Truth OR Myth – Starship Designs – The Galaxy Class (UPDATED)

Hello and welcome to Truth OR Myth.  In today’s episode, we’re taking a look at the Galaxy Class of Starships and it’s role in the new era of Star Trek.

Launched in the early 2360s, The Galaxy Class would represent the largest most advanced Exploration Starship Starfleet had ever created to this point…  This would not only be a shining jewel in Starfleet’s Crown, but also the symbol of an era.  An Era of relative peace and prosperity for the United Federation of Planets…

(Source) The Galaxy Class MSD

Standing 42 Decks tall, the Galaxy Class represented the forefront of Starfleet technological development and comfort.

Being crewed by over 1000 officers, the Galaxy-class was also able to transport 10000 passengers or troops if the need arose.  Measuring 642.5 meters long and 463.73 meters wide they were constructed at the Utopia Planitia Ship Yards orbiting Mars. The Galaxy Class incorporated the latest in Warp Technology.  Having a standard cruising speed Warp 6 and an emergency speed of warp 9.6, the Galaxy Class was designed for deep space exploration and defence of the farthest frontiers of the federation.

This Starship Design also incorporated a new defensive system which allowed the saucer section to detach from the engineering hull.  This allowed for the saucer section to be used either as a lifeboat, ferrying crew, civilians and passengers to safety, or another battle-ready target for an enemy to contend with. 

Up to this point, most starships with 2 hulls had the ability to separate its a primary section in this way but did not have the ability to recombine unless aided by Starbase facilities, and the power quotient on both sections was greatly reduced.  But improvements in fusion impulse reactor technology and a newly redesigned and constructed latching system overcame these design limitations.

(Paramount) Galaxy Class Saucer Separation – “Star Trek: Generations”

During separation, the Stardrive section would be controlled from what was known as the battle bridge.  this bridge, located on deck 8, was a more cramped and traditional bridge, mimicking the standard bridge layouts on most other starships.  This battle bridge would also receive periodic updates and refits through out its history.

The Galaxy Class had a forward and aft torpedo launch system and originally 12 enhanced and much larger phaser arrays, though this number of arrays would be increased in future Galaxy Class designs.  These larger strip-like phaser arrays allowed the Galaxy-class to fire at any target in a 360-degree arc.

The main Deflector dish of the Galaxy Class could be modified into a weapon as well.  A concept that had been developed by Starfleet to combat the Borg. 

In 2363, the USS Enterprise D, the newest flagship of the federation, was launched under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and would prove herself time after time as a force to be reckoned with in the Federation.

Like most federation ships of the time, the Galaxy Classes bridge was located on deck 1.  This was a new take on starship command area as this bridge was one of the most expansive and luxurious designs Starfleet had ever created. 

(CBS) The Galaxy Class Bridge – TNG S2 – S7

The bridge design was simplified with much smaller consoles able to control much larger functions of the ships themselves. Also on deck 1 was a Captain’s ready room, used as an office for minor updates to the Captain on ship and crew statuses, and a conference Lounge used for officers to discuss larger issues facing the ship.

Unlike most previous starships, the Main Shuttlebay was located on Deck 4 of the saucer section with 2 addition smaller shuttlebays located on Deck 13. Main Engineering was located on Deck 36 and was much smaller than those seen in previous starships.  The chief engineer spent most of his duty time in Engineering though all functions could be controlled and directed from a station at the aft section of the bridge.

The Computer Core was the largest most advanced ever created for a Starfleet Starship.  It would receive minor upgrades during its lifetime to continue to keep it at the forefront of Starfleet’s technology, and until the development of bio-neural circuitry, it was believed that that new type of core would remain Starfleet’s best, unfortunately, though that wasn’t to be.

(CBS) Galaxy Class Science Lab

The Galaxy Class also had the largest scientific section ever created in Starfleet History.  Labs aboard ship included Stellar Cartography and Astrophysics. The Galaxy-class starship housed over one hundred separate scientific research labs.

The Galaxy Class also included a new innovation in Starfleet Starships, that being the inclusion of families and civilians aboard ship.  In an emergency situation, the bulk of these civilians could be evacuated in under 4 minutes.  By using transporters, escape pods and shuttlecraft.

Most crew quarters on the Galaxy-class were located in the ship’s saucer section, in order to provide safety for civilian and non-essential personnel during a saucer separation. However, the engineering hull also contained crew quarters, generally containing engineering personnel and their families.

The quarters on board this starship were generally spacious and luxurious by Starfleet Standards.  Containing large open spaces and multiple rooms for families and officers.

The Captain’s quarters were located on Deck 8 and were slightly larger than the standard officers quarters.  The captain had a large desk and work area in the main room. VIP and diplomatic guest quarters shared the same layout.

(CBS) Galaxy Class Crew Quarters

Officers quarters lined the edge of the saucer section and contained a living area, a bedroom, and a bathroom area. Junior officers’ quarters were smaller units that were also comprised of a living area, a bedroom, and a bathroom. Crew members with the rank of lieutenant junior grade or above were given their own quarters, ranks below this such as ensigns were however required to share quarters aboard the starship.

The medical facilities aboard this class were expansive and extensive.  Having 3 Main Medical wards through out the ship, with the main sickbay located in the saucer sections, these facilities were not only designed to treat onboard medical emergencies but also those that could be found through out the Federation.  In the event of extremely large medical emergencies, areas such as cargo bays, shuttlebays and crew quarters could be converted in to further medical facilities.

A large lounge/bar area was located at the front of deck ten called 10 forward.  Other recreational facilities included a Gymnasium Complex on Deck 12 and the newly invented holodeck facilities.  These holodecks, using photons and forcefields, could allow the user to experience any scenery, landscape or story that the programmer could think of.

(CBS) Galaxy Class Ambo-Jitsu court

The Gymnasium Complex contained a variety of recreational equipment for a variety of sports and leisure activities. These included aerobic studios, martial arts areas, parrises squares areas, a squash court and an Ambo-Jitsu court. There was also a fencing room where those aboard the ship could practice their swashbuckling talents.

A phaser range was also located on Deck 12.  Here a person could hone their weapons skills by firing at moving holographic targets from a platform in the centre of this room.

There was also a large theatre aboard, which could also be used as a concert hall for musical performances by crew members. A replicating centre provided an area where crew members could replicate items which were too large or complicated for a standard food replicator terminal. With the addition of families aboard ship, this class also contained facilities such as schools an workshops to provide children with the most advanced education the Federation Could provide. 

(CBS) Galaxy Class Transporter Room

Galaxy-class had twenty transporter rooms located all throughout the starship.  These transporters were also the most advanced of the time and contained all the new improvements in technologies, such as the bio-filters, that Starfleet had to offer..

There were numerous multi-level cargo bays located all throughout the ship. Some of these bays even contained cargo transporters, and some even had exterior hatches.

Though very advanced, however, being designed during a golden age of Starfleet Design, the Galaxy Class was not exactly up to the task of major combat as it’s original designers had hoped.  Starfleet’s lacklustre approach to Offensive and defensive technology during these 75 years of relative peace, quickly became a thorn in Starfleet’s side.  Here they had a rather large starship that could be outdone and outfought by the much smaller Defiant Class.

Desperate times then bred desperate measures and with the potential destruction of the Federation from both the Borg and the Dominion, as well as other emerging possible threats like the Romulans Return to Galactic Politics and the hot and cold relationship with the  Cardassian Union, Starfleet began the process of a complete systems redesign and development of the class bringing it up to the new standards all Federation Ships would adhere to.

(Paramount) The Battle of Veridian III – “Star Trek: Generations”

This would make the Galaxy Class a force to be reckoned with once again.  Unfortunately, though the Enterprise D was destroyed in 2371 while protecting the Veridian Star System from destruction and was subsequently replaced by a new, much more powerful, Sovereign Class Starship.

During the Dominion War, the Galaxy Class would prove her worth and would continue to serve Starfleet and The United Federation Of Planets with distinction and valour…

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