Important Note on Shuttlebays:There are 5 shuttlebays in total, 3 traditional shuttlebays and 2 launch tubes for rapid fighter deployment. Only the three regular shuttlebays can be used for normal shuttles and Argo-class transports.
Designed in early 2345, the Ascension-class was meant to be the next flagship of Starfleet. However, due to the sheer size of the vessel, the power requirements, and the prohibitive costs of building it, the design was shelved.
In 2380, after the Dominion War, the Borg attacks on Federation space, and other minor skirmishes, the Advanced Starship Design Bureau pulled the design for the Ascension-class off the shelves and had a closer look at it. They started to update the design, utilizing lessons learned on the Vesta Project. The designers also looked at the hull and shields, which at the time were inadequate for a capital ship such as this. They added an additional layer of hull to make it triple-layered, incorporated a regenerative shield system (similar to the one equipped on the Sovereign-class), enhanced the shield generators to produce more shield power, and increased the available power to the shield generators.
After they had the baseline established, it was on to making room for the fighters. The Ascension-class was designed to be a carrier: drop in, deploy fighters, neutralize bogies or hardened targets, and leave. The Federation was caught flat-footed more times than it would like to admit during the Dominion War, so the need for a rapid response vessel that was as versatile as it was powerful was foremost on the designer's minds. An ingenious rack system and quick launch fighter tubes were introduced to the design and field testing proved their effectiveness time after time.
Next they looked at the power systems, which required a drastic upgrade to accommodate all of the modern weaponry. There was also a requirement for a higher warp factor. The designers and the Starfleet Corps of Engineers worked tirelessly on this problem for months, experimenting with various types of warp cores, even upgrading them to produce more power, but no design proved to be enough to power such a large ship. The designers decided to get radical. Thus far, the tests of the Excalibur-class with its dual warp core system had proven quite successful. They ran a simulation of dual warp cores supplemented with a chain of smaller fusion reactors to provide additional power when needed. The results were far beyond what was expected, leaving the engineers to finally focus on other tasks. Initial simulations proved that the design was viable but it was somewhat lacking in tactical situations because it could not make effective use of its torpedoes. This sent the designers back to the drawing board to try and find a way to make the ship more agile so it could bring its torpedoes to bear more easily. One designer, after looking over the Sovereign-class and its Mark-I torpedo turret, decided that these systems could be brought to the Ascension. He had to scale down the launchers to make them more compact and, in the end, he had a design that pivoted along the three axis, but could only fire a two-torpedo salvo. In simulations, with these new turrets placed on strategic points on the saucer, the combat effectiveness of the Ascension increased drastically.
23 January 2382: The keel of the hull for the Ascension was laid down at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. Two years later, the computer systems and various drive systems were being installed, and the hull was 75% complete. In another construction bay, the keel for the U.S.S. Toshiba was being laid down.
15 May 2384: The still incomplete U.S.S. Ascension leaves dry-dock under heavy escort for engine, computer and warp field tests. The impulse engines perform admirably and easily push the ship forward at 25% power. As expected from the initial design, the ship is not very agile. The computer performs exactly as it was designed to, the only hitch being the warp systems: the warp nacelles were incorrect when compared with the rest of the ship, and is limited to only Warp 3. This proves to be a major failing for the project, resulting in the halt of the U.S.S. Toshiba until the warp field problems can be fixed.
Another problem discovered in the testing is the EPS grid. Quite simply, it is not strong enough to handle all the raw power provided by three warp cores operating at the same time. A stronger, reinforced EPS grid is designed and installed, leaving the ship mothballed in dry-dock for six months while these modifications are made. Upon the successful repair and testing of the new systems, construction on both the Ascension and Toshiba resumes.
30 March 2385: The Ascension leaves dry-dock once again, this time with all of her offensive and defensive weaponry installed and online. The ship passes all firing tests superbly. Tactical sensors pass admirably as well, and the newly-installed torpedo turrets enable the Ascension to put out a well-rounded spread of torpedoes at all angles, giving the ship good combat potential.
23 February 2387: The U.S.S. Ascension is formally commissioned with the registry number NX-89347 and sent out on its shakedown cruise with a two-vessel escort.
The shuttle bay uses a racked storage and launch system for its fighters. Fighter racks are four-high and line the outer walls of the Shuttlebay with fighters situated on the ground level. Fighters are always stored in such a way that they can be easily launched.
|1||Bridge, Captain's Ready Room, Briefing Room, Observation Lounge, Aft Bridge Airlock|
|2||Captain's Quarters, Executive Officer's Office, Transporter Rooms 1&2, Escape Pods|
|3||Executive Officer's Quarters, Chief Operations Officer's Office, Enlisted Affairs Office, Senior and Junior Officers Quarters|
|4||Primary Communication's Array, Tactical Offices, Primary Shield Generators, Secondary Forward Torpedo Launchers, Torpedo Storage, Junior Officers and Crew Quarters, Escape Pods|
|5||Security Offices, Brig, Primary Armory, Combat Training Holodeck, Phaser Range 1, Junior Officers and Crew Quarters, Holodeck 1-4, Tertiary Tractor Emitter, Cargo Bays 1-4|
|6||Diplomat's Office Conference Suites, General Recreational Facilities, Mess Facilities, Diplomatic Encrypted Computer Core, Escape Pods, Communications Suites|
|7||Chief Strategic Operations Officer's Office, Strategic Operations Planning Room, Saucer Section Computer Core (Level 2), Impulse Engines, Crew Lounge|
|8||Junior Officer's and Crew Quarters, Forward Sensor Array (Upper Level), Saucer Section Computer Core (Level 3), Arboretum (Upper Level), Escape Pods|
|9||Officer's Mess Hall, Enlisted Mess Hall, Secondary IDF Generator, Forward Sensor Array (Main Level), Arboretum (Main Level), Cargo Bay 5&6, Cargo Transporters, Manufacturing and Heavy Machine Shop, Heavy Fabrication Center|
|10||Sickbay, Primary Sickbay Support Systems (ICU, Biohazard Support, Radiation Treatment Wards, Surgical Ward, Critical Care, Null-Gravity Treatment, Isolation Suites, etc.), Chief Medical Officer's Office, Escape Pods|
|11||Chief Counselor's Office, Crew Quarters, Gymnasium, Ship's Library, Phaser Range 2, Fighter Simulators|
|12||General mess, barber shop, replimat, Heavy Duty Transporter Rooms 1&2, Heavy Duty Cargo Bays 1-10, Escape Pods|
|13||Chief Science Officer's Office, Science Offices, Science Labs 1 and 2, Non-Specific Science Labs 1-8, Stellar Cartography, Astrometrics, Aeroponics Bay, Crew Quarters, Primary Forward Torpedo Launchers, Torpedo Storage, Airlock|
|14||Quarter Master's Office, Emergency Supplies and Rations Storage|
|15||Secondary Engineering, M/ARA Secondary Reactor, Deuterium Storage, Deuterium Injectors, Emergency Power Generators 1-5|
|16||Maintenance Bays, Crew Quarters, Torpedo Storage|
|17||Port and Starboard Ventral Saucer Phaser Arrays, Secondary Tractor Emitter, RCS Thruster Quads|
|18||Crew Quarters, Engineering Hull Computer Core (Level 1), Primary Shield Generators, Primary Forward Torpedo Launchers, Torpedo Storage, Secondary Communications Array|
|19||Primary Environmental Control, Primary IDF Generator, Lateral Sensor Array, SIF Generators, Auxiliary Tractor Beam Control, Engineering Hull Computer Core (Level 2), Primary Aft Torpedo Launchers, Torpedo Storage|
|20||Upper Engineering Level 3, Engineering Hull Computer Core (Level 3), Secondary ODN/EPS Trunks, Cargo Bays 5-9, Environmental Controls, Auxiliary Deflector Control, Secondary Sickbay, Secondary Sickbay Support Systems (ICU, Biohazard Support, Radiation Treatment Wards, Surgical Ward, Critical Care, Null-Gravity Treatment, Isolation Suites, etc.), Escape Pods|
|21||Upper Engineering Level 2, Power Distribution Center, Deflector Array and Controls, Engineering Hull Computer Core (Level 4), Transporter Room 5-8, Secondary Shield Generators, Escape Pods|
|22||Upper Engineering Level 1, Main Navigational Deflector, RCS Thruster Access, Deuterium Storage, Deuterium Injectors, Engineering Hull Computer Core (Level 5), Holodeck 5-8, Enlisted Officer's Lounge, Docking Hatch, Aft Phaser Array|
|23||Main Engineering, Battle Bridge, Transporter Rooms 5&6, Deuterium Storage, Emergency Power Generators 6-9, Escape Pods|
|24||Main Engineering Lower Level 1, Deuterium Storage, Fusion Reactors 1 & 2, Antimatter Generator, Antimatter Pods, Antimatter Injector|
|25||Main Engineering Lower Level 2, CEO's Office and Quarters, Deuterium Storage and Processing, Docking Ports, ODN/EPS Main Trunks, Industrial Replicators, Escape Pods|
|26||Chief Intelligence Officer's Office, Intelligence Situation Room, Tertiary Armory, Secondary Aft Torpedo Launchers, Torpedo Storage, Airlocks, RCS Thrusters|
|27||Variable Environment Quarters, Aquatic Laboratory, Aquatics training and recreation pool, Variable-Gravity Laboratory, Escape Pods|
|28||Air Group Commanding Officer's Office, Air Group Executive Officer's Office, Crew Lounge, Escape Pods|
|29||Flight Control/Fighter Operations, Pilot Briefing Room, Primary Tractor Emitters, Secondary Environmental Control, Shuttlebay (Level One), Shuttlebay Flightdeck Control|
|30||Tertiary Sickbay, Tertiary Sickbay Support Systems (ICU, Biohazard Support, Radiation Treatment Wards, Surgical Ward, Critical Care, Null-Gravity Treatment, Isolation Suites, etc.), Primary Tractor Emitters, Secondary Environmental Control, Shuttlebay (Level Two), Shuttlebay Flightdeck Control|
|31||Shuttlebay Flight Deck, Shuttle and Fighter Launch Systems, Shuttle Maintenance (Upper Level), Flight Deck Control|
|32||Shuttlebay (Main Level), Shuttle Maintenance, Escape Pods|
|33||Fighter Flight Deck, Fighter Launch Systems, Fighter Maintenance|
|34||Shuttle and Fighter Storage, Elevator Hydraulics, Emergency Power Generators 10-15, Aft Workbee Storage, Aft EVA Airlock|
|35||Marine Corps Offices, Marine Commanding Officer's Quarters, Marine XO's Quarters, Marine Barracks, Marine Lounge, Secondary Combat Training Holodeck, Secondary Armory, Escape Pods|
|36||Marine Barracks, Combat Training Holodeck, Gymnasium, Marine Physical Fitness Training Course, Marine A-Class Classrooms, Cargo Bays 10-20, Escape Pods|
|37||Fusion Reactor Blast Doors, Vacuum vessel, Neutral beam injector (ion cyclotron system), Magnetic field coils, Transformers/Central solenoid, Cooling equipment (cryostat, cryopump)|
|38||Fusion Reactor (Upper Level)|
|39||Fusion Reactor (Main Level)|
|40||Fusion Reactor (Lower Level)|
|41||Reactor Support struts, magnetic confinement and inertial confinement restrictors|
|42||Emergency Fusion Reactor ejection module, Blast Doors|
|43||Waste Management, Hazardous Material Storage and Containment, Plasma Relay Control Rooms|
|44||Ventral Phaser Array, Ventral Tractor Beam Emitter, Warp Core Ejection Hatch|