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Constellation class Prototype Project Logo

A Logo i made as part of the Euderion World building project. The Logo from the early Constellation class development project from the 2260s. It will be used for a blog entry about the second USS Euderion NCC-1951, which was one of the three Constellation class Prototypes to test the new ship before the series production.

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General history of the Prototype Constellation class

In 2255 Stafleet wanted to relieve the 15 year old Constitution class ships by designing a new workhorse. The new project should have a more powerful warp drive so that the ship can cover longer distances and have more energy available for systems such as shields or tractor beams. It should be able to tow damaged ships at warp speed, provide technical and medical first aid for colonies and outposts, and act as a courier for sensitive messages or intermediaries. In spite of all this, due to the constant expansion policy of the Klingons, it should also be able to defend itself against possible aggressors and have long-range sensors to monitor large areas.

It was an ambitious project that was not without controversy. Many prominent hardliners in Starfleet saw no point in conceiving a new ship design that required as many resources to build as a new ship of the Constitution class, but which had effectively fewer tactical skills. Especially in view of the fact that the Klingons just had their D7-C battle cruiser (K't'kara class) in the early production phase, it is better to put available resources into further ships of the Federation class or the phase 2 conversion of the Constitution class. A year passed in which the committee debated it. Ultimately, a compromise was made. Of the 26 units actually planned, only three prototypes were to be built. Each of these ships should have different specifications in order to test their functionality independently of one another. Then it should be decided which version is suitable for series production.

- The first prototype was built at the Luna Copernicus shipyard. It should serve military requirements and offer reinforced protective shields paired with a larger number of phaser cannons. It also received a torpedo tower that added two front and two rear photon torpedo tubes. The ship was named USS Nelson during construction.

- The second prototype was named USS Euderion after the founding fathers of the Alpha Centauri colonies, where the ship was built. In the Proxima shipyards. This variant should be more balanced. Like the Nelson, it received an additional weapon turret without burdening the other offensive systems with too many demands.

- The third ship, the USS Darnell, was to be built in the San Francisco shipyards. It should be designed for speed and endurance. The epitome of a "fast cruiser". Of course, this was only possible at the expense of some tactical systems.

The first conceptualization of all three ships took place in the year 2256 and in the following three years the actual construction started. In 2259, all three ships were launched according to plan and have since been classified as an experimental Constellation class. While the Euderion and the Darnell were able to start their service, the Nelson had to return to the shipyard several times in the months that followed. If you wanted to use the full potential of the ship, it was often close to self-destruction. It turned out that you wanted too much at once here. When all systems were fully loaded, there were repeated overloads, which is why the ship spent almost half a year with fine calibration and tuning. Something that increased costs and gave the guy a bad reputation. At the end of the year, Starfleet decided not to produce any further units with these special specifications. It was now up to the Euderion and the Darnell to decide the future of the Constellation class.

Series production

Both ships should look back on over ten years of service. Due to the fleet-wide upgrade of the Constitution class and the resulting technical advances, series production of the prototype Constellation class was suspended until further notice. They didn't want to risk building brand new ships that would be outdated after just a few years. When the Constitution refit was completed in 2273, the decision was finally made to breathe new life into the Constellation project, combined with the knowledge that was acquired during the refit program. The new project was under the command of Admiral Gihlan't'aehn of Taulihna IV who at the time commanded the USS Euderion. 14 years after the first prototypes were launched, two new series productions were commissioned. The Cheetah class, which was designed as a light, fast cruiser, started in 2273. It was developed on the model of the prototype ship USS Darnell. The official launch of the Constellation class followed in 2275. The turret was removed for series production and the volume of the saucer section increased, but otherwise it was based on the specifications of the USS Euderion prototype.

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My opinion: the Constellation just does not fit into the TOS TV era, even in prototype form, although it would work in the mid-movie era. It just does not come across as a design that would have existed earlier on. The aesthetics, the size, and more all point to it being a new-build ship, unlike the Mirandas which logically should have existed before the movies.

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Redtriangle's avatar

Interesting. All I can think of how Jean-Luc Picard always talked he was stationed on the USS Stargazer before the Enterprise.

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Your welcome 🙏
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