All we known is still infinitely less than all that remains unknown.
~ William Harvey
While research and development activities are traditionally conducted from starbases and outposts within the Federation’s core territories, not all research occurs within a lab. Sometimes, the greatest discoveries are made amongst the stars. The USS Polaris is an acknowledgement of this, a mobile research platform hosting not just a few science officers but an entire specialized, cross-functional agency known as the Advanced Science, Technology and Research Activity (ASTRA) that fuels Starfleet’s innovation engine through exploration of strange new works, interactions and negotiations with alien species, and crisis response to some of the stranger realities on the rim of known space.