Re: Improvements The Constellation could very well have been one of the pathfinder ships of what was to become the Constitution class (along with the Republic, NCC-1371). Both of these ships could have been refit to the Constitution class's final specifications (with the Republic most likely becoming a starship training vessel for the academy). Further, for those who have problems with numbers not being in order, the space shuttles must be very maddening for you guys. You have Enterprise (OV-101), Columbia (OV-102), Challenger (OV-99), Discovery (OV-103), Atlantis (OV-104) and Endeavour (OV-105). I mean, really... before we jump on Starfleet (and Star Trek producers) about their inability to get their numbers in order, maybe we should have NASA rewrite history and renumber the shuttles. The other thing that many people over look when looking at the Constellation is that this wasn't just another starship... this was a flag ship (one of only two that we know of in TOS, the other being the Lexington). It wasn't commanded by another captain, it was commanded by a commodore (a flag officer). The point that the Constellation was to play in the story of The Doomsday Machine was that this was a more than equal (that is, better) ship than the Enterprise, with a more experienced crew and a more experienced commanding officer. By setting the Constellation up in this way, we were to already have (as an audience) an understanding of how powerful (and dangerous) the planet killer was before we had even seen it on screen. And anyone who thinks that lower numbers mean weaker (and less advanced) ships seem to be ignoring history. Beyond the sited example of the Challenger (which while being numbered 99 was still more advanced than both the Enterprise and Columbia), I'd point out that the US Navy retired the America (CV-66) before the Enterprise (CVN-65), Constellation (CV-64), Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and Independence (CV-62). And even this month they are retiring the Kennedy (CV-67) before both the Enterprise and Kitty Hawk. You can't make any judgment about the qualifications or abilities of the Constellation based on her hull number... it doesn't work in NASA or the US Navy, and it sure doesn't work in Starfleet either.