U.S.S. Constellation NCC-1974:
Crew: 535 [Maximum: 600]
Cruising Warp: 6.
Maximum warp: 8.
Phasers: 12 Turrets.
Torpedo Launchers: 3 [2 Foward, 1 Aft].
Torpedo Compliment: 100.
Warp Engines: MARA
Impulse Engines: Standard
Computer System: DCLD - Duotronic Computer Library Database [Author's Note: Later upgraded to LCARS]
Expected Duration: 100 Years
Time Between Resupply: 3 Years
Time Between Refits: 5 Years
Shuttlecraft: 5 [Various types]
Starship primary mission: Planetary and Deep-Space Exploration.
Designation: Heavy Cruiser
The Constellation is assigned to take a Federation ambassador to Gornar. New Starfleet is about building bridges and soft power, taking a Middle Eastern female ambassador to meet with the Gorn King or some other Gorn mandarin to discuss the trading relations between the two nations. The ‘awkward’ conversation about Fed-Klingon relations being damaged by the Gorn actions could come up. It then comes down to choices as to whom the Federation wants to do business with.
U.S.S. Constellation is part of the new Eighth Fleet that covers the driftward exploration of the Federation past the Gorn Hegemony, Klingon Empire and Syr'Ypt'Q. The endurance of the Constellation class has allowed Starfleet to press further into the unknown darkness of unexplored space and discover new worlds, cultures and phenomena. The current captain of the Constellation is Jamillah Fakhoury from Medina in Arabia. Captain Fakhoury made her name serving on Miranda and Constitution class starships, as well as a classified assignment on an Endurance class. Jamillah has shown herself to be a skilled linguist and strong mediator with keen listening skills. During the voyage to Gornar, the ambassador noted she could have joined the Federation Diplomatic Corps as easily as she had gone to Starfleet Academy.
The Gorn Home world is located closer to their star than Earth is, consequently the planet has tropical poles and hellish hot desert on the equator. The reptilian Gorn relish this environment, Vulcans would find it tolerable and humans would find it oppressive, even by the standards of desert regions. Gorn make Meridor – the finest brew in five systems - and their allegiance is to their own Hegemony, siding with Klingons or Federation to suit their own needs. The ancient Gorn territory was far larger, with the fledgling Klingon Empire having expanded into their space a few decades after the warriors acquired warp drive technology.
The hopes of the Federation were to build on the relations with the Klingons and Gorn and then attempt to broker a Khitomer-style peace treaty between the two. The difficulty of this proposal was that Chancellor Azetbur ignored the need for Federation aid to repel any Gorn aggression on her borders with maximum force. She realised any show of weakness would be fatal to her. The Gorn ships were a match for the Klingons, especially in their weakened state after Praxis, and the casualties from the skirmishes numbered in the thousands. The Federation offered hospital ships and aid for refugees displaced from the fighting.
The Gorn city in the middle of a desert blends in to the sand seamlessly. The city is as much underground as it is above, to give a reprieve from the scorching sun. Subterranean farms grow food for the livestock that the Gorn prefer to eat. The underground facilities also use condensation devices to trap the moisture in the arid air. The Captain, her Vulcan First officer and the Federation Ambassador – accompanied by a small element of security – beamed to the city. The city itself reflected the almost reverential treatment of the lineage of the King. Gorn priests with scrolls listing the Royal ancestors and their achievements. Statues, temples and other buildings honour previous kings; the Captain and the ambassador showed reverential awe at the imagery, learning more about the history and culture of this nation.
The Gorn court held a council that reflected the clans and statuses across the populace. Politicians, priests and warriors are all included in the composition of the Council of Ministers. The bi-annual parliamentary elections select the sitting members. The large form of King Szlaarthis III dominated the chamber; his size informed the Starfleet contingent that he was an old Gorn who had been around for a long time – potentially centuries, if the rumours were to be believed. It was not known how long he had been king for, but the cult of the Gorn King now worshipped him as the figurehead of their people.
The talks that followed covered such diverse topics as the cuisine of Gorn, the history of the monarchy and the lost territory of the Gorn Hegemony that the King had sworn to regain – at any cost. The Ambassador was keen to invite the King back to Federation space to reciprocate the visit, as well as build upon to good relations of the two nations.
The Constellation class started off as the ready room model for Picard's previous command. The model was finished in a yellow ochre colour with the registry number NC-7100, which to-date has not been used on any named starship and is a simple reconfiguration of the numbers from an ERTL Enterprise-A kit.
The Constellation class design was a joint effort between Andrew Probert and Rick Sternbach, using the parts from the Enterprise (refit) ERTL kit with some modifications from other model kits. Each one, we are assured, has a vital function. One the images from Doug Drexler reproduced here, the intricate details of the original Constellation class model can be seen clearly. Amongst them are the forward-only arc torpedo launcher from the Enterprise kit, but the aft section has what looks like a single circular torpedo-probe-buoy launcher.
The ventral hull surface is covered in sensor arrays, as is the peripheral edge of the upper saucer. There are other arrays and equipment mounted on the nacelle struts that may be additional sensors. The Constellation class model has one aspect that was never lit properly: the twin impulse engines on the aft of the model - taken from the movie Enterprise kit - were never lit as impulse engines, although there is no doubt as to what they are. Everything on the Constellation class is duplicated: impulse engines and twin warp nacelle pairs. This allows both for redundancies in deep space and also, by alternating warp nacelle pairs, this facilitates geat endurance at high warp speeds to get into deep space quickly.
The Constellation class has no visible deflector array - like the Miranda class - but the sides are covered in hangers for cargo and shuttles for exploration. This is perhaps the best and most functional deep space exploration starship ever designed for the Star Trek universe. This model makes sense. Whilst not the fastest ship in the fleet, this is the one with the greatest endurance and robustness that will achieve more to open up unexplored space than any design prior to it. This starship is the one that makes the Interim Years such an important era, which is why so many are included here.
All Constellation class ready room model images are Copyright © Doug Drexler. All Rights Reserved.