Stargate Program

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Stargate Program

Summary

The Stargate Program was so named by the United States government after Dr. Daniel Jackson translated the hieroglyph inscription of the coverstone found with the Stargate that was discovered in Giza, Egypt, in 1928.

Stargate References

The Doorway to Heaven

Giza Stargate is unburied in 1928
Achilles carries Stargate to Boston in 1939
Ernest Littlefield goes through Stargate in 1945

When Professor Langford discovered the Stargate and its coverstone in Giza, Egypt, in 1928, he didn't call the device a "Stargate" because the translation of the coverstone was based on earlier scholarship (namely, Budge's). His name for the device was the "Doorway to Heaven" and he believed that it might be a weapon. Because of this assumption and the growing sense of imminent war with Germany in 1939, President Roosevelt asked that the device be shipped to the United States by the Merchant Marines using a haphazard course across the Atlantic Ocean. Once the ship made it safely to harbor in Boston aboard the Achilles, Roosevelt backed up Langford's study of the device. (Stargate: The Movie, 1.11 "The Torment of Tantalus", Stargate: Continuum)

Once war did break out, the study of the device was even more urgent. Langford set up a lab and began to apply energy to the device, hoping to unlock the inner ring. Manually dialing the 'gate, Langford's team succeeded in actually turning the device "on" and creating a stable wormhole in 1945. Langford's young associate, Professor Ernest Littlefield, proposed that six symbols were not a combination to turn the device on, but coordinates to a destination in space, but Langford dismissed his hypothesis, which was based on the fact that there were 39 symbols on the device rather than just six. (1.11 "The Torment of Tantalus")

Littlefield also volunteered to step through the water-like event horizon to see what was on the other side. The team outfitted Littlefield with a heavy diver's suit with an oxygen umbilical. After he stepped through, the wormhole disengaged and the umbilical was severed. Everyone at the lab concluded that Littlefield was killed and that the Doorway indeed led to Heaven, or death. Langford told his daughter Catherine, who was engaged to marry Littlefield, that Ernest had died in an explosion in the lab and the study of the device was ended. He never told her that they had succeeded at turning the device on. Eventually, the team's documentation was stored away in the Pentagon and the Stargate, in an armory in Washington, D.C., where it sat for several years. (1.11 "The Torment of Tantalus", 2.21 "1969")

Project Giza

Entrance to Cheyenne Mountain Complex
Earth's Point of Origin identified by Dr. Daniel Jackson
Dr. Daniel Jackson steps through the Stargate to Abydos in 1996

In late 1969, Catherine succeeded in getting the Stargate taken out of the armory and began once again to study the device. The project was named Project Giza and the researchers were given space in the lower levels of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado Springs, Colorado, underneath NORAD. Members of the United States Air Force were assigned to assist in the study of the device, but Dr. Langford was given full autonomy. (Stargate: The Movie, 1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods", 2.21 "1969")

The coverstone of the Stargate provided six symbols for the team to work with. It was their goal to dial that combination, which they assumed would turn the device on. Most of their work concentrated on automating the dialing process. Starting in 1982, the team began using supercomputers to process the interface. Not having the benefit of the classified information pertaining to the activating of the device in 1945, the team wasn't aware of the need for the seventh symbol (the point of origin). (1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods", 1.11 "The Torment of Tantalus")

Around 1994, Air Force Captain Samantha Carter, who also held a Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics, joined the program, but was assigned to the Pentagon to come up with proposals so that Project Giza could continue. She, too, wasn't aware of the true nature of the Doorway to Heaven, but she studied the device from all of the reports to advance her theories. (1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods", 2.09 "Secrets")

Catherine also hired translators to study the coverstone, but they didn't get any further with the translation than Professor Langford's team and still called the device the Doorway to Heaven. But, in 1996, Catherine attended a lecture given by a brilliant young archaeologist who also was an expert in the languages of Ancient Egypt, Dr. Daniel Jackson. Peers of his in the archaeological community dismissed his theories about the actual age of the Pyramids. They mocked him and left his lecture in disgust. With this failure, Jackson would be left without grant money and a place to stay. All that he possessed he carried with him in two suitcases. Catherine gave him the chance to prove his theories correct. (Stargate: The Movie)

As soon as Jackson looked at the translation on the blackboard, he corrected it to read "Stargate" instead of "Doorway to Heaven". He also figured out that the symbols were constellations and that a seventh symbol was needed to plot a course: six symbols for the points of the destination in three-dimensional space, and a seventh to indicate the point of origin, or the starting point, of that course. Everyone objected, saying that there was no seventh symbol, but Jackson pointed it out on the drawing of the coverstone where it existed outside the six-symbol grouping. Jackson formed his theory without the knowledge of the device's existence. (Stargate: The Movie)

It was with great excitement that the team gave Jackson permission to see the device. When he looked down on it from the conference room's observation window, he asked Catherine, "What is that?" Her reply, "It's your Stargate." (Stargate: The Movie)

Finally, the Stargate was activated once again. Their destination was Abydos, a planet in the Goa'uld System Lord Ra's domain. He had taken people from Ancient Egypt to this planet to work as slaves, but the Ancient Egyptians had successfully staged a rebellion in 2995 B.C. that ousted Ra from Earth, and the victorious Egyptians buried the Stargate and placed the heavy coverstone over it in Giza, where it remained buried until Langford's expedition of 1928. Unfortunately, Ra still held dominion over the slaves of Abydos. (Stargate: The Movie, 8.19-8.20 "Moebius")

After sending a MALP to Abydos to determine if a team of men could go through the Stargate, Gen. West assigned Col. O'Neill the mission to go through and explore, hoping that finally the Project had reaped some kind of reward. Jackson was allowed to go on the mission as well, since he said that he would be able to determine the correct coordinates to get them back to Earth safely. This trip through the Stargate proved fateful, as the team were key players in the overthrowing of Ra as the Supreme Commander of the System Lords. The Goa'uld System Lords' long-term status quo as masters of the galaxy had just been thrown out of balance. Earth had unwittingly declared galactic-wide war that would haunt them for over a decade to come. (Stargate: The Movie, 1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods", Stargate: Continuum)

Upon his return, Col. O'Neill claimed that he detonated the bomb he took to Abydos to eliminate any threats of someone's possibly attacking Earth through the Stargate. He also claimed that Jackson was killed. Jackson had actually chosen to stay on Abydos where he could live in a culture that before he had only studied. He married Sha're and explored the pyramid and surrounding structures as any curious archaeologist would do. (Stargate: The Movie, 1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods")

Back on Earth, Project Giza continued, perhaps having been renamed to be the Stargate Program at this point, but because the Abydos Stargate was buried by Jackson, they weren't able to successfully send a MALP through again. They tried other combinations using the seventh symbol that Jackson identified, but were never able to establish a connection. (1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods")

Stargate Program

Insignia of Stargate Command
Abydos Cartouche Chamber
SG-1 Team Patch

Gen. West was replaced by Maj. Gen. George Hammond, a man close to retirement. Hammond assigned Carter to explore other uses for the Stargate, including the wormhole's role in time travel. Eventually, though, the Stargate Program was winding down, and Hammond's command, Stargate Command, was working with very few personnel. That all changed in 1997 when the Goa'uld System Lord Apophis came through Stargate, attacked and killed several of the guards, and kidnapped a female sergeant. Hammond witnessed the alien commander's exit through the Stargate and thought that Ra had returned with a vengeance. (1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods", 2.21 "1969")

Hammond was prepared to send an even more powerful bomb through the Stargate to Abydos, still the only destination that they believed existed, but a then-retired O'Neill persuaded him to attempt to establish contact with Jackson first. He had to admit that he falsified his report and that Jackson and the people of Abydos were still alive. After successful contact was made, O'Neill led a team back there to determine from where Ra or another of his kind had come. (1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods")

On Abydos, Carter was thrilled to discover that the Stargate had a compact dialing device, later named the Dial Home Device (DHD), that her teammates had emulated with their supercomputer configuration. Unbeknownst to the United States government, Earth's DHD was actually in the hands of the Russians after they got it from the Germans after WWII. (1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods", 4.07 "Watergate")

Jackson showed O'Neill that the Stargate went to several places when he revealed a large chamber that had inscribed walls that depicted all of the Stargate addresses of planets inside the Goa'uld's domain. Known as the Abydos Cartouche, this map provided thousands of possible destinations. The application of stellar drift calculations—which Jackson said would be necessary after a Stargate was disconnected from the network over a long period of time—allowed Stargate Command's supercomputer system to generate Stargate addresses that would yield connections. The algorithms used to determine these addresses were identified in the destination's designation, such as P3A-575 and P3X-595. The galaxy had been opened up with this discovery and the Stargate Program was brought back up to full staff. Nine teams were assigned to explore these planets, their mission: "perform reconnaissance, determine threats and if possible to make peaceful contact with the peoples of these worlds." The diversity of these goals called for a diversity in the backgrounds of the people manning these teams, from archaeologists, anthropologists, sociologists, geologists, physicists, negotiators, and linguists to soldiers verse in search and rescue as well as warfare. (1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods", 1.05 "The Broca Divide", 2.03 "Prisoners", and others)

The President and the Joint Chiefs were the only ones in the U.S. government who were aware of the Stargate Program, which was given the designation "Area 52" in the Congressional budget at a line item cost of $7.4 billion annually. (1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods", 1.21 "Politics")

Expansion of the Stargate Program

Control room at the Alpha Site
The USS Daedalus
Atlantis Base

Starting in 1997, the Stargate Program was operated solely by the United States. Once teams were heavily involved with the war against the Goa'uld System Lords, their continued funding was absolutely necessary. They gained this funding through their country's taxpayers, but these taxpayers weren't informed about how their money was being spent. The Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Robert Kinsey, was granted clearance to see the Program firsthand and to interview SG-1 about what they had accomplished. Unfortunately, Kinsey deemed the Program a "Pandora's Box" and recommended its immediate shutdown. (1.01-1.02 "Children of the Gods", 1.21 "Politics")

Only after SG-1 disobeyed these shutdown orders to thwart Apophis' attempt at planet-wide destruction did the Senator see the importance of what the Program was doing (2.01 "The Serpents Lair Part 2"). In the years after this incident, the Program grew and Stargate Command, housed in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, was at its heart:

  • The civilian organization NID, with Air Force support at Area 51 (from Nellis Air Force Base), oversaw the Research and Development portion of the Stargate Program. Their mission was to study and exploit the knowledge and technology brought through the Stargate and to apply it toward Earth's defense. A rogue cell of this organization began to operate with businessmen who wished to gain financially by introducing technological advances into the consumer market. Unfortunately, this rogue cell operated above the law and sometimes threatened the very foundations of goodwill that Stargate Command had established with advanced alien allies, including the Tollan and the Asgard. (1.17 "Enigma", 2.10 "Bane", 2.14 "Touchstone", 3.18 "Shades of Grey", 4.15 "Chain Reaction", 5.20 "The Sentinel", 6.14 "Smoke and Mirrors", 8.07 "Affinity", 8.10 "Endgame", and others)
  • A space-worthy interceptor program was started, under the X-301 project designation, after SG-1 returned to Earth in two of the Goa'uld's Death Gliders. The X-301, tested in 2001, was a retrofit of the technology and eventually failed, but it did open the way to the X-302 project, completely Terran-built, which was far more successful after the introduction a year later of naquadria to generate a limited-range hyperspace window. This remarkable craft can be disassembled, sent through the Stargate, and reassembled on a distant planet, where a very short runway was needed to get it airborne. F-302s are used regularly and have been involved in both Earth-bound and space battles. (2.01 "The Serpent's Lair Part 2", 4.12 "Tangent", 6.01 "Redemption Part 1", 7.01 "Fallen Part 1", 7.21-7.22 "Lost City", 9.15 "Ethon", and others)
  • Using Terran and alien technology, engineers built a large deep space battle cruiser known as the X-303, or the Prometheus, over a two-year period in a hangar in Nevada. This starship was a prototype that was constantly upgraded with more advanced technology, especially from the Asgard, who gifted these upgrades as thank you's for Stargate Command's help in saving the Asgard from the Replicators on several occasions. By the time the Prometheus was destroyed in battle, it had Asgard hyperdrive engines, energy defense shields, and beaming technology (in addition to the Ancient/Goa'uld crystal technology and Ring Transporter). The ship's weapons, however, were limited as the Asgard did not wish to give such technology to a less advanced race. (6.11 "Prometheus", 9.15 "Ethon", and others)
  • Going operational in 2002-03, the Prometheus (also known as the BC-303) served as the forerunner to the X-304 program, which became operationally known as the Daedalus Class (or '304), named after the first ship built in the program, the USS Deadalus. Several of these ships were produced thereafter: USS Odyssey; Korolev; USS Apollo; Sun Tzu; and USS Phoenix, which was renamed to the USS George Hammond after the general's sudden death. The Asgard presented major upgrades to the Odyssey, including plasma energy weapons and an all-encompassing knowledge base before they committed mass suicide to end their suffering due to the failure of their cloning program. The plasma energy weapons were incorporated into the existing and future 304 spacecrafts, but the Odyssey is the only 304 that has a cloaking device powered by a Zero Point Module (ZPM), given to them by the Ancient Merlin during the war with the Ori. (8.19 "Moebius Part 1", 10.14 "The Shroud", 10.20 "Unending", Stargate: The Ark of Truth; Stargate Atlantis: 2.01 "The Siege Part 3", 3.20 "First Strike Part 1", 5.20 "Enemy at the Gate")
  • Off-world bases are also included in the Stargate Program and are manned by military and civilian personnel from Stargate Command. The Alpha Site is considered the back-up and evacuation site to Earth. There also exist the Beta Site and the Gamma Site. Another off-world base of extreme importance is the Atlantis Base, originally established in the Pegasus Galaxy, but currently relocated to Earth (Atlantis is a city-ship built by the Ancients that is capable of intergalactic space travel). Additionally, Icarus Base was established on a planet that could support the extraordinary power required in dialing a nine-symbol address. (2.01 "The Serpent's Lair Part 2", 6.09 "Allegiance", 9.17 "The Scourge", 10.02 "Morpheus"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.01-1.02 "Rising"; Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1")
  • In addition to Nellis Air Force Base and Area 51, several locations on Earth also serve the Stargate Program, including the Antarctic Research Station built over the site where the second Stargate was discovered, the Ancient Outpost in Antarctica, Avalon in the Glastonbury Tor in England, and the Air Force Academy Hospital. (6.04 "Frozen", 2.02 "In the Line of Duty", 8.01-8.02 "New Order", 9.01-9.02 "Avalon")
  • The number of SG teams has also grown. At last count, SG-25 was the most recent, but there also exist special teams that don't have this type of SG-xx designation, including the medical Red Team and all of the teams formed by the Atlantis Expedition. (10.02 "Morpheus", 10.05 "Uninvited"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.01-1.02 "Rising")
Stargate Program Disclosure
Meeting of a committee of the International Oversight Advisory (IOA)
Antarctic Outpost

Politically, speaking, the Stargate Program was also broadened to include the international community:

  • Canadian astrophysicist Dr. Rodney McKay was contracted by the NID in 2000-01 to study the Stargate's technology. He became the leading expert after Carter. The Canadian government itself was not known to have full disclosure until 2004, but it is possible it knew of the Stargate's existence long before that since Canada and the United States both participate in NORAD. (5.14 "48 Hours", 7.21-7.22 "Lost City")
  • The Russians started their own Stargate program in 2000, but the project lasted only 37 days. They found that they couldn't continue to finance the project and to run it at the same time that the United States ran theirs. But, the Russians had both the Giza Stargate (it was lost by the United States in the Pacific Ocean and they were operating with the Beta Stargate that was discovered in Antarctica) and the DHD to use as bargaining chips. When Stargate Command was unable to use their Stargate due to a technological glitch, they went to the Russians to use theirs to permit SG teams to return home. Major Paul Davis and Dr. Daniel Jackson negotiated an agreement with Russian Army Colonel Chekov for the use of the Russian's DHD and Stargate, with the stipulation that "a Russian team be permanently stationed at your base. That all mission files should go to our onsite officer. And that all technologies procured and developed as a result of Stargate travel—past, present and future—will be shared equally." (4.07 "Watergate", 5.14 "48 Hours", 6.16 "Metamorphosis", 8.03 "Lockdown")
  • Full disclosure of the Stargate Program was given to the representatives of the Chinese, British, and French governments by the United States and Russia in 2003. From this disclosure, the Gate Alliance Treaty was established that promised these countries the same privileges that the Russians had while the United States still controlled the Stargate's use. The International Oversight Advisory (IOA) is an international organization that oversees the operations of the Stargate Program and provides the majority of the Program's funding (the U.S. Senate Appropriates Committee has dedicated the majority of their funding to the 304 Program and no longer funds exploration). Additional countries have been added to the Gate Alliance Treaty as a result of the discovery of the Antarctic Outpost, whose use is dictated by countries of the Antarctic Treaty that was established in 1961. Dr. Elizabeth Weir had a hand in negotiating the entrance of these countries into the Gate Alliance Treaty and as a result, several more nations were included in the exploration of other worlds and the study of alien technologies made possible by the Stargate Program. Many of these international representatives were included in the Atlantis Expedition on the Atlantis Base in the Pegasus galaxy starting in 2004. (6.17 "Disclosure", 8.01-8.02 "New Order", 9.04 "The Ties That Bind", 9.17 "The Scourge"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.01-1.02 "Rising")
  • In 2004, the U.S. government created a new department called Homeworld Security. Currently, Air Force Lt. General Jack O'Neill is in command, focusing on the military aspects of the Stargate Program, including Stargate Command. The International Oversight Advisory has a civilian watchdog who also oversees Stargate Command's operations from the budgetary and political perspectives. In 2007, the IOA took over the operations of Atlantis Base with a civilian commander, Richard Woolsey. (8.01-8.02 "New Order", 9.04 "The Ties That Bind", 9.17 "The Soourge"; Stargate Atlantis: 5.01 "Search and Rescue Part 2")
  • A documentary was commissioned by the President of the United States in 2004 and was designed to be shown to the American people if it were ever deemed that the Stargate Program should ever be made public knowledge. (7.17-7.18 "Heroes")

Time Traveling Impacts to the Stargate Program

Ancient Egyptian Rebellion of 2995 B.C.
Note sent from 2010 to 2001
Atlantis Base 48,000 years into the future in an alternate timeline

The Stargate Program wouldn't be what it is today without the following impacts to the timeline executed by time travelers:

  • 2995 B.C. - A time traveling SG-1 planned the rebellion of the Ancient Egyptians that drove Ra from Earth and saw the burying of the Stargate in Giza. (8.19-8.20 "Moebius")
  • 1939 - A time traveling Cameron Mitchell intercepted the Goa'uld System Lord Ba'al on the Achilles in order to prevent Ba'al from changing the future timeline that saw the ship and the Stargate buried in the ice of the Arctic and the Stargate Program non-existent. (Stargate: Continuum)
  • 1969 - Time traveling Samantha Carter and Daniel Jackson disguised themselves as friends of Catherine Langford's father in order to gain information about the Stargate's location from her. Their interest in the Stargate prompted her into reopening her father's investigation into its mysteries. (2.21 "1969")
  • 1969 and 1999 - A young Lt. George Hammond encountered a time traveling SG-1 in 1969, and in 1999 he sent a note with the lost team so that his young self could help them return home. (2.21 "1969")
  • 1999 - A future version of Cassandra Fraiser sent the time traveling team from 1999 back to their year through the Stargate after they overshot their return home from 1969. (2.21 "1969")
  • 2001 - A future version of the team sent a note back to 2001 through the Stargate to warn them of an enemy that would see the annihilation of mankind on Earth in their time, 2010. In this future timeline, the Stargate Program was made public and Earth had unwittingly condemned mankind to death by joining the Aschen, a race who created a vaccine that caused sterility. (4.16 "2010", 5.10 "2001")
  • 2008 - Lt. Col. John Sheppard is sent 48,000 years into the future and is told that the Wraith-human hybrid Michael succeeded in annihilating humanity. Sheppard was sent back to his timeline wherein he prevented Micheal's rise to galactic domination and thus the Stargate Program and specifically Atlantis Base continued uninterrupted. (4.20 "The Last Man Part 1")
  • 2008 and 2009 - As a result of a timeline impact in 1939, SG-1 are witness to an alternate future in which the Stargate Program never existed due to Ba'al's interference. A year after living in this alternate timeline, they discovered Ba'al's time machine and sent Cameron Mitchell back into the past to prevent Ba'al from wrecking the Achilles that was carrying the Stargate from Egypt to America. (Stargate: Continuum)

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--DeeKayP 03:12, 21 September 2009 (UTC)