Explorer / Science Vessel
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The Nova class was designed as a modern replacement for the long serving Oberth class science vessel. As such, what was called for was a small, yet modern ship capable of making relatively short duration missions. Starfleet intended to use these ships in the large and still unexplored areas between Federation controlled space. Missions would typically be staged out of Starbases and last up to one year, though usually less.
The design of the Nova class vessel was based on the Defiant Pathfinder (one of the proposed designs for the Defiant Class). The design was of the right size and employed the latest warp field/hull geometry and propulsion technology. Starfleet replaced the warp core with a far less powerful version, which limited the top speed to Warp 8 but greatly extended the operating life of the warp coils, reducing the ships refit schedule and making it easier to operate. The heavy weaponry was also removed, creating extra space for sensor arrays and scientific labs.
One of the unique features of the Nova class vessel is its specially designed runabout, the Waverider Class. Based on the Intrepid class designs, this runabout is housed in part of the saucer section. This craft was designed solely for atmospheric travel and is incapable of Warp speeds, however it still adds versatility to the Nova. Also like the Intrepid, the Nova Class is capable of making planetary landings if necessary.
The Nova Class, although small, serves very adequately in its role of scientific surveyor and explorer. First produced in 2369, the Nova Class is now a workhorse of the fleet and their small drain on resources makes them ideal to continue detailed explorations and analyses started by larger and more critical ships, such as those of the Galaxy and Sovereign classes.
Although the class line in general has not seen heavy combat use, Nova Class vessels have been able to hold their own in a fight. The 11 Type-IX Phaser arrays and graviton shielding system give the ship enough defense capability to match or even defeat numerous threats, although they still remain more vulnerable craft than their larger counterparts.
Construction of the Nova class was suspended shortly before the Dominion war in favor of more combat capable vessels. After the end of the War, construction resumed at three ships per year, which is set to continue for the foreseeable future.
- Role: Explorer / Science Vessel
- Dimensions: 165 meters (L) x 62 meters (W) x 34 meters (H)
- Decks: 8
- Expected Duration: 65 years
- Time Between Resupply: 1 year
- Expected Refit Cycle: 5 years
- Total Crew: 85
- 20 Officers
- 60 Enlisted
- 0 Marines
- Number of Civilians: 20
- Emergency Capacity: 200
- Crew Lounge
- Thrusters: RCS Thrusters
- Sublight Speed: 0.5c
- Warp Speed
- Warp 6: Cruising Speed
- Warp 9.2: Maximum Warp
- Warp 9.4: Emergency Warp (for 20 hours)
- 2 Forward
- 1 Aft
- Shields: Multi-Layered Shielding System
- 2 Personnel
- Transporter Range: 45,000 meters
- Sensor Range: 18 lightyears
- Communications Range: 20 lightyears
- Shuttles: 3
- Runabouts: 1
- Duranium/Tritanium Double Hull
- Planetary Landing System
- Advanced Sensor Systems
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