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Truth OR Myth? Beta Canon – The History of the Olympic Class

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Hello and welcome to another episode of Truth OR Myth Beta Canon, a Star Trek web series that dives into the history of any given topic using Beta Canon sources and my own imagination to fill in the gaps. In today’s episode, we’re taking a look at the Olympic Class, to better understand its place in Star Trek History. Please note, though this class was first featured in an Alternate Universe in the TNG Series finale “All Good Things“, it has since become Prime Universe Canon with subsequent appearances on the background monitors in Deep Space 9 as well as being seen in season 1 of Star Trek: Lower Decks.

But as always, Because this IS a Beta Canon video, all information relaid should pretty much be taken with a grain of stardust, and only considered a little bit of Star Trek Fun! And so, with all that out of the way, let’s begin.

A complete departure from the usual starship designs by Starfleet Command, the Olympic Class would come into its own as one of the leading medical type starships in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. But what do we know about this unusual class, well today, we find out…

After the attack at Wolf 359, Starfleet Command began to scramble for starship designs that could fight and in theory, defeat the Borg. Over the next decade classes such as the Defiant, Intrepid and Sovereign, would begin to reshape the federations landscape, making Starfleet a powerhouse within the MilkyWay Galaxy. Up to the 2360s Starfleet’s starships were designed with very general mission parameters in mind. As a result, many of these classes would simply be thrown missions across the entire spectrum, and for the most part, that seemed to work quite well.

USS Pasteur
(Paramount+) USS Pasteur

For example, the Miranda and Excelsior Classes would start out as exploration classes, but then would get a bit of equipment installed into them, and suddenly these classes would be sent on every type of mission, from Cargo Runes, to Patrol Duties. Even the cream of crop starship design, the Galaxy Class, at the time could be seen Ferrying Diplomats, doing Cargo Runs, simple star mapping and even medical emergency missions.

Once Starfleet Command began to settle and plan out its future following the Borg attack in 2367, this general type of mission profile for starship designs, would come to an end. In fact, very few starship classes would be equipped for varied mission profiles aside from Starfleet’s Top of the Line designs. And with starship classes being designed for more specific mission profiles in mind, suddenly Starfleet was aware of a huge miss in their starship classes, that being, a medical starship design.

For a short time, Starfleet considered several other starship designs it already had employed through out the Federation for potential refit and repurpose as a medical starship, but none of these designs really fit the bill for Starfleet Command as most were known aggressive designs created by Starfleet. To be a true Medical Starship, this class needed to be clearly different in appearance than any of the starship classes already employed in the fleet, and thus the Olympic Class was born.

Sitting at a length of approximately 315 meters, the Olympic Class held 27 Decks and was designed for a crew of 750 Command and Medical Personnel. For medical emergency situations, the Olympic Class could hold up to 2500 additional passengers.

USS Pasteur Aft View
(Paramount+) USS Pasteur Aft View

The entire design for the class was inspired by Starfleet’s own Daedalus Class design, which during its early history, Starfleet was considering as the template for its future starship classes. Though the saucer style starship design would win out over the Daedalus design, the Class itself had served Starfleet well for many decades, and so to honour that class by making an updated version of it, seemed the natural thing to do.

Though still a general primary and secondary hull configuration like most of Starfleet’s starships, the Olympic Class would contain a Sphere for its primary hull, rather than a saucer. This made the class easily recognizable to one and all as a medical class design. It’s a common misconception that due to this class use of sphere as its primary hull, that it contained more internal space than most other saucer style starship designs, it simply does not. The math for its internal volume simply does not support this optical illusion.

However, its internal arrangement was done in such a way as to maximize every available bit of space for the starship. As the classes mission profile suggests, the Olympic Class would contain the latest state of the art medical tools and systems. In fact, each starship of the class would be designed to allow for easy refit and update as new medical technologies become available.

Given this starships mission profile, the Olympic Class would not be that well-armed, having only 3 Phaser Arrays and 2 Photon Torpedo launchers installed. Also substantially different in the class was its deflector systems. Rather than a standard dish style deflector, the Olympic Class would contain more of strip style one, based on deflector emitters utilized within the Oberth and Miranda Classes. Again, due to its mission profile. Its warp drive, though still state of art, was not rated for immense speeds. The Olympic Classes standard cruising speed was only that of Warp Fact 6, though, in extreme emergencies, it could reach speeds of up to Warp 9.2, though only for 6 hours at a time. Though equipped with standard transporter systems of the time, the Transporters of this class could easily be reconfigured to allow for large scale transports along with highly specific biofilter capabilities.

Olympic Class Ship
(Paramount+) An Olympic Class Ship Docked At Ds9

This class would also include several isolation areas which could be cut off from the rest of the starship and even jettisoned if necessary. In fact, the entire Sphere section of the Starship could be jettisoned and it’s secondary hull used as a life craft, should lethal contamination or outbreak occur. This had the effect of allowing the medical personnel within the primary hull to continue to treat and attempt to cure said situations up to the last possible moment, that, of course, being death itself. Though it should be noted that once detached, the primary hull could not simply be reattached like the Galaxy or Prometheus Classes, rather needing a starbases assistance to do so. However, the Secondary Hull was capable of tractor towing its primary hull at low warp to a Starfleet Facility. The Olympic Class also contained a large aft shuttle bay filled with specially designed medical shuttles for missions where its transporter systems would not operate.

All starships of the Olympic Class, Apart from the prototype USS Olympic, would be named after famous Doctors from through out the Federation and its history. Also, the outer hull of the starship class would contain several marks to denote its medical mission profile. The Olympic Class began full production by 2369 and by the Dominion War were being used and mobile hospital units for the front line.

Starships could unload their injured personnel to the Olympic Class Vessels and rest assured knowing these crew members would be getting the best of care. During the Dominion War, Starfleet crew members themselves were at premium, and as such, the Olympic Class would end up relying on it’s expanded and extensive Emergency Medical Hologram Systems. This allowed for each of the Starships to have fewer medical personal assigned to them, while at the same time ensuring around the clock monitoring of patients with no loss of efficiency due to exhaustion. Though these medical holograms would be updated and changed many times during the classes lifetime due to constant complaints of the EMH’s bedside manner.

When Romulus and several of its surrounding Star Systems were destroyed in 2387, Starfleet Command would send 3 of its Olympic Class Vessels into Romulan Territory to assist with survivors of the tragedy while it mobilized its remaining Olympic Class Vessels to join the rescue effort. However, all 3 starships would be destroyed by a Romulan Mining Vessel, adapted with Borg technology, as it’s Commander, a Romulan named Nero, blamed the Federation for Romulus’s destruction. Though a task force was sent by Starfleet to apprehend Nero, led by the USS Enterprise, they were unable to find any sign of the starship and the investigation would be closed a decade later believing that Nero destroyed his own ship in the same short-lived anomaly that had claimed the life of Ambassador Spock.

 Olympic Class MSD
Olympic Class MSD

Starfleet would continue to be impressed by the Olympic Classes design, so much so, that this class of starship would survive well into the 26th Century, receiving periodic massive refits and upgrades, during its run. But by the early 2520s, the class was beginning to show its age, and as result, Starfleet would finally make the decision to decommission the class, though Starfleet would decide to donate many of these starships to its outer colonies to augment their own planetary defences, with most of these vessels being modified to contain more firepower.

But by the 27th Century, most of these starships had also been decommissioned and sent to scrap yards for disassembly.

Though perhaps not the most glamorous end to a starship class with such a heroic and important role in Federation History, the Olympic Class never less HAS earned its place in Starfleet History, proving for all time that hero starship classes don’t always have to be exploring the unknown or making contact with new civilizations, rather simply helping those in need…

Thank you for watching today’s episode of Truth or Myth Beta Canon, what do you think of the Olympic Class, and the historical narrative I’ve created here. Would you like to see more videos like this one? Well leave your comments in the section below and don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to the channel.

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Thanks again for watching, Live long and prosper…

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