Following the Light of the Sun is the fifth episode in Season 5 for the Independence/Endeavour crew and the first episode to actually feature the USS Endeavour. It aired on February 20th, 2012 and was run by DGM Kossuth. The events of this episode took place from February 18th to the 20th of 2415.
In the last episode, Dr. Steiner's stellar scanner yielded the results they were looking for: the "slingshot effect" was not limited only to time travel, but could result in dimensional travel when the object is moving around a sun at slipstream velocity instead of warp speed. But apparently someone wanted to keep this secret; the Independence was soon ambushed by Hirogen and their unusually powerful energy cannon.
After defeating the Hirogen, Starfleet Intelligence recalled the Independence to Earth Space Dock for a debriefing. When they arrived, the crew met Rear Admiral Arak Verdaan of Starfleet Intelligence and Admiral Brian Donaldson. Admiral Arak informed them of the situation.
The Independence had blown the lid off a conspiracy that had been brewing for at least five years. Some extradimensional influence, known only as "The Order", had been supplying Hirogen with advanced weaponry in an attempt to destabilize the Federation's influence in the Alpha Quadrant. Now that Starfleet Intelligence had the information they needed to strike back at the Order, they were going to do so.
The only problem was that the Independence didn't have the advanced shielding required to survive the trans-dimensional trip. Admiral Arak had a solution, and led the crew to Starship Requisitions. Once there, he and Admiral Donaldson introduced the crew to the USS Endeavour, an Odyssey class star cruiser. It had all the technology they would need to survive the trip.
Captain Tanaka Hann accepted command of this new vessel and his crew was given broad authority to requisition whatever they needed from the trip. The episode ended with the crew examining the Endeavour from Starship Requisitions and pondering the mission ahead...
Previous Episode: Sacred Ground
Next Episode: Endeavour
This episode was named in honor of the runner-up in the Endeavour Ship Motto Contest. The quote was "Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World" by Christopher Columbus. It was proposed by T'Pang and recieved the 2nd most votes. The title is also a reference to the concept of "slingshotting around a star."