Kobayashi Maru

The Kobayashi Maru is a test in the fictional Star Trek universe. It is a Starfleet training exercise designed to test the character of cadets in the command track at Starfleet Academy. The Kobayashi Maru test was first depicted in the opening scene of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and also appears in the 2009 film Star Trek. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Dr. McCoy referenced the test euphemistically to indicate the no-win scenario that he and Captain Kirk were facing. The test's name is occasionally used among Star Trek fans or those familiar with the series to describe a no-win scenario, or a solution that involves redefining the problem.

Rescuing the civilian vessel Kobayashi Maru is the notional primary goal in a simulated battle with the Klingons. The disabled ship is located in the Klingon Neutral Zone, and any Starfleet ship entering the zone would be in violation of the Organian Peace Treaty. The approaching cadet crew must decide whether or not to attempt rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew – endangering their own ship and lives – or leave the Kobayashi Maru to certain destruction.

The training exercise in Star Trek II describes the Kobayashi Maru as a Class III neutronic fuel carrier-ship commanded by Kojiro Vance with 81 crew members and 300 passengers. Dead weight tonnage: 147,943 MT; cargo capacity: 97,000 MT; length: 237 m; beam: 111m; height: 70m; max cruise speed: wf 3; max emergency speed: wf 6. The name is Japanese: Kobayashi (小林?) means "small grove" and is a common family name; Maru (丸?) is a common suffix for Japanese ship names meaning "round" as in "to return."

Read more about Kobayashi Maru:  The Simulation, Other Tests, Star Trek Video Games, References in Other Media

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