In 2385, Doctor Katherine Pulaski successfully lobbied the Rosalind Franklin Institute for a starship to undertake a multi-cultural mission of science and exploration, and was given the Athene Donald. Pulaski's chosen crew consisted of representatives from the Klingon Empire, the Cardassian Union, the Romulan Star Empire, the Ferengi Alliance and the Tzenkethi Coalition, with the belief that "science will do what diplomacy can't" and start to bring peace between the powers of the Khitomer Accords and the Typhon Pact. The director of research and de-facto commanding officer was Director Maurita Tanj, one of Pulaski's old friends.
The Athene Donald stopped at Deep Space 9 to take on final crew and supplies before embarking on her maiden voyage of discovery in late November 2385. Shortly after leaving DS9, the Athene Donald encountered a Chain ship and was temporarily delayed by the superior vessel during a tense first contact with the Chain which was exacerbated by DS9's related first contact with the People of the Open Sky.
- Director Maurita Tanj (Trill (joined) female) – commanding officer and director of research
- Doctor Katherine Pulaski (Human female) – chief medical officer
- Delka (Ferengi female) – first contact specialist
- Metiger Ter Yai-A (Tzenkethi female) – Genetic specialist
- Peter Alden (Human male) – Xenosociolinguist/former intelligence officer
|Olympic-class research science vessel/medical frigate starships|
|Olympic-class||Ajax • Athene Donald • Biko • Boyce • Fleming • Galen • Hippocrates • Hope • Mayo • Moore • Nobel • Noble • Olympic • Pasteur • Peace • Quito • Salk • Tranquility • unnamed Olympic-class starships|
|Hope-subclass||Hipocrates • Hope • Nobel|
|Horizon-subclass||Bale • Copernicus • Griffin • Horizon|
|Terran Empire, Imperial Starfleet
|Olympic-class||Olympic • Olympus|