He and roughly 80 people were forced to evacuate Icarus Base during an attack against the base by three Lucian Alliance Ha'tak vessels. He ended up on the Destiny, an Ancient spaceship located several billion light years from Earth. She was a member of Lt. Matthew Scott's team to a desert planet in search of the mineral, Lime. She was selected by Dr. Nicholas Rush for the mission, since he felt her geological skills could come useful. After several hours of fruitless searching, the team splits up into two groups, one composing Scott, MSgt. Ronald Greer, and Rush, and the other team comprising Palmer, Sgt. Curtis, Dr. Jeremy Franklin, and Eli Wallace.
Palmer, Curtis, and Franklin later decide to gate to one of the other nearby planets whose gates had been locked out by the Destiny's dialing computer, having given up hope of finding the necessary materials on the desert planet; this plan had previously been rejected by Rush due to his belief that the planets would not have been locked out without good reason. Franklin dialed the Stargate to a planet that was previously locked out by Destiny and Palmer, along with Curtis, stepped through. However, Franklin was shot in the arm by Greer, preventing him from following Curtis and Palmer. Unfortunately, of the three people, Franklin had the only remote control capable of dialing the Gate; when the Gate closed, Curtis and Palmer were effectively stranded on the planet they stepped onto.
Eli dialed their location and attempted to communicate with them through the open wormhole, but he did not receive a response. Because of their lack of response to Eli's communication attempts, Curtis and Palmer are presumed dead. However, if they are alive, they were abandoned by the Destiny as it jumped back into FTL on its pre-programmed flightpath. (SGU: "Air, Part 1", "Air, Part 2", "Air, Part 3")