Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
^ Actually United Earth was formed in 2123. It wasn't until 2150 that Australia joined, though. That was the last holdout.
...Or what it looks like, for that matter. Perhaps one of the older classes we saw was it?
Possibly, but the Daedalus
supposedly had a crew of over 200, and I doubt those older ships could hold that many.
There are at least two different designs for this ship that I've seen. There's the one with the globular primary hull that most of us are aware of. Then there's the recent comic which showed that class as basically an NX, but with Abrams-1701 nacelles!
Not quite. The comic assumes Archon to be NX-class (albeit drawn to resemble the new Enterprise more), and the old Star Trek Encyclopedia assumes it to be Daedalus-class. The Archon's class was never given on-screen.
As for the era of the Daedalus-class, the novels assume they predate the NX-class by several years (and that the prototype was actually a testbed for a failed new drive system, a la Excelsior), but the unmade Romulan war movie Star Trek: The Beginning
, set 2259, featured the USS Spartan (described as having a spherical primary hull) being the prototype for Starfleet's Warp 8 engine.