Hello and welcome to Truth Or Myth, in today’s episode we’re taking a look at the NX Class and it’s history to better understand this premier class of exploratory starships.
Starfleet first Warp 5 Capable Class of Starship, The NX Class would almost immediately assume it’s place at the forefront of Starfleet’s Exploration History.
Launched in 2151, ahead of schedule, this class of starship would be the first to have the new warp 5 engine system installed.
This new engine would make space travel and exploration reasonable, decreasing the distance between planetary systems from years, to weeks or days.
The design was conceived as part of the NX Project at Starfleet’s Warp 5 Complex which was a warp research and development division. Theoretically, it was believed this ship would be able to reach warp 5, though normally the ship would travel safely in between warp 4 and warp 4.9. However, it should be noted that the NX Enterprise was able to reach Warp 5.2 though it was at serious risk to the ship.
Originally there were 4 starships on the drawing board. The Enterprise is the first and her sister ship, The Columbia, which was launched in 2154 after numerous delay and 2 other unnamed ships.
Originally this design included Spacial Torpedoes and Phase Cannons to defend the ship. But with breakthroughs in weapons technologies, the Spatial Torpedoes were replaced with Photonic Torpedoes, the earliest versions of the later renamed Photon Torpedoes and the Phase canons would be upgraded to a pulse canon system increasing their destructive power.
Another defensive system included in this class was hull plating. Created before the advent of Energy Shielding, this plating served to minimize any damage that could be inflicted upon the ship.
During it’s first few years in what was deep space of the time, The NX Enterprise quickly discovered it was ill-equipped defensively when it came neighbouring races and hostiles at the time. This made Starfleet double its research into these systems and install upgrades in each successive starship launched of this class.
The NX Class also contained grapplers which would basically be a physical representation of a tractor beam.
Another new system on board this class was personnel rated transporters. Up until this point transporter technology wasn’t advanced enough to allow for persons to transport, but this highly sophisticated system, it did away with any safety concerns Starfleet had with using the Transporter for that purpose.
Although certified, many of the Starfleet officers serving on these ships still preferred using shuttlepods to travel to the surface of a planet. However, after the transporter system proved itself to be a reliable means of travel, transporters would see an increase in use until it would eventually become the primary form of travel between a starship and it’s visiting target.
The ship was approximately 225 meters in length and approximately 136 meters wide. It contained 7 decks and a crew of 83.
The Bridge was on deck one and was the most advanced human-computer interfaces of the time. The helm and navigation console was directly in front of the captain with all other major stations surrounding the Captain on the upper deck.
Also included at the back of the bridge was a situation room, where a captain could brief his officers on missions.
The colouring of the interiors of the ship was very metallic with accents of blue and beige. Also included throughout the ship in corridors were various wall mounted communication stations, allowing the crew to contact various areas of the ship.
Engineering was located on Deck 4 and contained the horizontal warp core which propelled the starship at faster than light speeds.
Deck 5 housed sickbay, which contained the most advanced medical systems humanity of the time had. these systems, however, weren’t as advanced as races such as the Denobulans and as such upgrades would be made throughout its existence to better deal with any medical emergency that could occur.
The armoury, which was the central point for control of all the defensive systems contained the torpedo launch systems and phase cannon housings. The chief security officer of the ship would often spend much of their time in this area.
Also on E deck was a mess hall and galley. here the crew could relax in a room and enjoy their daily meals while observing space through a set of forward facing windows. And the chef of this class also had direct access to the hydroponics bay where fresh fruits and vegetables would be grown for the crew to enjoy.
Crew quarters were quite small when compared to future designs. The senior officers would have larger quarters and would be the only quarters equipped with viewports. Junior officer and crewmen quarters would often be cramped and would be occupied by more than one crew member.
As a point of note, the NX Enterprise was instrumental in defending Earth from a species called the Xindi that intended to destroy Earth after being told by future transdimensional beings known as the Sphere Builders informed then that Humans would end up destroying their 2nd new homeworld.
Captain Archer and crew were able to convince this hostile race that that would not be the case and a peace was made with the Xindi that would eventually lead to them joining the united federation of planets.
Early on in the NX’s career, it was decided that 10 years of service would be all this class would serve without a major refit. This was done to the rapid advancement of Starfleet technology especially after Starfleet, and the NX 01 was instrumental in creating the United Federation of Planets. An alliance of neighbouring races and star systems dedicated to preserving peace and exploring the galaxy.
There were many upgrades planned for this design after it’s 10-year run. the biggest change would see it gain a secondary hull which would move main Engineering and related systems to that area. Unfortunately, it is not currently known if this refit took place.
Through creative and scientific engineering, this starship class would be constructed and begin Starfleet devotion to creating the best and most advanced exploratory vessels of the galaxy.
It would also set the precedent in which most Starships would be based on a saucer design with very few ship classes straying from this until 90 years later when the Constitution Class would be launched with a fully integrated secondary hull.
No matter what you think of the design of the ship, one thing is clear, the NX class lead humanities way to stars, a historic obsession which still exists today with Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets.
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