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Conestoga Class

Specs

Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Humans
Class Name : Conestoga Class
Type : Colony transport1
Unit Run :
SS Conestoga - Destroyed1
1 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : 20671, remained in service until 20761
Dimensions : Length : 100 m2
Beam : 40 m
Height : 22.5 m
Decks : 5
Mass : 10,000 metric tons
Crew : 25
Armament : 2 x plasma cannon , total output 1 TeraWatts
Defence Systems : Light Monotanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TOS scale) :
Normal Cruise : 1.33
Maximum Cruise : 1.35
Maximum Rated : 1.4 for 1 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 0.02
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 1
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : 0.31
Speed : 1
Combat Manoeuvrability : 720
Overall Strength Index : 9
Diplomatic Capability : None
Expected Hull Life : Designed for single 9 year duration mission3

Notes

The Conestoga carried the first Human extra solar colony effort to Terra Nova, a class M planet twenty light years from Earth. The ship was designed for a one way mission - on arrival the colonists would break it up for raw materials to build the colony with.

At warp 1.3 the trip to Terra Nova took nine years to complete, from 2067 to 2076. The flight was successful, and initially the colony flourished. When Earth decided to send a follow-up colony ship in 2081, the Novans objected. Strained negotiations followed but these were mysteriously terminated, apparently by the Novans, and there was no further contact until the NX-01 Enterprise arrived in 2151.

Enterprise discovered that the planet had been hit by a large asteroid. The surviving Novans assumed that Earth had decided to destroy the original colony to open the way for more development. Radiation forced them to move underground, and by the time Enterprise arrived the colonists were barely recognisable as Human any more. Their language had significantly evolved, and they had acclimated to conditions underground to the point where they barely needed to go above at all.

Although the Novans were highly suspicious of the Enterprise personnel, a degree of peaceful understanding was eventually reached.1

Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

References

# Series Season Source Comment
1 ENT 1 Terra Nova
2 Speculative Total guess, pitched to be somewhat smaller than the NX Enterprise
3 Generic canonical information
Series : ENT Season 1 (Disc 2)
Episode : Terra Nova
Source : Speculative
Comment : Total guess, pitched to be somewhat smaller than the NX Enterprise
Source : Generic canonical information

Comments

The Conestoga was seen in "Terra Nova", but only as a couple of images on a console. Sadly we never saw the ship itself, because it was a colony ship designed for a one way voyage only. On arrival it was disassembledto provide raw materials for the colony itself. It's possible that the ship had shuttles which took the pieces down to the planet, but it seems more likely to me that the Conestoga was designed to land.

The fact that the ship was designed to be taken apart indicates that it was specially designed as a colony vessel, rather than being a conversion of an existing cargo ship. Terra Nova was the first Human extra solar colony world, and was about twenty light years from Earth. This implies that suitable colony worlds were pretty rare, and so colony ships would be correspondingly rare. Hence it's not likely that there was a class run of these ships - each colony mission would have a purpose built vessel, possibly developed from the Conestoga but incorporating the latest advances. For this reason I've tagged the ship as being a one-off.

The Conestoga was said to have taken nine year to reach Terra Nova, giving a cruise speed of 2.22 x c. Assuming the speed = warp factor cubed formula commonly stated for TOS - and sometimes more or less confirmed by Enterprise - this equates to Warp 1.3. Given Enterprise's claim that the Warp 5 capable NX class is around 100 times faster than earlier Human ships this is just about right.

I would assume that a colony ship would have some armament, without being up to much militarily. Plasma weapons seem to be the weapon of choice for the pre-NX class era, so I went with that.

We have no real idea of the number of colonists the ship carried; on the one hand you would need a few hundred to have a viable population base, but this seems excessive for such an early ship. A more likely figure would be twenty or thirty. Perhaps they padded their genetic base out with pre-fertilised eggs or something?

The dimensions are almost completely speculative. I made the ship smaller than Enterprise only because Trek ships tend to get bigger over time. If we take the upper "spine" to be a 3.5 metre deck, and assuming that my guestimate of the relative heights of the spine and the rest of the ship are correct, then it scales out to a length of 180 metres. This seemed a little on the big side, but you could justify almost any size you like for this ship.


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 33,090 Last updated : 19 Sep 2004