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Classification: Class M
Affiliation: United Federation of Planets (member - 2267)
Location: 54 Orionis system, Beta Quadrant
Dominant Species: Coridanites
Population: 185 million
Coridan is a class M planet located in the 54 Orionis star system in the Beta Quadrant, and the capital world of the People's Republic of Coridan. One of the worlds that drew up the charter for the Coalition of Planets in 2155, Coridan withdrew from the alliance before it was signed.
In the 22nd century, most of the population was concentrated in several cities in the equatorial region. The capital city was surrounded by a shantytown, and there were almost as many bio-signs outside the city as there were within it. In 2151, the Coridans had the largest starship construction yards in the sector.
In the 2150s, Coridan was in civil war and an important world in the Vulcan-Andorian Cold War of that era due to its immense deposits of dilithium. Due to its strategic importance, the Coridan government was backed by the Vulcans and the rebel forces by the Andorians. The Vulcans wanted a stable government to ensure its dilithium exports to Vulcan. At the founding of the Coalition of Planets in 2155, Coridan opposed a Tellarite-proposed embargo against the Orions, following attacks on their freighters, refusing to believe it on the basis of their centuries of trade with them, calling it slander and an attempt to deprive Coridan of trade. This issue was a major obstacle to negotiations until an accord on trade sanctions against the Orion Syndicate was reached between the two governments.
Coridan Prime, as the world was often called, was on the verge of developing Warp-7 technology in 2155. Fearing that such an advancement in technology would give the Coalition of Planets the upper hand in the conflict that was brewing between the Coalition and the Romulan Star Empire and to prevent such advances from spreading to other Coalition worlds, the Romulan Empire launched a vicious attack on Coridan, flying a vessel into the planet at maximum warp. The explosion mixed with Coridan's abundance of dilithium, causing a fireball that spread across the planet, killing approximately half its population of three billion. The planet's surface was turned into an inferno of burning dilithium, consuming at least half of the planet's dilithium reserves and devastating its ecosystem for at least a century. Fearing further Romulan attacks, Coridan withdrew from the very Coalition it helped form.
After the founding of the Federation in 2161, Andorians and Vulcans were bound by Federation law and the Prime Directive to cease their direct influence on Coridan's affairs, though they and other Federation members, such as the Tellarites, continued to trade with them. Without the support of alien powers, Coridan fell once again into civil war. The planet's population was further depleted by these civil wars, which continued even after the Romulan attack. Coridan's population remained small even until 2267, and the planet somewhat underdeveloped.
The Orion Syndicate took advantage of Coridan's collapse and vulnerability, and by the time things had stabilized in the 23rd century, one-sided trade agreements were widespread and a number of secret and illegal dilithium mines were in operation, all funded, constructed and manned by Orions working out of Rigel, to the point that it was standard business practice. From their mines, Orions were raiding and smuggling dilithium out of the Coridan system in the 2260s. A number of Federation worlds also had advantageous but conflicting interests in Coridan, with both the Tellarites and some Orion members possessing secret dilithium mines on Coridan IX, where dilithium had recently been discovered . The situation had become so bad that, in 2267, Coridan (and from Sarek's reference to "planets", other worlds or colonies in the system/sector) had petitioned the United Federation of Planets for membership, so that it could become subject to Federation law and have its rights to its own mineral resources protected. However, the extent of alien involvement in Coridan's affairs, by Orions, Tellarites and other Federation worlds, made the issue of its membership highly questionable, enough that a full Babel Conference was called in 2268 (stardate 3850.3) to discuss the matter.
The USS Enterprise was assigned to transport Federation delegates to the planet Babel, including Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan, who was intending to vote for Coridan's admission to the Federation. To protect their operations in Coridan, the Orions attempted to sabotage the conference, with the Orion Syndicate making an attack. Their aim was to spread suspicion and possibly interplanetary war between the Federation worlds, while they continued to steal from Coridan and supply dilithium to all sides. Meanwhile, Sarek suffered a heart attack during the journey. The Orions were prevented from interfering in the voyage of the Enterprise to Babel, and Doctor Leonard McCoy was able to successfully operate on Sarek. Sarek recovered sufficiently to speak during the following debates and vote for admission. Sarek was later credited with helping to bring Coridan into the Federation. Orion and Tellarite members voted against the admission, without success.
In 2270, a number of dilithium crystal shipments from the planet were hijacked.
Robin Lefler and her family lived on Coridan sometime prior to 2353. There, young Robin befriended a girl named LaShaundra. During the Dominion War, a Dominion warship commanded by Gelnon planned an attack on Coridan's dilithium mines.
In 2376, Coridan began trading with Bajor. Asarem Wadeen believed the trade of dilithium would help usher in a new era of Bajoran colonization. By the late 24th century, Coridan was fully integrated into the Federation and participating in galactic affairs, with its people joining Starfleet and trading far and wide. However, despite Starfleet's best efforts, there remained a criminal element on Coridan, with Orion Syndicate activities hidden in several cities. Coridan had a reputation among the core worlds of the Federation as the best place to contact the underworld or obtain illegal items. Meanwhile, the Ferengi trade with Coridan was on the rise. In 2381, Coridan Prime was among the core worlds of the United Federation of Planets targeted for extermination by the Borg Collective. After the invasion was over, Coridan lay in ruins.
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