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USS Grissom (NCC-638)

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For the 24th century vessel of the same name, please see USS Grissom (24th century).

The USS Grissom (NCC-638) was a 23rd century Federation Oberth-class starship operated by Starfleet. In 2285, this science vessel was under the command of Captain J.T. Esteban.

In that year, the Grissom transported Lieutenant Saavik and David Marcus to the Genesis Planet in order to conduct scientific studies on the newly formed world. While in orbit, however, they discovered the photon torpedo in which Captain Spock's body had been ejected from the USS Enterprise. In addition, sensors registered an animal lifeform on the surface, something previously thought to be impossible. Electing to investigate further, Saavik and David beamed down to the planet's surface while the Grissom monitored their progress.

While Saavik and David were on the surface, however, the Grissom came under attack by a Klingon Bird-of-Prey commanded by Kruge, a Klingon commander intent on exploiting the Genesis technology as a weapon. Although it was Kruge's intention to simply disable the Grissom so that he might take prisoners, the ship was completely destroyed, in what his gunner described as "a lucky shot." The gunner was summarily executed by Kruge immediately after. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

In early 2286, ambassador Sarek mentioned the destruction of the starship to his Klingon colleague Kamarag who accused the Federation that the Project Genesis is a plot to annihilate the Klingon race.(Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

USS Grissom personnel Edit


Background information Edit

In the first draft script of Star Trek III, this starship was named "USS Valiant". According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 179), the name eventually chosen for this craft was in memory of "Mercury astronaut Virgil I. Grissom, who was killed in the tragic Apollo 1 fire in 1967."

The model of the Grissom is now part of collections. [1]


A later, Excelsior-class USS Grissom was featured in the Star Trek: New Frontier novel Once Burned. This may be the ship mentioned destroyed during the Dominion War in DS9: "Field of Fire".

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