(covers information from several alternate timelines)
|Affiliation:||Vulcan Science Academy|
United Federation of Planets
The Jellyfish was a late-24th century starship commissioned by the Vulcan Science Academy for the transport of red matter. It was described as being "our fastest ship" and featured a unique rotating "tail".
After the ship's commissioning in 2387, Ambassador Spock piloted the ship during his attempt to save the galaxy from destruction by a powerful supernova. Spock took the Jellyfish to inject red matter into the supernova, resulting in the creation of a black hole that would absorb the nova. While the plan succeeded, Spock was unfortunately too late to stop the nova from destroying Romulus. As Spock was attempting to depart, he was intercepted by the Narada, and both ships were pulled into the black hole. The Narada arrived in 2233 and was the catalyst for the alternate reality, whereas the Jellyfish exited some twenty-five years later. Upon capture by Nero, the ship was stored inside the Narada. Nero later ordered the use of the red matter aboard the seized ship to destroy the planet Vulcan.
The ship was later destroyed when Commander Spock was able to retrieve the ship and piloted it on a collision course with the Narada, igniting the red matter. Spock survived the collision, being beamed aboard the USS Enterprise at the last moment. (Star Trek)
The Jellyfish was outfitted with a chamber designed for the safe storage and transport of red matter, as well as a means of extracting the matter for the purposes of its mission. In addition, the ship featured four forward mounted torpedo launchers and a warp drive.
The ship was also equipped with the means to recognize its pilot, Ambassador Spock, via facial recognition and voiceprint analysis. As a result, it welcomed aboard Commander Spock and allowed him to pilot its controls. It was at this point that he realized who must have helped James T. Kirk return to the Enterprise after being marooned on Delta Vega - asked if he would be able to fly the craft, Spock told Kirk that he likely already had. (Star Trek)
The ship is referred to as the Jellyfish in the screenplay. Concept artist Ryan Church envisaged the ship as having a transparent exterior, based on the actual translucent appearance of a jellyfish. Comic book artist Bryan Hitch contributed to the final shape of the ship, taking inspiration from a gyroscope. Church had another idea, of the ship being a cube of pure energy to emphasize its roots in Vulcan science, but J.J. Abrams felt the ship had to have "as much character as Leonard Nimoy had in his face".
According to visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett, production designer Scott Chambliss envisaged the ship's exterior surface as "sophisticated technology married with organic things". "It might even be a technology Vulcans' 'grow', like a plant of high tensile steel." Guyett also said the ship's warp signature was intended to evoke clean "green" energy, in contrast to the "burned dirty fuel" aesthetic of the Narada. (Star Trek - The Art of the Film)
The triangular pilot's chair and circular view screen form the Vulcan IDIC symbol when viewed from the inside, behind the main cockpit area.
Interestingly, the computer aboard the vessel responded to Spock's inquiry in regards to its manufacturing origin using the stardate system of the alternate reality rather than that of its origin (the "prime" reality).
According to the prequel comic Star Trek: Countdown, the Jellyfish was a prototype vessel built to withstand unstable atmospheres. Its designer and original pilot was Geordi La Forge, according to the prequel comic Star Trek: Countdown, issue number 3.
Information originally posted on the Star Trek Online main website indicated that the Jellyfish was equipped with trans-metaphasic shielding. The experimental spacecraft was launched from the Daystrom Institute and Starfleet was working with La Forge and the institute to determine if some of the ships systems could be adapted for Federation use.  Standard metaphasic shielding has been seen or mentioned in TNG: "Suspicions", "Descent, Part II" and in VOY: "Resistance".