Federation Launches New Generation of Starship

San Francisco, Earth - 79.1.1 - The United Federation of Planets' officially launched its new "Constitution" class of heavy cruiser today with the departure of the namesake vessel on its maiden voyage from the construction facilities in Sol where it was built.

"Constitution and the others of her class are a new versatile breed of starship," explained Admiral Norwal of Starfleet's Emerging Concepts research division. "The project vision required a design capable of a wide variety of missions, including seeking new life and new civilizations, exploring new worlds, boldly going to a broad range of places, and kicking the snot out of anyone who messes with the Federation."

He added that any given mission would likely include only a subset of those capabilities. While Starfleet has not disclosed the details of the heavy cruisers' first missions, Constitution's Captain Samar Culthawte indicated that they would run for "at least several years".

General public opinion within the Federation was positive, though overshadowed by the news that demand for anti-grav had increased sharply in the last financial quarter.

Furthermore, Starfleet was forced to admit that a series of somewhat alarming calamities have already befallen one of Constitution's sister ships. That ship, christened Enterprise, received a replacement captain before it had even left dock after the original captain, Captain Robert April, died suddenly in a freak transporter accident. In addition, during final checkout the ship's first officer was sexually assaulted by a female of an unknown species. Starfleet has yet to disclose how she gained access to the ship's bridge.

"The claim, made by some, that the Constitution's sister ship is some kind of magnet for aliens, catastrophes, and weird events is pure superstition," said Fleet Admiral Enrique Murcielago in a prepared statement. "Enterprise will depart for its maiden voyage on schedule, with Captain Christopher Pike in command, and neither he nor Starfleet Command expects anything else out of the ordinary."

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