A Federation science vessel or Federation research vessel was a type of spacecraft, a classification given to science vessel ships operated by citizens of the United Federation of Planets for the preformance of scientific research.
History and specifications
Late in the 2240s decade, the parents of young Charlie Evans, a three-year-old Human boy, operated a Federation research vessel. In the year 2248, Charlie was the only survivor when this research vessel crashed on the planet Thasus. (TOS novelization: Charlie's Law)
When Doctor Gillian Taylor ended up having time traveled to 2286, the 20th century whale biologist signed on to a Federation science vessel. She described her purpose aboard was to "catch-up on the past 300 years". (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Voyage Home)
Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise-D proposed calling a Federation science vessel to the Morgana Quadrant in 2365. Picard's crew had discovered an unexplainable hole in space discovered there, which defied explanation. Before the call for a science vessel could be made, the Enterprise-D was trapped inside Nagilum's phenomenon. (TNG episode: "Where Silence Has Lease")
The Enterprise-D picked up a 2370 distress call from a Federation science ship in the Topin star system. In actuality, the call was a trick to lure the Enterprise so that Ro Laren's Maquis raider could steal medkits from the larger vessel. (TNG episode: "Preemptive Strike")
Other types of Federation science vessels
- TOS - Star Trek 1 novelization: Charlie's Law
- TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Voyage Home
- TNG episode: "Where Silence Has Lease"
- TNG episode: "Relics"
- TNG episode: "Preemptive Strike"
- DS9 episode: "Second Sight" script