It took three episodes, but fans finally got to see the titular starship, the USS Discovery. The first two episodes focused on the ill-fated USS Shenzhou, where First Officer Michael Burnham served under Captain Philippa Georgiou. Episode 3 saw a six-month time-jump, where Burnham found herself aboard the USS Discovery after a shuttle accident. Right from the start, she discovered (pardon the pun) that it was no typical Federation starship.
Here’s what we know about the USS Discovery:
The Discovery is a Crossfield-class starship. Whereas the Shenzhou was an older Walker-class ship, the Discovery is new. Like most Starfleet vessels seen in all the Trek series, it consists of a saucer section, a secondary hull, and two warp nacelles. The secondary hull features a more triangular shape than viewers are used to seeing. The saucer also features negative space and is not solid, another unique feature.
After the Shenzhou was abandoned following the Battle of the Binary Stars, several of its crewmembers transferred to the Discovery, notably Saru and Keyla Detmer. Both officers were promoted; Saru from the Shenzhou science officer to first officer, while Detmer maintained her post as helmsman. Detmer was badly injured on the Shenzhou; she now has a partially shaved head and some type of cybernetic implant.
— Ted Sullivan (@karterhol) October 2, 2017
Despite it’s name, Discovery is not on a scientific mission. At least not an altruistic one. It’s part of the Federation war machine, developing technology to defeat the Klingons.
Burnham learns that Discovery is housing and conducting tests on space fungi. The project lead is Lieutenant Paul Stamets, an astromycologist. At first, Burnham believes the fungi are a biological weapon. But Lorca reveals the Discovery is testing a new form of travel along the mycellal network — a technology faster than warp travel.
— Space (@SpaceChannel) October 2, 2017
In addition to housing the space fungi, Lorca appears to have an onboard menagerie of alien creatures, including the rampaging beast that killed many Klingons aboard the USS Glenn, the Discovery’s sister ship.
Landry knows about her captain’s collection, but it’s clear that it’s a secret between them.
There are also mysterious officers sporting black badges. It’s unclear what mission or project these personnel are working on, but viewers will find out as the season continues.