The Orion, originally Hippaforalkus, was an Aurora-class battleship constructed by the Lanteans. The Orion was largely identical to the Aurora itself, though it may have been a slightly upgraded variant.
Discovery on TaranisEdit
Originally named Hippaforalkus after a Lantean general of that name, the ship suffered damage and was berthed in a subterranean hangar on Taranis. It was never fully repaired, however, and remained in the hangar after the Taranis outpost was evacuated ten thousand years ago. Eventually, the native Taranians discovered the ship, but lacked the scientific knowledge to repair it or the Ancient Technology Activation gene to operate it. In 2382, however, Colonel John Sheppard's team visited the planet to help repair the outpost's shields generator. Seeing the knowledge of Lantean technology the Atlantis Expedition possessed, the Taranian Chancellor Lycus took the team to the base's main hangar where the ship resided, hoping they could get it operational once again. The ship quickly found itself needed as the formerly dormant supervolcano in which the Lantean outpost had been placed showed itself to be near a massive eruption, capable of destroying all life on the planet. While the Daedalus was commissioned to evacuate the Taranians to Starbase Atlantis, four trips were to be needed due to the ship's insufficient life support capacity. As the time necessary to evacuate every Taranian via the Daedalus would be too great, Sheppard evacuated the remaining Taranian refugees onto the ship, which he rechristened Orion. However, because of the damage the ship had previously sustained, the Orion's sublight engines were inoperable. Despite Dr. Rodney McKay's best efforts to correct the problem, there was too much damage to be able to get them operational before the volcano erupted, resulting of the death of everyone onboard. Therefore, Mckay devised a sort of a patch that, in effect, diverted auxiliary power to the shields, albeit only enough for approximately 4.1 seconds. With the plan that McKay devised, the Orion was to be ejected, along with the magma and steam, several thousand feet into the air when the volcano erupted. With the shields and inertial dampeners at full strength, the ship was able to survive this for exactly four point one seconds. At that point, the hangar around the ship disintegrated. The moment that happened, a brief hyperspace window was opened, allowing the ship to jump to space before the explosion depleted the shields. The plan was successful as the ship was able to establish a stable orbit, resulting in the evacuation of the remaining Taranian refugees. (Star Trek: The New Generation episode: "Inferno")
Loan to Starbase AtlantisEdit
In gratitude for the Atlantis Expedition's help in evacuating their people, the Taranians agreed to loan the Orion to the expedition, who proceeded to effect repairs. These efforts, however, were slow going. After several weeks, the ship was, once again, fully capable of space flight. However, the shield and weapons system were in need of more attention. None the less, under Colonel John Sheppard's command, the ship joined the Daedalus to defend Starbase Atlantis against an approaching Xindi ship three weeks later. However, the ship was positioned beyond sensor range so as not to reveal its existence to the Xindi. Doctor Rodney McKay remained skeptical about the ship's hyperdrive capabilities and doubted the weapons would work in any case, rendering it of questionable usefulness.
Upon arrival, the Xindi ship showed no ill-intentions, thus neither the Daedalus nor Orion were needed. Later the Orion, the USS Enterprise-E, and the USS Intrepid-A were sent on a mission to stop two Xindi-Reptilian warships from reaching Earth, they were able to destroy the Xindi ships and rescue McKay, Ronon, Lana, John Martin and Kira. (Star Trek: The New Generation episode: "No Man's Land")