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USS Rio Grande

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USS Rio Grande
USS Rio Grande.jpg

USS Rio Grande

Class: Danube-class
Registry: NCC-72452
Owner: United Federation of Planets
Operator: Starfleet
Status: Active (2375)

The USS Rio Grande (NCC-72452) was a Federation Danube-class runabout that was in service to Starfleet in the late 24th century, attached to Deep Space 9. The Rio Grande was one of the three runabouts offloaded at DS9 by the USS Enterprise-D along with two other runabout starships.

The Rio Grande was the first vessel to discover the Bajoran wormhole in 2369, and remained the only vessel to remain intact throughout the entire Federation Occupation of Deep Space 9, from 2369 to 2375.

Service historyEdit


The Rio Grande gained fame as the vessel piloted by Commander Benjamin Sisko and Lieutenant Jadzia Dax on the mission that discovered the Bajoran wormhole in 2369. (DS9: "Emissary")

Major Kira Nerys and Doctor Julian Bashir piloted the Rio Grande back to Deep Space 9 when they received a priority one distress signal from the Kobliad transport ship Reyab. Later the Rio Grande was used to transport Doctor Bashir, under the control of the criminal Rao Vantika and hired mercenaries, to steal a shipment of duridium from the freighter Norkova. (DS9: "The Passenger")

Several months later, Sisko and Dax took the Rio Grande to Rakhar. (DS9: "Vortex")

After the USS Yangtzee Kiang crash-landed on a moon in the Gamma Quadrant, the Rio Grande was deployed to rescue Sisko, Bashir, Kai Opaka, and Major Kira, who were on board the Yangtzee Kiang. (DS9: "Battle Lines")


The Rio Grande was used to pursue the hijacked USS Orinoco containing Quark, Lieutenant Dax, and Ensign Melora Pazlar. For this mission, the Rio Grande was equipped with a roll bar module. The roll bar was removed for all future missions. (DS9: "Melora")

On stardate 47573.1, Commander Sisko and Chief Miles O'Brien explored systems near the Bajor sector aboard the Rio Grande in search of planets suitable for colonization. Upon discovering a class M planet in the Orellius system, they transported down to the planet's surface. The Rio Grande remained in orbit until it was hijacked by Alixus, who attempted to destroy the runabout by setting its course into the system's sun, Orellius Minor. Her attempt failed, and the ship was deflected across Sector 401, unpiloted, until it was reported to Starfleet by the Romulan ship Gasko.

USS Rio Grande tractors the Orinoco

The Rio Grande tows the Orinoco (2370)

Major Kira and Lieutenant Dax pursued the Rio Grande aboard the Orinoco. When the Orinoco caught up with the Rio Grande, Dax, inspired by an old Hopi rope trick, used the Orinoco's tractor beam to force the Rio Grande out of warp. They then transported over to the Rio Grande to determine the origin of the runabout's course, later taking the Orinoco in tow as they returned to Orellius. (DS9: "Paradise")

Along with the USS Mekong and the Orinoco, the Rio Grande was used to stop the Maquis from attacking Bryma, a Cardassian colony in the Demilitarized Zone. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part II")

Doctor Bashir and Major Kira used the Rio Grande to travel to the New Bajor colony in the Gamma Quadrant so they could help set up the colony's hospital. While en route back to Deep Space 9, the Rio Grande had the honor of being only the second Federation vessel to enter the mirror universe, the first being the USS Defiant NCC-1764, and the only one known to Starfleet. (DS9: "Crossover")

Later that year, Sisko took his son Jake, along with Quark and Nog into the Gamma Quadrant aboard the Rio Grande. It was the first time Jake and Nog had been there. However, the trip took a fateful turn as Sisko and Quark were captured by the Jem'Hadar, the soldiers of the Dominion. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar")


In 2371, Constable Odo used the Rio Grande in an attempt to follow a ship piloted by a Flaxian suspected of attempting to kill Elim Garak. The Flaxian ship exploded before it could leave Deep Space 9, cutting the Rio Grande's mission short. (DS9: "Improbable Cause")


In 2372, Major Kira and Legate Dukat used the Rio Grande to search for the Cardassian transport ship Ravinok. (DS9: "Indiscretion")

Later that year, Lieutenant Commander's Worf and Dax, along with Klingon Dahar master Kor, took the Rio Grande into the Gamma Quadrant to find the long-lost Sword of Kahless. (DS9: "The Sword of Kahless")


Danube class damaged, port side

Damaged by the Klingons

USS Rio Grande crashed on Class L planet

Crashed on an unnamed Class L planet

In early-2373, the Rio Grande was attacked by Klingons while Sisko, Dax, and O'Brien were returning to Deep Space 9 from Starfleet Command. (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")

At some point after that, Odo used the Rio Grande to transport Quark to a Federation grand jury on Inferna Prime as part of a ruse to determine which criminal organization Quark had ties to, which later proved to be the Orion Syndicate. The Syndicate planted a bomb on the Rio Grande, intending to destroy it en route. Odo was able to mitigate the damage from the bomb by beaming it out and channeling the explosion through the transporter buffer, though the runabout still took heavy damage and was forced to crash-land on an unnamed class L planet. Odo and Quark were later rescued by the USS Defiant, and the Rio Grande was salvaged. (DS9: "The Ascent")

Later that year, the Rio Grande was used in the defense of the station against a newly-arrived Dominion fleet. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")


Captain Sisko and Jake took the Rio Grande back to Earth in late-2374 shortly after the death of Jadzia Dax. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets", "Shadows and Symbols")


In 2375, Benjamin, Jake, and Joseph Sisko, along with Ezri Dax, used the Rio Grande to travel to Tyree so Benjamin could locate the Orb of the Emissary. (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols")

USS Rio Grande pursued by the JemHadar

The Rio Grande pursued by the Jem'Hadar

Later that year, Odo took the Rio Grande into Cardassian space to meet with an ex-informant whom he believed to be dead. He had been duped by a "defective" Weyoun clone, and took him back to Federation space. When Legate Damar and the successive Weyoun clone learned of their whereabouts they sent a fleet of Jem'Hadar attack ships to stop them. Odo diverted the Rio Grande into an ice field to avoid the attacking ships. (DS9: "Treachery, Faith and the Great River"

Shortly after the Dominion War, Captain Sisko took the Rio Grande to Bajor for his final confrontation with Dukat and the Pah-wraiths. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")

Appendices Edit

Appearances Edit

Background information Edit

  • The Rio Grande was named after the Rio Grande river in New Mexico, and on the border of the state of Texas and Mexico.
  • The computer voice of the Rio Grande was provided by Majel Barrett.
  • The Rio Grande was the only runabout out of the original three runabouts (Rio Grande, Ganges, and Yangtzee Kiang) assigned to the station to remain intact throughout the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine seven-year run. It did crash in "The Ascent", but it was apparently salvaged.
  • In "Treachery, Faith and the Great River", the Rio Grande was inadvertently given the registry of the USS Shenandoah, rather than its own previously-established registry number.
  • The Rio Grande was shown with phaser banks on the upper forward section of the nacelle in some episodes and without the phasers in other episodes.
  • The Micro Machines runabout model was marked as the Rio Grande, as was the AMT/Ertl model kit (on the packaging, at least, as the builder could name the model Rio Grande, Ganges, or Yangtzee Kiang) and the Furuta kit.

External link Edit

de:USS Rio Grande es:USS Rio Grande fr:USS Rio Grande (NCC-72452) nl:USS Rio Grande

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