The USS Astraeus is one of the first six Galaxy class explorers commissioned in the 2360s, alongside vessels such as the USS Enterprise-D and the USS Galaxy. During her first decades of service, the Astraeus conducted several long term exploration missions at the edge of Federation space and beyond.
Besides her exploration missions, the Astraeus also served with distinction during the Dominion war, in which she maintained a high success to failure ratio against Dominion vessels. Crippled during the Battle of Ricktor Prime, she spent the rest of the war in drydock undergoing repairs before she and Starfleet were able to resume their mission of peace and exploration.
Commanded by several different Captains and with dozens of first contacts under her belt, the Astraeus' advancing age and diminished effectiveness had begun to show near the end of the 2380s, and she was was pulled off of active duty several years ago for an extensive refit and overhaul, initially supervised by then-Lieutenant Commander Mei'konda at Starbase 74. With her refit nearly complete, she began space trials under the leadership of Commander Victor Yeager.
Unfortunately, Commander Yeager's leadership proved to be lacking. Determined to prove that the impossible could be done with the Astraeus' new technology, he ordered his crew to attempt entering the Shoals, an area of space whose tetryon radiation prevents ships that are over 2,000,000 tonnes from operating at warp speeds. Predictably, the Astraeus' warp engines failed, and the USS Veritas came to her rescue. Heavily damaged by pirates operating in the area, the crews of the Astraeus and Veritas managed to find a way to get the Galaxy class starship back out of the region again, at which time the Astraeus put into drydock for repairs, and Commander Yeager was removed from command pending a court martial.
With her repairs and refit at Starbase 74 complete, the Astraeus left spacedock and traveled to the Caitian homeworld of Ferasa Prime, to take on new crew members and officers for her upcoming deployment.