Nova is one-of-a-kind starship designed for Ambassadorial, diplomatic, and development missions of the New Commonwealth of the Galaxy.
New Commonwealth Ambassador-at-large Goneril Lear originally sought a purpose-built ship to be constructed to support the diplomatic missions of the planet Republic. Her original request for a specially outfitted Explorer Class ship , to be named Ambassador. This project was denied. Lear then retooled her proposal, now asking for a ship to support not Republic, but the whole of the New Commonwealth. Again, this project was refused funding, but she persisted, and eventually persuaded the Government of Republic to turn over the decommissioned Pathfinder Ship Lexington Keeler to the New Commonwealth for refitting as an Ambassadorial Ship with a broader mission of bringing technology to less-developed colonies.
Refit of Lexington KeelerEdit
Refit of Lexington Keeler began at the Odyssey Shipyards in the Republic Out-System. The ship was restored to structural integrity, had new systems integrated, a new braincore installed, wingblades replaced, and new propulsion systems installed. Its forward missile hatcheries were removed and destroyed.
Under its own power, the ship was flown to the Babylon Shipyards on the moon of Chaldea in the Bountiful System. (The Government of Bountiful was paying 40% of the refit costs). The ship was substantially reconfigured for its new mission. Two of its Hangar Bays were converted to enormous cargo bays, with systems installed to facilitate the transfer of cargo outside the ship. The space opened up by removal of most of the ship's weapon systems was converted into crew quarters and additional cargo bays. The interior spaces were reconditioned to accommodate a crew of up to 15,000. Most of the ship's automated factory equipment was removed to make way for still more cargo and crew quarters.
Amabassador Lear had pushed for the ship to be named Commonwealth Ambassador, but the Bountiful Government preferred the name Pax Galactis. Eventually, at the direction of the New Commonwealth Council, the ship was named Novus, and finally Nova, to symbolize the beginning of a new age of humankind.
The ship was relaunched in the Solar Year 7356 from Starlock Chapultepec. Ambassador Lear and her senior aide Averill Lear were in attendance, as well as most of the Commonwealth Executive Council. The crew of Nova represented as many planets as the New Commonwealth could recruit from, although nearly half the crew was made up of persons from Republic , Bountiful, Independence , and Sapphire . An unusual command structure was set up that rotated command responsibilities through twelve individuals.
The ship then embarked on a ten solar year goodwill tour of the New Commonwealth, stopping at the Major Worlds of Denali , Republic, Bountiful Prime and Columba Zion, Rainier III , Longueil , and Independence as well as other important worlds in the New Commowealth. It stopped at Bodicea, where Ambassador Lear delivered new water purification technlogy and pledged development aid. It also made goodwill stops at some Free World planets, including Wolf's Head and Gander . The tour, which was originally scheduled for ten years, ended up lasting 15.
After a minor refit and overhaul in the Terpsichore system, the ship began a second tour in the Solar Year 7373. This one took it to recently discovered and underdeveloped colonies, such as Aneirin, Aventine , St. Fionan , and Tau Matawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu . Experts on the ship attempted to provide colonies with environmental and developmental challenges a path forward to meeting and remedying those challenges.
During this tour, Nova was dispatched to attempt to make diplomatic contact with a species called the Teklektetl; an insect-like species that existed as a giant hive and who had attempted to colonize Meridian by transforming its human population into insects. Despite many attempts, they did not succeed in establishing communication. (Book 11: Charlemagne)
In the Solar Year 7380, Nova departed via the Chapultepec Starlock the Charlemagne Starlock in the Orion Quadrant of the galaxy, with the intent that it would lead the first expedition to Earth. The plan was interrupted when Aurelians attacked and destroyed Charlemagne Starlock. Nova fled Charlemagne with other ships of what eventually became known as the Fleet of Orion. Fleeing Charlemagne, the fleet retreated to Parallax colony, and proceeded thence to Earth.