Prototype was the common designation for a first working model of a new invention, used for trial runs.
In 2373, Starfleet Science developed a prototype of a device called a polaron emitter, designed to expose Changelings by rendering them unable to maintain solid form. The untested nature and the complicated means of placement and activation made Miles O'Brien remark: "I hate prototypes". (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")
Concerning starships, Starfleet prototypes had an "NX" prefix in the registry number, as opposed to the normal "NCC"; this was different from the United Earth NX prefix, which indicated the NX-class), and which were typically the first vessels in their class. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; DS9: "The Search, Part I"; VOY: "Non Sequitur", "Message in a Bottle") Once certified for operational status, however, these prototype vessels usually reverted to a more standard NCC prefix. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; DS9: "Tears of the Prophets"; Star Trek Nemesis)
Prototype ships Edit
- USS Bradbury
- USS Dauntless (actually an alien vessel in disguise)
- USS Defiant
- Delta Flyer (shuttlecraft)
- USS Galaxy
- USS Intrepid
Background information Edit
During production of Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: Phase II, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, several prototypes of the USS Enterprise, both in her original and refit configurations, were built.