The USS Challenger (NCC-71099) was a Federation starship, a Galaxy-class explorer in service to Starfleet in the late 24th century. Challenger was commissioned in the year 2370, and this vessel's commanding officer was Captain Simm in 2371.
Service history and disposition
After the destruction of the USS Enterprise-D in 2371, the Challenger returned from a mission in the Gamma Quadrant to pick up her new first officer, Commander William T. Riker. Commander Riker invoked the official secrets regulation of stardate 7500, took command of the Challenger, and brought Doctor Julian Bashir, Commander Deanna Troi, and Captain James T. Kirk onboard.
He ordered the ship from Deep Space 9 to Starbase 804, where Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Doctor Beverly Crusher, and Ambassador Spock were recovered. The Challenger engaged the Romulan warbird Avatar of Tomed, acting as a decoy so that the USS Monitor could defeat it. The Avatar took heavy damage, but was able to escape using its Borg transwarp drive. Commander Riker's stay on the Challenger was short-lived: within a matter of weeks, he transferred to the USS Enterprise-E. (ST novel: The Return, TNG novel: Ship of the Line, TNG - Slings and Arrows eBook: A Sea of Troubles)
In 2377, the Challenger was part of a fleet that engaged Borg Sphere 634 shortly before it was destroyed from within by the USS Voyager using transphasic torpedo acquired from a future version of Admiral Janeway. (VOY episode: "Endgame")
By 2383 the Challenger had been assigned to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, and had become a personal project of her captain, Montgomery Scott. Late in that year, it was assigned to investigate the mystery of the Intrepid, and to restore the vessel to working order. It took on several mission specialists, including Geordi La Forge and Berlinghoff Rasmussen, to accomplish this task. Rasumussen had other plans. He had made arrangements with the Ferengi Bok, and the two arranged to take control over the Intrepid.
While the Challenger engaged Bok's escorts, the Intrepid went to the Split Infinite in order to slingshot around it backwards to the year 2162. The Challenger crew was able to rescue the captured Starfleet crewmembers from the ship before it was sent back in time; however, the Intrepid was destroyed due to manipulations caused by the Challenger's transporter. During an engagement at this time, Captain Scott was severely injured, and deemed unfit for command. With his executive officer, Tyler Hunt, dead, Captain Scott recommended La Forge for the position; which Starfleet approved.
Under Captain La Forge, the Challenger was assigned to investigate the recently discovered phenomenon of trans-slipstream, which had played a part in the destruction of the Intrepid. While studying the source of the anomaly, the Challenger intercepted a distress call from the warbird IRW Stormcrow and rescued her crew following sabotage. Shortly after the rescue, however, the Challenger was intercepted by the same vessel which had caused the damage to the Stormcrow, and was transported to NGC 4414 with severe damage.
After a study of the area, the Challenger found the derelict USS Hera in a nearby area, and was drawn to it, due to an immense gravitational field generated by the vessel. An away team was sent to the Hera, which located a group of 47 survivors aboard; however, it was soon discovered that the only way to return home would be to repair the damage to the region.
With the assistance of the recently arrived IRW Tomalak's Fist, the crew of the Challenger sacrificed their ship in order to return home by using it to seal the rift and to create a Möbius strip. Captain Scott volunteered for the mission to the Challenger to repair the damage, stranding him on the derelict starship. At the time, it was declared destroyed due to the collapsing static warp shell that was produced by the Challenger's engines to seal the rift. (TNG novel: Indistinguishable from Magic)
- It was theorized by Ambassador Spock at the memorial service for Captain Scott that, if anyone could have found a way to survive the collapsing warp shell, it was Montgomery Scott. Indeed, since the Challenger apparently returned to service in later stories, it is possible there was some sort of recovery. However, it is equally possible the conflicting events simply represent differences between the continuity of timelines between the novels and the STO gaming.
Path to the 25th century
In 2397, the Challenger was given to Captain Geordi La Forge. His wife Mikaela became Challenger's new chief engineer. (STO novel: The Needs of the Many)
In 2410, the Challenger was docked inside Earth Spacedock. (STO video game: Delta Rising)
- The Challenger's name and registry number are not visible on its model, but can be found on a display in Fleet Admiral Jorel Quinn's office.
In an alternate timeline created after the attempt by Voyager to use quantum slipstream drive resulted in the ship being destroyed, the Challenger was captained by Geordi La Forge in 2390. The vessel was assigned to pursue and capture the Delta Flyer, which was stolen by former USS Voyager crewmembers Chakotay, Typhuss James Halliwell and Harry Kim. The Challenger managed to inflict severe damage on the Flyer, causing a warp core breach. However, Harry Kim was successful in transmitting a message to Voyager in the past, giving that ship's crew instructions to collapse the slipstream and avert the disaster. (VOY episode: "Timeless")
USS Challenger personnel
- commanding officer:
- first officer:
- Commander Tyler Hunt (2382)
- Lieutenant Commander Carolan (2383)
- second officer:
- chief engineer:
- Lieutenant Commander Voloczin (2382–2383)
- chief medical officer:
- Lieutenant Alyssa Ogawa (2382–2383)
- security officer/Tactical officer:
- Lieutenant Commander Nog (2382–2383)
- flight controller:
- Qat'qa (2382–2383)
- Leah Brahms (2382–2383)
- Transporter chief Carolan (2382)
- Guinan (2382–2383)
- Berlinghoff Rasmussen (2382)
- Montgomery Scott (2383)