History of the Future – The Starships of STO: The STO’s Exploration Cruisers

The Starship. The starship in Trek Lore is as much as a symbol of the each series as its captain and crew. The ship, its class, it technical specifications, and its history have become a passion for many Star Trek fans; where endless debates have been raging on since the U.S.S. Enterprise first grace the screen in 1966.

One of these most recognizable designs was the Galaxy-class, U.S.S. Enterprise. A class design that was very different from the old Constitution, but still had familiar lines that told us that this was a Federation starship. The Enterprise was commissioned from Utopia Planitia Shipyards in 2363 and by the mid-2360s, five sister ships were in commission. Besides the Enterprise, the Galaxy, the Yamato, the Odyssey, and the Venture were known.

However, a sixth sister was revealed on screen Star Trek Voyager (VOY)’s Timeless, the U.S.S. Challenger and in print with William Shatner’s novel, The Return. The Challenger was command by Geordi La Forge; however the Challenger was from alternate timeline where Harry Kim and Chakotay were the only survivors from Voyager‘s journey (escape) from the Delta Quadrant. A candidate for the sixth sister was the U.S.S. Magellan mentioned in Deep Space Nine’s Sacrifice of Angels. This one of the debates that would keep coming up. In the novels, the Magellan was a Galaxy-class and it was not until The U.S.S. Enterprise Owner’s Manual, that we get a more definite Magellan is a Galaxy from Mike Okuda, a technical consultant on the book with a registry number.

Registry Numbers
Now, we get into another endless debate, registry numbers. Are they chronological or are they a random number? In modern Trek, they are chronological with some minor expections. In The Original Series (TOS) Trek and early The Next Generation (TNG), they followed a more random sort. However, the early TNG numbers can be more explained than the TOS numbers. For the column, the registry numbers are chronological.

The Challenger‘s registry number was shown on-screen as NCC-71099. In relative terms to the other Galaxies, the Challenger would be the second Galaxy to be commissioned after the Galaxy NCC-70637. The Yamato was the second Galaxy-class starship to be revealed, but in the span of the first two seasons, the Yamato was given four different registry numbers: NCC-1305E, NCC-71807, NCC-71806, and the NCC-24383. The first one was spoken by Commander Riker, the next two were seen on the ship model and the last one was on an okudagram. However, the first two were the ones most associated with the Yamato. A theory was that the 71807 was the actual registry while the 1305E was a traditional number in similar vein to the Enterprise’s 1701D. Now for the Magellan, the Magellan‘s number was revealed as the NCC-71820, which would put it after the Enterprise, but before the Odyssey NCC-71832.

Now, there is another debate. The canon versus non-canon debate. What is canon by official Trek terms, on-screen is what rules the day. While other thing else is there for our enjoyment. However, this is about Trek Lore and Star Trek Online (STO) Lore; so for the column’s sake, canon is in the eyes of the beholder and we will talking about the subject matter with lore from either sides. So the Magellan is a Galaxy-class starship with the registry of NCC-71820.

Galaxy Class
The Galaxy-class starship was first commissioned in the late 2350s as the most advanced Federation starship to be built to date. The Galaxy-class was designed during an era of a number of conflicts such as the Cardassian Wars and the Tzenkethi War as a mobile starbase. The Galaxy-class would serve the Federation in a number of first contact and exploration discoveries led by the voyages of the Enterprise as a cultural flagship. In the dawn of the 2nd Federation-Klingon War, the Enterprise and her sister ships started to take on the role of a tactical flagship. The Venture would go on to lead task forces to Starbase Deep Space Nine during these difficult years.

The Galaxy
The first of the class and the vessel survived into the last year of the 3rd Federation-Klingon War. The Galaxy would be found patrolling near Earth Spacedock. An Iconian Gateway led to the ship during the initial escape from the Solonae Dyson. The Galaxy would fight in the defense of Earth against the Undine attack on the system.

Admiral’s Log, Stardate 85464.3 Admiral Intervolt, CO of the Galaxy Battle Group (Excerpt)
After the loss of the Hood, our left flank collapsed causing a general reorganizing of the forward lines. Captain MacDonald of the Monarch was able to hold off a relief column of Lethean warships until the support ships were able to evacuate the remaining colonists off of Tanis. …… The Galaxy was heavily damaged and being towed by the Lakota. While, the warp core is offline, however the beta core is keeping the majority of the primary systems operating at low power. On a side note, the Galaxy’s original dedication plaque was damaged when the conference was hit. The only part left of it was the name Galaxy.

The Challenger
Geordi La Forge assumes command a little later than the previous incarnations at 2397. The newly assigned Captain was interviewed by Jake Sisko and it was revealed that La Forge was marrying his chief engineer. The Challenger will remain in service and it is now currently keeping station near Earth Spacedock.

The Enterprise
The voyages of the Enterprise was felt in the 25th Century with a number of a locations such as the Jouret System and Starbase 234 in the Tau Dewa Block. A plaque of the Enterprise was placed on a starbase.

The Yamato
The new USS Yamato, a Galaxy-X class dreadnought was named and given the registry in the honor of this fallen starship.

The Lhasa
The Lhasa was sent to back up the Allied operations at the Vault Station during the Reman Resistance by Admiral T’Nae. The Lhasa would hid in the nebula near the station and cover the escape of the operative while stopping a Reman D’deridex-class warbird from leaving with thalaron weapons.

The Marquette
The Marquette was a part of the Federation blockade in the Yov’bot System. The Marquette led the task force gathered at Mining Facility Delta.

The Musashi en route to Memory Alpha prior to its classified mission.

The Musashi en route to Memory Alpha prior to its classified mission.

The Musashi
The Musashi was under the command of Captain Kel Nola. The Musashi was assigned to rescue Agent Franklin Drake, who was in custody on the IKS Seg’pa, a KDF Vor’cha-class attack cruiser. The Musashi ambushed a prisoner exchange between the Seg’pa and a bird of prey. The Musashi sent a boarding party on the bird of prey that were defeated. The Musashi was destroyed in battle against a number of KDF vessels.

The Phlox
The Phlox was under the command of Captain N’Verix. The Phlox was assigned to the Psi Velorum Block and the crew discovered an archaeological find on a planetoid in the Hyralan Sector. Romulan and Reman forces pushes the Phlox’s crewmembers to retreat.

Celestial Class
The Celestial-class was an upgrade of the Galaxy-class starship. The Celestial was designed as a sleeker starship taking design cues from the Sovereign and the refit Constitution classes. Another design feature enhanced was the exploration capabilities in comparsion to the Galaxy and the mobile starbase concept was dropped in favor of a more colony in space. The shuttlebays were re-located to the sides of the engineering section to make that section a spaceport and main engineering was located in the aft saucer section.

The Celestials were mainly in the far reaches of space when the Romulan internal conflicts with the various Klingon interventions fired up. Two of the Celestials were included in the Korvat Evacuation. One was destroyed in a KDF ambush with a loss of 5,000 colonists/crew; and the other one’s life support and environmental systems failed six light-years away from Korvat, loaded with 6,000 colonists. The remaining Celestials in Federation space, were immediately recalled to shipyards for emergency refitting. During the war, the Celestials were relegated as troop transports and emergency hospital ships. By war’s end, the remaining Celestials in Federation space were retired. The deep space Celestials were recalled in late-2408.

The USS Celestial orbits Mo'Rihan.

The USS Celestial orbits Mo’Rihan.

The Celestial
The USS Celestial entered service during a renewed Federation effort to explore during the 2380s and the ship was one of the first to go on a deep-space mission. The Celestial returned to Federation space in early 2409 after a twenty-year exploratory mission in the Gamma Quadrant. After a brief refit, the Celestial was assigned to patrol Earth. The Celestial would fight in the defense of Earth during the Undine attack on the system due to the patrol route. The Celestial would survive the battle and can still be seen patrolling near Earth.

Envoy Class
The Envoy-class was the next evolution of the Galaxy, following the Celestial. The Envoy was originally conceived in the late 24th Century during the Klingon interventions into Romulan space that spilled over a number of times into Federation space as a heavily-armored upgrade of the Celestial-class with added space to make the Envoy as a more troop transport/fast evacuation capabilities. The need came after the mass evacuation of the Korvat Sector led to a number of starships being picked off by Klingon warships and some starships’ environmental systems failing. Due to the KDF attack on the shipyard producing the Envoys in the Sauria System, only three were built.

The USS Envoy participating the evacuation of Deferi officials during the Borg Invasion.

The USS Envoy participating the evacuation of Deferi officials during the Borg Invasion.

The Envoy
The USS Envoy was commissioned in the second year of the 3rd Federation-Klingon War. Recently, the Envoy was assigned to patrol the Sol System. The Envoy would take part in the evacuation of a number of orbital facilities during the Undine attack on the system.

Monarch Class
The Monarch-class was developed during the initial shipyard shakedown cruises of the USS Envoy. The Monarch took design lines from the Galaxy and gave it a more aggressive look. The nacelles were angled to help against a KDF tactic of targeting warp nacelles during a number of early engagements. The impulse engines, the warp pylons, and a number of vital areas received a significant armor upgrade in which the class would later be called the Armored Targ by KDF officers. The Monarch-class starships would start to enter the war during the last half of 2408, just in time to stop a number of KDF-led offensives into Federation space. By the war’s end, except for two ships, all of the Monarchs were either destroyed in battle or retired due to battle damage.

The Monarch
The USS Monarch was commissioned in early 2408. The Monarch would earn a notoriety with the KDF and her allies. The Monarch and her sister ships would have their identification marks taken off in order to grow the legend of the Armored Targ. Unfortunately, the Monarch was destroyed in the Fall KDF offensive that nearly led to Earth’s doorstep. It would take two B’Rotlh-class bird of preys colliding to force the vessel’s crew to abandon ship. The remains of the Monarch floated in orbit of Imaga IV until it was finally towed to Utopia Planitia by the USS Defender, the one of the last Monarchs.

The USS Canada brings a group of former residents to Romulus.

The USS Canada brings a group of former residents to Romulus.

Personal Entry of Yeltris of Eirhess III (formerly of Romulus) Stardate 87001 (Excerpt)
Today, the Canada, finally entered the Rihannsu System. I cannot believe I have returned and yet, all I can think about is about the harvest festival at New Apnex. I wish I could remember my home on Rihannsu, but there is a veil, maybe it’s because I settled on a Federation world or maybe because I did not heed the call of Praetor Taris. Now that I have returned, maybe my nightmares can finally go away and I can at least tell my ghosts that I visited their home. T’Caris is awaiting me and I can eat a real meal, once again.

Venture Class
The Venture-class was the newest incarnation of the Galaxy and one of the newest class of starships to enter service. The Venture takes design cues all of the other Galaxy-class incarnations. The Venture-class was designed primarily to land MACO teams and Federation ground forces with the ability to provide fire support at the same time. The Venture-class’s construction started in late 2407 in a secret asteroid shipyard in the Tellar System.

The brand-new USS Aspire prepares for its first mission.

The brand-new USS Aspire prepares for its first mission.

The Venture
The Venture would enter service in mid-2409 and placed under the command of CAPT Rebecca Simmons. The Venture would take part in a number of liberations in the Southern Sirius Block. The Venture was assigned to Battle Group Omega and assigned to the Voyager Task Force sent to enter fluidic space. The Venture was ambushed and attacked by Borg forces in fluidic space.

A New Future
A doorway into the Delta Quadrant helped facilitate a new era of exploration and the new USS Guardian will start its own destiny that will help shape and/or defend the principles of the Federation.

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