whom are victims of the Catgirling Machines.
- Generalizing, of course.
- The term “fanfic” has been used in derogatory fashion towards a good chunk of Trekkie mass-market fiction.
- See “MacGyver” as an example.