Constellation Class

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The Constellation Class starship was a medium-sized cruiser employed by Starfleet in the late 23rd century through the mid-24th century.

Contents

History

Introduced in the late 23rd century, the Constellation Class starship was similar in overall size to a Constitution Class starship. Constellation vessels were equiped with four nacelles and were suited for both deep-space exploration and defensive patrol duties. In 2285 at least one such ship - the USS Hathaway was constructed by Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems at the Copernicus Ship Yards on Luna. The prototype for the class was the USS Constellation (NCC-1974).

By the mid-2360s this class of "old-style" starship was on the fringe of being phased out of the fleet, considered to be "overworked and underpowered". Those that had been decommissioned, including the eighty year old USS Hathaway, were stripped of their offensive systems and rendered "warp inactive," which included the removal of all antimatter. Those that remained in service were typically relegated to transport duties. Constellation Class starships were also used in second-line service; and one such vessel took part in the hastily-organized Federation blockade during the Klingon Civil War.

Specifications

One notable feature of the Constellation Class was that it was one of the few classes in use mounted with four warp nacelles. This unique arrangement in a starship design would be later found in the Nebula Class "Melbourne-configuration", Cheyenne Class and Prometheus Class.

During their original construction, Constellation Class starships employed Avidyne engines. By the latter 24th century these had been replaced with more effective engines.

Main Bridge

Although the layout of the Main Bridge of the Constellation Class of starships could be described as "standard", in terms of how Federation starship bridges are designed, the Constellation Class appeared to have two prominently different bridge types. These variations can be recognized between the USS Hathaway, launched in 2285, and the USS Stargazer, last active in 2355.

The Hathaway-type bridge has an unusual arrangement, with the front of the bridge relatively wide open and the primary stations cramped in the rear of the bridge.

The helm and navigation stations are located on the extreme port and starboard sides of the ship with the captain's chair near the center of the bridge. This gives the captain an unobstructed view of the viewscreen located at the front of the bridge. Next to the captain's chair, set less than a meter back and off to the right, is the Executive Officer's chair with console.

Directly behind the command chairs is the tactical station, with the engineering station to the far rear (on the port side) and science station to the far rear (starboard side). In front of the engineering station is an entryway to the bridge entryway.

Described as a "cramped little Bridge" by Jean-Luc Picard, the Stargazer-type was actually less cluttered than the Hathaway-type, with a design more reminiscent of the refit Constitution Class or Ambassador Class bridge.

In the front was the viewscreen, with side-by-side helm and navigator consoles, a feature that noticeably contrasts that of the Hathaway-type. The captain's chair is directly aft the aforementioned stations; no accommodations are present for the first officer, in this type.

At the rear of the bridge, a tactical station is found on the far left with monitors along the back wall behind the captain's chair, with a second primary station located on the opposite side of the bridge. The primary stations, which were attached to the rear-wall of the bridge; support railing partially enclosed that section from the front of the bridge. On either side of the rear-wall monitors and between either primary station are two turbolifts. Along the port wall, directly to the left of the captain's chair, between the tactical station and the viewscreen, is the entryway to the captain's ready room.

APPENDIX A - SHIP OF THE LINE

SEE: List of Ships of the Line

Sources

This article borrows from Memory-Alpha's Constellation Class article.

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