- For other uses, see Merian.
History and specifications
Origin and development
The original Merian-class explorer entered service in the year 2377. The vessels crewed around 70 to 75 officers and crew, and were 10 decks in height. Merian vessels measured 218 meters in length, 46 meters in height and 115 meters in width, and massed around 540,000 metric tons. Their hull consisted of a roughly triangular primary hull with a squared-off aft section, equipped with a dorsal roll bar and a pair of warp nacelles suspended below the saucer. The physical arrangement reminiscent of the 23rd century Reliant-class cruiser. (SOTL calendar: Ships of the Line 2012)
In the 2380s decade, explorers of this class were equipped with a benamite-powered quantum slipstream drive and assigned to Project Full Circle for a dedicated exploration of the Delta Quadrant. One of the ships in the fleet was the USS Curie (NCC-81890). (VOY novel: Children of the Storm)
A larger version of the Merian class, retaining the general shape of the hull but with a more pentagon bent and an additional pair of warp nacelles in place of the roll bar, was in service by the 3060s decade. (DSC episode: "Die Trying")
- The modern Merian-class was either the result of refitting the original class, or a new class with a legacy name.
A Merian-class ship was 777.24 meters long in total. While Starfleet had employed classes with a quad-nacelle configuration since the 23rd century, the era of detached nacelle technology improved its practical application.
One of the modern Merian-class science vessels, the USS Curie (NCC-81890-J), was named for the Human scientist Marie Curie, a medical specialist. The Curie-J carried out missions of a specialist medical nature. (Shipyards reference: Starfleet Ships 2294 - The Future)
In 3069 at least six ships of this class operated in the sensor range of the unnamed Federation relay station when the Burn occurred and destroyed all starships with an active warp core across the galaxy by destabilizing their dilithium. When the ships' dilithium crystals went inert, matter/antimatter containment failed, and the vessels detonated instantaneously.
In the year 3188, acting communications chief Aditya Sahil shared his station's sensor logs with Commander Michael Burnham. These included graphics of the Starfleet ship locations and a visualization of their destruction when the Burn was triggered. Burnham reported these findings in a transmission to her ship, the time-displaced USS Discovery on stardate 865211.3. (DSC episode: "People of Earth")
|Merian-class science vessel starships|
|standard configurations||Bohr • Curie • Hawking • Merian • Planck • unnamed|
|32nd century||Curie-J • unnamed|
Appearances and references
- DSC episode: "People of Earth" (first appearance)
- DSC episode: "Die Trying"
- DSC episode: "Scavengers"
- DSC episode: "That Hope Is You, Part 2"
- STU Issue 01: "La Sirena" (promo image, ship first named)
- Shipyards reference: Starfleet Ships 2294 - The Future (class name established)