- For other uses, see USS Rio Grande.
The USS Rio Grande (NCC-72452) was a Danube-class Federation runabout assigned to Deep Space 9 in the 2360s and 2370s. The Rio Grande was one of three runabouts offloaded to DS9 by the USS Enterprise-D in 2369, and the only one of the more than a dozen such ships to have not been destroyed from that time. (DS9 episode: "Emissary", ST reference: Encyclopedia)
- In the DS9 novel: Warpath, Kira Nerys experienced a vision where Jamin rides a zhom named Denigarro, which is an anagram of Rio Grande.
The Rio Grande became one of the most famous runabouts in 2369, when Commander Benjamin Sisko and Lieutenant Jadzia Dax took the Rio Grande into the Denorios Belt and discovered the Bajoran wormhole that led to the Gamma Quadrant. Sisko later used the Rio Grande to tow Gul Skrain Dukat's Galor-class vessel back to the Alpha Quadrant. (DS9 episode: "Emissary")
In early 2370, Captain Picard, Commander Sisko, Lieutenant Commander La Forge, and Chief O'Brien took the Rio Grande to the boundary of the Bajoran wormhole to study the increasing instability which had been caused by interference by the Cardassians and the "Othersiders". (TNG - DS9 comic: "Prophets and Losses")
In late 2370, the Rio Grande was captured by the Bajoran terrorist, Orta, when he managed to gain control of a Malkus artifact and defeated his opponents. Fortunately, the Rio Grande's computer systems were equipped with anti-Maquis countermeasures, and Orta was stopped in his tracks and apprehended by the USS Odyssey. (DS9 - The Brave and the Bold, Book One novella: The Second Artifact)
Shortly after, Commander Sisko used the Rio Grande to take Jake Sisko, Quark, and Nog on a field expedition to a planet in the Gamma Quadrant. Unfortunately, the party encountered the Jem'Hadar for the first time and Commander Sisko and Quark were taken prisoner. Fortunately, Jake and Nog were able to break the Rio Grande out of orbit and signal for help. (DS9 episode: "The Jem'Hadar")
In 2373, Commander Sisko and Lt. Commander Dax used to Rio Grande as transport to a meeting with Starfleet Command during the Federation-Klingon War of 2373. En route back to DS9, the Rio Grande was ambushed by Klingon forces and sustained moderate damage. (DS9 episode: "Apocalypse Rising")
Odo used the Rio Grande to transport Quark to appear before a Federation Grand Jury on Inferna Prime. The ship never reached Inferna Prime as a bomb planted by the Orion Syndicate went off, severely damaging the Rio Grande and forcing it to crash land on a nearby class L planet. Quark was able to activate an emergency beacon and both he and Odo were rescued by the USS Defiant. The Rio Grande was also recovered and thoroughly repaired following this incident. (DS9 episode: "The Ascent")
Shortly after, Sisko asked for the Rio Grande for a mission he and Captain Picard were to undertake into the Badlands, but it was taking part in a mineral survey and unavailable. Sisko later explained the Rio Grande's history to Picard, expressing his opinion that the ship was "blessed". (TNG - Slings and Arrows eBook: Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment)
Captain Benjamin Sisko and Jake Sisko took the Rio Grande back to Earth in late-2374 shortly after the death of Jadzia Dax. ( DS9 episode: "Tears of the Prophets" ; DS9 episode: "Shadows and Symbols")
In 2375, Odo used the Rio Grande to enter Cardassian space and meet with an ex-informant. It later turned out that he had been tricked by a defective Weyoun clone who wanted to defect to the Federation. The Rio Grande was chased back to Federation space by the Jem'Hadar and the defective Weyoun had to sacrifice his life so that Odo could return to DS9. (DS9 episode: "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River")
Sam Bowers and Gerda Roness piloted the Rio Grande during the evacuation of Europa Nova. The runabout was assisted in gathering Europani from the northern continent by the Halloran. Later, the Rio Grande recovered Taran'atar, who had launched an escape pod from the Malon tanker Apsac. (DS9 novel: Demons of Air and Darkness)
In December, Kira Nerys brought the Rio Grande to a rendezvous with the USS Mjolnir, to take possession of the USS Yolja. After leaving the Mjolnir, Kira took Taran'atar to Ananke Alpha to meet the Female Changeling. (DS9 novel: The Dominion: Olympus Descending)
Tenmei was unable to find a way how the Rio Grande's uncollapsed warp field or leaking plasma injector could have sent it to the mirror universe. Tenmei would later theorize that it was the Prophets who sent the Rio Grande into the alternate universe, rather than any malfunction in the Rio Grande being responsible. (DS9 novel: The Soul Key)
During the battle of Deep Space 9 in 2383, the runabout USS Rio Grande successfully rescued everyone in Ops from the explosion. Mere moments later, the station was destroyed. However, it was partly evacuated before the reactors went critical, leading to the deaths of hundreds of Starfleet officers. (ST - Typhon Pact novel: Raise the Dawn)
In 2385 after a desperate plea from his former colleague, Thirishar ch'Thane, Julian Bashir enlisted the help of Section 31 to obtain a complete copy of the Shedai meta-genome to produce a cure to the Andorian reproductive problem before the Tholians could, in direct conflict with the interim Federation president's orders that any assistance to the Andorians was not acceptable. Bashir, along with Elizabeth Lense, Katherine Pulaski and a number of other doctors gathered on Bajor under the guise of a medical conference, to produce a self-replicating retrovirus that would repair the damaged Andorian chromosomes, as well as re-write their DNA so the recessive genetics that plagued Andorian fertility would not occur again.
After it was discovered what he had intended to do, Captain Ro Laren was ordered to arrest Bashir and his co conspirators, as well as destroy the research into the meta-genome that his team had performed. Before he could be taken in for questioning, Bashir stole the runabout USS Rio Grande and fled to Andor. It was discovered that the medical research his team had performed was already destroyed and the doctor had injected himself with the retro-virus to disseminate to Andor directly. (ST - The Fall novel: A Ceremony of Losses)
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