USS Challenger

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USS Challenger
Technical Details
Class: Galaxy-class
Registry: NCC-71099
Role: Explorer
Status: NPC
Task Force: N/A
Task Force CO: N/A
Task Group: N/A
Task Group CO: N/A
Crew Information
Commanding Officer: Captain Michael Stanford
Executive Officer: Commander S'kar
Second Officer: Lieutenant Commander
Andrew Sheppard, MD
[ Source ]

The USS Challenger (NCC-71099) is a Galaxy-class starship commissioned in 2370. She is the fourth starship to bear the name, though the four ships were not named after each other, but rather the United States space shuttle orbiter of the late twentieth century and as such do not share a registry number. The Challenger currently serves under the command of Captain Michael Stanford as part of a specialized task force operating in conjunction with Operation Sunrise.


Vessel History

Design & Construction

The Challenger was built at Utopia Planetia Fleet Yards orbiting Mars in the Sol system during the mid to late 2360s. Construction was supervised by Commander Joseph Turiban and proceeded relatively unhindered for the first several months. In 2365, the safety of the Galaxy-class, in particular its warp propulsion system, came into question when the USS Yamato was lost in a mysterious accident near the Romulan Neutral Zone which claimed the lives of all personnel and their families. The ship had experienced massive system-wide failures which eventually led to a loss of antimatter containment. Further investigation by the Enterprise-D revealed the malfunctions were the result of an Iconian virus and not a design flaw inherent to the ship. Regardless, Starfleet Command ordered a hold on all construction while engineers reviewed the design specifications of possible flaws which could have led to further structural failure.

Construction resumed on the Challenger spaceframe in 2369 after nearly four years of investigative review. By this time, a number of newer design modifications had been included, many of which were based on the knowledge gained from the active service of previous Galaxy-class vessels such as the Enterprise-D. One such upgrade was an improvement to warp field designs that significantly reduced the environmental impact of the vessel's warp drive on the surrounding space and allowed for speeds exceeding the previously imposed limit of warp five. Increased offensive and defensive capabilities were also included in the upgrades added during this phase of construction.

Early History & Mark II Overhaul

The Challenger was launched in 2370 under the command of Captain Simm. She had been in active service for less than a year when Starfleet ordered the vessel recalled to Utopia Planetia for an immediate refit. A Galaxy-class starship, 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 resulting in the complete destruction of the ship. This act marked the disastrous first contact with the Dominion and prompted Starfleet to initiate a fleet-wide overhaul of all currently active Galaxy-class vessels. The additional loss of the Enterprise-D at Veridian III in 2371 brought about another series of design improvements which were quickly incorporated into this latest upgrade. By the time the Challenger completed her overhaul, she became the first Galaxy-class Mark II to enter service in Starfleet.

The Dominion War

The outbreak of the Dominion War brought about a fundamental shift in the focus of Starfleet's attention from one of exploration to one of military operations. This resulted in the Challenger seeing considerable action in combat against both Dominion and Cardassian forces within days of the outbreak of hostilities. On one occasion in 2373, the Challenger came under attack by two Jem'Hadar attack ships, one of which was quickly disabled. The remaining Jem'Hadar vessel attempted to make a suicide run similar to the one which had caused the destruction of the Odyssey. Only the Challenger's overhaul in 2372 and quick action by her engineering teams, led by then-Lieutenant Richard Halloway, allowed the Challenger to survive the assault and limp back to the nearest starbase for repairs.

Post-War & Recent History

In the year following the conclusion of the Dominion War, Starfleet Command assigned the Challenger to serve a tour of duty in the Gamma Quadrant as part of an effort to maintain a watchful eye on Dominion activity and to ensure the Dominion continued to abide by the terms of the treaty. After returning from the Gamma Quadrant, the Challenger spent another year assisting the new Cardassian civilian government by transporting supplies and relief aid to worlds which had suffered greatly from the war, including Cardassia itself. When a Borg transwarp conduit was detected less than one lightyear from Earth in 2378, the Challenger was one of twenty-four starships summoned to investigate and neutralize the possible Borg threat. She later served participated in escorting the triumphant USS Voyager home.

The Challenger spent the next seven years engaged in operations along the Cardassian border including several scientific and diplomatic functions as part of an ongoing effort to establish improved relations with the Cardassian people. She arrived at Starbase 386 in 2385 carrying several embarked craft and personnel to be transferred to the station. Amongst those who arrived at Starbase 386 aboard the Challenger at that time were Commander Peter Armstrong, then-Lieutenant Commander Richard Halloway, and Ensign Thomas Gates. The Challenger remained stationed along the Elyshan border through early 2387 when she was transferred to the specialized task force operating along the Romulan Neutral Zone under the direction of Captain Benjamin Edwards of the USS Intrepid.

Vessel Lineage

Lineage of the USS Challenger
USS Challenger (OV-099) A NASA space shuttle orbiter launched 4 April 1983. The Challenger was lost with all hands when she broke apart 73 seconds after launch on 28 January 1986.
USS Challenger (NX-03) An NX-class starship in the service of the United Earth Starfleet in the mid-22nd century. She was destroyed over Andoria in 2156 when the captain activated the self destruct and rammed a Romulan warbird to prevent it from attacking the planet.
USS Challenger (NCC-1715) A Federation Constitution-class heavy cruiser starship in service to Starfleet in the 23rd century.
USS Challenger (NCC-2032) A Federation starship in service to Starfleet in the late 23rd century. If the proposal for Operation Retrieve had been approved in 2293, she would have been a participant.
USS Challenger (NCC-71099) A Federation Galaxy-class explorer in service to Starfleet in the late 24th century. She was commissioned in 2370 under the command of Captain Simm.


Command Crew

Vessel Appearances

Appearances of the USS Challenger
Starbase 386 ...Be Wary of Your Friends

Related Links

Exterior Links

Galaxy-class Starships
USS AndromedaUSS CarinaUSS ChallengerUSS DelphinusUSS FornaxUSS PerseusUSS Taurus