Which is why I wanted to write this blog post all about the origins (and inspiration) for famous Starfleet vessels.
- Where the ships have appeared in Star Trek cannon (and what they've done).
- Who or what has inspired the name of the vessel, and the reason they are famous.That energised a member of the Star Trek Production team to commission a Starfleet vessel in it's or their honour.
The U.S.S. Archer is an Excelsior Class starship seen in an okudagram in the stellar cartography scene in Star Trek Nemesis. As it was never seen on screen, it's very difficult to say what version of the Excelsior Class starship the U.S.S. Archer was.
But it's safe to say that it's likely to have been a heavily refitted version, similar to the U.S.S. Lakota seen in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Paradise Lost".
When Captain Picard and Data are discussing the (redirected) Federation Task Force (Starfleet Battle Group Omega) they're attempting to rendezvous with at sector 1045. Tasked with trying to aid the U.S.S. Enterprise-E in destroying the Reman warbird Scimitar (under the command of Shinzon).
But unfortunately the U.S.S. Archer (and the rest of the Federation Task Force) isn't actually seen on screen, as the Enterprise-E was ambushed by the Scimitar.
Forcing it to face the Scimitar on it's own in the Bassen Rift without the support of the Battle Group Omega... but with some Romulan help.
The Battle of the Bassen Rift as it became known, marked 2379 as being a major turning point in changing relations between the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Star Empire ever closer to peace.
In that role, he was responsible for greatly expanding United Earth's presence in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Making first contact with more than a dozen species, most notably the Klingons, the Andorians, the Ferengi and the Xindi.
Along with numerous pre-warp civilizations leading onto the establishment of the Prime Directive. Something I'm sure Jamie wouldn't want me to forget to mention!
He's also widely accredited for saving Earth from the Xindi, and paved the way for the founding of the United Federation of Planets.
Leading onto him becoming one of the earliest Federation Presidents, and to be considered the "greatest explorer of the 22nd century" by historian John Gill.
Where it rendezvoused with the Enterprise-D in 2369, in order to transfer Captain Edward Jellico on board the ship. So that he could temporarily command the Enterprise whilst Captain Jean-Luc Picard was on his Top Secret mission to Celtris III (alongside Doctor Crusher & Lieutenant Worf).
Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Cairo was deployed to defend the Minos Korva system when it was threatened by a potential Cardassian attack.
Following the peaceful conclusion of the crisis, Captain Jellico returned to his command on the Cairo in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Chain of Command, Part II".
Five years later (in 2374) during the Dominion War, it's now under the command of Captain Leslie Wong. Who was tasked with patrolling the Romulan Neutral Zone.
Although the fate of the ship is unknown, it was believed to have been ambushed and destroyed by Dominion forces who had crossed into Romulan space to attack the Cairo. Which you hear about during the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "In the Pale Moonlight".
The U.S.S. Cairo was named after the Egyptian capital of the same name (obviously!) called Cairo (al-Qāhirah in Arabic). Is known most famously around the world for being the location of The Great Pyramids of Giza, the last remaining example of the Seven Wonders of the World in existence!
Located on the River Nile, Cairo was founded in 969 CE (Common Era or Current Era) by the Fatimid dynasty, before being conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1517 when they won the Ottoman–Mamluk War of 1516–1517.
But the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals (such as Fustat, al-Askar and al-Qatta'i) whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo.
The city's metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa, the largest in the Middle East and the Arab world, and is the 15th-largest in the world. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, and is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture.
Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Arab world. Along with the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, the Al-Azhar University. Many international media businesses, and organizations have their regional headquarters in the city; including the Arab League which has had its headquarters in Cairo for most of its existence (since 1945).
The city has a population of over 9 million people, who are spread over 1,191 square miles (3,085 square kilometres). With an additional 9.5 million inhabitants living in close proximity to the city.
With so many people Cairo is classed as a megacity, so subsequently suffers from the high levels of pollution and traffic associated with a city of it's size. Which may also explain why Cairo's Metro, ranks amongst the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 1 billion annual passenger rides. The economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005, and 43rd globally on Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index.
In 2367, Captain Benjamin Maxwell in command of the U.S.S. Phoenix turned vigilante as he seemingly destroys a Cardassian outpost and several ships in Sector 21505 without provocation.
He claimed his actions were justified. As he believed that the Cardassians were preparing to renew hostilities, only a year after peace had been declared between the United Federation of Planets and the Cardassian Union.
As a result, Starfleet dispatches Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise to intercept and ultimately stop the Phoenix from it's attack.
En route to intercept the Phoenix, the Enterprise's sensors revealed that Captain Maxwell was attempting to destroy another supply ship.
In an attempt to prevent the further destruction of Cardassian lives and property, Captain Picard gave a nearby Cardassian warship the Phoenix's prefix code to give the Cardassians an advantage. Despite taking a direct hit with its shields down, the Phoenix still managed to destroy the attacking ship with a salvo of torpedoes.
When the Enterprise finally caught up with the Phoenix, Captain Picard ordered Captain Maxwell back to Starbase 211. However during their return, Captain Maxwell veered off course and headed towards another supply ship.
Once the Enterprise had arrived at their position, Captain Maxwell demanded that Captain Picard search the vessel as proof that his actions were justified. But Captain Picard refused and a stand-off ensued.
Ultimately the stand-off ended successfully with no further loss of lives when Chief Miles O'Brien was able to transport over to the Phoenix during a 1/50th of a second "window". When the ship's high energy sweeps caused a brief 'hole' to appear in it's shields. Once on board he managed to convince Maxwell to stand down.
In spite of the situation, Captain Picard warned Gul Macet that Captain Maxwell's suspicions may have had a basis in truth. in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Wounded".
Built by Doctor Zefram Cochrane the inventor of warp drive (along with Lily Sloane), built the ship from a United States Air Force nuclear missile inside it's missile (silo) complex in Bozeman, Montana.
After helping Dr. Cochrane repair the Phoenix, with the help of the Phoenix's' blueprints which were stored on the Enterprise-E's LCAR's computer system.
If you'd like to find out more about the starship named after Zefram Cockrane (U.S.S. Cockrane) make sure you check out my previous Blog post!
First Contact Day was celebrated annually to commemorate this First Contact between Humans and Vulcans, and was featured in the opening scene of the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Homestead".
A model of the Phoenix was kept in Travis Mayweather's old quarters aboard the ECS Horizon, which can be seen in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Horizon".
Presumably the same [prop] model along with a blueprint of the Phoenix (created by the Phoenix's designer John Eaves) can be briefly glimpsed on display in Admiral Forrest's Starfleet Command office in San Francisco during the events of 2154.
All of which can be seen in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode's "The Expanse" and "Home".
The pewter model was produced in limited numbers by the Franklin Mint and was put on sale in 2001. With each model was also personally signed by the Phoenix's designer John Eaves.
A couple of blueprints for the Phoenix were also on display in the 602 Club (also located in San Francisco). Including one which might look quite familiar from a certain Admiral's office!
Which can be seen in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "First Flight"
For more information see John Eaves blog about the 602 Club: https://johneaves.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/602-club/
Captain Jean-Luc Picard saw the exhibit many times as a boy, but was never allowed to touch it (Star Trek: First Contact).
The Phoenix also gets a mention in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Year of Hell, Part I". When on Day 47 (of an alternate timeline) an injured Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres and Ensign Harry Kim are trapped inside a damaged turbolift for six hours following a Krenim attack.
During which they spent their time playing a 24th Century version of Trivial Pursuit, despite her experiencing increasing pain, she stubbornly tries to think of the answer to his latest puzzle.
When Seven of Nine pries the door open and frees them. She then immediately answers Harry Kim's final question about the name of Zefram Cochrane's ship (the Phoenix) and tells them that the Borg were present during the events (obvious reference to Star Trek: First Contact).
In 1894 Tsiolkovsky designed a monoplane that was not flown until 1915. He built the first Russian wind tunnel in 1897. He was also an insightful visionary who thought a great deal about the uses rockets could have to explore (and master) space in equal measure.
He was the author of Investigations of Outer Space by Rocket Devices (1911) and Aims of Astronauts (1914). Tsiolkovsky also created rocket dynamics, which used mathematics and physics to study (and model) the manner in which they operated.
In 1903 he published the rocket equation (called the Tsiolkovsky formula) in the Nauchnoe Obozrenie (Scientific Review) magazine.
Which established the relationships among rocket speed, the speed of the gas at exit, and the mass of the rocket and its propellant. This equation is the basis of much of the spacecraft engineering done today.
In 1929 he published his theory of multistage rockets, based on his knowledge of propulsion dynamics.
It's this work combined work over thirty five years which made him (alongside Robert Esnault-Pelterie, Hermann Oberth and Robert H. Goddard) one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry and astronautics.
The U.S.S. Tian An Men is an Miranda Class starship seen in an okudagram in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Redemption, Part II".
In early 2368, the Tian An Men was docked at Starbase 234's spacedock for repairs. The ship joined Captain Picard's fleet that blockaded the Klingon-Romulan border during the Klingon Civil War. It was prematurely deployed, despite the yard superintendent's belief that the ship was not ready for launch.
Experienced officers from the Enterprise augmented the crew of this ship. The ship was one of twenty-three assembled for the fleet. It was also one of the seventeen starships chosen for the tachyon network. Identified by its name and registry number, the ship's position in the network was monitored from the Enterprise-D.
A plan was hatched by Picard, which he hoped would lure the Romulans through the detection grid. When Gowron launched a full attack against the forces of the House of Duras, the Romulan ships would rush to their aid. During this, the U.S.S. Excalibur would fall back with feigned engine troubles, taking the U.S.S. Akagi and the U.S.S. Hornet.
In doing so, this would open up a small gap in the detection net for the Romulans to attempt to pass through. As their ships passed through the gap, the Enterprise-D and the Tian An Men would swing around, close the gap, and catch the Romulans in the act.
The plan was foiled when the network was disrupted by a high-energy burst released by the Romulans, the net was no longer effective in a radius of ten million kilometers around the U.S.S. Sutherland. Subsequently, Picard ordered the fleet to proceed to Gamma Eridon at maximum warp, where the fleet would attempt to re-establish the net before the Romulans got there.
In late 2373, the Tian An Men was assigned to patrol along the Federation's border with the Cardassian Union. It was reported missing, possibly due to action by the Jem'Hadar. Seen in the Star Trek: The Deep Space Nine episode "In the Cards".
The ship later fought in the Dominion War at the First Battle of Chin'toka in late 2374. Where it, along with the U.S.S. Hood and the U.S.S. Nautilus assisted the U.S.S. Defiant in destroying the asteroidal moon that supplied power to the orbital weapon platforms, which protected the Chin'toka system. Seen in the Star Trek: The Deep Space Nine episode "Tears of the Prophets".
The U.S.S. Tian An Men was named after the Chinese square of the same name (obviously) called Tiananmen Square or Tian'anmen Square.
is a city square in the centre of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen ("Gate of Heavenly Peace") located to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.
Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China in the square on October 1, 1949; the anniversary of this event is still observed there.
Tiananmen Square is within the top ten largest city squares in the world (440,500 m2 – 880×500 m or 109 acres – 960×550 yd). It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
Outside China, the square is best known for the armed suppression of the pro-democracy June 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
But is known around the world for being the location of the infamous 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
The 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, commonly known in mainland China as the June Fourth Incident (Chinese: 六四事件, liùsì shìjiàn), were student-led demonstrations in Beijing (the capital of the People's Republic of China) in 1989. More broadly, it refers to the popular national movement inspired by the Beijing protests during that period, sometimes called the '89 Democracy Movement (Chinese: 八九民运, bājiǔ mínyùn).
The protests were forcibly suppressed by Chinese Premier Li Peng who declared martial law. Where the army (including troops with automatic rifles and tanks) fired at the demonstrators trying to block the military's advance into Tiananmen Square. It's because of this action, it became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre in the West.
Although the overall figure is unknown, the number of civilian deaths has been estimated variously from 180 to 10,454.
The U.S.S. Franklin is an Starship Class starship seen in the Star Trek: Beyond.
We all know that the U.S.S. Franklin was simply named after Justin Lin's father... Franklin Lin.
The U.S.S. Franklin's registry number NX-326 pays homage to Leonard Nimoy (Memory Alpha & IMDB) as his birthday is March 26 or 3-26.
That name was chosen in recognition of Justin Lin's father, Frank Lin; the vessel's dedication plaque has a slightly wider gap between the letters "k" and "l" to further emphasise this tribute. While the Franklin's registry number (326), was in honour of Leonard Nimoy's birthday.
Both I think are well deserved loving tributes!
But I'd like to offer up a couple of alternatives up for your consideration, which I think have the same level of reasoning as the Star Trek production team.
As I'd like to argue that the ship was in fact named after a historical figure with the Franklin surname... either John Franklin or Benjamin Franklin!
But I also think that you could put the same level reasoning as the Star Trek production team. behind the name, and argue that the ship was in fact named after a historical figure with the Franklin surname John Franklin or Benjamin Franklin!
but I also think that with a little bit of reasoning behind the name, and argue that the ship was in fact named after John Franklin or Benjamin Franklin!
Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin (16 April 1786 – 11 June 1847) was a British Royal Navy officer and explorer of the Arctic. Although he also served as Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land from 1837 to 1843.
He disappeared on his last expedition, attempting to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic. But the ships became icebound, and had to be abandoned looking for help.
Unfortunately leading to the entire crew's ultimate demise dying of starvation, hypothermia, tuberculosis, lead poisoning, and scurvy.
Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was foremost an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.
As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity (most famously his 1752 Kite experiment).
Meanwhile as an inventor, he is most known for inventing the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, amongst other inventions.
Finally, he founded many American civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania.