Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Galaxy class starship
In the Star Trek fictional universe, the Galaxy class of starships, named after the USS Galaxy, were a class of vessels used by Starfleet, designed to be able to accommodate families as well as crew quarters. The saucer section (the saucer-shaped module which forms the "head" of the ship) could be separated before a battle in order to put civilians out of danger in a serious battle situation. (See saucer separation.) The most notable Galaxy class starship was the USS Enterprise-D, the flagship of the United Federation of Planets, and the primary setting of Star Trek: The Next Generation. At least two Galaxy class ships had names which possessed honorable histories in Starfleet; Enterprise (named in honor of the famous NCC-1701) and Yamato (named in honor of the NCC-1305).
The Galaxy class was designed and commissioned in the first few years of the 2360s at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. Designers on the project included Orfil Quinteros and Leah Brahms. The first wave of Galaxy class of starships were launched in the early 2360s, including the fifth USS Enterprise. By the end of the decade, at least four ships had been launched; at least three more were awaiting launch in 2371; over twelve had been constructed by 2375. They are prestigious and sought-after postings; only the best and the brightest officers are assigned to them.
The first few were the most advanced ships in Starfleet, after which point they were succeeded by the Intrepid and Sovereign class starship. The first few were also the most powerful ships in the fleet, but that honor was also subsequently bestowed on the newer Sovereign class starships. However, they remained the largest ships in the Federation Starfleet for decades, with 42 decks and measuring 641 meters in length. Additionally, they were still considered one of the most impressive ships in the fleet, and were often used as a baseline comparison when sizing up other vessels.
Exploration, diplomacy, and combat
While the Galaxy class was designed foremost for long-range deep space exploration missions, heightened tensions within the Alpha Quadrant beginning in the 2360s saw the ships kept close to Federation territory. They were often dispached to handle domestic situations and face threat forces. Several "Galaxy Wings" composed of Galaxy class starships were instrumental in defeating Dominion forces in the battle to retake Deep Space Nine (also known as the Battle of Bajor ) in 2374 during the Dominion War. Galaxy class ships also performed admirably during the other battles of the war suffering no major losses.
The Enterprise-D became one of the most important and noted ships of the 2360s while under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The ship made many first contacts with a multitude of new species, including the Borg, the Q Continuum, and the Ferengi. Its diplomatic efforts helped cool tensions amongst minor races and prevent dramatic upheavals to the security of the Federation, such as the Romulan aid of the Duras during the Klingon Civil War and a Cardassian strike near the McAllister Nebula. It fought off some of the Federation's toughest foes, preventing the assimilation of Earth during the Borg invasion of 2367. The ship was lost in 2371 after a surprise attack by renegade Klingons who had gained access to the ship's shield frequency. Heavy damage was inflicted on its warp core, forcing a saucer separation. The entire crew survived in the saucer section, which crash landed on Veridian III.
Unfortunately, two other Galaxy class ships were lost by that time; the USS Yamato was destroyed after an Iconian computer virus caused a massive systemwide failure, and the USS Odyssey was destroyed as a show of resolve during first contact with the Dominion; a Jem'Hadar attack ship made a direct kamikaze run which totally obliterated the ship's secondary hull.
During the Dominion War, the Galaxy class performed well during heavy combat, forming the central core of several task forces. The USS Galaxy performed heroically at the First Battle of Chin'toka, as the ship took appreciable damage yet continued to fight.
Many of the Galaxy class ships in operation during the Dominion War were produced just before and during the war, with the specific goal of filling the fleets out with heavy combatants. They only contained the facilities needed for minimal crew support and heavy combat and left spacedock mostly empty because the need for ships was dire at times. It is not known how the ships were fitted following the war.
By the end of the 2370s, Galaxy class ships were still in wide use. Several ships intercepted the Borg sphere which carried the USS Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant, and later escorted it home. In 2379, the Galaxy was assigned to Starfleet Battle Group Omega near the Romulan Neutral Zone, still on patrol nearly twenty years after its launch.
As on most Federation ships, the main bridge is located on Deck 1, and is the central control center. Two variants have been seen, the latest is a minor modification which contains extra consoles on the port and starboard sides.
Science and research
The Galaxy class supports a wide array of scientific disciplines. There are many different laboratories and departments, including stellar cartography, exobiology, astrophysics, cybernetics, archaeology, cultural anthropology, botany, hydroponics, and planetary geosciences, amongst others.
Weapons systems as launched included twelve Type X phaser arrays and three photon torpedo launchers (of which one of each are hidden and inoperative while in the docked configuration), along with a high capacity shield grid. By the 2370s, some ships had been equipped with two extra phasers, one on each of their nacelles.
There exist multiple variants of the Galaxy class starship. With its massive internal volume, the Galaxy class is capable of being modified for different mission profiles, although not as easily as the Nebula class. During the post-Wolf 359 renewal and expansion of Starfleet, the Galaxy class underwent numerous upgrades, namely to augment its tactical systems. The Dominion War prompted Starfleet to commission newer ships with additional weaponry and with most (up to 65%) of their habitable volumes initially empty. For a time, the USS Venture had an additional two phaser arrays located on the dorsal surfaces of its warp nacelles. As well, several Galaxy class ships have been spotted with darkened spines.
Galaxy class ships have at least six transporter rooms and twenty transporter systems. The shuttle and cargo systems are some of the most extensive in the fleet. There is one large main shuttlebay in the saucer section, supported by two smaller bays in the stardrive section. The ships carry at least three varieties of shuttlecraft along with a captain's yacht. The main shuttlebay is large enough to hold three Danube class runabouts without compromising overall shuttle capacity.
There are three sickbays aboard the Galaxy class, necessary to care for the large amount of crew. In addition, the medical staff are more than capable of responding to large-scale disasters.
Due to their extreme size, the Galaxy class has plenty of room for amenities such as holodecks, schools, gymnasiums, amphitheaters, and a bar in addition to standard mission equipment. Crewmembers do not have to wait several months to bring aboard family; since the ship has specialized centers for civilians, they can bring them aboard immediately. Civilians routinely staff scientific departments and other service areas aboard the ship.
The inclusion of large amounts of families among the crew also proved to be a somewhat questionable policy to some (the Enterprise's captain once noted that while one's life is at risk whether on a starship or on Earth, Earth is not likely to be ordered into hostile territory to repel an enemy attack). At least one ship — the Yamato — was lost with its full complement, including families. The use of saucer separation was influenced by the presence of families; the saucer was designed to hold non-essential personnel and be left at a safe location while the stardrive section, containing the majority of weaponry and power, confronts the foe.
In real life, the Galaxy class was designed by Andrew Probert for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Interiors were designed by Probert and Herman Zimmerman during the first season. Richard James designed and rebuilt the sets for the remaining six years, while Zimmerman returned for Star Trek: Generations.
- Production facility: Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards, Mars
- Type: Explorer
- Height: 195.26 m
- Length: 642.51 m
- Beam: 463.73 m
- Decks: 42
- Displacement: 4,960,000 metric tons
- Accommodation: 1,012 standard; 15,000 limit
- Performance: Warp 9.2 cruise until fuel depletion, Warp 9.6 maximum for 12 hours (standard); Warp 9.9 maximum for 12 hours (uprated)
- Weaponry (docked configuration):
- Auxiliary vessels, not limited to:
- 10 personnel shuttlecraft
- 10 cargo shuttlecraft
- 12 shuttlepods
- 5 special-purpose craft
- 1 sublight captain's yacht, embedded in the ventral area of the saucer section
Known Galaxy class starships
- USS Challenger (NCC-71099) – 2nd batch, 2371
- USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)
- Named for several naval vessels in Earth history as well as several previous Starfleet vessels, the Enterprise-D is the third Galaxy class starship. The Enterprise-D was launched from the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on stardate 40759.5 and for most of her illustrious career, she was commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard who assumed command on stardate 41124. The Enterprise embarked on her maiden voyage circa stardate 41153.7 where the crew made first contact with the omnipotent lifeform known as Q. With the aid of Q, the Enterprise also met the Borg Collective in system J-25 circa stardate 42761.3 in 2365. In 2367, the Enterprise-D was severely damaged after a battle with a Borg cube shortly after the Battle of Wolf 359 which required six weeks of repair at Earth Station McKinley. Circa stardate 46379.1 in 2369, the Enterprise visited space station Deep Space Nine to drop off several runabouts and crewmembers. In 2371, the Enterprise-D was briefly docked at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. Circa stardate 48650.1, the Enterprise suffered a warp core breach after destroying a Klingon D-12 class Bird of Prey commanded by the Duras sisters. After performing a saucer separation, the saucer crashed on Veridian III and was later considered damaged beyond repair; personnel losses were slight.
- USS Galaxy (NCC-70637, ex-NX-70637)
- The pathfinder of its class, the starship Galaxy was launched from the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards in 2356 and commissioned in 2357. The Galaxy was part of the fleet which took the Chin'toka system in the Alpha Quadrant invasion of Cardassian space in 2374. The Galaxy was also part of Battle Group Omega sent to intercept the Reman warship Scimitar in 2379.
- USS Magellan (registry unknown) – batch unknown
- USS Odyssey (NCC-71832)
- USS Trinculo (NCC-71867) – 2nd batch, 2371
- Named for the moon and character of Trinculo, the starship Trinculo was part of the fleet sent in 2374 to liberate Deep Space Nine and fought in the Battle of Bajor .
- USS Venture (NCC-71854)
- Circa stardate 49011.4, the starship Venture was sent to Deep Space Nine to handle the Klingon invasion of Cardassian space. The Venture fought in the Battle of Bajor and was part of the fleet sent to liberate Deep Space Nine from Dominion-Cardassian forces. The Venture was also part of the fleet which invaded the Chin'toka system in 2374.
- USS Yamato (NCC-71807, ex-NCC-1305-E)
- Named for the Japanese battleship Yamato, the starship Yamato was the second ship of the class and sixth starship to bear the name. The Yamato was commanded by Captain Donald Varley and destroyed circa stardate 42193.6 in 2365 by a warp core containment failure. This was caused by a computer virus contaminating its propulsion control software via an unprotected line from the ship's computer core. According to technical illustrator and modeller Rick Sternbach, the name is not a deliberate reference to the Japanese anime series Space Battleship Yamato (or Star Blazers in North America), even though he and several other members of the production staff are fans of Japanese animation. Sternbach stated at AnimeCon 1991 that the writers independently coined the ship's name without his input.
Apocryphal and non-canon
- USS Allegheny – 2nd batch, 2373
- USS Cheyenne (NCC-75435) – 2nd batch, 2374
- USS Dauntless (NCC-71879)
- The starship Dauntless appeared in the noncanon game Star Trek: Bridge Commander.
- USS Excalibur (NCC-26517-A) – 3rd batch
- Named for the Ambassador class USS Excalibur (NCC-26517), the starship Excalibur appeared in the noncanon Star Trek: New Frontier novel series by Peter David.
- USS Oregon (NCC-75698) – 2nd batch, 2374
- USS Ronald D. Moore (NCC-70654) – 2nd batch, 2373
- Named from Star Trek executive producer Ronald D. Moore.
- USS San Francisco (NCC-74780) – 2nd batch, 2373
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