Hello and Welcome to Truth OR Myth. In today’s episode, we’re taking a look at the Nova Class of Starships in an effort to better understand this amazing starship class.
Designed as a State of the Art replacement for the ageing Oberth Class, The Nova Class would quickly prove itself to be one of the most versatile Science Vessels ever created by Starfleet Designers.
After the attack on Wolf 359 by the Borg in 2366, Starfleet Command began to reevaluate it’s starship designs and ultimately made the decision to replace and redesign most of the starships in its fleet.
Starfleet, primarily a scientific organization had a problem however, how to update the Oberth Class to come in line with the new Starship Standards. Unfortunately, this class could not just simply be refit with new technology. Its space frame designed in 2 almost completely separate section by this time had proved to be a tactical weakness having too many destroyed by 2370…
So in response Starfleet Design Engineers took up the task of designing a brand new style of Science ship that not only would overtake the duties of the Oberth Class but would also be a better-defended starship class that could easily be converted to a fighting machine. And so the Nova Class was born.
Sitting at approximately 222 meters in length and 8 decks tall, this ship would be crewed by 80 Officers and Scientists.
Although similar in power design to that of the Defiant Class, this starships warp engines would only allow the first ships of this line to achieve warp 8 as it’s maximum speed. This, of course, would be upgraded and refined over this classes lifetime bringing it better in line with most ships of the time.
Having standard outfitting of 11 Phaser Arrays and 3 Photon Torpedo Launchers, this class was most heavily defended pure science vessel class ever created to this point.
Shields for this class were standard for the time but could be brought back to full strength after only 45 seconds of charging the shield emitters, though this task would require the shields of the ship to be offline during that charge…
Like the Intrepid Class, this class also contained BioNeural Circuitry. This allowed for faster scientific study and experimentation as the BioNeural circuitry speed up computer interaction.
The mission profile for this class was primarily that of short term planetary research and analysis but could be called upon for more extensive scientific study if the need arose.
Also unlike most starship designs of the time, the Nova Class had only 1 centrally located impulse engine, though relatively speaking this class could operate at the same impulse speeds as any other class.
The main bridge was located on deck 1 and although a small vessel in general, the bridge design was a much larger design then one would expect on a vessel this size.
Like the Intrepid Class, this ship had the Captains Chair on the Starboard side with the First officer’s Chair on the port side on the centre bridge point. Directly in front of the Command Chairs was the conn. here the very manoeuvrable ships course and speed could be controlled with ease.
Around the perimeter of the Bridge were all other consoles such as science, operations and Tactical. this included a large master situation display or MSD on the back wall behind the command chairs.
Access to the bridge was obtained by a port side turbolift, while access to the other areas of deck 1 was obtained by a starboard side door. Access to the Captains Readyroom was also located on the port side of the bridge.
Main Engineering was located on deck 7 and was only 1 deck tall unlike its sister class the Intrepid Class. It’s much smaller warp core spanned decks 5-8 and like all Cores could be ejected from a panel at the bottom of the ship in case of emergency…
Sickbay was located on Deck 4 and also was equipped with the Emergency Medical Hologram which had become a standard addition to all Starfleet Vessels by the time of this classes launch.
As previously stated this class also contained a large number of scientific and research laboratories all throughout the ship.
An interesting but seldom discussed topic is that of a special built-in craft on this class called “The WaveRider Shuttle”. it was located in a special docking port on the ventral side of the primary hull.
The Nova Class had a shuttlebay that was also located on Deck 4 behind the Sickbay.
Decks 2 and 3 were where the Cargo Bays were located. these Cargo Bays were stocked with scientific equipment as well as spare parts for repair and maintenance…
As with most starships of this era, the Nova Class was equipped with escape pods. These 20 Escape Pods Were located on Decks 1, 2 and 3, all within the saucer section.
Due to the smaller size of the ship, crew quarters were aboard the Nova Class were much smaller and spartan than most other classes. These quarters did, however, meet the standard needs of the crew…
There were however some larger quarters reserved for the Captain and senior officers.
It should be noted that one of the most Famous and infamous Captains in Starfleet History commanded a ship of this class. Captain Rudy Ransom of the Starship Equinox gained fame within the Federation for discovering and making contact with the Yridians a race believed by the Federation for being extinct, ransom proved otherwise.
During a mission, an Alien being known as the Caretaker forced the USS Equinox into the Delta Quadrant. While making their way back through the Unknown section of the Galaxy, Ransom encountered a race known as the Kritoin. This species claimed that the Equinox had violated their space and when Ransom gave the order to continue through that space the resulting firefight caused massive damage to the ship and a loss of 39 lives.
Being desperate, with the Equinox’s dilithium supply gone, running on Thruster only, the ship entered the orbit of a class M world where it’s inhabitants were generous and supplied the Equinox with food and dilithium to keep her going on her journey.
While on this planet the Ankari summoned what they had termed spirits of good fortune to bless the Equinox and her crew.
Having his scientific curiosity peaked, Ransom traded for one of the summoning devices and ordered a scientific study conducted on the alien creatures. Unfortunately, during this study it was discovered these spirits could not survive long within our universe and the alien they had captured quickly died.
After examining the Nucleogenic lifeform it was discovered that the crew could use the remains to augment their propulsion systems and allowing the Equinox to travel over 10000 light years in only 2 weeks. Ransom had found his crew a way home.
However, in order to reach Earth Ransom would have to murder many more of the lifeforms, and proceeded to do so. This plan was discovered by Captain Kathryn Janeway of the USS Voyager who’s starship had also been brought and trapped in the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker.
Placing ransom under arrest for his crimes, she intended to use shield technology to save both crews, but when Ransom escaped with the help of the Equinox EMH this plan changed quickly as Ransom had stolen the generator needed for her plan.
Chasing the Equinox down, Janeway and the crew of Voyager were ultimately successful in stopping the Equinox and making peace with Nucleogenic lifeforms and integrated the remaining equinox crew members into Voyagers ranks.
Though a tiny ship in comparison to the Intrepid Class, this science vessel was an amazing and powerful feat of Engineering. Eventually receiving a refit upgrade to also allow this ship to be tactical vessel such as the Defiant Class.
Though it was sad to see the Oberth Class phased out, no one could ever argue that the Nova Class was a worthy successor and this successor would continue to serve the Federation and Starfleet for many, many, years to come…
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