The Nova Scout Frigate was designed to serve as the long-term replacement of the aging Oberth Science Vessel.
It was hoped by the Starfleet admiralty that the Nova would be able to take over the exploratory duties of both the Oberth
and larger explorer ships, such as the Galaxy.
Because the ship was meant solely for exploration, the Nova was equipped with more economical warp drives which allowed it
greater warp endurance at the loss of maximum warp factor. This was seen as not being much of a drawback, however, as the Nova
was never meant to participate in fleet actions and for its slow scouting missions on the edge of Federation space it was seen to
be more than adequate.