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Jonas Quinn gifts naquadria to the Stargate Program


Naquadria is a derivative of naquadah, the natural mineral found on several planets (excluding Earth) from which the Ancients built the Stargates and on which the Goa'uld based much of their technology. Naquadah is a stable energy source and has a variety of uses, including enhancing nuclear bombs, but naquadria, on the other hand, is highly unstable, yet astronomically more powerful.

Stargate References

Discovery of Naquadria

Naquadah is the base of naquadria
Thanos recorded his naquadria research on this data crystal
Kelownans mined naquadria with the Deep Underground Excavation Vehicle (DUEV)

Ten thousand years ago, a Goa'uld began experimenting with naquadah and naquadria on his home planet and almost blew the planet to bits (the planet's modern-day scientists theorized it was an asteroid that had done this damage). Three thousand years ago, another Goa'uld, named Thanos, picked up the research and accidentally initiated the mass conversion of naquadah into naquadria while the mineral was still in the ground. Over those thousands of years, the chain reaction continued and that planet, now known as Langara, became the only known planet in the Milky Way that had this incredibly powerful substance. (5.21 "Meridian", 7.14 "Fallout")

Since naquadria is an engineered derivative from rich veins of naquadah, the possibility of creating the same conditions on other planets exists, but there are extreme risks. Combining the conversion initiated by Thanos on Langara three thousand years ago and Langara's detonation of a naquadria bomb in recent times, the naquadria vein's size was increased until it threatened an explosion that would end the Langaran civilizations. Only a carefully-placed explosion to separate the naquadria vein from the huge deposit of naquadah it was approaching could end this threat. After another 10,000 years, this isolated naquadria vein will revert back to naquadah if left undisturbed. (5.21 "Meridian", 7.14 "Fallout")

Langara Introduces Naquadria to the Stargate Program

Daniel dismantles the Kelownan naquadria experiment, saving millions of lives
A naquadria-powered hyperspace window sent this X-302 and Stargate over three millions miles from Earth
Prometheus ejects its unstable naquadria reactor before it explodes

Langara's history of modern-day experimentation with naquadria started when the Stargate and the Goa'uld's research were discovered in the country known as Kelowna. About fifteen years later when SG-1 met them, the Kelownans were technologically advanced enough to understand naquadria's energy potential. They were in the midst of escalating hostilities with the other two nations of the planet, so their focus was to build a naquadria bomb to wipe out their enemies. The Kelownan liaison assigned to interact with SG-1 was Jonas Quinn. As soon as he learned of what was "out there", especially of the Goa'uld threat, he believed that the building of such weapons was absolutely necessary for their survival. (5.21 "Meridian")

While Jonas gave Daniel a tour of the naquadria research facility, an accident happened in the research lab and Daniel exposed himself to the radiation while dismantling the experiment. If he had not done so, the core would have gone critical and would have killed millions of people. The scientists who were present during the accident and Daniel himself all died within three days of radiation poisoning, but Quinn was protected from the harmful radiation by a large metal door. (5.21 "Meridian"; 7.18 "Heroes Part 2" for number of days from exposure to death)

During her study of the results of the experiment that killed Daniel, Carter discovered that naquadria was an extremely valuable energy source that could help Earth create hyperspace windows or shields. She pushed for getting some of the material for further research. O'Neill talked with Quinn, and after Quinn saw the eagerness in his government's officials to test the bomb even after witnessing the scientists' horrific deaths, the young man stole some naquadria and defected to Earth. His hope was to one day return to his planet with defense shield technology rather than weapons of mass destruction. (5.21 "Meridian")

Given Earth's technological capabilities at this time, naquadria was best used in short bursts. Even so, it was found that it allowed for the creation of small hyperspace drives that could be fitted on space-worthy fighters known as X-302s. The first real application of a short-burst hyperspace window created using naquadria as a power source resulted in saving Earth when Anubis began a critical overload of the Stargate housed at Stargate Command. The Stargate was strapped to an X-302, and the hyperspace window generated by the X-302 sent the fighter and the Stargate over three million miles from the planet to explode without harm. (6.01 "Redemption Part 1", 6.02 "Redemption Part 2")

The successful use of the naquadria to power the hyperspace drive in the X-302 was followed by its implementation in the recently completed battle cruiser Prometheus. During the starship's shakedown cruise, the buffers that were used to control the power surges from the unstable naquadria that was powering its hyperdrive became defective, and the naquadria reactor had to be ejected. It took a while, but the ship returned home using a retrofitted hyperspace drive from a captured al'kesh. Eventually, the Asgard fitted the Prometheus with their far safer hyperdrive technology, and it is the Asgard hyperdrive that is used in all Daedalus-class starships that followed Prometheus off the assembly line. (6.20 "Memento", 7.13 "Grace", 8.12 "Prometheus Unbound", 8.19 "Moebius Part 1")

Dr. Kieran's naquadria stockpile taken by SG-1
Anubis' naquardria-powered weapon explodes
Mark IXs from Horizon Weapons Platform destroy Asuran shipyards

Kelowna's handling of the naquadria was not as safe as that of Earth's. The scientists who had long-term exposure to improperly shielded naquadria suffered brain damage that manifested itself as schizophrenia. Dr. Kieran, one of Quinn's mentors, hallucinated that he was involved in a resistance that would overthrow the current government to prevent the use of the naquadria bomb on their rival nations. He stockpiled naquadria in an abandoned warehouse, and SG-1, now with Quinn in Daniel's place, secretly took this significant stockpile home. Kieran was placed in a mental care facility on Earth, and his stockpiling of the naquadria was not brought to the government's attention. SG-1 stepped away from the negotiating table to give the Kelownans over to their self-destructive ways. (6.07 "Shadow Play")

The Kelownans used the naquadria bomb on their enemies, but they were horrified at the result. So were their enemies. This led to their sitting together to negotiate peace. But, while the ambassadors were gathering in the Kelownan capital city, the Goa'uld Anubis captured Quinn and probed his mind. The existence of naquadria on his homeworld was revealed, and Anubis immediately parked his massive mothership in the sky above the city. His Jaffa ground troops invaded to locate all of Thanos' naquadria research. The Kelownans surrendered all of their stockpiles of naquadria to attempt appeasement, but Goa'uld don't abide by any type of peaceful overtures. (7.01 "Fallen Part 1", 7.02 "Homecoming Part 2")

Anubis wanted the naquadria to replace the Eyes that he used to enhance his mothership's powerful weapon. He had used this very weapon on Abydos with devastating results, but SG-1 managed to destroy it by using the F-302's short-burst naquadria-powered hyperspace window to penetrate the mothership's shields. It was during this operation that Quinn was captured. As soon as Anubis had the naquadria, he got one of his top scientists to create a new weapon, but when the scientist tested it, the instability of the naquadria caused an overload and an explosion. Anubis ordered the immediate death of the scientist, and not long afterward, a combined force of the System Lords destroyed his mothership, most likely with his naquadria stockpile still aboard. Not long after Anubis' visit, Ba'al sent a spy to Langara to determine why Anubis was interested in the planet, but the spy turned on him, seeking the power for herself. She didn't divulge the existence of naquadria, but died protecting the planet instead. (6.22 "Full Circle", 7.01 "Fallen Part 1", 7.02 "Homecoming Part 2", 7.17 "Fallout")

Earth's initial desires for the use of naquadria were defensive in nature, but eventually, they developed the naquadria-enhanced nuclear bomb known as the Mark IX Gatebuster, designed specifically to vaporize anything within a one-hundred mile radius, including a Stargate. This particular bomb was the most powerful weapon that Earth had in its arsenal and was used thrice: once to stop an Ori incursion on the Jaffa planet Kallana; once to sever a perpetual intergalactic wormhole connection between blackhole-powered Stargates; and once to destroy the Asuran shipyards in Pegasus via the Horizon Weapons Platform, which was actually a set of six Mark IXs and four decoys. (9.06 "Beachhead", 10.14 "The Shroud"; Stargate Atlantis: 3.20 "First Strike Part 1")

Other Naquadria-Rich Planets

Icarus' naquadria core powers the Stargate to dial a nine-chevron address
Icarus' naquadria core goes critical, taking the Lucian Alliance fleet with it
Database on Destiny has information about planets, possibly ones with naquadria

A vast store of Ancient knowledge was kept in the database in Atlantis, and soon a nine-chevron code was discovered there. Scientists in the Stargate Program didn't know where this address took them, but they were curious. They started the Icarus Project to begin the search for a planet with naquadria that could provide the astronomical amount of power a nine-chevron address dictated. Atlantis needed the powerful Zero Point Module (ZPM) to power its Stargate to dial an eight-chevron address, so scientists concluded that they'd need something much more powerful to power the Stargate for a nine-chevron address. Immediately they thought of naquadria as that power source, but they needed a large amount of it. It took two years, but through a contact in the Lucian Alliance they finally found a planet that met their specifications, and they constructed Icarus Base on it. (Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1", 1.09 "Life", 1.14 "Human")

The next problem was to safely draw the power from the naquadria that was buried inside the planet, just like it was on Langara. They indoctrinated Dr. Nicholas Rush to come up with the formula that could safely draw this power from naquadria, keeping in mind its unstable nature. Early research into the use of naquadria for the X-302 indicated that its instability increases exponentially as one attempts to extract more energy out of it. Rush needed not only to understand this, but he also had to understand the Stargate and its capacitors. Unfortunately, Rush couldn't come up with the formula to safely draw energy from the naquadria to power the Stargate, and his continued failure threatened to end the Icarus Project. (6.01 "Redemption Part 1"; Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1", 1.14 "Human")

In order to salvage the Project, Rush was advised by the governmental oversight officials to program the problem into an online video game called Prometheus. If a player could solve the Dakara Weapons Puzzle to draw the power from the planet's core, then Lt. Gen. Jack O'Neill's office of Homeworld Security would be notified so that they could recruit the player into the Program. As it turned out, the final solution to drawing power safely from naquadria, taking its instability and the Stargate's requirements under consideration, was provided by a 25-year-old MIT drop-out named Eli Wallace. (Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1")

With his solution, the Icarus Project was saved, but the successful dialing of the nine-chevron code occurred only once. While dialing the Stargate, the Base was attacked by the Lucian Alliance, and after the Stargate made a successful connection, the planet's core began to go critical due to the energy weapons fire that was bombarding the planet. Thrown off by the energy surges, the naquadria core became unstable and the overload could not be stopped. Those evacuating the Base through the Stargate to the nine-chevron address found themselves several billion lightyears from Earth aboard the Ancients' exploratory vessel named Destiny, and the Lucian Alliance fleet that attacked the Base was utterly destroyed when the planet blew apart. (Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1")

The Destiny is millions of years old and it operates at only about 40% of its full capacity, so dialing Earth from the ship is not currently possible. Because the ship has its own database full of information about planets with Stargates that were placed by unmanned "seeder" ships that preceded the Destiny's launch, Rush is on the constant look-out for planets that are like Icarus—those that also have naquadria in their core. (Stargate Universe: 1.06 "Water" for 40% statistic; 1.09 "Life" for search for Icarus-type planets)

Summary of Uses

  • Hyperspace drives
    • X-302
    • F-302
    • Prometheus (X-303)
  • Bombs
    • Kelownan Bomb
    • Mark IX Gatebuster
    • Mark IXs in the Horizon Weapons Platform
  • Energy Weapons Power Generator
    • Anubis' Mothership
  • Stargate Power Generator
    • Icarus Base


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--DeeKayP 00:46, 3 May 2010 (UTC)