Prometheus was an experimental prototype designed for deep space tactical assignments and equipped with regenerative shields, ablative hull armor, and multi-vector assault mode. She was the fastest ship in Starfleet with a warp factor of 9.99 when she was launched from the Beta Antares Ship Yards on stardate 50749.5 in late 2373. The vessel was also equipped with holographic projectors on every deck, allowing its EMH Mark II free range of movement throughout the ship. The Prometheus was at least the second starship to bear the name.
Shortly after stardate 51462 in 2374, the Prometheus was hijacked by Romulans. During their escape aboard the ship, the Prometheus easily disabled the USS Bonchune when the Romulans decided to enable the multi-vector assault mode, for the first time, proving her potency as a combat vessel.
Coincidentally, during the hijacking the Prometheus received a subspace transmission from the USS Voyager, which was stranded in the Delta Quadrant over sixty thousand light years away. This transmission contained Voyager's Emergency Medical Hologram, who initially escaped detection by claiming to be the Prometheus' EMH, and also claiming that, as a doctor, he was neutral. Assisted by the Prometheus' EMH, The Doctor was able to regain control of the ship by knocking the Romulans out using neurozine gas (that, naturally, didn't affect the two holograms) and stop her from entering Romulan space. Despite their initial lack of understanding of the controls of the Prometheus, the two EMHs subsequently managed to destroy an opposing Romulan ship before the Prometheus was recovered by Starfleet. Following this, The Doctor spoke directly to Starfleet Headquarters about the fate of Voyager, before returning to his ship to assure them that they were no longer alone. (VOY: "Message in a Bottle")
Later, while unravelling one of her conspiracy theories, pitting a Cardassian-Federation alliance agaist the Maquis, to Chakotay in 2376, Seven of Nine noted the instance when the Doctor's program was transmitted to "a Starfleet vessel on the outskirts of the Alpha Quadrant." She posed to Chakotay whether it was "[a]n attempt by the Captain to contact Earth or a secret communiqué informing Starfleet of her progress?" (VOY: "The Voyager Conspiracy")
|Starships named Prometheus|
|USS Prometheus (NCC-71201) • USS Prometheus (Prometheus class)|
↑ There was some confusion during the production of "Message in a Bottle" concerning the registry of the Prometheus. According to Michael Okuda, he had used the number NX-74913 on all of the internal displays and the ship's dedication plaque. However, the Foundation Imaging FX artists did not get the memo and used the number 59650 instead. Although Okuda's number did appear on screen, the Foundation number was much more prominent.
According to Star Trek: Communicator issue 152, the Prometheus was redesignated NX-74913 after stardate 51461, right before the date the Prometheus was hijacked by Romulans. This was probably stated to alleviate the registry confusion mentioned above. If this statement was correct, it would suggest that the crew of the Prometheus modified the interior of the ship to reflect the new registry number before the old one was changed on the hull. It would also suggest that the ship had the old registry removed completely by "Endgame". The Prometheus having such a low registry number was meant to show that the ship had been in development for a long time.
The Prometheus is the namesake of the Star Trek: Prometheus novel series, in which the ship features prominently. Among the ship's crew in 2385 are Mendon, Chell, T'Shanik, Carson, and the EMH Mark II, retained by the crew out of personal affection despite the subsequent upgrades in the EMH program, now nicknamed "Tric" for his habit of always carrying a tricorder despite being able to conduct such scans by himself.