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The quantum slipstream drive was an advanced form of interstellar propulsion allowing starships to break through the warp speed barrier. The crew of the USS Voyager acquired the technology in 2374 from Species 116 in the Delta Quadrant. A later test of the drive in 2375 nearly led to the destruction of Voyager, and it was decided to put the use of the device on hold. (VOY episodes: "Hope and Fear", "Timeless")
Generating slipstream corridors requires more power than forming warp fields; the power required is directly related to the frontal geometry of a vessel and lesser so the ship geometry. Therefore, slipstream propelled ships are generally narrow and compact with aerodynamic lines (TNG novel: Greater Than the Sum).
By 2381, following the defeat of the Borg, Starfleet began installing quantum slipstream drives on its vessels, but due to the nature of the technology not all ships were compatible with the upgrade (ST novel: A Singular Destiny). Later, a small contingent of Starfleet vessels, including Voyager, was outfitted with the drives in order to explore the Delta Quadrant in greater detail, and to learn any information available about the Borg. (VOY novel: Full Circle)
Unknown to Starfleet, at the same time in 2381, B'Elanna Torres had managed to recreate the technology from memory and outfitted a small vessel with the drive, to evade a fanatical Klingon sect pursuing her daughter. (VOY novel: Full Circle)
In 2381, starships in Project Full Circle experienced microfractures in their benamite crystals. Voyager's Chief Engineer Nancy Conlon deduced that within three months all the starships in the Delta Quadrant would have to return home if the problem was not solved. (VOY novel: Unworthy)
Security Chief Harry Kim took Nancy Conlon to B'Elanna Torres's personal shuttle, modified with B'Elanna's own version of a quantum slipstream drive and a benamite recrystallization matrix. A conversation between the current and former chief engineers of Voyager resulted in B'Elanna Torres agreeing to adapt her design for use on all of the ships assigned to Project Full Circle. (VOY novel: Unworthy)
In 2382, the Breen accepted a mission on behalf of the Typhon Pact and sent an operative to Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards to capture data pertaining to the quantum slipstream drive. The Breen were soon after contracted to build the first Typhon Pact prototype slipstream vessel. The lead researcher of the project, Thot Keer, intentionally withheld information from the other members relating to the drive's development in order to promote the Breen to a level of Pact authority of equal standing to the Romulans. Shortly before the initial trials, however, the prototype, its designer, and all information relating to the project were destroyed. (ST - Typhon Pact novel: Zero Sum Game)
By 2409, slipstream drive was standard aboard any vessel that was captained by officers ranking Vice Admiral or higher. These drives could only operate for half a minute at a time before shutting down for safety reasons, though in those precious seconds, the starship could cross an entire sector of space. After what was presumably a short period of recalibration, they could be activated again.
The Federation Odyssey-, Vesta-, and Chimera-class vessels, as well as the KDF Bortas- and Peghqu'-class vessels were equipped with a more advanced version of the same technology, capable of sustaining the slipstream corridor for twice as long. (STO video game: Star Trek Online)
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