Nova-class starships are small planetary research vessels that were designed in the late 24th century. They
have a crew compliment of only 80, 8 decks and about 180 meters in length. The ships are armed with several
phasers and photon torpedoes. The shuttlebay is located in the back on deck 4. The Nova may be a
replacement for the Oberth-class. The aeroshuttle is on the ventral side of
the saucer, it is designed for both interstellar and atmospheric travel.
The Nova-class, USS Equinox, was lost in the Badlands while on a science mission. Unknown to Starfleet
records the Equinox was transported to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker and spent serveral years trying to
get back to the Alpha Quadrant. Most of its crew were killed shortly after they came to the Delta Quadrant,
and more by an alien race that attacked the Equinox because the crew had used the species as warp fuel to go
faster than the ship was ever designed to go.
Rick Sternbach based the Nova-class design on the Defiant Pathfinder out of the DS9 Technical Manual. The
Nova-class was, according to the TNG Technical Manual, suppose to be a replacement for the
Galaxy-class. Voyager's final episode "Endgame" featured a Nova variant, which had
changes to the secondary deflector dish, bridge module, better weapon systems, and nacelles. However it's
registry suggests the variant came shortly after the USS Equinox. The quote on its dedication plaque is
"The night of time far surpasseth the day." -Sir Thomas Browne, 1658.
Designing the Equinox