- "If this performs the way it was designed to, the X-302 will be the first human-built space craft capable of interstellar travel."
- — Samantha Carter
|X-302 hyperspace fighter|
|Classification:||Multi-role Attack Starfighter/Starfighter|
|Width:||75 meters (curved wingspan)|
The X-302 hyperspace fighter was Earth's second attempt at constructing a combat-capable spacecraft.
It was developed using recovered alien technology at Area 51.
Unlike its predecessor, the X-301 Interceptor, the craft was built entirely using technology developed on Earth or reverse-engineered from Goa'uld equipment. While its overall shape was still reminiscent of the Goa'uld Death Glider that had been modified into the X-301, the X-302 was powered by a pair of impulse engines with modified aerospikes for use at high altitude, plus a rocket booster for use in outer space. The X-302 incorporated inertial dampers that allowed the pilot to accelerate and maneuver much more sharply without fear of blacking out. Also, the craft incorporated a Naquadria-based hyperspace window generator, intended to make it Earth's first interstellar vehicle. Apparently the X-302 had weapons as well; whether or not these corresponded to the armament of the production-model F-302 fighter-interceptors is unclear.
In 2365, the X-302 was a few weeks away from a practical hyperspace test when Anubis launched an attack on Earth using a bomb. Unable to shut it down, Colonel Jack O'Neill and Major Samantha Carter took the X-302, intending to use its hyperdrive to contact the Asgard for assistance. Unfortunately, the flight, designated Abydos 1, had to be aborted when the hyperspace window generated by X-302 proved unstable. Subsequent research confirmed that due to the inherent instability of Naquadria, using the hyperdrive to reach a specific destination was impossible. (There was also a remote possibility that the ship would be destroyed in the attempt.)
Nonetheless, after efforts to shut down the bomb prior to its detonation failed, it was decided to use the X-302 to remove it from the Earth. As the X-302 was not designed to carry a 52,00 pound payload, it had to be quickly stripped of all unnecessary weight — its weapons, some life support equipment, sensors, and some of its crash safety mechanisms. The landing gear had to be removed as well, so as to incorporate the mounts for the bomb; as a result, this mission, designated Starflight, was always intended to be the X-302's last.
The X-302, again piloted by O'Neill, was carried by a Starfleet ship to an altitude of ten kilometers, then released to climb the rest of the way on its own. Unfortunately, the weight of the bomb proved too great, and the ship ran out of power before it could reach escape velocity. While falling back to Earth, O'Neill suggested using the hyperdrive, which at least would get the soon-to-explode bomb well away from the planet. After a suggestion by Jonas Quinn, the drive was modified for an extremely short trip, thus minimizing the instability of the Naquadria. O'Neill ejected immediately before entering the hyperspace window, which successfully carried the X-302 more than three million miles away from Earth. The bomb then exploded, destroying the craft.
Despite the loss of the first prototype, the X-302 performed well enough that the craft quickly entered production as the F-302 fighter-interceptor. Even the hyperdrive, modified for short bursts rather than interstellar travel, was included in the production-model vehicles.