Launching of the Columbia (Columbia)
Newly Commissioned U.S.S. Columbia embarks on maiden voyage.
Deep Space Nine - Bajor Sector - Just days after her historic commissioning, the starship Columbia has arrived at DS9 where she will begin a three month assignment exploring the Hironian Expanse of the Gamma Quadrant. Commander Mal Avatar and his crew all formerly of the starship Victory look forward to beginning their exciting new mission.
The Columbia takes her name from the fallen space shuttle Columbia that launched for the first time into space from Earth, Sol Sector almost exactly 400 years prior to this Columbia's commissioning. She is a Nebula-Class vessel with her primary mission serving as a long range science vessel for deep space exploration.
Not much is known about the Hironian Expanse besides her high concentration of the element Ununoctium (118 on the periodic table of elements). This element was previously thought to only exist when artificially created as it was done for the first time in a Berkeley Laboratory on Earth in the year 1999.
What makes Ununoctium unique is that it has a negative half-life. After it comes into existence it ceases to exist. Then its nonexistence similarly decays, and once again it's real. It cycles in and out of existence.