The USS Hephaistos's primary mission from Starfleet is the role of defence and protection. She is primarily tasked with missions which will see her engage in a variety of combat and support roles from hunting pirates to evacuating colonies on the brink of disaster. Starfleet Command will often make use of her extensive scientific lads as well as her industrial replicator suite for a variety of missions.
The Mighty H is not only a Starship but a home for families and a township in and on herself. Her her civilian capacity and civilian decks a real life is present on board that most starships can't emulate.
We will always find a way to accomplish our task. "aut viam inveniam aut faciam"
Ascension Class History:
Designed in early 2345, the Ascension-class was meant to be the next flagship of Starfleet. However, due to the sheer size of the vessel, the power requirements, and the prohibitive costs of building it, the design was shelved.
In 2380, after the Dominion War, the Borg attacks on Federation space, and other minor skirmishes, the Advanced Starship Design Bureau pulled the design for the Ascension-class off the shelves and had a closer look at it. They started to update the design, utilizing lessons learned on the Vesta Project. The designers also looked at the hull and shields, which at the time were inadequate for a capital ship such as this. They added an additional layer of hull to make it triple-layered, incorporated a regenerative shield system (similar to the one equipped on the Sovereign-class), enhanced the shield generators to produce more shield power, and increased the available power to the shield generators.
Next they looked at the power systems, which required a drastic upgrade to accommodate all of the modern weaponry. There was also a requirement for a higher warp factor. The designers and the Starfleet Corps of Engineers worked tirelessly on this problem for months, experimenting with various types of warp cores, even upgrading them to produce more power, but no design proved to be enough to power such a large ship. The designers decided to get radical. Thus far, the tests of the Excalibur-class with its dual warp core system had proven quite successful. They ran a simulation of with three warp cores in the same fashion and were quite pleased with the results they achieved. Two warp cores running at 75% could power the ship for normal operations, with the third kept on hot standby. In Red Alert conditions, the third warp core could power up to provide much of the needed power for shields and weapons. They also installed massive fusion reactors to power the impulse systems and provide secondary power for the ship, which can power the shields at 50% while the third warp core is brought online.
Initial simulations proved that the design was viable but it was somewhat lacking in tactical situations because it could not make effective use of its torpedoes. This sent the designers back to the drawing board to try and find a way to make the ship more agile so it could bring its torpedoes to bear more easily. One designer, after looking over the Sovereign-class and its Mark-I torpedo turret, decided that these systems could be brought to the Ascension. He had to scale down the launchers to make them more compact and, in the end, he had a design that pivoted along the three axis, but could only fire a two-torpedo salvo. In simulations, with these new turrets placed on strategic points on the saucer, the combat effectiveness of the Ascension increased drastically.
23 January 2382: The keel of the hull for the Ascension was laid down at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. Two years later, the computer systems and various drive systems were being installed, and the hull was 75% complete. In another construction bay, the keel for the U.S.S. Toshiba was being laid down.
15 May 2384: The still incomplete U.S.S. Ascension leaves dry-dock under heavy escort for engine, computer and warp field tests. The impulse engines perform admirably and easily push the ship forward at 25% power. As expected from the initial design, the ship is not very agile. The computer performs exactly as it was designed to, the only hitch being the warp systems: the warp nacelles were incorrect when compared with the rest of the ship, and is limited to only Warp 3. This proves to be a major failing for the project, resulting in the halt of the U.S.S. Toshiba until the warp field problems can be fixed.
Another problem discovered in the testing is the EPS grid. Quite simply, it is not strong enough to handle all the raw power provided by three warp cores operating at the same time. A stronger, reinforced EPS grid is designed and installed, leaving the ship mothballed in dry-dock for six months while these modifications are made. Upon the successful repair and testing of the new systems, construction on both the Ascension and Toshiba resumes.
30 March 2385: The Ascension leaves dry-dock once again, this time with all of her offensive and defensive weaponry installed and online. The ship passes all firing tests superbly. Tactical sensors pass admirably as well, and the newly-installed torpedo turrets enable the Ascension to put out a well-rounded spread of torpedoes at all angles, giving the ship good combat potential.
23 February 2387: The U.S.S. Ascension is formally commissioned with the registry number NX-89347 and sent out on its shakedown cruise with a two-vessel escort. Additional
The shuttle bay uses a racked storage and launch system for its shuttles. Shuttle racks are four-high and line the outer walls of the Shuttlebay with runabouts and fighters situated on the ground level. Fighters are always stored in such a way that they can be easily launched.
With the immense size of the Ascension, the designers found that the traditional turbolift system had gotten too slow, even with all the modern technology in the cars and system. The lift would take a lot longer to reach its destination. The Ascension-class does incorporate a turbolift system, the cars being larger than the standard cars, and have fold-down chairs along the walls to allows for seating.
The Ascension also has a built in site-to-site transporter system, completely isolated from all external transporter systems. Running on cables rather than wireless transmission, this system is used to travel from one end of the ship to the other. For example, there is a station outside of Engineering, which can be used to transport up to a similar station located on Deck 2 before traveling up to the bridge on the lift, the main reason for not having one on the bridge is security. The transporter system can also be completely shut down at a moments notice in case of intruders. There are a limited number of these transporter stations scattered around the ship, with one on every third deck.