|Length:||165 m m|
|Beam:||62 m m|
|Draft:||24 m m|
|Max. speed:||warp 9.75 for 6 hours|
|Armaments:|| 11 x Type VIII phaser arrays.
2 x Photon/Quantum torpedo tubea
|Defenses:|| Standard shield system, total capacity 688,500 TeraJoules
Heavy Duranium/Tritanium Double hull plus 20 cm Ablative armour. High level Structural Integrity Field
The Nova class was designed as a modern replacement for the long serving Oberth class science vessel. The requirement called for a ship capable of making relatively short duration missions; Starfleet intended to use these ships in the large unexplored areas between Federation controlled space, missions which would typically be staged out of Starbases and last for a few months up to a year at most. The design of the Nova class vessel was based on the Defiant pathfinder ship. This ship was of the right size and employed the latest warp field/hull geometry and propulsion technology. Starfleet replaced the warp core with a far less powerful version, reducing the top speed to Warp 8.2 Running the same nacelle design at much lower power greatly extended the operating life of the warp coils, reducing the ships refit schedule and making it easier to operate. The heavy weaponry was also removed, creating extra space for sensor arrays and scientific labs.
Mission Goals Edit
Originally, the Nova designation was intended to be assigned to the replacement for the Galaxy class Explorers. However, the Galaxy class went into high level production as a battleship in the run up to the Dominion war. After the war, many of these ships continued in service as fully fleshed out Explorers, while others were retired. It quickly became clear that Starfleet would have a ready supply of large space frames on hand for far longer than originally envisaged. Additionally, the entry into service of the Sovereign class introduced a new level of high technology to the fleet. Both factors reduced the need for a galaxy replacement significantly, and so the Nova development project was quietly dropped. With the name now available again, Starfleet chose to assign it to the new science ship.
The Equinox Edit
One of the first group of Nova class vessels - the USS Equinox (NCC-72381) - vanished shortly after launching. It was thought to have been lost, but was later discovered by the USS Voyager (NCC-74656) to have been dragged to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker. The Equinox fared rather worse than Voyager in its attempts to get home; with its lower speed the Equinox faced a journey of over a hundred and eighty years in a vessel designed to operate for no more than twelve months between refits. Unfortunately, the crew discovered that the bodies of a trans-dimensional alien species could be processed to produce a powerful form of fuel, greatly increasing the ships top speed. Captain Ransom began capturing and murdering the aliens, in direct violation of both the Prime Directive and Starfleet ethics. The aliens fought back, killing many of the Equinox crew. When Voyager encountered the Equinox they quickly realized what Ransom had done. Captain Kathryn Janeway attempted to imprison the crew but they escaped, leaving Voyager under attack by the aliens. The ship survived the attack, and was able to pursue and capture most of the remaining Equinox crew. The aliens attacked the ship again, killing the remaining crew and destroying the ship.
The Expedition Edit
The USS Expedition (NCC-76277) was the last Nova class ship built before the Dominion War. Of it's 16 years of service, the Expedition received no less then 4 major refits that changed the building criteria for all Nova class vessels. In 2377, her first major refit went to her warp core. Yhis increased the wear on her Warp coils, but gave her additional speed reaching warp 9.75. This extended her life by another 12 months, and increased her power out put that a single Holodeck was added. In 2378 she was to be assigned to the Delta Quadrant, with that she was given Ablative armor, and a high level structural Integrity field. As well as dual photon/quantum torpedo tubes. By 2382 the Expedition warp coils were improved, and her refit schedule was pushed to 4 years as oppose to 1. But in 2386, the Expedition was destroyed, when Captain Vanessa Ann Lucifel used it to ram a Malon waste ship.