With the Federation sending its capital ships and multi-mission explorers further and further into unknown space, A gap began to be noticed in available vessels to fill those roles reasonably well.
Tasking the Advanced Starship Design Bureau with filling this role was no small feat. The proposed design needed to be as effective on station as a Galaxy class, as heavily scientific as an Intrepid class, and as capable of defending herself and others as a Sovereign class. The class would need to be easily refit, retrofittable, and be able to implement new technologies with ease.
Several proposals were introduced, ranging from utterly massive ships to smaller, shorter ranged designs.
The Admiralty settled ultimately on the design that would become the Vesta class. The propulsion systems were borrowed heavily from other existing classes such as the Century, Atlantia, and Ascension classes. Speeds would be demonstrably reliable, but the Vesta couldn’t be considered a rapid response ship.
Armaments were designed off of the Diligent and Akira class archetype. She would boast several interlocking fields of phaser fire, a respectable torpedo compliment, and (unlike other cruisers her size), a forward facing rapid-fire phaser cannon.
Scientifically, she would boast some of the best astrometrics and life sciences labs available in the fleet, as well as a massively updated sickbay, with the newest version of the EMH.
The entire ship would be holo-mapped, meaning that holo-emitters cover 100% of the interior spaces. This allows for the ability of EMH programs to respond quickly to any location, and easy customization of any interior space. While not a new technology (many Luna and Prometheus class vessels boast the same), its efficacy could not be denied.
This means that much like the Luna class, she would be able to reasonably accommodate any species of crew or VIP, regardless of dietary and environmental need, simply by virtue of the fact that said VIP or Crewmember could alter the space to their necessity or liking.
Overall, the Vesta class was considered a smashing success. After her shakedown cruise and class testing in early 2386, seven of the ships were ordered for the first run, the first of them coming off the line in early 2388.