|Mass:||4,500,000 metric tons|
|Crew:||approx. 1,000 (officers, enlisted, and civilian)|
|Maximum Speed:||Warp 9.6 (12 hours)|
|Armament:||12 Type-10 phaser arrays; 3 photon torpedo launchers|
The Galaxy class was a Starfleet starship first introduced in the 2360s. It was the largest and one of the most powerful Federation starship classes of its time. As such, many saw action in the Dominion War.
Design and development
The Galaxy class began development in the 2350s at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. (TNG: "Booby Trap," "Eye of the Beholder") Numerous technologies implemented on Galaxy class starships were tested aboard earlier prototype vessels, including the Oberth class USS Pegasus, in the 2350s. (TNG: "The Pegasus")
The warp core was designed at Outpost Seran-T-one on stardate 40052 by some of the most brilliant engineering minds in the Federation, including Leah Brahms of the Theoretical Propulsion Group. (TNG: "Booby Trap")
- Although the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual portrays a long, drawn-out construction history of the Galaxy class, TNG: "Booby Trap" and "Eye of the Beholder" seem to suggest that the ships were designed and placed into service rather quickly, as final systems were designed only one year prior to the launch of the Enterprise-D. The ship itself was still under major construction one year prior to TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint."
The Galaxy class was capable of virtually any mission, becoming notable vessels of exploration, representing the Federation in matters of diplomacy, and defending it in situations of combat. They were crewed with the best and the brightest, becoming extremely prestigious assignments. (TNG: "Menage a Troi," VOY: "Relativity") They were noted for their impressive abilities amongst Federation citizens and other Alpha Quadrant races. (TNG: "Tin Man," "Chain of Command, Part I," DS9: "Valiant," VOY: "Infinite Regress")
The most famous Galaxy class ship was the USS Enterprise-D, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The ship made many official first contacts with a multitude of new species, including the Borg Collective, the Ferengi Alliance and the Q Continuum. Its diplomatic efforts helped cool tensions amongst minor races and prevent dramatic upheavals to the security of the Federation, such as the Romulan aid of the Duras during the Klingon Civil War and a Cardassian strike near the McAllister C-5 Nebula. It fought off some of the Federation's toughest foes, preventing the assimilation of Earth during the Borg invasion of 2367. (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
However, the safety of the Galaxy class, in particular its warp propulsion system, came into question in 2365 when the USS Yamato was lost in a mysterious accident near the Romulan Neutral Zone. The ship had experienced massive systemswide failures which eventually led to a loss of antimatter containment. Further investigation by the Enterprise-D revealed the malfunctions were as a result of an Iconian software transmission and no design flaw inherent to the ship. (TNG: "Contagion")
A Galaxy class ship was involved in the disastrous first contact with the Dominion. The USS Odyssey had entered the Gamma Quadrant in order to rescue several Federation citizens who had been taken captive by the Jem'Hadar. While the Odyssey was retreating, a Jem'Hadar attack ship made a suicide run at its stardrive section, causing a massive hull breach and the complete destruction of the ship. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar") This unwarranted act led to nearly four years of hostilities between the Federation and the Dominion, culminating in the Dominion War.
Galaxy class starships saw action in many of the major fleet actions of the war, including Operation Return, where the class also played a major strategic role, grouped into Galaxy wings (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels"), both the first (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets") and second battles of Chin'toka (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil"), and the Battle of Cardassia. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
- Analysis of the Special effect shots from "Sacrifice of Angels" showed no less than five, possibly even nine separate Galaxy class vessels in the combined Federation fleet in Operation Return. While the intention of the SFX company was clearly to fill the space with more ships (due to the supposed fleet size of roughly 600 vessels), it's arguable whether the Federation would throw all their Galaxies into one battle or not, and if these Galaxies only constitute a part of the Galaxy fleet, how many other Galaxy class vessels have been built in the decade before the Dominion war.
Several more starships have entered the fleet inventory during the 2370s. (VOY: "Relativity") By the latter half of the decade, Galaxy class ships were seen all around Federation space, from stations near Earth (VOY: "Endgame") to near the Romulan Neutral Zone. (Star Trek: Nemesis)
- At least three, possibly four, Galaxy class ships were shown under construction at Utopia Planitia during VOY: "Relativity." At least five, possibly seven, Galaxy class ships were part of the fleet assembled to intercept the Borg sphere in VOY: "Endgame."
The Galaxy class had two hull sections, a saucer-shaped primary hull and a secondary hull which mounted the two warp nacelles. The hulls were capable of reversible saucer separation and were both equipped with independent flight and combat capabilities. Generally, civilians and non-essential personnel would evacuate to the saucer module, while the senior staff confronted a threat in the battle section, which contained the majority of weapons systems. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint") The saucer was even capable of landing on a planetary surface. (Star Trek: Generations)
The hull of the Galaxy class was left somewhat customizable; areas such as Deck 8 were designated as unfinished and multi-purpose, in the event that extra space was needed for a certain mission. (TNG: "Liaisons")
Command and control systems
The computer system onboard the Galaxy class was isolinear based. (TNG: "The Naked Now") Computer systems were concentrated in a computer core, which was accessible through a maintenance room. (TNG: "Evolution")
Galaxy class ships achieved warp flight through two warp nacelles, which housed multiple pairs of warp coils. (TNG: "Eye of the Beholder") Maximum speed was warp 9.6, which could be maintained for approximately twelve hours. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint," "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I") The warp core was one of the most powerful in Starfleet. In benign situations, it generated approximately 12.75 billion gigawatts of power. (TNG: "True Q") The efficiency of the warp drive could be tweaked to a point where it rivaled the new Intrepid class ships introduced in 2370. (TNG: "Force of Nature")
There were three impulse engines, two on the saucer section and one in the stardrive section. In early ships, only the impulse engine in the stardrive section was usually active.
Upgrades to the propulsion systems were tested in 2370 aboard the Enterprise-D; the ship received a new warp core manufactured with interphase technology. (TNG: "Phantasms") A major rehab of the nacelles was also conducted that year. (TNG: "Eye of the Beholder") By the mid 2370s, most Galaxy class ships began operating with all three impulse engines activated. (DS9: "Favor the Bold," VOY: "Timeless")
Galaxy class ships supported a wide variety of scientific equipment and laboratories studying many different disciplines. (TNG: "Liaisons") The departments often had to compete for limited resources such as sensor time, which were allocated by the operations manager or, on occassion, the executive officer. (TNG: "Lessons")
Sensor systems could be customized and upgraded as necessary for a specific mission. Additional equipment could be added as required. (TNG: "Cause and Effect," "Schisms") The latest technologies were generally outfitted to Galaxy class ships as they left the experimental stages. (TNG: "All Good Things...")
The Galaxy class was equipped with twelve phaser arrays, located at various points along both hulls. There were also fore and aft torpedo launchers on the engineering section, and an aft launcher aboard the saucer section which was only exposed to space during a separation. The launchers are also capable of handling probes. In TNG: "Conundrum" when Worf was examining the Enterprise-D's armament, he stated that they had 250 photon torpedoes.
- TNG: "Conundrum" establishes that there were only ten phaser banks aboard the ship, although a visual inspection shows twelve. The saucer launcher was never established in dialogue, but is visible on the filming model.
- This modification is an artifact left over from the changes made to the four-foot Enterprise model for TNG: "All Good Things...," although the "bumps" containing the phaser arrays on the Venture seem to have been rotated a full one-hundred eighty degrees from those on the Enterprise-D. The Venture was the only ship to have these modifications; none of the CGI Galaxy class ships used exclusively since the fifth season of DS9 are modified in such a manner.
While earlier Starfleet vessels permitted the immediate family of officers and crew to stay aboard the starship, the Galaxy class was the first specifically tailored for civilian habitation, able to accommodate civilian crewmembers as well as Starfleet personnel. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint") Civilian crew were allowed to hold varying positions in the science division aboard the Galaxy class. (TNG: "Night Terrors")
With the presence of families and non-Starfleet personnel aboard, the Galaxy class interior was mostly designed for their comfort and the well being of the crew in general. While the major command sections maintained form and functionality above all, there remained a much more "relaxed" feel about the design of many of these areas.
- In Star Trek: Generations, the interior lighting scheme of the Enterprise-D was noticeably darkened.
The main bridge of the Galaxy class is located on Deck 1 of the saucer section. As with most starships, the main bridge was modular and could be completely replaced with another bridge if the need called for it. Different Galaxy class starships had different bridge designs. The following describes the bridge design used in at least two Galaxy class starships, including the USS Enterprise-D.
- The theory of different bridge designs for different Galaxy class starships comes from DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", where the USS Odyssey featured a completely different bridge design from that of the USS Enterprise-D.
The forward bulkhead was dominated by the main viewscreen. Directly behind this were the Operatons manager and Conn positions. At the very center of the room was the command area - the captain's chair at the center, flanked by chairs for the first officer to the right, and an additional officer (typically the ship's counselor or chief medical officer) to the left. Smaller backless seats were located on the edges of the command area, for other officers to sit, should the need arise.
The tactical console, positioned directly behind the captain, was located in the wooden handrail that encircled the rear half of the central command area. The aft bulkhead carried several additional consoles. These could be customized as needed (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I") and were reconfigured at least twice. In 2364, the consoles, from starboard to port, were Science I, Science II, Environment, Emergency Manual Override, and Propulsion Systems. By 2365, they were now Science I, Science II, Mission Ops, Environment, and Engineering. The stations featured pullout seats below the console, which were normally flush with the panel below the stations. The bridge is also equipped with two food replicators.
By necessity, the bridge had easy access to and from all other important areas of the ship. In all, there were six doors leading from the room. Moving clockwise from the main viewscreen, the first door, level with, and to the right of Conn, lead directly to the battle bridge emergency turbolift. At the rear left of the Bridge, a shallow alcove contained two doors, one of which contained a head, the other to a corridor leading to the Observation Lounge. The door at the rear right of the room opened onto a standard turbolift. Continuing around, the fifth door lead into the Captain's Ready Room, the sixth to another turbolift. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")
As the Main Bridge houses so many critical systems, numerous emergency enviromental and power backups are included so that duty personnel can continue to work for up to 72 hours, in the event of a major shutdown or incapacitation of the vessel. (TNG: "Brothers")
The bridges of Galaxy class ships were subject to several minor cosmetic changes over their first decade of service. The first major refit came in 2371 as seen aboard the USS Enterprise-D. Six new stations were added, three on each side of the bridge replacing the equipment lockers. The aft stations were accordingly reprogrammed and moved to different locations. The three starboard stations were designated Science I, II, and III. Science IV was now the first aft station, followed by Mission Ops, Environment, and Engineering I/II. The port side of the bridge had three communications stations, consoles which were not common to the bridges of 24th century ships. (Star Trek: Generations)
The Observation Lounge was located directly behind the Main Bridge. The room was usually used as a conference room for the vessel's senior staff. It featured large, aft-facing windows that offered a spectacular view of the back of the starship and space beyond. A conference table with seating for ten people was the main feature of the room (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint"), with LCARS screens on the port and starboard walls for information displays and retrieval. (TNG: "The Child") Holographic emitters embedded within the table could also be used for presenting data. (TNG: "The Last Outpost") Some starships featured artwork along the wall opposite the windows; when this was not present the bare wall showed several structural supports.
The battle bridge was located on Deck 8 and was connected to the main bridge and other vital areas of the ship by an emergency turbolift. It was designed to control the stardrive section following a saucer separation. Unlike the main bridge, there was much more focus on combat and tactical systems and no science stations. The battle bridge was modular like the main bridge; at least two variants have been seen aboard Galaxy class ships. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint," "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II")
Engineering systems spanned twelve decks of the engineering section. Main Engineering itself was located on Deck 36 (TNG: "Liaisons") and was an open-plan facility, directly accessible from the corridor. Consisting of two levels, it provided direct access to the vessel's warp core and primary engineering support systems. The corridor bulkhead housed the Master Situation Monitor. Inside the main section, the master systems display, affectionately known as the pool table, was the operational focus of the room. Beyond this, heading towards the warp core, the Chief Engineer's office and several support consoles were located on the left, and the Assistant Chief Engineer's console on the right. These formed part of the bulkhead protecting the main part of Engineering from the warp core. Access to the upper level, a circular area surrounding the warp core, was provided by a ladder to the left of the warp core or an elevator on the right. The upper level had access to other warp core maintenance systems. (TNG: "The Dauphin," The Best of Both Worlds, Part II")
In the event of a major failure, such as an imminent warp core breach, Main Engineering was equipped with isolation doors and forcefields to contain various sections of the facility, usually to seal off the warp core prior to detonation or ejection. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I," "Violations," Star Trek: Generations)
The Galaxy class medical department is charged with providing health care to the ship's company and all attached personnel.
There were at least three sickbay wards aboard the ship (TNG: "Tapestry"); with at least one in the saucer section (TNG: "Genesis") and another in the stardrive section (TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom") There were four recovery biobeds on the periphery of the room with a main surgical biobed opposite them, covered by a large overhead sensor cluster and capable of hookup to a surgical support frame. Equipment storage and various control panels were located throughout sickbay. The chief medical officer's office was a small space just off of the main sickbay, with desk and workspace for the CMO. A small foyer connectede the office to the sickbay; it contained a replicator terminal.
Galaxy class ships have at least four medical laboratories of varying sizes. There is a small laboratory accessible through the foyer outside the chief medical officer's office where minor experiments run by on-duty personnel could be monitored. (TNG: "Home Soil," "Evolution," "Clues," "The Game") Other larger medlabs similar to standard science labs were elsewhere. (TNG: "Ethics")
Emergency Bio Support Unit
There was a separate room located near the main Sickbay facility on Deck 12 that contained the Emergency Bio Support Unit. Patients with severe burn injuries could be treated here in a closed cell. (TNG: "Transfigurations")
The Galaxy class starship housed over one hundred separate scientific research labs. Very few of the research labs will remain under the same discipline of science for more than six months. Most share the same design, only a few have extremely specialized equipment.
The vessel also housed a Stellar Cartography department, located on Deck 10. There were at least two laboratories based there; one, a smaller facility similar to the other labs aboard the ship; another, a much larger cylindrical room spanning three decks. The walls of the room were designed to be a three-dimensional display (Star Trek: Generations)
The Cybernetics Lab was a circular room, with a raised platform in its center containing a shell which could hold a cybernetic body. The entire assembly could retract into the ceiling and was directly controlled by a console to the side. There are additional wall-mounted consoles throughout the room. (TNG: "The Offspring") The laboratory was redesigned in 2368 and altered to become much more rectangular, although it still featured the shell assembly. (TNG: "I, Borg")
- These labs are shown in the saucer section in the Star Trek: The Next Generation USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Blueprints and are mentioned in the TNG Technical Manual. While the area itself was unfortunately never seen on the show, their existence has been confirmed in dialogue.
Transport and cargo
There were three shuttlebays aboard each Galaxy class starship, supporting many varieties of shuttlecraft. The main shuttlebay was located on Deck 4 in the saucer section. It was so massive that an explosive decompression of the air within the bay would contain enough force to propel the ship forward. (TNG: "Cause and Effect") Two smaller shuttlebays were on Deck 13 of the engineering hull. (TNG: "The Next Phase")
- The main shuttlebay would have been prohibitively expensive to build as an actual set, and was only seen in miniature form during TNG: "Cause and Effect." During the first few seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Shuttlebays 2 and 3 were erroneously shown on Deck 11.
There were numerous multi-level cargo bays located all throughout the ship. Most of these bays contained sufficient room for storage, cargo transporters, and anti-grav units for the transportation of cargo. (TNG: "The Hunted," "Hollow Pursuits") Cargo bay four was the only cargo bay with direct access to the exterior hull. (TNG: "Power Play")
Most crew quarters on the Galaxy class were located in the ship's saucer section, in order to provide safety for civilian and non-essential personnel during a saucer separation. However, the engineering hull also contains crew quarters, generally containing engineering personnel and their families. (TNG: "Imaginary Friend," Star Trek: Generations) Pets, including cats and dogs, are also allowed aboard ship. (TNG: "Data's Day")
There are several types of crew quarters aboard:
- Junior officers' quarters
- These small quarters units were located on the interior of the ship and lack windows. They are comprised of a living area, a bedroom, and a bathroom. Crewmembers of Lieutenant Junior Grade are given their own quarters; ensigns are required to share quarters. (TNG: "Lower Decks") The living area contains a replicator terminal and is customizable with a variety of furniture and decorations.
- Officers' quarters
- Captain's quarters
Located at the forwardmost section of the saucer module on Deck 10, Ten Forward served as the social center of the ship. It had a battery of recreational games including three-dimensional chess as well as a fully stocked bar which carried syntheholic beverages. The replicators were also able to produce other food and drinks for the crew to enjoy in a relaxed social setting. Its large, panoramic windows permitted a staggering view of the ship's passage through space. (TNG: "The Child," "Power Play")
The phaser range was located on Deck 12. A person stood on a platform in the center of the room, illuminated only by the light which came from above the platform. Colored circular lights, approximately the size of a human hand, whirled across the walls, and the person aimed and fired at selected targets. After completing a round, the amounts of hits and misses, along with the percentage of accuracy, were tallied by the ship's computer. There were at least 15 levels of difficulty, and the range could be customized for two-player competition.
The gymnasium, also on Deck 12, contained a variety of recreational equipment for a variety of sports. In addition to aerobic studios (TNG: "The Price") and martial arts areas (TNG: "Clues," "Second Chances"), there was a parrises squares area (TNG: "Second Chances"), a squash court (TNG: "Suddenly Human") and an anbo-jytsu court (TNG: "The Icarus Factor") The gymnasium also featured a fencing room. Aboard the Enterprise-D, Captain Picard, of French origin, usually fenced with fellow crewmembers. (TNG: "We'll Always Have Paris," "I, Borg")
Theatre and Concert Hall
There was a large theatre aboard, which is equipped to seat large groups of people. The theatre can also be used as a concert hall for musical performances by crew members. (TNG: "Sarek," "Frame of Mind")
- The theatre was a reuse of the Ten Forward set.
At the replimat, crewmembers could replicate items which were too large or complicated for a standard food replicator terminal. They could "shop" for certain items by reviewing the fabrication database. (TNG: "Data's Day")
There were several small schools of varying sizes located throughout the ship, ranging from actual classrooms (TNG: "When the Bough Breaks") to specialized workshops. (TNG: "Imaginary Friend," "Rascals," "Masks")
- USS Challenger (NCC-71099)
- USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)
- USS Galaxy (NCC-70637)
- USS Magellan
- USS Odyssey (NCC-71832)
- USS Trinculo (NCC-71867)
- USS Venture (NCC-71854)
- USS Yamato (NCC-71807)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Star Trek Movies:
The Galaxy class starship was first seen as the USS Enterprise-D. It was designed by Andrew Probert. Interiors were supervised by Herman Zimmerman in the first season of TNG and Star Trek: Generations, and Richard James for the subsequent six seasons.
When it came time to design a new starship Enterprise for The Next Generation, history did not repeat itself. Where Matt Jefferies had produced hundreds of sketches to come up with the design direction for the original Enterprise, Andrew Probert's main design work for the new Enterprise was done before his job even started.
Before the series was announced, Andrew Probert painted the below illustration of a future starship concept, strictly for his own enjoyment. When he went to work on the Paramount lot to design the new Enterprise, he brought that painting with him as inspiration and hung it on his office wall.
One day, David Gerrold came into Probert's office, saw the painting, and asked if Gene Roddenberry has seen it. Probert said he hadn't, and Gerrold immediately took it in to Roddenberry, who approved the painting's design direction on the spot. All that remained was fine-tuning and filling in the details.
Gene Roddenberry asked only for two modifications to Probert's final design. He wanted to restore the bridge to its position on the top of the saucer section and to extend the nacelles so that they had similar proportions to the original Enterprise.
Andrew Probert made a series of drawings refining the new look for the Enterprise's bridge. An early writers' bible for the new series described the new bridge as combining "the features of ship control, briefing room, information retrieval area, and officers' wardroom. In other words, much the same kinds of things happen here as in the old bridge, but with less emphasis on the mechanics of steering the starship".
That new, less mechanistic approach can be seen in the preliminary designs featuring viewing couches and a conference table on the bridge.
The novel "Double Helix: Infection" features the Galaxy class USS Constitution commanded by Captain Jules van Ostrelich.
In the Star Trek: Armada series of computer games, the Galaxy class is referred to as a battleship in gameplay. On screen, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) has been casually referred to as a battleship in "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "All Good Things...". However, these instances take place in Alternate timelines and it is not known if "battleship" is an actual starship type within Starfleet.