Not much is known about the Christa. It arrives at the Starcademy with an android aboard calling herself Thelma, although she is found out of commission due to a missing memory crystal. When Thelma is activated, she tells the crew that the ship was named after "an Earth teacher who died during the early days of space exploration": Christa McAuliffe, the teacher chosen for the short-lived Teachers in Space Project and who died in the Challenger Explosion.
Later in the series it is learned that the Christa was made by the Lumanians. There are other models of the Christa in commission; Warlord Shank and his henchmen claim that a sister ship of the Christa destroyed his own craft with powerful weapons.
Capabilities that the Christa possess but that the crew know little about are time manipulation and weapons capabilities.
The Christa is ten decks deep (124 feet) and 1157 feet long. When the wings are open, the ship is 600 feet wide; when the wings are closed, she's 350 feet wide.
The Christa was created using what's called "techno-organic" technology. She's sort of a living machine, capable of healing herself when damaged (if the damage isn't too great) and redesigning herself if she feels that it will make life more convenient for the crew. She can also steer herself, but will only do so in the most extreme of situations (such as when she senses a sister ship in distress); she is programmed is to allow the crew to be in charge at all other times. The Christa has at least some degree of sentience. She made her own decision to allow Dram on board, and Thelma indicates that she is able to judge character.
The wings projecting from the body of the ship are "solar sails." In space, stars emit a stream of charged particles from their upper atmospheres (mostly protons and electrons), and the Christa's solar sails capture these particles as a source of energy to power the ship's thrusters and hyperdrive engines. These thrusters at the rear of the ship enable the Christa to travel at sub-light speed and change direction.
The Christa's engines store up the charged particles gathered by the solar sails. When they have enough, they can fire the hyperdrive engines, which push the Christa into hyperspace, so she can go faster than light for a while. If the Christa could never go faster than light, it would take the Space Cases a thousand years to get home! When the Christa goes into hyperspace, her wings close and her neck retracts. The Christa can land on planets as well as dock at orbiting space stations such as the Starcademy.
- Jump Tubes
- Command Post
- Engine Room
- Team Room
- The Lounge
- The Classroom
- The Galley
- Power Junction
- Landing Bays
- Cargo Hold
- The Secret Room
- The Haunted Corridor
- Boys' Bunkroom
- Girls' Bunkroom
- Miss Davenport's Quarters
- Commander Goddard's Quarters
When compared to the physical characteristic of other ships within most popular science fiction series, The Christa is relatively small measuring roughly 413 meters deep and 385 meters long (The Enterprise D in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' was over 650 meters as was Moya from 'Farscape'). Barring the sections that appeared to be dimensionally trancendent such a ship could have been fully explored in a matter of months by seven people. One theory why areas on the Christa remain unexplored could be due to the current crew's inexperience with Lumanian technology and the fact that the Christa herself can redesign her internal living space may explain why rooms and other areas remain a mystery even to this day.
Some aspects of the Christa, including partial sentience and a self-rearranging interior, are shared with The Doctor's famous blue police box-shaped space-time ship, the TARDIS, from the popular BBC programme 'Doctor Who'.