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The Vesta-class was a type of Federation Starfleet starship in service from the year 2380. The class was designated as a multi-mission explorer and was a test-bed for a number of experimental technologies, including quantum slipstream drive. As of February 2381 there were seven vessels of the class in service. (ST - Destiny novel: Gods of Night)

History and specifications


The Vesta-class starship USS Aventine served as a test-bed for a number of new Starfleet technologies, including quantum slipstream drive. Systems installed as part of the slipstream drive included a quantum field focus controller at the front of the ship's main deflector, and a chroniton integrator; the latter of which could be used to take sensor readings several seconds into the future when the ship was using its slipstream drive. (ST - Destiny novels: Gods of Night, Mere Mortals; Star Trek Magazine Issue 156: "Building the Aventine")

Other experimental systems aboard the Aventine included a multidimensional wave-function analysis module, and a sympathetic fermion transceiver. Some of the systems being tested were deemed top secret. (ST - Destiny novels: Gods of Night, Mere Mortals)

In addition to the experimental systems the class was otherwise top of the line, able to achieve maximum warp factor of nine-point-nine-nine. The class had the same top-of-the-line sensors as the Luna-class. The Vesta-class held a crew of seven-hundred-and-fifty[3], with an emergency capacity of three-and-a-half-thousand. The class could also hold up to twenty-four-thousand metric tons of cargo. (ST - Destiny novels: Mere Mortals, Gods of Night; ST novel: A Singular Destiny; Star Trek Magazine Issue 156: "Building the Aventine")

The class' weapons systems included at least two experimental mark XII phaser cannons and a complement of quantum torpedoes. The class was also able to fire transphasic torpedoes. (ST - Destiny novels: Mere Mortals, Lost Souls)

Ships of the class had twenty available transporter sites, including four cargo transporters and six emergency evacuation transporters. (ST - Destiny novel: Lost Souls)

The ships' main shuttlebay was located on deck twelve. Behind the shuttlebay was a large flight deck, allowing small craft too large for the shuttle bay to land; this area included a large deck lift which lowered into a runabout bay. Ships of the class were equipped with a fleet of both shuttlecraft and runabouts. (ST - Destiny novel: Gods of Night; Star Trek Magazine Issue 156: "Building the Aventine"; ST novel: A Singular Destiny)

The Vesta-class design also included landing gear for planetary landings. (VOY novel: Children of the Storm)

With the exception of the class' namesake, Vesta-class ships were each named for one of the seven hills of Rome, located east of the river Tiber, and which form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the ancient city. (Five of the hills have had their names assigned to starships; only Caelian and Palatine have yet to be used.) The USS Vesta itself is named after the virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family in Roman religion.[citation needed]


In the 25th century, the design of the Vesta-class multi-mission reconnaissance explorer allowed its commanding officer to choose from different designs of livery, which could be modified further at starbases. These options were designated Type 1-5, Vesta, Upgrade and Veteran. (STO - Klingon War mission: "Welcome to Earth Spacedock")

Furthermore, the installation of deflector shields from specific factions modified the hull appearance, including shields from the Reman Resistance, the Breen Confederacy and the Dominion. (STO missions: "Coliseum", "Cold Storage", "Boldly They Rode")


Vessels of the class had entered service by at least September 2380, at which time Ezri Dax was serving on the USS Aventine. (TNG novel: Greater Than the Sum)

Vesta-class Development Project

The USS Aventine

With the launch of a Borg invasion in January 2381 the Vesta-class, with its state of the art weaponry, was found to be one of the few Starfleet classes able to mount an effective defense against the massive Borg assault. Ships of the class were assigned to defend the Federation's core systems, including Sol, Vulcan, Andor and Tellar. (ST - Destiny novel: Gods of Night)

Despite the class' resilience, it still took a beating against the Borg. During an attack by the Borg on Acamar, more than two-hundred-and-fifty of the USS Aventine's crew were killed. The Aventine, under its new commander, Captain Dax, went on to play a major role in stopping the Borg invasion after the ship's crew discovered a subspace tunnel leading across the galaxy. This eventually resulted in the discovery of a network of such tunnels, which the Borg had been using to infiltrate Federation space. Unfortunately exploration of the tunnels was not completed in time to prevent the full force of the Borg Collective, when an armada of more than seven-thousand Borg ships entered the Beta Quadrant. (ST - Destiny novels: Gods of Night, Mere Mortals)

Against immeasurable odds Captain Dax of the Aventine initially planned to bring the ship's experimental slipstream drive online ahead of the test schedule to allow the ship to get to Earth ahead of the Borg and mount a desperate last defense. Dax was eventually dissuaded from this plan by Captain Picard of the USS Enterprise-E. (ST - Destiny novels: Mere Mortals, Lost Souls)

Dax later did use the Aventine's slipstream drive in an ambitious plan to ambush a Borg vessel and plant a fake Borg Queen to take control of the Borg armada. The slipstream drive allowed the ambush to go ahead successfully, and the plan prevented the annihilation of several Federation worlds.

The Aventine, along with the Enterprise and USS Titan were later present in the Azure Nebula to witness the end of the Borg invasion, and the entire Borg Collective at the hands of the Caeliar. (ST - Destiny novel: Lost Souls)

Following the invasion, the Aventine made occasional use of their slipstream drive to expedite journey times between destinations in their efforts to assist in the rebuilding of the Federation and its infrastructure. Meanwhile the USS Esquiline had her drive fitted, and during a test run of the drive, Admiral Akaar took the opportunity to visit Jean-Luc Picard on the Enterprise, which was at the time in orbit of Ingraham B. (ST novel: A Singular Destiny; TNG novel: Losing the Peace)

In May of that year the Esquiline and USS Quirinal were assigned to Project Full Circle, as part of a fleet of nine starships led by the USS Voyager to return to Delta Quadrant to investigate the state of the affairs in the region in the fallout of the dissolution of the Borg Collective. The Esquiline was among the first three ships in that fleet to be fitted with the slipstream drive required to make the journey. (VOY novel: Full Circle; ST novel: A Singular Destiny)

During a hostile encounter with the Children of the Storm, the Quirinal attempted to escape the battle through slipstream and crash landed on a planet. The Quirinal was successfully repaired and relaunched after an aggressive and highly coordinated repair effort by Fleet Engineer B'Elanna Torres and the crew of the USS Achilles. (VOY novel: Children of the Storm)

In September, the Quirinal, along with the USS Esquiline, Curie and Hawking, became partially embedded in a fragment of the Omega Continuum. The crew on the normal-space side of the fracture were beamed to safety aboard the Achilles and returned to the Alpha Quadrant. Those crew on the Omega Continuum side of the vessel, under the command of Ensign Sadie Johns, destroyed the ship and themselves in the hopes of restoring space to its normal state. (VOY novel: The Eternal Tide)

In April of 2382 agents of the Typhon Pact stole plans for the Federation's slipstream drive from the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. The Breen were tasked with building a prototype slipstream vessel for the Pact, with the project led by Thot Geer. Geer found he had to radically modify the Breen ship he used as the basis for the design as he discovered the wide angular Breen design did not meet the hull-geometry requires for slipstream; the much more streamlined design he built as a result was not dissimilar to the Vesta-class.

In August of that year Julian Bashir and Sarina Douglas were dispatched on an under-cover mission into Breen space to track down the prototype and destroy it. The Aventine provided support for the mission; ready to make a slipstream jump into Breen space and extract them once the prototype was destroyed. Ultimately the Aventine was called in slightly before the destruction of the prototype, and had to help finish the mission by using her shields to force the Breen ship back into the shipyard, where it was destroyed by a reactor core breach in the base. (DS9 novel: Zero Sum Game)

In 2383, Starfleet sent the Aventine to the Venetan Outpost V-4 to investigate Tzenkethi activity there. (ST - Typhon Pact novel: Brinkmanship)

In 2409, cadets from Starfleet Academy watched the Vesta emerging from the interior docking bays of Earth Spacedock. Cadet Elisa Flores admired the Vesta for its state-of-the-art equipment. (STO mission: "Graduation Day")

Due to the success of the Vesta-class, which was now categorized as a multi-mission surveillance explorer, Starfleet developed two subclasses: the Aventine-class multi-mission reconnaissance explorer and the Rademaker-class multi-mission strategic explorer. (STO mission: "Welcome to Earth Spacedock", Star Trek Online official website: Featured Ships: Vesta Line)

Known vessels



Starship classes of the Federation Starfleet
subclass groups

Akira (AlitaArmitageThunderchild) • Ambassador (AlaskaNarendraYamaguchi) • Apollo (Akula frigate / light cruiser) • Cardenas (Buran) • Chesapeake (Mongrel) • Cheyenne (DakotaStargazer) • Concorde (Geneva battlecruiserPresidio) • Constellation (Challenger deep space explorer) • Chimera heavy destroyer (Manticore) • Constitution (AchernarBonhomme RichardTikopaiEnterpriseExeterExcaliburVesperKirkCrossfield (Glenn32nd century refit) • Danube (Yellowstone) • Decatur (Dreadnought) • Defiant (GallantIncursionNachthexenSao PauloValiantVigilant escort) • Dervish (GryphonHermes escortMaelstromTempest) • Destiny (NimbusOracleTrident) • Engle (Earhart) • Excelsior (BismarckCurryKirovNew JerseyResolute) • Galaxy (Andromeda (25th century)CelestialEnvoyGalaxy XMonarch cruiserRossVenture cruiserYamato dreadnought) • Hermes scout (CygnusMonoceros) • Inquiry (Avenger battlecruiserArbiter) • Hoover (Edison) • Intrepid (BellerophonCochrane science vesselDiscovery (science vessel)JanewayPathfinderTrailblazerYeager) • Kumari (CharalKhyzon) • Luna (CometPolarisSolTitan) • Magee (Shran (escort)) • Malachowski (Helios (tug)) • Miranda (AntonReliantSoyuz) • Merian (Merian (dreadnought)) • Nebula (Magellan) • New Orleans (Lafayette) • Nimitz (Europa) • Norway (Oslo) • Nova (AuroraQuasarRhode Island) • NX (ColumbiaPoseidon) • Oberth (ClarkeGagarin (23rd century)GrissomSagan) • Odyssey (VerityYorktown (cruiser)) • Olympic (HopeHorizon science vessel) • Prometheus (CerberusHephaestusHestiaPhoenix) • Ptolemy (DollondDopplerKeppler) • Remora (Charger) • Saladin (CochiseSiva) • Santa Fe (Newport) • Saber (GladiusRapierUshaan) • Sentinel (EmissaryNomad cruiserVanguard) • Shepard (Gagarin (25th century)) • Solanae (HeliosMontgomeryOmega) • Sovereign (ArchonImperialMajesticNoble cruiserRegent) • Steamrunner (AppalachiaZephyr) • Vesta (AventineRademaker) • Walker (GeorgiouShenzhou ) • Wells (EternalOuroborosVerne)

Emblem of the United Federation of Planets. Seal of the Federation Starfleet.
other named classes

AA classAakennAchillesAdvanceAegianAeolusAerieAkula destroyer / escortAmbassador HardinAndesAndorAndromeda (24th century)AngelouAntaresApacheAquariusArcherArchimedesArk RoyalArielAscendantAtroxAvenger (scout)BabcockBaderBakerBaton RougeBerenaBodeBolarusBonaventureBradburyBrentonCaliforniaCanadaCanopusCapellaCastorCentaurCentaurusCeresCestusChallengerChandleyChariotChimerChimera fast frigateChristopherClarke (25th century)Cle DanCochrane transportColumbiaCondor (raider)ContinentContortrixCopernicusCourageDaedalusDauntlessDeckerDefenderDeltaD'KyrDenevaDerfDrexlerDurrettEagleEclipseEdwardEinsteinEisenbergEl Doradofuture EnterpriseEpochEpsilonErewonEternalFederationFenlonFermiFijiFreedomFriendshipFrontierGagarin (24th century)GalenGallantGangesGenevaGenserGracefulGraysonGriffonGuardianGeminiHaleHermes fast cruiserHestonHoganHokule'aHorizon cruiserIcarusIlthirinIndomitableIntrepid (light cruiser)IowaIstanbulIwo JimaClass JJupiterKarekhKeithKethkinKievK'KmarakKolm-AnKorolevLarsonLauroLaweyaLegacyLenthalLexingtonLibertyLokiLoknarLondonMadisonMakinMannMarklinMarsMarshallM'BengaMediterraneanMercedMercury (courier)Mercury (escort)MerianMerian (dreadnought)MessierMeteorMidwayMissionMissouriMobulaiMoKalMoscowMulciberNarcineNautilusNelsonNiagaraNoble laboratory vesselNomad escortNorthamptonOberonOdinOdysseusOkinawaOppenheimerOrionOsakaOverfieldPaladin battlecruiserPaladin destroyerParliamentPaladin (24th century)PerseusPioneerPhalanxPhantomPhiladelphiaPinnaclePiperPolluxPortsmithPralimPremonitionProximaPyotr VelikiyPyreneesRakotaRanger battlecruiserRanger explorerRanger scoutRenaissanceRickenbackerRigelRochesterRoyal SovereignSagittariusSamsonSaturnSawyerScorpioScryerScyllaSequoiaSevaijenShiKahrSierraSolarSpringfieldSulekSurakSydneyTangentTheophrastusThomas PaineThucydidesThufirTiberiusTiconderogaUniverseTheseusTripperTritiumTyphonTyphoonUkoraUlyssesUralUtahVenture scoutVigilant scoutVoyagerWallenbergWambunduWei-FaWellingtonWilkersonWizardYamatoYorkshireYorktownZodiacunnamed

general type

Defiant pathfinderRaging QueenSun TzuValley ForgeFederation assault shipFederation cargo shipFederation colony shipFederation construction shipFederation cruiserdeep galaxy shipFederation freighterFederation frigateFederation galaxy shipFederation holoshipFederation heavy cruiser (2380s heavy cruiser) • Federation light cruiser (Constitution-variant light cruiserIntrepid-variant light cruiser) • Federation medium cruiser (Excelsior-variant medium cruiser) • Federation mining freighterFederation repair shipStarfleet tanker


This section is written
from the Real World
point of view
Memory Beta
  • According to authors David Mack and Keith R.A. DeCandido, the class is named after the Roman goddess of hearth and home, while ships of the class will be named after the seven hills of Rome (Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal and Viminal)[1]. Of those, only Caelian and Palatine have yet to appear.
  • The design of the Vesta-class is by Mark Rademaker, who drew influence from several ships while developing the design; taking a lead from the Intrepid-class and USS Dauntless, as both had previously used slipstream, and therefore had features applicable to the use of that technology. The design also incorporates elements from Rademaker's own USS Spirit (a slipstream enabled starship seen in the Ships of the Line 2009 calendar), and takes aesthetic cues from the Sovereign-class and Excelsior-class.

The first preview image of the Vesta design

  • Rademaker's design was first previewed in a article, and the finalized model was first published in the 2010 Ships of the Line calendar. The design also appears on the cover of Zero Sum Game, and the German edition of Gods of Night.
  • In October 2010, Star Trek Magazine #156 included an extensive feature of the Vesta-class design. "Building the Aventine" includes an interview with Mark Rademaker, numerous images showing the development of the design, and technical specifications for the ship. Additionally the magazine featured a new image of the class as one of its centerfold pictures.

Appearances and references

Source Appearances References Notes
TNG novel: Greater Than the Sum USS Aventine First reference, class not established.
ST - Destiny novel: Gods of Night USS Aventine First appearance of the Aventine and the class in general. An image of the Aventine also appears on the cover of a later German edition of this book.
ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals USS Aventine
ST - Destiny novel: Lost Souls USS Aventine
ST novel: A Singular Destiny USS Aventine USS Esquiline First reference to the Esquiline, class not established.
TTN novel: Over a Torrent Sea USS Aventine
VOY novel: Full Circle USS Aventine, USS Esquiline & USS Quirinal First reference to the Quirinal.
TNG novel: Losing the Peace USS Esquiline First appearance by the Esquiline.
ST calendar: Ships of the Line 2010 USS Aventine First image of the class.
VOY novel: Unworthy USS Esquiline & USS Quirinal USS Aventine First appearance by the Quirinal
TTN novel: Synthesis USS Aventine
Star Trek Magazine Issue 156: "Building the Aventine" USS Aventine Behind-the-scenes and technical article, including numerous development images, a new finished render, and orthographic projections.
ST - Typhon Pact novel: Zero Sum Game USS Aventine Aventine appears on the cover.
TNG novel: Indistinguishable from Magic USS Vesta USS Aventine First Appearance of the Vesta.
DTI novel: Watching the Clock USS Capitoline USS Aventine First Appearance of the Capitoline.
VOY novel: Children of the Storm USS Esquiline & USS Quirinal USS Aventine Registry numbers of the Esquiline and Quirinal established in the appendix.
DTI novel: Forgotten History USS Capitoline
TTN novel: Fallen Gods USS Capitoline
ST calendar: Ships of the Line 2013 USS Aventine
ST - Typhon Pact novel: Brinkmanship USS Aventine
VOY novel: The Eternal Tide USS Esquiline & USS Quirinal Both Esquiline and Quirinal are destroyed.
ST - The Fall novel: A Ceremony of Losses USS Aventine
TTN novel: Absent Enemies USS Aventine
STO mission: "Graduation Day" USS Vesta First Appearance of a named Vesta-class ship in Star Trek Online
STO mission: "Supply Woes" USS Hypatia First Appearance of the Hypatia.
VOY novel: Acts of Contrition USS Viminal First Appearance of the Viminal.
TNG novel: Takedown USS Aventine

Citations and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The USS Aventine's specifications were established in the "Building the Aventine" article in Star Trek Magazine #156.
  2. Mere Mortals establishes the Aventine has at least 26 decks; Star Trek Magazine #156's "Building the Aventine" article however specifies 23 decks. Children of the Storm later specified the USS Quirinal had a deck 30.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gods of Night establishes the Aventine has a crew of "more than seven hundred fifty"; Star Trek Magazine #156's "Building the Aventine" article however specifies a crew of 745.
  4. Mere Mortals establishes the Aventine's maximum warp speed as 9.99.
  5. The USS Aventine's armament is described in Mere Mortals as including at least two mark XII phaser cannons, and at least one torpedo launcher. Lost Souls also established the Aventine could fire transphasic torpedoes.
  6. Gods of Night establishes the Aventine's support craft complement includes at least one runabout. A Singular Destiny later established at least two shuttlecraft among a "decent-sized fleet of runabouts and shuttlecraft".
  7. The USS Aventine was first referenced in Greater Than the Sum. It first appeared in Gods of Night which established it as Vesta-class.
  8. The USS Capitoline first appeared in DTI novel: Watching the Clock.
  9. The USS Esquiline was first referenced in A Singular Destiny, but was not established as Vesta-class until Full Circle. The Esquiline first appeared in a story in Losing the Peace, her registry is stated in an appendix of Children of the Storm.
  10. The USS Hypatia appeared first in Supply Woes.
  11. The USS Quirinal was first referenced and established as Vesta-class in Full Circle. The Quirinal later made its first appearance in Unworthy and her registry listed in Children of the Storm .
  12. The Vesta was first referenced in Indistinguishable from Magic.
  13. The Viminal was first referenced in Acts of Contrition.

External links