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» Flare Sci-Fi Forums » Sci-Fi » Designs, Artwork, & Creativity » Explorer ramblings

   
Author Topic: Explorer ramblings
Toadkiller
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The USS Explorer and her impact on Star Fleet’s capital ship nomenclature.

In 1906 HMS Dreadnought, a warship of the Terran Nation-State the United Kingdom was launched. This seagoing vessel was such a marked improvement in design and construction that she immediately rendered all her predecessors, then referred to generically as “battleships”, obsolete. Subsequent battleships were constructed to mimic the Dreadnought’s advances and became to be known as Dreadnought battleships and then finally simply dreadnoughts.

A similar technological and linguist evolution occurred centuries later with the design and launch of the United Federation of Planet’s heavy cruiser, USS Explorer. At this time, the early 24th century, the primary defensive and exploratory cruiser was the Excelsior class starship. While SF the Excelsior was the largest and most capable starship to date, the exploratory command was finding that they were unable to outfit the ships with the assortment of scientific equipment and logistical supplies needed for long-range interstellar exploration missions. The Excelsior was an outgrowth of the abortive trans-warp experiments of the late 23rd century as well as a direct response to the charged military tensions of that time. Due to the restrictions resulting from these design criteria the machinery spaces, once modified to utilize standard warp technology, consumed a greater internal volume than planned and a great deal of the remaining space was utilized for military requirements. In short, while the Excelsior was a large ship the proportion of their habitable volume that was dedicated to peaceful pursuits was actually lower than that of the Constitution class that they replaced.

As a result the Admiralty came to the conclusion that a new class of heavy cruiser was needed, one more capable of independent operation in the exploratory role. This was not an easy decision. With the idea of a “peace dividend” sweeping the UFP following the Klingon accords and a prevalent political climate that emphasized cooperation and non-aggression with our “Galactic Neighbors” it was clear that any campaign for increased spending by SF was going to be difficult. All the more so if the proposed project was seen by the Administration as a “military” project – as a new capital ship program might well be. Thus, when the proposal was put forward it was for an exploratory cruiser – with the emphasis very much on “exploratory”.

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Twee bieren tevreden, zullen mijn vriend betalen.

Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
Toadkiller
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Following a lively and very creative lobbying campaign by the SF Appropriations Command authorization and funding was approved to develop a design for the New Exploratory Cruiser (NEC). As anyone familiar with Fleet Appropriations knows there is a long road between design development and launch but none the less SF now had their chance to develop a ship that would finally be the true replacement for the legendary Constitution class cruisers. Design development was awarded to the San Diego Division of the Utopia Planitia Shipyards which initially began evaluation of a design of ####### tons, virtually identical to the Excelsior class, but with a dramatically different payload. Computer models indicated that a ship of equivalent speed and volume was possible utilizing existing components that would yield 30% greater science-volume for a 20% decrease in tactical performance. This was given the go-ahead for further computer modeling but eventually was discarded as not being able to meet mean-duration-between-refuel requirements for cruising speeds. Additionally crew habitability issues would have been tighter than on the already cramped Excelsior-II exploratory variant.

After a further series of designs within the Excelsior tonnage window also failed to meet requirements SFC agreed to “unlock” the tonnage requirement – as long as the final design could be launched without waiting for a significant warp drive advancement. Once able to reach outside the XXXXX drive coil envelope a design was developed around the Anderson Mark IX drive system. The new virtual ship came in at around #### tons, 8.9% over the Excelsior. Modeling indicated that the design could mount an equivalent tactical load, meet scientific requirements, and still provide acceptable warp speed performance.

Construction on the new class’s prototype began on StarDate ######. Initially the intention was to name the prototype Majestic to honor the famed exploits of the original starship of that name. However, political necessities seemed to lean towards a break with the past “military” elements of Star Fleet and a strong emphasis on peace. So the initiative to call the ship what it was intended to be – an explorer – won the day. Launched 37 months after construction began the USS Explorer began her shakedown period by commencing a tour of the UFP core worlds, displaying the face of a “kinder, gentler, Star Fleet” for all to see.

Originally it was hoped that the Explorer would be the class ship of a large production run. However with the administration changes of #### further funding for ship construction was dramatically cut forcing the Admiralty to choose continuing instead the less expensive Excelsior line. Far from the end of the story however as one can clearly see the design lineage of Explorer in her current generation descendents.

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Twee bieren tevreden, zullen mijn vriend betalen.

Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
Toadkiller
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Just something that I'd been thinking on. Hopefully someone will like it.

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Twee bieren tevreden, zullen mijn vriend betalen.

Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged
Shik
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
Member # 343

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Funny. I have something very similar in the works for the UP3 Ambassador-class writeup.

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"I never agreed with Jefferson once—we have fought on like seventy-five different fronts. But when all is said & all is done...Jefferson HAS beliefs; Burr has none."

Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
Matrix
AMEAN McAvoy
Member # 376

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Awww... now we are going have to kill Shik and Toadkiller...

I had that idea as well, I wrote something similar for the 26XXX range Ambassador class. The 105XX was the battleship design and the 26XXX was the new Explorer type.

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Matrix
If you say so
If you want so
Then do so

Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged
   

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