The USS Constellation NCC-1017 is remembered fondly by everyone associated with Starfleet. Destroyed in 2267, she was a Constitution-class starship whose crew of 430 at the time all served under the command of Commodore Matt Decker. The ship, during a routine survey mission gone wrong, encountered what is now known as a planet killer. A robot using an antiproton beam to eviscerate star systems, the planet killer attacked the Constellation, damaging her to the point that Decker ordered his crew to abandon ship and seek refuge on the doomed system L-374 III. Meanwhile, Decker remained aboard, and became traumatized when the planet killer wiped out L-374 III.
Captain James T. Kirk and an landing party from the USS Enterprise eventually arrived on the scene. The Constellation was a barely functioning shell of itself, and the same could be said of Decker, whose grief first led him to use the Enterprise to attack the planet killer and then prompted him to steal a shuttle in a suicide mission that saw him pilot the craft into the maw of the planet killer. Decker died, but not in vain, as Kirk built upon Decker's idea. Chief engineer Montgomery Scott repaired the Constellation sufficiently enough to send it into the planet killer, exploding it from within, thereby killing the planet killer and saving countless lives.
StarTrek.com's look at the USS Constellation NCC-1017 continues our ongoing celebration of the Ships of the Line, which will carry on from now until the end of the year. The latest in the bestselling Ships of the Line calendar series is available now; visit www.Amazon.com to purchase the 2015 Ships of the Line calendar.