Starship class: Nova
Length: 165 meters
Mass: 127,000 metric tons
Commission date: May 14, 2377
Max sustainable speed: Warp factor 7.75
Warp core output: 850 petawatts
The U.S.S. Lyell was constructed at the rebuilt Utopia Planitia yards following the Dominion War of 2373-2375. The decision to revive the planned-obsolete Nova-class design was driven mainly by Starfleet's need to evaluate the ecological damage done by the conflict on its many member worlds. Aspiria is not one of these worlds, but rather an anomalous M-class planet tucked within the chaotic confines of a dark-matter nebula. The U.S.S. Defiant first made sensor contact with this world back in its 2374 mission to rescue the survivors of the U.S.S. Olympia. However, given the continuing conflict, exploratory missions were placed on indefinite hold. Now, in 2377, the political climate has eased enough for first-contact planetary surveys to be given higher priority. Of heightened interest are the readily-available and numerous dilithium deposits just below the surface. Are these deposits a natural formation, or have they been influenced by the physics-warping embrace of the dark-matter nebula?